Off with their heads
Last time, I looked at current trends in the popularity of different name initials. Vowels as a group are still soaring, leaving consonants behind. You can see the effect in names of every stripe. You want traditional, formal and regal? That would be Alexander today, not Frederick. Dignified Old Testament style for girls? Hmm, try Abigail, not Miriam. If you're considering a slightly offbeat name, you might lean toward vowel options to make the name more fashion-palatable--Adelaide over Millicent, say. Or you might steer straight toward the least fashionable letters to stay as offbeat as possible.
But the names most affected by swings in sound fashion are the most contemporary choices. Contemporary-style baby namers are willing to mold and refine a name to sound just right to their ears. So how does a creative modern namer address the decline of consonants? No problem. Just chop off the head of last year's hot name.
Madison has been a hit girl's name for 20 years and has begun a quiet decline. But Addison, unheard of 20 years ago, is suddenly booming. The '90s hit Kayla is fading? OK, here comes Ayla. You can find it happening in the middle of names too. Kaitlyn is falling while Kaylin is rising...and Aylin's rising even faster.
Sure, there are families of names where the vowel and consonant versions rise together. Aiden, Caden, Jayden all hit around the same time and are all soaring. But it's harder to find examples of hit vowel names on the decline that get a makeover by adding a consonant. Ashley isn't being reborn as Kashley or Amanda as Tamanda. 'Cause consonants are so 20th century, ya know?
The strongest candidates for a stylish trim--just a little off the top--seem to be the names that attract creative/contemporary namers to begin with. Look for little Bayleighs and Harleys to morph into Ayleighs and Arleys soon.