Wondering how to choose a baby name that’ll really stand out in a crowd? Instead of scrolling through the list of most popular baby names, why not take a gander at the least popular baby names! That way, your little one is almost guaranteed not to show up to the first day of preschool with three other kiddos sporting the same name tag. While, sure, some baby names should totally be left on the extinct baby name list (sorry Garfield and Karen!), but there are some hidden treasure baby names tucked into that list as well. Take a look at our favorite baby names that deserve to be pulled back from the brink of extinction.

Extinct Baby Girl Names

Amanda: Experts are warning that Amanda, a hugely popular baby girl name in the late 1980s, is at risk of becoming extinct. Amanda means “she must be loved” and is a classic baby girl name that deserves to be rescued from possible extinction. An indicator that this may be in the cards: Amanda’s nickname Mandy has moved up over 650 spots in popularity this past year.

Brooke: While Brooke experienced a boon in popularity in the late 80s (Brooke Shields!) and another small bump in the late 90s, today it’s been flagged as a baby girl name at-risk for extinction. The most recent numbers show Brooke, which means “small stream,” dropping 33 spots to land as the 523rd most popular baby girl name of the year. But with its sophisticated sound, there’s a chance Brooke may rise again!

Cali: This sun-shiney name has plummeted 148 spots on the most popular names in the United States, making it one the many baby names at risk for going extinct in 2024. Its sister name, Callie, however, is up 69 points and firmly in the top 200 baby names...for now. (Find more warm baby names to choose from.)

Carolyn: A variation of Caroline (as in “Sweet Caroline”), Carolyn is pronounced phonetically, with a distinct “lynn” at the end…and it’s at the verge of extinction. Carolyn is down 93 spots from 2023 and languishing at the 2,018th most popular baby girl name of 2024.

Elsie: This sweet name peaked in popularity in the late 1800s and then took a nosedive till it started skimming the bottom of baby name lists in the 1950s. While this Scottish baby name experiences a glimmer of a revival a few years ago, come 2024, Elsie is down 68 spots and out of the top 200 baby names again.

Gladys: Nameberry dubbed Gladys the Harper of its day, ranking as the 14th most popular baby girl name in the 1900s. Today, however, this once beloved Welsh baby name has nearly disappeared, not even cracking the top 300 baby names. But with its nod to happiness and its old-school vibe, perhaps it’s time to rescue Gladys from extinction.

Irene: A top baby girl name in the 1890s and 1900s, Irene hasn’t been heard from in quite some time. While Irene is currently ranked as the 693rd most popular baby name, down 42 spots from 2023, this Greek baby name meaning “peace” deserves another shot at survival!

Joanie: While Joan was all the rage in the 1930s, clocking in as the seventh most popular name of the decade—and held onto a top-100 spot through the 1960s, its diminutive version Joanie never even made it that far. Joanie, which means “God is gracious,” gives off light, fresh vibes similar to Sadie and Sylvie, making it a perfect candidate to leap off the Endangered Names list.

Kay: While Kay hit her popularity height between the mid-1930s to the mid-1940s, she’s been essentially missing in action since the 1980s. That means, this fresh alternative to May and Kate, is readying to be rescued from extinction. (Consider more baby names that start with K.)

Keisha: A once uber-popular Black baby girl name, Keisha is no longer even close to cracking the top 1,000 baby girl names. Coming in at 4,551 Keisha is almost completely out the door…but this feminine and energetic Hebrew moniker deserves a rethink! 

Norma: This is another baby girl name that experienced a steady drop in popularity since its peak in the 1930s. While Norma flatlined in the 1990s, it’s the perfect nearly extinct baby name ready for a revival. Afterall, Norma is Marilyn Monroe OG moniker!

Sally: Sadly, this undoubtedly cheerful name is heading right for extinction. Sally—once considered a nickname for Sarah—dropped a staggering 1,336 spots in popularity, landing at 2,724 on the most popular baby names list. Here’s hoping this name meaning “princess” claws her way out of oblivion and lands directly where she belongs: As the name of many fresh-faced girls next door. 

Extinct Baby Boy Names

Arnold: Dropping over 500 places in popularity in 2022, Arnold no longer cracks the top 2,000 baby boy names in America. With a cute-as-can-be nickname of Arnie, perhaps there’s still some hope that this baby boy name of English origin can live up to its meaning of “ruler.” 

Cary: This once super sophisticated baby boy name (Hello, Cary Grant!) is now considered “almost extinct” by the baby name pros at Nameberry. This short and debonair moniker was given to under 20 babies last year!

Claude: This classic French baby name was a mainstay in the top 100 baby names in the U.S. until around 1922. Nowadays, it’s knocking at the door of total obscurity. (Claude is ranked number 3,930 of the most-picked baby names.) But with Claude Monet backing the name, perhaps there’s a chance Claude may color popular baby names lists again in the future!

