No more Craigs or Gemmas? Names at risk of extinction

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Craig David and Gemma CollinsImage source, Getty Images
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Is the end nigh for babies called Craig and Gemma?

Did seeing Craig David on Love Island over the weekend make you think "that would be a great name for a baby"?

If it didn't, turns out you're not alone.

The amount of baby Craigs being born has fallen by 96% since 1996.

Other names like Gemma, Kirsty and Jordan have all faced similar fates.

This is according to analysis of baby naming data compiled between 1996 and 2017 in England and Wales.

New parents and the name Ross: They are on a break

If you're in your twenties you may well have shared a classroom with boys called Ross, Kieran or Lee - and girls called Danielle, Lauren and Jade.

But you won't find many newborn babies with those names - because all six have plummeted in popularity by over 90% since the mid-nineties.

Image source, Getty Images
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Not even Dr Geller could inspire a new generation of Rosses.

The names growing fastest in popularity are Jaxon for boys and Aria for girls.

Other names, such as Ameerah and Imaan for girls and Dawud and Zayn for boys are also fast-rising, representing the UK's growing Muslim population.

Mothers of Dragons

TV has had an influence too.

Khaleesi has become popular thanks to Game of Thrones, with 76 being born in 2017. There were even 11 newborns named Tyrion.

Image source, HBO/Kobal/Shutterstock
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Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion do not feature on the list of popular baby names.

Researchers at Oxford University have analysed 170 years of UK names. They found parents are often keen to seek out unique names, leading to some unusual choices which become more accepted over time.

That desire to be individual is partly why different spellings arise too. The report found Abigail spelt as Abbiegayle, Abagael, Abygayle, Abaigael and Abbygael between 1998 and 2013.

Oxford's Dr Stephen Bush said inspiration for names comes from many different places.

"We can speculate that the comparatively greater range of media, freedom of movement, and ability to maintain globally distributed social networks increases the number of possible names, but also ensures they may more quickly be perceived as commonplace," he said.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
In good company: Zayn is growing in popularity in the UK

Whilst UK parents might face difficult decisions about what to name their children, certain rules do still apply - the name can't contain numbers, swear words or be impossible to pronounce.

However, some parents around the world have even less choice than that when it comes to naming their children.

In Germany, parents have to have their children's names approved to make sure it is possible to tell a gender from their name.

And in Denmark parents have a list of pre-approved names to pick from - though the current list shows over 40,000 so there's plenty of choice.

But surely the burning question is... is Craig on there?

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