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British baby names

The Top 100 names of England and Wales are resplendent with choices that feel a lot more chic and surprising in the US than they must in the UK.

Freya, for instance, the Norse goddess name that’s become a Top 20 staple on the other side of the pond, just cracked the US Top 1000.  Florence, which has been stylish in the UK for decades now and still stands at Number 29, fell off the US Top 1000 in 1982 and has yet to reappear.  Harriet is Number 61 in the UK while it hasn’t been on the US Top 1000 since the 1970s, while Martha stands at Number 73 in the UK and rising yet is at 803 and sinking in the US.

The boys’ Top 100 in the UK includes names such as Arthur, Freddie and Frederick, Louis, and Stanley that rank much lower in the US.

Below the UK Top 100, it’s impossible to quantify baby name trends as statistics don’t exist.  Instead, we must rely on anecdotal evidence: What fashionable young parents in Shoreditch and Swansea are naming their babies, compared with names considered stylish in Soho (the New York one) and Silver Lake.  While there are some similarities — fashionable parents on both sides of the pond love Iris and Oscar, Ada and Arthur — there are many fascinating differences in taste.

Our prime examples of names that are more stylish on the UK side of the pond than the US:

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What Names Do YOU Think Are Cool?

Photo by Georgia Brizuela

As the authors of a book called, ahem, Cool Names for Babies, we have put ourselves in the position of being the arbiters of coolness when it comes to baby names.

Which is a very hard thing to define.  In the book, we deal with the question by pointing out, quite rightly, that there are many different kinds of cool baby names.  There are vintage cool names and newly-minted names that many consider cool, there are the names of undeniably cool heroes such as Abraham Lincoln or Booker T. Washington and there are the names of cool literary or film characters.

On Twitter recently, we pointed out a name whose sound to us was undeniably cool — Domino — and the single response was someone saying: Um….nope.

So now we’re turning it back on you.  What names do YOU think are cool?  And why?

Photo by the ever-fabulous Georgia Brizuela of Documenting Delight

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Top 100 Boy Names of 2013

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Asher is back on top!  The hot biblical name has reclaimed the crown as Number One boys’ name from Finn, which snatched it last year.

Declan, an Irish choice that flirted with the Number One spot on Nameberry throughout 2013, finished at Number Two.

Finn’s star may be flickering, but waiting in the wings is Finn‘s understudy Flynn, another Irish name that was brought to widespread notice by the young son of supermodel Miranda Kerr and actor Orlando Bloom.

Our popularity lists are tabulated by ranking the unique page views each name attracts out of the over 20 million total views of our baby name pages in 2013.

Boy name trends we extrapolate from our 2013 popularity list:

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Best Boys’ Names: 10 stylish selections

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Our new book The Nameberry Guide to the Best Baby Names for Boys includes many different styles of great boys’ names — including, well, stylish ones.

Stylish might mean popular…but not necessarily. More precisely, it means names that strike the right fashion note for the times, that are in today, and may be even more in tomorrow.

Like Pottery Barn furniture or J. Crew clothes, stylish baby names often combine freshness, quality, and broad appeal. It’s a difficult balance to strike, and no wonder that some of the names that achieve this magic mix go on to be adopted by many — some might say too many — parents.

The stylish boys’ names here are among the best in their class. Any would make a handsome choice for a contemporary baby boy.

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Baby Names 2013: Our newest choices

baby name Boo

Our newest crop of baby names 2013 are a modern mix of ancient and contemporary.  They include the name of the year’s coolest car made famous by an early electrical inventor, a name shared by this season’s hottest baseball player and a soldier in David‘s Biblical army, and a zippy new nickname for a classic Top 10 girls’ name.

The baby names 2013 newest on Nameberry are:

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