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The 20 Least Favorite Baby Names

The 20 Least Favorite Baby Names

Just because a name is common doesn't mean it's well liked! One reason baby names are so endlessly fascinating is because we all have such unique (and often strong) opinions. Circle of Moms members have been weighing in on whether they like thousands of baby names, and we've been tallying the votes.

Based on the results, here are the 10 least favorite baby names for girls and boys.

The 10 Least Favorite Girls' Names

1. Pamela

2. Brenda

3. Nancy

4. Regina

5. Sandra

6. Wendy

7. Ruth

8. Patricia

9. Becky

10. Susan

The 10 Least Favorite Boys' Names

1. Alfie

2. Larry

3. Walter

4. Arthur

5. Roger

6. Lachlan

7. Frank

8. Jerry

9. Harry

10. Bruce

Why Don't Moms Like These Names?

Interestingly, unique spellings and gender-neutral names completely evaded this list! Instead, the least favorite girls names are largely names that were once incredibly popular—in the late 1930s-1960s, but which have now fallen drastically out of favor. According to the Social Security Administration's name data:

  • Patricia was in the top 5 girls names from the late 1930s through early 1950s,
  • Susan was a top 5 name from the late 1940s through the early 1960s,
  • Nancy and Sandra were both top 10 names throughout the 1940s, and
  • Pamela and Brenda ranked among the top 20 most popular girls names during the 1950s and early 60s,

On the boys' side, a similar trend holds: Again according to Social Security Administration's name data, Larry was a top 10 name from 1937-55, and Roger hovered around #25 for the entire duration of the 40s.  Names ending with “-arry” (as in Larry, Jerry, and Harry) were also especially popular in the 1950s but are no longer trendy. In 2010, not a single “-erry” ending name made the boys' top 50 names list.


Significantly, those mid-century boy names are joined on the least-favorite list by even more old-fashioned names. Frank, Walter and Arthur peaked in popularity between the 1880s and 1920s, and Alfred (related to Alfie) has been on the decline since 1882. The only equally old-fashioned name on the girls' chart is Ruth, which was in the Top 10 from the late 19th century through 1930.

Apparently many modern moms have an antipathy for names strongly associated with much older generations.

Do you dislike old-fashioned baby names?

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared under the title "The 20 Most-Hated Baby Names," and has been changed to more accurately reflect the way the lists were assembled. The names that appear above are not necessarily uncommon or unversally disliked; they are simply the names that Circle of Moms members chose the most infrequently when asked to vote on their favorite names.

