"Dated" names

I just read a post about [name_f]Natalie[/name_f] vs. [name_f]Charlotte[/name_f], and many comments were that [name_f]Natalie[/name_f] seems dated in comparison. It got me thinking about this - I’ve been home full time for three years now (with two under three and one on the way) so now I feel like I have less of a pulse on names in the real world, unlike when I was teaching.

What’s a name that comes to mind that maybe in the top 100-200 that is feeling dated to you? I also saw a post title about a [name_u]Dakota[/name_u] - I didn’t read the post, but that’s one I would put on the list. I had a handful of Dakotas years ago but they’d all be about [name_u]Dakota[/name_u] Fanning’s vintage and seem dated now.

I’d add [name_u]MacKenzie[/name_u] to the list, but have absolutely no evidence to support it!

Names in the top 200 that feel from around the same time as the popularity of Dakotas and Mackenzies… I still quite most of these names though :)!


To me, dated names,are ones that were popular at some point in time in the last 30 years or so that have waned in popularity since then.

For the 1980’s, [name_m]Jason[/name_m] and [name_f]Jennifer[/name_f] are classic examples. [name_m]Nicholas[/name_m], [name_m]Ryan[/name_m], [name_m]Eric[/name_m], [name_f]Jessica[/name_f], [name_f]Heather[/name_f], and [name_f]Kristin[/name_f] also seem like dated names from that period as well.

For the 1990’s, [name_m]Tyler[/name_m] and [name_f]Ashley[/name_f] seem like classic examples. Other names I would add to this list are [name_m]Brandon[/name_m], [name_m]Zachary[/name_m], [name_m]Justin[/name_m], [name_f]Brittany[/name_f], [name_f]Nicole[/name_f], and [name_f]Danielle[/name_f].

From the 2000s, the following names strike me as dated: [name_m]Logan[/name_m], [name_m]Austin[/name_m], [name_m]Dylan[/name_m], [name_f]Madison[/name_f], [name_f]Alexis[/name_f], and [name_f]Samantha[/name_f].

[name_f]Kylie[/name_f] is one that jumps out to me. My niece is named [name_f]Kylie[/name_f] and she’s a freshman in college (born in '99) and she has 4 other friends with the name. It seems very early 2000’s and while people still use it, it peaked in '04.

In the top 200 - [name_f]Hailey[/name_f], [name_u]Peyton[/name_u], [name_f]Faith[/name_f], [name_u]Kimberly[/name_u], [name_f]Jasmine[/name_f], [name_u]Andrea[/name_u], [name_u]Jordyn[/name_u], [name_f]Melanie[/name_f], [name_f]Melody[/name_f], [name_f]Rachel[/name_f], [name_f]Vanessa[/name_f], [name_f]Amy[/name_f], [name_u]Brooke[/name_u], [name_f]Nicole[/name_f], [name_u]Morgan[/name_u], [name_f]Kaylee[/name_f], and [name_f]Kayla[/name_f] are all dated.

And, yes, [name_u]Mackenzie[/name_u] peaked in the early 2000’s!

I’ll do for the UK as I’m a [name_u]Brit[/name_u] so USA top 100 is irrelevant for me, if that’s okay!


I’m 21 and I know SO many people with these names, especially [name_f]Emily[/name_f], [name_f]Jessica[/name_f], [name_f]Hannah[/name_f], [name_f]Megan[/name_f] and [name_f]Katie[/name_f], all aged 20-25 now.

ETA: Emma! How Emma didn’t get on my dated list is beyond me lol, it’s the #1 name I find most dated!

Interesting question! Names that feel a little dated to me but the stats don’t really bear it out (in the UK) are:

[name_f]Jessica[/name_f] (#8)
[name_f]Holly[/name_f] (#52)
[name_f]Emma[/name_f] (#53)
[name_f]Georgia[/name_f] (#54)
[name_f]Amber[/name_f] (#55)
[name_f]Hannah[/name_f] (#57)
[name_f]Abigail[/name_f] (#58)
[name_f]Megan[/name_f] (#83)
[name_f]Francesca[/name_f] (#88)
[name_f]Sara[/name_f] (#90) and [name_f]Sarah[/name_f] (#96)
[name_f]Victoria[/name_f] (#91)
[name_f]Julia[/name_f] (#93)
[name_f]Leah[/name_f] (#99)
[name_f]Lydia[/name_f] (#100)

