Choosing a baby name is a big deal. After all, it seems like with each year, there are names that remind us all of a certain person, experience, or memory, so you don’t want to pick the wrong one. Whether it’s the name Miley reminding us of the famous Disney Channel actress-turned-rock icon or the name Zoey taking us back to the days of Zoey 101, names can carry a huge amount of weight and impact.
So when new parents are in the process of choosing the name for their cute, new little ones, there’s a lot to take into consideration. Are they going to be like everyone else and choose Ashley if it’s a girl and Blake if it’s a boy? Are they going to go the celebrity route and choose an unusual name like Apple or Pilot Inspektor? With a lot of options and a ton of creative freedom, parents can pretty much do whatever they want in the naming area. But should they?
As we’ve seen in 2020, there are some names that have become synonymous with hatred, some that go hand in hand with unpopular politicians, and some names that have been used so many times that it’s hard to keep track without using last name initials. So without further ado, here are the baby names that no one will use in 2021.
We don’t have anything against the name Chris. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if people know a Chris who is excellent, but given the drama surrounding the name and the competition between the people who are named Chris, it looks like it shouldn’t have a place in the baby names list of 2021.
As noted by E! News, the Chrises in Hollywood were the subject of pretty intense attention on social media in October 2020, as fans decided who was the most inferior among them — yes, you read that correctly. So who were the men? Wonder Woman star Chris Pine, our very own Captain America Chris Evans, Thor actor Chris Hemsworth, and Parks and Recreation‘s Chris Pratt. The battle of the Chrises blew up, and Twitter eventually concluded that Pratt was the worst Chris of them all, as noted by the New York Post.
Yes, there are other Hollywood Chrises, including Chris O’Dowd and Chris Rock, but this name and the drama surrounding it is a lot to ask a little kid to take on. So take it from us, and leave Chris in 2020. Let these men duke it out on their own.
Oh Karen — why are you the way that you are? That’s the question people have been asking in 2020, because even though there are some great people in the world named Karen, the name has become synonymous with white, entitled women who have public meltdowns in Trader Joe’s, as noted by Distractify, or who call the cops on an innocent black man birdwatching (via The New York Times).
As discussed by the academic publication The Conversation, the name Karen went from a very popular baby name to a symbol of white entitlement and a sense of superiority. Robin Queen, a professor of linguistics at the University of Michigan, wrote that “at first glance, a generic name becoming infused with so much meaning seems patently absurd.” But she went on to conclude that, due to the name peaking in popularity in the mid-1960s, it’s safe to assume that many women named Karen are middle-aged, as are many of the women having breakdowns over nothing.
So take it from a professor and from social media — and from anyone aware of the racial and political tension the world has seen in 2020 — and don’t carry the baby name Karen into the new year.
This might not come as a surprise, but choosing the name Donald for your sweet new baby boy or girl (we don’t judge what you do, and names have no gender) should probably stay in 2020. Not only is the name indicative of one of the most divisive and dramatic presidents in United States history, but the name itself has consistently declined in popularity, as noted by HuffPost.
According to data collected by the Social Security Administration, the name Donald decreased from 526th to 553th on the list of most popular names, a drop of 27 places. It’s the name’s lowest ranking in history. HuffPost went on to include that the name did receive a bit of a bump in 2017, right after Donald Trump took office as President of the United States, but it has since seen a dramatic decrease. And while the names of presidents often see a decrease in popularity after their time in office, it seems like, given the nature of Donald Trump’s presidency and the state of unrest in the United States, the name will most likely not be the first choice for new parents in 2021.
Ask any female who has gone through the humbling college experience that is the frat party — the world doesn’t need any more Chads. No offense to anyone named Chad out there — we’re sure you’re lovely — but the name has become so ingrained in fraternity culture that it has its own Urban Dictionary page for “chadbro.”
A “chadbro” is reportedly a man who “[hangs] around at frat parties” and “usually [wears] cargo shorts or basketball shorts, a wife beater or polo with a popped collar.” Furthermore, Urban Dictionary says, “You can usually spot them as the one with a beer in his hand or playing beer pong calling everyone bro and yelling about how awesome something is.” Yes, that is what we’re working with.