Image Source: Sam Howzit via Flickr/Creative Commons

Join The Conversation
CoMMember13627271622743 CoMMember13627271622743 5 years
My husband has a younger cousin that shares his whole name.. First, middle, and last he thinks it's kinda strange but i've never heard that anyone got mad about it... I share my middle name with my Grandmother. she and I are the only two that I know of with that name.. There are 5 Williams of various ages between my husband's family and my own. I think the only time that anyone gets annoyed with the surplus of William's is when ppl try to shorten my step son's name to Will... But I feel his pain I'm a Kimberly that never ever answers when someone tries to call me Kim, especially after I have intruduced myself or been intruduced as a Kimberly. I think it's just rude for someone to assume it's okay to shorten someone's name without finding out what the person prefers. When my husband and I had a daughter together we named her Belladonna Bethany it's not very common but I don't think that it's so out there that it would give her problems in a professional carreer. We mostly call her Bell which has special meaning to me as it was my great grandmother's middle name. I wouldn't be offended if anyone borrowed her name it's a beautiful name that's why we chose it. We had discussed using Draven Storm if we'd had a son or Adian Wayne which my husband didn't care for at all but I loved because it would have given the child the same initals as my husbands and my brother's name is wayne but luckily we had a girl and didnt' have to aruge over boy names. My cousin is expecting a boy at the end of the month and has chosen the name MacDraven Wayne to be called Draven. I have no idea where the idea of the first name came from but the middle name is her FIL's name... I tease her that she stole my names but only because she and I are close enough to tease that way... I won't be having anymore children so I won't need them and she or anyone else is more than welcome to them... You can tell if someone is taking a name out of spite or doing it because they really do admire it... I just hope that everyone out there saying that no one has a claim on a name will atleast draw the line on using a deceased child's name. because even if I really loved the name I would have to draw the line there out of respect for someone's loss because it would be totally different than naming the child in honor of a lost adult atleast in my opinion...
JenniferKnott JenniferKnott 5 years
well, i had always liked Hayley for a girl and never said anything to anyone. but my close friend named her baby Hayley. Not a big surprise since we have so much in common :) It doesn't matter since i'm only blessed with boys :)
SarahTaheny SarahTaheny 5 years
My family knows the names I like, if people decide to name their baby that regardless... I'll still name my babies what I want to name them!!! I don't care!!!
MeilyCardona MeilyCardona 5 years
My daughters name is a mix of mine and her dads that he came up with so when. We have heard it before but never with the same spelling since it unique to us. I was so upset when I found out that an acquaintance of mine had a niece with the same exact name down to the spelling my daughter. It made me even more upset to know that the niece is a year and a half younger than my daughter which means that her sister in law was pregnant when me and my aquantence met in school and she heard the name. It has special meaning to me since she's our first born and was giving something from bother her parents besides her genes.
AmyLucasGardner AmyLucasGardner 5 years
anyone who cares if someone elses child has the same name as their child has a problem! My 8 month old son is names William cousin just had a baby 3 weeks ago and named her son William as well. William was our grandfather's name, my husband's fathers name and is also the name of one of our adult cousins. I take it as a compliment that she liked my baby's name. Roman is also a family other grandfather's first name and my father's middle name. Don't think they mind that I used it! Life is too short to worry about things like this and to lose friends and family over...Get over it!
KendraRegalado KendraRegalado 5 years
I had a very close friend that lived with me. I found out i was pregnant and i allready had a girl name picked out from my 2 previous pregnancies that turned out to be boys. Then i found out that i was having another boy. The name was Rosalynda Oriana. A couple months after i had my son my friend got pregnant. She didnt tell anybody what she was going to name her baby untill she had her. She named her Ariana. She told me she stole it from me. I was very upset. The reason i was upset is because she didnt talk to me about it. I would have ok with it, but she was sneaky. She told me that i wasnt using it and she couldnt think of a name. Now none of that matters. I cant have any more kids and somebody has a beautiful name.
CarolynTerry50597 CarolynTerry50597 5 years
