Every year there's a whole new list of popular baby names. Right now, the monikers Olivia, Ava and Lily are some of the most common girls' names, while Oliver, Leo and Noah are among the current faves for boys. So it's no surprise that some more old-fashioned names are losing popularity. It is rare however, for a name to die out altogether – normally names see a resurgence as trends come and go. Now a new study of US baby-name data going back to 1880 by news site Quartz has revealed a shocking statistic about one particular name, which is facing extinction. That name is Heather.
The actress Heather Graham
The study found that back in 1975, over 24,000 girls were called Heather but fast forward to 2017 and only 219 girls were named Heather that year. Quite a drop. The site reports that once-loved girls' names Jennifer and Amy have also seen a big decline but not as drastically as Heather. The name has seen the fastest descent in popularity over all other names. Poor Heather!
The 1988 movie Heathers
So what's going on - why are parents shunning the name Heather suddenly? Has it simply gone out of fashion or is there more to it? One theory suggests the name's popularity suffered due to the movie Heathers – a 1988 film starring Winona Ryder, Shannon Doherty and Christian Slater where three characters called Heather form a mean clique at their high school. Quartz refers to analysis by website Deadspin, which found the movie was not the prime cause of the Heather decline. So the Heather boycott remains a mystery.
The name Heather isn't alone in this sad situation though – in 2017 the Office for National Statistics found that the boys' name Gary is also dying out. Once popular in the seventies, the name was only given to 27 babies in 2016. Eek.
So what do you think HELLO! readers? Have any of you recently named your baby Heather or are you planning to? Would you mind if the name disappeared forever or has this news inspired you to bring the name back? Get in touch with us below…