According to Behind the Name, the name Chad has steadily decreased in popularity since the 1980s, and it sat at the 894th most popular name for boys in the United States in 2018, before falling off the name charts completely. “The ultimate … prep, lax-bro name,” a Nameberry user commented on the name’s official page. “(Sorry not sorry, Chads).”
The name Alexa is beautiful, but unfortunately it is now synonymous with the Amazon Alexa. And the name’s popularity has continued to decrease as a result. Amazon released the home device in 2014, as noted by The Seattle Times, and the name really hasn’t been the same since. In 2015, Alexa was the 32nd most popular girl’s name in the United States. In 2019, according to Nameberry, Alexa was ranked at 139th — that plummet in such a short period of time is pretty extraordinary. And honestly, we really can’t blame parents.
Imagine naming your child Alexa, only to then buy one of the Amazon devices. You’d be shouting your kid’s name to get them to come down the stairs, and all of the sudden you’ve realized that your Amazon Alexa has been alerted to the very same command. That’s really bad if you were to say to your kid, “Alexa, we need to buy a year’s worth of toilet paper at the store,” and all of the sudden, you have a massive Amazon package at your doorstep. After all, the Amazon Alexa can be linked to your purchasing account. It’s all crazy, and this madness needs to end. Leave Alexa in 2020.
The year 2020 is really concluding with a bang, and we’d be remiss not to acknowledge the consequences that came as a result of Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat sequel. Known for his daring satire, Cohen reprised his role and, as a result, captured a very awkward interaction with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani on camera. As noted by NBC News, Giuliani was caught on camera “tucking in his shirt during a scene in which he appears to put his hand down his pants in the presence of an actress pretending to be a reporter.” Yikes.
Giuliani since denied that anything nefarious was going on, but the scene and its fallout has burned a spot in our memory that will stand the test of time. As a result, we think it’s fair to say that the baby name Rudy should go out the window in 2021. And since it was ranked as the 866th most popular boy’s baby name in the United States in 2019, it’s safe to assume that we won’t see a resurgence in 2021.
There was a time when the name Mark was synonymous with Mark Wahlberg and his Calvin Klein ads. Glorious era. But now the name Mark is more aligned with tech CEOs, especially one in particular — Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg has been in and out of the news given Facebook’s increasing role in United States politics, and the CEO was as robotic as he was thrown off by lines of questioning by one Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when asked about Facebook’s fact-checking, or lack thereof, in 2019 (via Rolling Stone).
Zuckerberg acknowledged his role in American politics shortly before the November 2020 presidential election, saying, “I’m worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or weeks to be finalized, there is a risk of civil unrest across the country. Given this, companies like ours need to go well beyond what we’ve done before,” as reported by The Washington Post. But the admission of responsibility doesn’t change the overall bad rap that Zuckerberg has received.
And while he’s not the sole reason why the name Mark has declined in popularity, it has been on the steady downward turn since the 1990s. So don’t bring this name into the new year — that’s all we’re saying.
We love the name Nick, we’re fans of Nicholas, and we think the name has a great ring to it. But Nicholas is so popular that it’s starting to get ridiculous. Nicholas has been one of the top 200 baby names since the 1880s — yes, you read that correctly — and has stayed in the top 100 names in the United States since the 1970s. When it was most popular in the mid-1990s, Nicholas was ranked 6th, and it has stayed towards the top of the list ever since, according to Nameberry.
So because of this, when many of us were growing up, there was a Nick R., a Nicholas T., a Nicholas H., and a Nick M. in all of our classes. Sometimes there were so many Nicholases that teachers call them by their middle names, or refer to them as Nick 1, 2, 3, and 4 (hopefully not to their faces, but you never know). It’s a great name, and we’d like to think that every Nick/Nicholas is as talented (and attractive) as Nick Jonas. But give your 2021 baby a more unique name so we stop this perpetual cycle of having too many Nicks in one room.
This name is just messy and should not be brought into 2021: Stormy, or Stormi — however you want to spell it. Yes, it is the name of one of the cutest Kardashian/Jenner children, but it will also be forever tied to Stormy Daniels, the adult film star that President Donald Trump reportedly had an affair with in 2006, after his wife, Melania, had just given birth to their child, Barron, according to the New York Daily News.