“Dated” feels very negative. I don’t really understand how waning popularity of a name makes it nearly unusable, yet with most berries today’s popular names are also unusable because they are popular. As in liked. So…wouldn’t a formerly popular name from 20, 30, 40 years ago then be the perfect one to use since it is no longer at the top of the charts? Because that’s what everyone is going for right? Or it’s only “retro” if it was a popular name from 100 years ago, as is the current trend. Except those names keep getting more “popular” (oh no!) so in another 5 years the little girl whom her parents were sure would be the only [name_u]Remi[/name_u] or [name_f]Margot[/name_f] in her classroom or even their social circle will now be one of many. [name_m]Will[/name_m] her parents have name remorse because she is not unique enough? I certainly hope not. [name_f]Abigail[/name_f] and [name_f]Lily[/name_f]'s parents don’t have any regrets. They stuck with their favorite and didn’t let strangers influence them. Stop looking at the numbers and go back to loving a name for it’s sound, meaning, and any other personal connection it has for you.

I agree with this. Dated names are the names you heard ad nauseam growing up on both parents and classmates. That’s why [name_u]Madison[/name_u], [name_u]Mackenzie[/name_u], [name_u]Courtney[/name_u], [name_u]Chelsea[/name_u], [name_m]Jason[/name_m], [name_u]Jayden[/name_u], [name_m]Justin[/name_m], and [name_m]Josh[/name_m] feel dated while [name_f]Dorothy[/name_f], [name_f]Rosemary[/name_f], [name_f]Marjorie[/name_f], [name_f]Margaret[/name_f], [name_m]Henry[/name_m], [name_m]Arthur[/name_m], [name_m]Maxwell[/name_m], and [name_m]Desmond[/name_m] feel fresh.

I admire the sentiment of this and agree that many “dated” names are perfectly lovely and wearable, but really it all boils down to fashion and this is just how fashion works.

Fashion in names is exactly the same as in clothes or hairstyles or whatever else — it’s cyclical and self-perpetuating; without the constant circle of “in” and “out” and back again, fashion could and would not exist.

I think it’s a pretty fundamental and inherent part of human nature to look to trends, whether to follow them or to “shock” by rebelling against them… That’s what has motivated not only changing trends in clothes and names throughout history, but has also given rise to reactionary movements in art, music, literature, politics, etc. etc.

So basically, I think parents generally have good intentions when they say they want to avoid “dated” names. They mostly aren’t just trying to be cool and unique for cool and unique’s sake. Essentially, they are trying to avoid giving their child the name equivalent of an 80’s super-perm, or Britney and Justin’s double-denim date-night outfits because, to them, that feels horribly unfashionable in 2017 — even though the hairstyles/clothes/names in question will no doubt be back “in” at some point during their child’s lifetime!

the pp said it perfectly, but also plenty of people are still using names that are considered dated. In 2016, [name_f]Jessica[/name_f], [name_u]Ashley[/name_u], [name_f]Kaitlyn[/name_f], [name_f]Amber[/name_f], [name_f]Jennifer[/name_f], [name_f]Christina[/name_f], [name_f]Stephanie[/name_f], [name_u]Kelsey[/name_u], [name_f]Tiffany[/name_f], etc. were all used and in the top 1000. [name_m]Just[/name_m] like [name_f]Mildred[/name_f], [name_f]Gertrude[/name_f], and [name_f]Gladys[/name_f] were also used - although not in the top 1000.

Using a name from 20-30 years ago is a decent idea because none of the kids have that name BUT all of your friends and everyone you grew up with and know have those names. I could go a generation back and name her [name_f]Donna[/name_f], [name_f]Sharon[/name_f], or [name_f]Linda[/name_f] since none of the kids have it but my mom and all of my teachers and all of my friends moms have those names. I could go another generation back and name her [name_f]Barbara[/name_f], [name_f]Patricia[/name_f], or [name_f]Shirley[/name_f] but those are the names I identify with the old ladies I knew growing up. See how it can be an issue when you can identify names from certain decades? They become personal.

