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Do You Have an "Old Person Name"? Here's What the Youngest Generation Says

Once-popular monikers now make you seem dated, according to Generation Alpha.

Trends come and go, and many come back in style. As it turns out, that goes for baby names, too. There's not much we can do about our own name, unless we choose to change it—it's not something we picked, but ideally it had a special meaning to our parents that's been passed on to us. That doesn't mean most of us wouldn't bristle at the idea that our moniker has become terribly out of fashion, especially if we're told that it's (sigh) an "old person name."

RELATED: All the Generation Names Explained: Millennials, Gen Alpha, and More.

Names that used to be considered "grandma" monikers, such as Barbara, Gladys, or Betty, have since been replaced by names that were uber-popular in the '80s and '90s.

Those names that were well represented in your classes growing up? They're now names that make you sound older, according to Generation Alpha, who has decided that the biggest millennial names are now for "old people."

Amber Cimiotti, a mom and content creator living in Los Angeles, took to Instagram to reveal this important update that her Gen Alpha daughter shared with her one day after school.

"The other day my daughter told me the name Ashley or Amanda—or my name is Amber—are like old people names," she says, astonished.

Though first taken aback, Cimiotti says her daughter's reasoning made sense, and she goes on to explain why.

"I never thought about it this way, but she's like, 'Yeah my teachers' names are like Miss Erica, Miss Samantha, and there's Amandas and Ashleys, and those are just old people names,'" Cimiotti continues.

The association between millennial names like Erica and Amanda and people in leadership roles goes a long way to explaining why Cimiotti's Gen Alpha daughter considers them "old people" names. After all, her teachers are significantly older than she is.

But as Cimiotti argues, "For me, Ashley is always going to be my friend from elementary. So it seems like a kid name, but it's not."

Moreover, "young people names" now range from Charlotte to Olivia to Penelope. The moniker Isabella and its shortened versions, like Bell and Ella, are also popular. Cimiotti says she's noticed more girls with her daughter's name, Scarlett, too.

Meanwhile, trendy millennial names such as her own are now considered out of style.

"All of these names are like basically the new Margaret or Barbara," Cimiotti says.

RELATED: 12 Hairstyles That Make You Look Older, According to Stylists.

Data from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) proves that Cimiotti's daughter has a point. In 2022, the SSA reported that the most popular female names were Olivia, Emma, Charlotte, Amelia, Sophia, and Isabella. The most popular male names included Liam, Noah, Oliver, and James.

Meanwhile, of the hundreds of thousands of baby names that were registered on BabyCenter in 2023, Olivia, Charlotte, and Isabella were all in the top seven.

Not listed in the top 50 were "old people" monikers like Victoria, Marie, and Alice. Similarly, the names Amber, Erica, Samantha, and Amanda didn't crack the top 100.

And while 2024 has just started, the name Isabella has already inched up two spots on BabyCenter's popular baby names list for the year. All those babies have a few decades ahead of them before they'll be forced to confront the reality that to a younger generation, they have "old people names," too.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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