Yes! My daughter-in-law wanted to name her first child her maiden name and her grandmothers name and call the baby by a double name. Conley being her maiden name and Ann belonging to grandmother. Our baby was born and her name was Conley Ann. Six weeks later another mother in my daughter-in-laws group of aquaintances had a son and named him Jay Conley and is calling him by the double name. She flat out said she heard the name from our family and wanted to take it. My D-I-L was furious and when she saw the grandmother who proclamied how rare his name was she said ..really? Is it a family name for you because it is for me? Very small town where everyone knows everyone. It is backwoods... rude!!! Be original and think up a name for you child all on your own. This is far different than nameing your child family names and more than one in the same family have the name. This is stealing!!!!!!!!!!!!! BTW... these two children will go to the same school their whole lives in the same grade!!!
VickiClare VickiClare 5 years
We are expecting our third child and we have kept the names quiet until the birth of the baby. We've used family names to honor family members who are special to us. My brother's wife as the same first name as I do and we didn't ask him not marry her because of this. I also think it's ridiculous to give family and friends a list of names they can't use because you might use them.
KaraWalker KaraWalker 5 years
My middle name is Merle. I was named after my grandmother, DeEtta Merle, who went by her middle name. If I have a daughter, I plan on giving her the middle name Merle, too. When I was younger, I didn't like my middle name because it was so different, but now I love it because it honors my grandma, and because it was so unique. People can never guess my middle name, no matter how hard they try! I wish my last name was that unique. My mother's name is Susan, but I would never name my daughter that because of how common it is, and I just don't like the name, though I love my mother. I don't like any of the names on this list, either, but, then, I don't like any of the names on the top ten list this year, either.
carriewest94109 carriewest94109 5 years
i have to agree those names are absolutely horrid!!! I Like unique names ,always have !! I like some older names to someone mentioned Adeline (Love it) Sophia is another very cute but older name!!! Just depends on your taste i guess!!! my daughters name is shealynn after her father cause his name is shea ! if i have a boy i really like the name knox and ryder!!!
JulieEllis42125 JulieEllis42125 5 years
I hate the name Susan because I discovered an ex-boyfriend was cheating on me when he called me that - on my birthday nonetheless. My name is Julie! I hate funky spellings and gender neutral names too.
SandraMaffeiFerranola SandraMaffeiFerranola 5 years
I am a proud Sandra..It's a good name and not to common..In High School, I would have preferred Christine or Jennifer..My name just grew on me and I love it..
ArielleValenti ArielleValenti 5 years
I was pretty steamed when a mom from my playgroup chose to imitate my daughter's very unusual name (my husband and I decided on the perfect name after acquainting ourselves with our new baby - she was 5 days old and we had exhausted every baby name book we could find!!) for her new baby girl. I had put so much effort into researching a name with a special meaning and it meant so much to me that I felt the other mom was being lazy, but it is such a beautiful name that I can't blame her for falling in love with it.
LinChambers LinChambers 5 years
I've had an opposite experience; my sister actually got mad at me because I wouldn't consider the very name she has said she would name her son, after an uncle who passed away unexpectedly. I have made it abundantly clear that I would not use a name already in the family; between the negative remarks about my namesake and the look on 9-year old Tyler K.'s face when he unwrapped what was obviously newborn Tyler K.'s Christmas gift did it for me.
KimberlyPlace KimberlyPlace 5 years
I think, like most things, it depends on the situation. I wouldn't steal a name of a pregnant friend who had her heart set on naming her child a name for a long time and mentioned it first. Though, I had a friend who told me there were certain names I was absolutely not allowed to use. I was pregnant at the time and she was (and is) about 5 years away from a baby. When I told her I really liked the name "_____", she was really nasty and told me there were plenty of names to choose without choosing that one. Again, she had a list a mile long with no plans of pregnancy....a little overboard.
BethzaidaCruz BethzaidaCruz 5 years
Some of this names are ok. My girl's name is Leilani (Hawaii) and my son's name is Jahim. Both are cool names with a beautiful meaning.
CoMMember13631168226529 CoMMember13631168226529 5 years
I'm a firm believer that each child should have their own name, I do not like "naming" a child after another family member or friend. I got this attitude from my mother. No Jr's for us! I told my doctor what I was going to name my daughter. She loved the name so much she told a friend of hers, who was also pregnant. I believe that friend also named her daughter the same name. I wasn't too upset about it. My son's Art teacher thought he was such a neat kid that she named her son after him. I thought that was kind of an honor. I know working with children if you have to deal with a child that is really awful, it kind of "taints" the name. I don't really get too upset over the whole issue. My sister did. When I was pregnant with my daughter I mentioned that I liked the name Katrina, she had a fit and said she had picked that name for her daugher--which she never had. Needless to say, to keep the peace, I chose another name.
AmberChristy AmberChristy 5 years
