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Gen Alpha says names like Amanda, Ashley, and Erica are the new 'old people' names

A newborn baby lies on their mother's chest.
Baby names are changing.d3sign/Getty Images
  • TikTok user Amber Cimiotti discussed changing name trends with her daughter.

  • Names popular among millennials, like Ashley and Amanda, are now considered "old people" names.

  • Current trendy names include Olivia and Emma, a significant shift from those popular in the '80s and '90s.

TikTokers are grappling with changing name trends.

On Saturday, Amber Cimiotti, 37, posted a video about her conversation with her 5-year-old daughter Scarlett.

"The other day, my daughter told me the names Ashley or Amanda — or my name is Amber — are like old people names," Cimiotti said in her video. "She's like, 'Yeah, my teacher's names are like, Ms. Erica, Ms. Samantha. There are Amandas and Ashleys,'" Cimiotti said. "She's like, 'Those are just old people names.'"

Cimiotti told Business Insider she "laughed out loud" the first time Scarlett referred to them as "old people names," because they were all popular throughout her childhood. But as Scarlett pointed to her teachers and her friends' parents' names, Cimiotti realized she was right.

"I never thought of it from that point of view because I will always think of those names as my friends I met in fifth grade," Cimiotti told BI. "But now that I drop her off at school, there are no Ashleys, there are no Amandas. It's Harpers and Madisons and Londons and Scarletts. So she's right."

Cimiotti's video had amassed over 3 million views as of Wednesday, and the comments under the video were filled with people reflecting on the cyclical nature of names.

"My daughter told me a kid in her class has a dad name," one user commented. "Kid's name is Josh."

"My son's principal is Kyle, his teacher is Chad, a different teacher is Tiffany, and the secretary is Samantha," another wrote. "Where's Nancy and Frank?"

Popular names have changed since millennials were children

Cimiotti's daughter's comments reflect changes to trending names since millennials were born.

Ashley, Amanda, Amber, and Samantha were all among the top 50 most popular names for girls in the US between 1981 and 1996, the timeframe in which millennials were born, according to the Social Security Administration. In fact, Ashley was the most popular name on the list in 1991 and 1992, and it was number two from 1985-1990 and 1993-1995.

But since 2021, none of those names were even in the top 100 most popular names for babies, highlighting how parents' approach to naming has transformed in recent years.

newborn baby
Name trends evolve.Shutterstock

Since 2020, Olivia and Emma have topped the list of girl names, and both have been in the top 10 since 2010, when Gen Alpha babies began being born. Charlotte, Sophia, and Amelia trail closely behind today, none of which were among the top 100 names for girls between 1981 and 1996.

Scarlett ranked 21st on the list in 2020 when Cimiotti's daughter was born, though she told BI she didn't look at trending names then.

"I randomly picked Scarlett because I'd loved that name since I was a little kid from the game Clue," she said, adding that she also thought of it as unique when she was growing up because the only real Scarlett she knew of was Scarlett Johansson.

"The craziest thing is that now Scarlett is this hugely popular name, and at the time, I had no idea," she added. "It's weird how these waves of names happen like that."

But names have always come in and out of style

Millennial parents may associate childhood with names like Ashley and Samantha. However, they are firmly adult names to their Gen Alpha children, who are statistically likely to be surrounded by parents, teachers, coaches, and doctors with those names.

Though it may be unsettling for millennial parents now, baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and Gen X parents (1965 to 1980) had a similar experience with their millennial children.

For instance, Linda was the most popular girl name between 1947 and 1952 and remained in the top 10 for the entire period baby boomers were born. But by 1996, it was 293 on the list, and in 2022, it sat all the way at 807. Likewise, Jennifer was the most popular girl name for 14 years, from 1970 to 1984. In 2022, it ranked 502 on the Social Security Administration's name list.

The evidence indicates trends will continue to evolve, though modern parents seem to have a greater desire for their children to have a name that stands out. Some even schedule baby-name consultations with professionals like Em of @emdoodlesandstuff, who help prospective parents pick something one-of-a-kind.

Read the original article on Business Insider