After the cheating allegations came to light in 2018, years after the reported affair, it was clear the tension between Daniels and the first lady certainly had not gone anywhere. In October 2020, leaked audio of Melania Trump surfaced, in which she called Daniels some harsh words and expressed her dismay that Daniels had been photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue in 2018.
Daniels quickly clapped back on Twitter, saying that although she is technically not a sex worker, as Melania had said, she would “take being that over what you are any day.” Wow, lots of drama. The name Stormy (both spellings) has also dropped in popularity, as noted by Nameberry. According to Behind the Name, Stormy hasn’t even charted since 1997.
We’ll admit it, a certain touch of laziness has its perks. There are extended chargers for when we don’t want to get up to plug in our laptops. There are food delivery services for when we can’t be bothered to cook dinner. But of all the names that have not aged well, and certainly have not taken any creative genius, it’s the name Guy. Like, come on, everyone. “Who’s that?” someone might ask. “Oh it’s just that Guy over there.” Zero out of ten points for originality.
And it’s not just us who think that the name Guy has got to get off your baby name list for 2021. The last time Guy peaked as a baby name for boys was in 1954, according to Nameberry, and it has consistently lost traction ever since. It ranked 320th in uniqueness for boy names in 2018, and dropped to 989th place in overall name popularity before dropping off the charts completely. The name won’t stop us from loving the ever-charming Guy Fieri, or keep us from watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives when it comes on, but the name does not belong in 2021.
There isn’t a tried and true reason why the name Julian shouldn’t come into 2021. It’s a pretty popular name worldwide, and it even ranks in the top 50 names in the United States, according to Nameberry. But with news and drama comes name associations that are hard to get over, and the baby name Julian is very easily tied to Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks.
Assange has been in the news for years, as he founded Wikileaks in 2006 and made a big splash in 2010 when he released horrific footage from the Iraq War, as noted by BBC News. He was accused of rape in 2010, was arrested in Britain in 2019, and, as of 2020, is trying to fight his extradition to the United States, as he faces 17 charges for violating the Espionage Act. So yes, a lot of messy, political drama is associated with Assange, and as such, he has kind of tainted the name Julian for us. It’s a great name, but we think it should stay off the list for 2021.
Baby Amy has a cute ring to it, we won’t lie, but the name is going down in popularity. Amy peaked as an option for baby girls in the 1970s, when it came in as the second most popular name option for baby girls, and it stayed pretty consistently popular through the 1980s. But by the mid-1990s, it started to decline, and sat as the 203rd most popular baby name for girls in 2019, according to Nameberry.
But if our speculations are worth anything, we think the name will see an even bigger decrease in 2021, in part due to the rushed confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States and the political strife that the country endured as a result (via BBC News). People often look to popular culture and political figures for baby name inspiration, and it’s not a huge stretch to speculate that new moms and supporters of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who was a feminist icon — will be turned off by the name Amy because of what it now represents.
We love the name Craig — it reminds us of Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson who is one of the funniest people on the planet. But honestly, we can’t wrap our heads around naming a sweet, squishy little boy baby Craig. Just think about it — Baby Craig? We’re not the only people who think the name no longer suits a newborn. According to Nameberry, the name Craig peaked in popularity in the 1970s and started to decline by the 1990s.
By 2017, it ranked as the 984th most popular baby name in the United States, and now no longer ranks at all — ouch. However, as one user on Nameberry even pointed out, naming a kid Craig would ensure he wouldn’t share a name with two other kids in his class. But still, the name doesn’t quite have the cutest ring to it when thinking of a little boy playing on the swing set or with his doll.
Supreme Court trials and hearings have been so contentious that it’s no wonder some of the names of the Justices have made it onto this list — and Brett Kavanaugh all but ruined the name for us. But don’t think the decreasing popularity of the name is our opinion. According to Nameberry, the name Brett peaked in the late 1990s and has been steadily decreasing in popularity ever since. It saw a sharp decrease in 2018, and became the 820th most popular boy baby name in the United States — so basically what that means is that it’s not popular at all.
The Kavanaugh hearing left so many of us rattled that it’s no wonder the name saw a sharp, decreasing level of popularity. Kavanaugh was accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, including California professor Christine Blasey Ford, who testified against him during his confirmation hearing, as The Washington Post reported. Ford was propelled into the spotlight and the hearings got ugly, so it’s no wonder that the name Brett left a sour taste in our mouths.
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