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British Baby Names: Tops of the pops

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British baby names were very much on the front burner this week, following the release of the official Top 100 popularity lists for 2010.  At the top was a pair of what sounds for all the world like uh-oh-matchy-matchy twin names, Olivia and Oliver

 Here’s how the rest of the Top 10 played out, with the comparative standing in the States in parentheses:

Olivia (Number 4 in the US)

Sophie  (59 )

Emily (6)

Lily (17)

Amelia (41)

Jessica (93)

Ruby (113)

Chloe (9)

Grace (18)

Evie (705)

and for boys:

Oliver (88)

Jack (44)

Harry (658)

Alfie (0)

Charlie (244)

Thomas (62)

William (the closest at #5)

Joshua (11)

George (164)

James (19)

(Though, as was pointed out last year, if the three main spellings of Muhammed were added together, that name would approach first place.)

Comparisons of British and American popular names always involves a lot of back and forth, imports and exports, and looking for evidence (pro and con) of the sometimes inferior feeling in the US that our trans-Atlantic cousins are a step or two ahead in name trends.

But as seen above, this year’s lists show a decidedly two-way street.  Some names long faded in the US are thriving in the UK, such as Jessica (still in the Top Ten in the UK, barely hanging on in the Top 100 here, at #92) and Adam (Number 18 vs. 81).  On the other hand, two of the Top 25 girls’ names there– Poppy andFreya —have not even entered the Top 1000 here, and on the boys’ list the same holds true for Alfie (Number 4 there) and Archie (24).

Other names that were in the UK Top 100 and not even in the Top 1000 here (though several of which are already prescient berry faves) are:

Finlay

Florence

Harriet

Hollie

Imogen

Isobel

Jenson

Louie

Maisy

Niamh

Ollie

Rosie

Tilly

Maisy and Ollie showed the sharpest rises of any of the UK Top 100 names, and others on the ascent were Lacey, Sophie, Lily, Carlie, Zachary, Noah, Kai, and George.  There were six new girls’ names making their debuts—Annabelle, Eliza, Laila, Aisha, Maryam and Maisy, and six boys– Ollie, Bobby, Caleb, Jensen, Dexter and Kayden.  Libby was the girl’s name that declined most in popularity, sliding 20 places to number 98 and the boy’s name Aidan slipped 13 places to 91. In Wales, Ruby and Oliver were at the top.

The full UK list can be found at this official site.

Also released were the most popular namesof 2010  in Scotland, headed by:

Sophie

Olivia

Ava

Emily

Isla

Lucy

Chloe

Lily

Ellie

Emma

And

Jack

Lewis

James

Logan

Daniel

Ryan

Aaron

Oliver

Liam

Jamie

For the full list of the Scottish Top 100, go to the General Register for Scotland website.

Any thoughts on the similarities and differences in Anglo-American naming?  Can any of you britberries offer any cultural factors behind certain specific hits?

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