Baby name trends come and go in waves, with most of the top choices staying in fashion for several years (hello, Harry and Olivia), but some of the most popular names from the past few years are suddenly losing their appeal thanks to a multitude of pop cultural events, according to a new survey by ChannelMum.com.
One such example is Alexa. The 21st most popular name for a girl in 2016, it has now become less popular due to the omnipresence of Amazon’s social assistant, which shares its name. Another is Stan. The old-fashioned moniker is now linked intrinsically to the internet abbreviation for ‘stalker fan’, stan, linked to super fans of boy band members and Taylor Swift.
Perhaps less surprisingly, Harvey is no longer the first choice for a lot of parents, thanks to the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Meanwhile Christian has also fallen from favour, perhaps shunned because of the Fifty Shades of Grey character of the same name. Ryan is also no longer en vogue – maybe because of its ties to budget airline Ryanair – and Lauren has lost its popularity due to a couple of reality TV stars having the same name. ‘Although Alexa was a popular choice a few years ago, the rapid proliferation of Amazon Alexas is killing it off. No one wants a daughter and a device with the same name,’ explains SJ Strum, ChannelMum.com baby name expert. ‘This problem will only grow. If Facebook ever launches its rumoured AI personal assistant M, it will end the popularity of Emma, which is shortened to Em. And Samantha, Harmony and Solana are all definite no nos as they're all brands of sex robot. These are problems no parent faced a few years ago.’
When choosing a baby name today, new parents are keen to avoid anything controversial, or associated with unsavoury celebrities or figures in the news. A recent example of a name choice backfiring is Kylie Jenner’s first daughter Stormi, who shares a name with the porn star Stormy Daniels who is claiming to have had an affair with President Donald Trump.