'Weird' baby names replacing the classics

Jan. 22, 2008 at 8:40 PM
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TORONTO, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Canadian and U.S. experts say formerly popular baby names -- including Matthew and Olivia -- are falling by the wayside as "weird" names grow in popularity.

Amy McKenzie, who co-authored "The Best Baby Names for Canadians" with her husband, said names topping the Canadian charts -- Madison, Olivia and Sophia for girls and Ethan, Ryan and Aiden for boys -- are losing their luster as parents make conscious efforts to avoid names on Top 20 lists, the Toronto Star reported Tuesday.

"Popularity is becoming unpopular," McKenzie said.

Diana Goodman, a San Francisco native who runs the "Baby's Got a Bad, Bad Name" Web site -- www.notwithoutmyhandbag.com/babynames -- said "weird" names are spreading all over North America.

"Weird beats normal by at least 2-to-1, increasing rapidly each year," she wrote on the site. "In 2001, weird and normal were almost even; in 2003 there were usually four weird names for every one normal one."

Goodman cited Aisleigh, Brielle, Laken, Shyler and Brenner as being among the "weird" names to recently spike in popularity.

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