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Category: British names for boys



20 UK Names We Should Steal

British faves

By Abby Sandel

The new top baby names for England and Wales came out recently. At first glance, American and British parents have a lot in common. We all love Jack and Emily, Isabella and James.

But the new UK Top 100 is packed with names that far more popular across the pond – including a few that are all but ignored by American parents.

Here are my picks for the British baby names that Americans should import.

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British Baby Names: Two middle names

two middle names

If there’s one British baby names trend that Berries all over the world have embraced full-heartedly, it’s the old upper class practice of giving children two (or even more, ala Uma Thurman) middle names.

Rooted in royalty as a way to honor a raft of vaulted relatives, the multiple-middle-name practice was pegged by one visitor to our pages as being “very posh and a bit snobby.”

But it’s also a way for name lovers to indulge their enthusiasm by using more of their favorites on fewer children.  Americans who give their babies two middle names are often simply packing more name power into one extended appellation.  They may also (as my husband and I were, when we named our daughter Rory Elizabeth Margaret) be adding extra middle names to honor both sides of the family at the same time.

Judging from the birth announcements in the London Telegraph, the three-barreled British baby name is distinct in a couple of important ways:

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British Baby Names: New sibsets

British baby names

It’s another morning with British baby names in the London Telegraph here, and this time I thought I’d focus on charming sibsets from the recent birth announcements.

I always love the slightly off-kilter (from the American perspective) British baby names plus the eccentric string of middle names. But including the names of brothers and sisters adds an extra dimension of style interest.

Counting first children not mentioned here too, trend watchers will want to note the names Elodie, Emilia, Florence, Isla, and Jemima for girls, and Barnaby, Frederick, Hugo, Montgomery, and Willoughby for boys. Also, diminutives such as Jack and Annie as not only full first names but middle names.

Recent British baby names and their siblings include:


Alannah Anthea, a sister for Eloise

Alice Milly Elsa, a sister for Edward

Annabel Clementine May, a sister for Henrietta

Aurelia Mary Susan, a sister to Beatrice

Christabel Maris Tessa Crossley, a sister for John

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Yesterday, to launch British Baby Names week on Nameberry, Eleanor Nickerson identified the five strongest current naming trends in the UK.  Today we zero in on the popularity of individual names on both sides of the Atlantic, seeing which names have shared success and which haven’t.

We Yanks sometimes tend to have a bit of an inferiority complex, feeling that the Brits are a step or two ahead of us in both trends and specific names, although it is something of a two-way street, when you consider that a strictly American name like Jayden has found its way onto the UK Top 30, and Madison is in the Top 70.

So just how close are the two cultures when it comes to name popularity?

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British name maven Eleanor Nickerson, aka Elea, has her finger on the pulse of naming trends in the UK.

For most people outside of the UK, “British Names” are typified by the old Victorian legacy of Empire and afternoon tea, or the ethereal mystery of ancient Celtic folklore. The stereotype often favours rarefied aristocratic favourites such as Percival and Araminta, or tongue-twisting indigenous Gaelic choices like Aonghus or Caoimhe.

If you look at the most popular names that are actually used in Britain today you will see a much more varied picture. Like other Western countries there is a large influence from film and television, a popular cult of celebrity, and a growing awareness of global fashions (yes, we have many Neveahs and Jaydens, too).  And yet, even in our modernised naming practices, British trends still manage to make a subtle nod to history in a style that feels quite unique.

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