Since I was about 16, I've known what I would name my first girl and first boy. While I was with someone whom I thought I would be with for the rest of my life, I told him about the names and he loved them and we thought, after we were married, that we'd have a baby so we could use one of those names. Fortunately, things didn't work out for us and he took off to his ex wife's bed after a particularly rough night between he and I. About a year later, I found out that they had had a set of twins, one boy and one girl. They used BOTH of the names I had picked out for MY kids. I couldn't believe it. This is the only instance where I would say that it's offensive and rude to steal baby names. Otherwise, don't worry about it. But, I can say that while some say "imitation is the highest form of flattery", I find that "imitation is suicide" and stealing a name from someone close, or who had once been close, is just plain rude. I've worked hard to come up with the names for both of my boys and I made damn sure that neither of them had names from anyone on either side of the family, not just out of respect for the family but also as a way to create an individual out of my children. :)
RachelBosen RachelBosen 5 years
I picked plain names specifically for ease of spelling and pronunciation, and they are quite common. I did it for that exact reason. Too much uniqueness is obnoxious.
BeccaMcCurry BeccaMcCurry 5 years
Okay, unless your pregnant you have no "dibs" on a name. I named my daughter after my sisters favorite girl name and my son after the name my brother in law was going to use! We asked them both first, and got the same reply; I have'nt had any kids yet, so go for it! You can't steel something that does not belong to someone! Silly, just silly!
NicolaGill NicolaGill 5 years
When I was pregnant with my firstborn I had my names picked quite early, my friends girlfriend also announced her pregnancy within 2 weeks of my announcement. Neither of us found out the gender but there were regular chats about baby was due the day before hers, but as fate would have it, her son was 2 days early and mine 11 days late...needless to say we both had boys and she used the name I'd picked out. At the time I was devastated, now it doesn't bother me. My son's name isnt unusual or original and I have learned to accept it although I would have been more hurt if it had been a unique unusual name she'd stole! The fact she ran off with another man, taking her son and breaking my mates heart aside, she soon wasn't about to wind me up over it and if she had been I like to think I'd have rose above it..I still have the name I wanted for my son. Personally I think names are fair game (its not like the offender can be arrested for it) so you have to get on with it. I myself wouldn't use names close family or friends had to save confusion but nor would I give up a name if I had my heart set on it. I WOULD however draw the line at original, specially made up names. I would never copy no matter how beautiful the name, as they are so personal. At the end of the day everyone is different and I have learned that people will do what they like with little regard for others. A name is only as important as the reason why you choose it!!!.
JamieBrownMorrison JamieBrownMorrison 5 years
I don't think copying a name is a big deal. Each kid is an individual and makes the name unique for them. I did ask my niece if it was alright with her if I used part of her name spelling for her cousin's name. She loved the idea, my niece is Ryleigh and my daughter is Skyleigh. It can be confusing at times with the similarities in there names but not a big deal. I love my daughter's name and she thinks it is pretty cool some people have used it since they heard her's. Her first and middle names go together Skyleigh Rayne and I wouldn't care who copied it.
TracyBennett69643 TracyBennett69643 5 years
I think this is funny because I am often told I took the good names my son mathew we call Matty and our son joseph is Joey! Family has told us they can use Madelyn Addison Madison etc because of our Matty! My cousin at the time had 2 children with j names later they found they were pregnant again... we took a j name! Joking a side I think it's funny and I love our names and glad others do to!
NikkiThompson4062 NikkiThompson4062 5 years
It's disrespectful. That name means something special to your friend, and if you valued that friendship, you would have chosen your own name that means something special to you.
JenniferHarding81215 JenniferHarding81215 5 years
I would never use a name that someone in my family had previously used. And since my kids are still children, I'd be annoyed if someone else did. In fact, when i was pregnant, I told my husband that if we had ever known someone with a certain name, just consider that name off-limits. To me, I wanted my child to have their own name with no prior connotations, memories, or characteristics formed by other people in our past or present. That being said, I've known people to get angry about others using a name they picked for a child that was not even conceived yet. To me that is just absurd. If you pick out the name John but are not even pregnant, you may never even have a boy. So why would the name John be off-limits to anyone else? Also, if one of my friends chose my daughter's name, which is pretty rare, I would actually be flattered. I might think it was weird, but flattering all at the same time.
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