Quartz Magazine is doing God’s work, and they’ve looked into the popularity of beloved girls’ names in forensic detail.
“Analysis of US baby-name data that goes back to 1880 finds that no name in history has become so popular and then flamed out quite like Heather,” the mag writes.
“At its peak in 1975, more than 24 000 girls were named Heather, making it the US’s third most popular girls name, after Jennifer and Amy. In 2017, it was the 1129th most popular name, given to only 219 girls born that year.”
Heather was super popular throughout the 70’s after experiencing enthusiastic uptake through the 50’s and 60’s. But WHY had Heather gone down the tubes so quickly, we wondered? Are people cruelly rejecting the now-struggling Heather Locklear? Is Heather Graham no longer their fave roller-babe? Or perhaps Winona Ryder has something to do with the whole anti-Heather movement?
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Put on your mom jeans, Heather!
Quartz said Heather was considered more of a “mom name” from the 80’s onward, and that while the 80’s black comedy Heathers (which features Winona Ryder, Christian Slater and a bunch of homicidal mean girl characters named Heather) may have had something to do with it being rejected in the 90’s and beyond, it was already taking a bit of a hit prior to the movie’s release. #SorryHeather
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Basically Heather seems to be considered the most mum name of all the mum names, so its fortunes have fallen the most speedily. That said, it’s thought that the name might experience a resurgence at some point, but experts say it will be a very long time between drinks.
“Names that return to popularity tend to do so after a 100-year cycle,” Quartz explained. “For example, the name Clara, popular in the late 19th century, is now returning to prominence. When the current crop of Heathers are great-grandmothers, we may see a similar resurgence.”
In the meantime, Heathers will live on via the movie’s Heather Duke, Heather McNamara and Heather Chandler … and all the other less evil Heathers out there. And it’s possible the name MIGHT get a little popularity bump if the Heathers TV series ever makes it to small screens. Which it may not.