Picking a name for your newborn bundle of joy is no easy task, but new research has revealed that some monikers are seemingly falling off the grid.
Every year in August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) releases the official list of the most popular baby names from the year prior, but ahead of that, new analysis by My Nametags has revealed the top 50 “most endangered” names that could soon fade into the mist.
The research has also highlighted some of the names which are taking centre stage.
The leading name tag company – which looked at around 1.5 million names over a ten-year period – found that the names Gemma and Kieran were most at risk of dying out, having declined by more than 65% over the last decade.
Apparently, only 36 babies were given the name Gemma in 2020, and none so far this year.
The names Rebecca (-59%), Lauren (-57%), Matthew (-43%) and Ryan (-43%) are also said to be in a severe decline.
So, what have those names been replaced with, then?
Research shows that in recent years, parents have named their babies after popular TV characters or have taken inspiration from unusual and unique celebrity names, with My Nametags suggesting this is because we’re surrounded by all different types of popular culture.
For instance, the use of the name Aria (+597%) – thought to be inspired by characters from the popular TV shows Pretty Little Liars and Game of Thrones – has skyrocketed in recent years, with other names rising to the top including Harper (+317%), Mila (+261%), and Penny (+201%), which are inspired by the daughter of Victoria and David Beckham, actress Mila Kunis and Penny Hofstadter (the lead character in the long-running sitcom The Big Bang Theory).
Another trend on the up is the use of nicknames as given names, which has been increasing over the past few years.
Monikers such as Albie (+282%), Bertie (+143%), Teddy (+211%), Belle (+95%), and Ronnie (+81%) all make the top 50 fastest growing names ahead of their traditional counterparts Albert, Theodore, Isabel, and Ronald.
My Nametags also revealed an increase in nostalgic, ‘old-fashioned’ names, with Mabel (+84%), Flora (+91%), Florence (+84%), Rupert (+205%), and Arthur (+104%) among titles that have experienced significant growth during the past 10 years and join the list of the top 50 fastest growing names.
You can read the lists in full via the My Nametags website here.
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Paddy McGuinness teases potential return of Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere
Right, we don’t mean to alarm you all, but Max and Paddy might finally be coming back after nearly 20 years.In other entirely unrelated news, there is a god.
We only ever got one solitary season of Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere, but it only took six episodes for it to leave us with lasting memories of rolling on the floor laughing and quoting lines all these years later.
The Phoenix Nights spin-off went on to be not just a cult favourite but an iconic British sitcom that rivalled the show that spawned it, cementing both Peter Kay and Paddy McGuinness as even greater household names than they already were.
Cut to nearly two nearly full decades later and Paddy himself has teased that the hit Northern comedy might not be done after all. Battle stations, people — we’re on the campaign trail now.
Speaking to Capital Breakfast this week, McGuinness came on to the subject of Max and Paddy return, saying that “the interesting thing about Max and Paddy, and Phoenix Nights is now, we are kind of all of an age of the people we played back then.”
He admitted that while they “do talk about it and what have you” and would love to see the full cast return someday, he just “can’t see it at the minute”.
However, he did go on to insist “never say never” and, more promisingly, that the comedy duo’s comeback, specifically, could very well be on the cards.
“Like Max and Paddy, for instance, we wrote a couple of Christmas specials, and we’ve still got them”, says McGuinness. “We never got around to doing one for whatever reason back in the day. But we’ve actually got them.”
The 49-year-old went on to clarify that more than one script has already been written for some time, but they’ve just been kept on the backburner given that he is admittedly “inherently lazy” and likes “doing as little as possible”, it just never came to fruition.
“If you’re doing a scripted comedy show, it does take a long time. So to do something like [this], you have literally got to blank out 12 months of your life.
“He [Kay] is on tour. I’ve got all kinds of stuff going on, and it’s just sort of going ‘right, let’s get together. Let’s get our diaries together. And let’s blank out for that time'”. We don’t know a single person that wouldn’t want to see a Max and Paddy return in some form.
While hosts Roman Kemp and Siân Welby urged people to get flooding them with texts and posting all over social media, the former Take Me Out presenter joked it “won’t make a blind bit of difference.” Come on, Paddy, don’t let us down now.