By Linda Rosenkrantz
Though we here in the U.S. have to wait until May for our official 2013 popularity lists to be revealed, some other countries manage to get their reports ready even before the year ends. As these listings start to trickle in, I thought I’d fill you in on what we’ve received so far.
The most complete story to have come in is from Scotland, where the top names are Jack—for the sixth consecutive year–and Sophie, for the ninth. And if you think that Yanks are the only parents into unusual names, Scottish mums and dads chose about 7,400 different first names for their babies, with nearly 4,800 of them unique.
Some of the standouts among girls on the rise: Millie, Poppy, Georgia, Alice, Esme, Mila and Phoebe. In the blue column, those climbing up include Logan, Lucas, Leo, Kai, Oscar, Brodie, Harrison, Murray, Callan, Hamish, Harvey and Struan.
The two principal cities of Scotland have quite different results, reflecting the differences in their demographics. In Edinburgh, the capital and second largest city, heading the list for boys is Alexander—described by an official as “a good Scottish name,” adding that “the odds now of Scotland becoming independent will shorten dramatically as a result of more children being called Alexander.”(Ah, the power of names!) Olivia was the top girl name in Edinburgh, followed by Isla and Sophie.
On the other hand, in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, Muhammad was the favorite names for boys, followed by James and Lewis. For girls, it was Sophie, Olivia, Emily and Isla. (Sophie definitely tops American fave Sophia across the UK.)
Scotland is also one of the few countries to calculate middle name statistics, and here we see that a huge proportion consist of tradition classics. For girls, Rose, Elizabeth, Grace, Louise, Margaret, Jane, Ann/Anne, May, Catherine and Mary, for boys James, John, William, Alexander, David, Robert, Thomas, Andrew, George, Michael and Joseph.
Here, Jack and Grace topped the charts, the unstoppable Jack having held that position for ten years in a row, while Grace jumped from third position to first, replacing last year’s Sophie. The Number 2 boys’ name, James held that place for the third year running.
Top 10 for girls: Grace, Emily, Sophie, Ella, Lucy, Sophia, Aoife (the only exclusively Irish name on the list), Jessica, Amelia and Anna. Among the next ten, Ella and Anna have significantly increased in popularity. In addition, Ava andf Ruby were new entries to the Top 20, while Elsie rose sixty places and Robyn—a name we never see—advanced 45 spots.
For the Northern Irish boys, the Top 10 names were: Jack, James, Charlie, Daniel, Harry, Noah, Ethan, Matthew, Jacob, and Thomas—so not very dissimilar to names in other English- speaking countries. Moving up and approaching the Top 10: Luke, while big climbers further down were Jackson and Theo.
On this side of the Atlantic, we have so far only the Canadian province of Ontario, where Olivia continues her six-year reign, and Liam is Number 1 for the second year. Following them are Ethan, Jacob, Lucas and Benjamin; and Emma, Sophia, Ava and Emily.
The bare facts:
Stay tuned for more!