Earl: Despite having vintage charm, this British baby boy’s name meaning "nobleman” or “warrior” hasn’t seen its day since the 1920s. In fact, Earl plummeted over 280 spots in 2024 to fall well outside the top 2,000 baby names in America, making it ripe for extinction. This warrior name is in need of a rescue!

Ernie: Forever paired with Burt, the baby boy name Earnie is well on its way into obscurity in the United States. But experts note that Ernie has been making a comeback in the United Kingdom, which means there may be a chance that this vintage-y baby boy name may have a chance to finally venture outside of Sesame Street.

Guy: Though lighthearted and masculine, Guy is on the verge of extinction as it has not even cracked the top 3,900 baby names. Guy has not been considered popular in America since the 1950s but is brimming with potential to exit the due-to-expire baby name list.

Irving: A distinctly World War I era name, Irving has been on a downward trajectory since. Right now, there are more than 2,770 baby boy’s parents-to-be preferring over Irving. However, with a jazzy nickname like Ving, there’s always a chance Irving can be pulled back from the brink!

Marvin: In the 1940s, Marvin was firmly planted in the top 50 baby boy names. Today? Marvin is sitting at 1,818 on the list of most popular baby names, which is 688 spots lower than the year before. Before it disappears to total extinction, parents-to-be should give this plucky Welsh baby boy name another think!

Nigel: This Celtic baby name means “champion,” “hero,” or “dark” and definitely has a classic feel for a baby boy’s name. Unfortunately, there are roughly 3,893 baby names people prefer over Nigel! That’s why this sweet moniker has been declared extinct by a number of baby name experts. He’s waiting for a rescue!

Randall: Nameberry has reported Randall is a name “without much of a future.” And the numbers seem to back that up: Randall dropped 1,022 spots in 2024, leaving over 2,400 baby boy names in front of it as top choices. The big question is: Can this striking boy name, which means “wolf shield,” come back from near baby name extinction?

Russ: Even though this short and substantial name gives off such a friendly energy, it’s still ranked as the 3,894th most popular baby boy name, which means, it’s not popular at all! That’s why Nameberry plunked it on its list of baby names in danger of extinction.

Val: A popular choice from the 1930s to the 1950s, Val is at the edge of extinction today, not even cracking the top 3,900 most used baby boy names in America. This short and sweet baby boy name gives off vintage vibes, and hopefully can climb its way to modern relevance. (Discover more great baby names that start with a V.)

Extinct Gender-Neutral Names

Campbell: This sassy Scottish and Irish baby name remains a popular surname, but is sliding toward extinction as a gender-neutral first name. Campbell is not among the top 2,000 baby girl names in America, and it’s outside the top 1,800 baby boy names. So, although Campbell is a bold alternative to Cameron (another gender neutral pick), it’s still waiting to be a top pick among parents.

Dale: Simple and serene, Dale can boast being one of the original gender-neutral names. After reaching some success in the 1950s, however, it’s been nosediving ever since. Today, it doesn't rank among the top 1,000 names for either sex. (Get more gender neutral baby name inspiration.)

Gale: Whether used as a baby boy’s name or a baby girl’s name, Gale can mean “joy,” “wind,” or “tranquility.” No matter what meaning you latch onto, one thing remains true: Gale is on its way to becoming an extinct baby name. Gale hasn’t cracked the top 4,520 names for baby girls—and it’s currently ranked 9,705 among baby boy names.

Kerry: This chipper, gender neutral Irish gem has been left to lose its shine. While nearing extinction on both baby boy and baby girl lists, surprisingly, Kerry ranks higher on the boy baby name list (3,930) and the girl baby name list (6,940). Either way, Kerry has a long battle ahead to fend off obscurity.

Merle: Merle is often considered a boy’s name, but this French moniker meaning “blackbird” is still a popular baby girl name contender in Germany. In America, regardless of sex, the understated Merle skims the bottom of the baby name list, putting this feathered friend of a name at risk for permanent extinction.

Sal: While Sal is sometimes short for Salvador, it’s also a standalone gender neutral name in its own right. Meaning both “savior” and “princess,” Sal had some success in the late 1950s, but has mostly rolled downhill since. Right now, Sal is ranked as the 15,268 most popular baby name in the U.S., which means Sal is itching to be saved from their looming extinction!

Terry: In the 1950s, Terry was a popular pick for both baby girls and boys, holding a sleek gender neutral cache. Nowadays, Terry is inching toward obscurity. Among baby boys, Terry is ranked as the 1,276th most popular baby name. It’s even worse for girls, coming in at 4,232.

Tracy: Tracy for a boy peaked in the late 1960 and Tracy for a girl skyrocketed in the early 1970s, but both have been languishing in the depths of unpopularity ever since. But since Tracy means “fighter,” it’s primed to battle back from extinction. 

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