Page last updated at 09:39 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 10:39 UK

Traditional names are 'dying out'

Baby
Jack and Grace were the most popular names last year

Some traditional names such as Edna and Norman are in danger of dying out in England and Wales, research suggests.

Gurgle.com studied the most popular names of 1907 with those that have made the grade over the past five years.

In 1907, 1,048 babies were named Gertrude but none were in 2005. Baby Normans declined from 1,991 to two.

Many babies are named after celebrities or given made-up names now, rather than being given relatives' ones, as often happened in the past, Gurgle.com said.

The two Normans named in 2005 were in Shropshire and Tyne and Wear.

GIRLS' NAMES OUT OF FAVOUR
Gertrude
Edna
Ethel
Irene
Ada
Norah
Olive

Richard, which was the most popular name 200 years ago, has also declined.

A total of 4,671 babies were named Richard in 1807, but the number fell to 2,289 in 1907 and 538 in 2005.

However, the researchers for the social networking site did find that names such as Thomas, Jack and William have remained in vogue for 200 years.

The survey also suggests a royal connection has kept names such as Elizabeth, Philip and Charles consistently popular over the past 100 years.

It also found that some names which have lost popularity have been replaced by something similar, with Olivia replacing Olive as a popular name.

BOYS' NAMES OUT OF FAVOUR
Norman
Walter
Percy
Harold
Ernest
Herbert
Clifford

Similarly, Lily has become a modern-day Lilian and Alfred has become Alfie.

Sarah Stone, editor of Gurgle.com, said: "Not so long ago it seems we all knew a Great Uncle Harold or Aunty Irene, but sadly it seems these names could soon be lost forever.

"It is clear that modern parents are increasingly being influenced by fashions and celebrity. However we also need to remember that there are now more choices available."

The Office for National Statistics says the most popular baby names last year were Jack, Thomas and Oliver for boys and Grace, Ruby and Olivia for girls.




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