Looking to trends is one thing, but having it make a choice for you makes me sad. It feels like people are not going with what they love because they are following the crowd. Either towards safety or in the opposite direction. [name_f]Aurora[/name_f], [name_f]Tuesday[/name_f], and [name_f]Lucille[/name_f] all play together. I think there’s room for [name_f]Megan[/name_f] too. That’s kind of the point, anything goes with names these days. I mean if you have had a favorite name since you were 18, but don’t have your first child until you are 33, I don’t think that means that name is now unusable. I don’t go with fashion trends, I go with what I like. If the two happen to overlap, great. If not, oh well.

I think you’d be surprised at how much fashion shapes what you do like, though. [name_f]Megan[/name_f] as a name is just as subject to it as [name_f]Aurora[/name_f] or [name_f]Lucille[/name_f] or any other name.

I agree. I am not trying to talk someone who doesn’t like any names from that generation into using them. If you know 15 people over 30 with that name and cannot have a fresh outlook on it, I get it. There are names like that for me too. However, I don’t think someone who has never met a [name_f]Natalie[/name_f] (I havn’t) or loves [name_u]Ashley[/name_u] more than anything should be made to feel that it’s not good enough anymore. I was simply trying to say go with what you love and not settle for your second best ( or 3rd, 4th, 5th) just because you saw a “So in it’s out” list. People should respect their own opinions more than they do.

Goodness! This turned into a name-your-child-what-name-you-love platform rather than just an observable comment! I think names trend immensely depending on where you live, in addition to time. That said, I just thought it was interesting that several Berries thought of [name_f]Natalie[/name_f] as “dated” - I just never had!

I hope all are choosing names that they adore, regardless of charts, and so very much enjoy the thoughtful passion many have on here about names in general!

(US) When I think of dated name, these come to mind:

[name_u]Madison[/name_u] (#15)
[name_u]Addison[/name_u] (#29)
[name_u]Brooklyn[/name_u] (#34)
[name_u]Allison[/name_u] (#49)
[name_f]Sarah[/name_f] (#57)
[name_u]Kennedy[/name_u] (#59)
[name_f]Sadie[/name_f] (#60)
[name_f]Gabriella[/name_f] (#61)
[name_u]Mackenzie[/name_u] (#85)
[name_u]Bailey[/name_u] (#116)
[name_u]Alexis[/name_u] (#119)
[name_f]Kimberley[/name_f] (#132)
[name_u]Morgan[/name_u] (#133)
[name_f]Molly[/name_f] (#157)
[name_f]Nicole[/name_f] (#163)
[name_u]Brooke[/name_u] (#172)
[name_f]Rachel[/name_f] (#173)

Not in the top 200:
[name_f]Karen[/name_f] (#504) love [name_f]Karen[/name_f] though!
[name_u]Shelby[/name_u] (#339)
[name_u]Chelsea[/name_u] (#356)
[name_u]Kelsey[/name_u] (#383)
[name_f]Megan[/name_f] (#432)

The most dated name that comes to mind is [name_f]Samantha[/name_f]! [name_f]Alyssa[/name_f], [name_u]Chelsea[/name_u], [name_f]Megan[/name_f], [name_u]Allison[/name_u], [name_f]Vanessa[/name_f], [name_f]Caitlin[/name_f], [name_f]Tori[/name_f], [name_f]Georgia[/name_f], [name_u]Alexis[/name_u], [name_f]Stephanie[/name_f], [name_u]Joyce[/name_u], [name_f]Lorraine[/name_f], [name_u]Avery[/name_u], [name_f]Raine[/name_f], [name_f]Holly[/name_f] and [name_f]Jessica[/name_f] also sound dated to me UNLESS paired with the right middle name. I know a 17 year old named [name_f]Holly[/name_f] [name_f]Camille[/name_f] and I don’t think that sounds super dated. I have a 6 year old cousin named [name_f]Jessica[/name_f] [name_f]Rose[/name_f] “[name_u]Jess[/name_u]/[name_u]Jessie[/name_u]” and I have mixed feelings about how dated that is. I have a friend called [name_f]Meghan[/name_f] [name_f]Stephanie[/name_f] and that seems dated. I think the biggest way to make a name feel dated is to give it the “wrong” middle name.

I saw something similar that called [name_f]Natalie[/name_f] dated and I was so surprised. I know Natalies in their 50s, 30s, 20s, and one whose 8, so the name doesn’t seem like it’s attached to a specific time period.