Category: Eleanor Nickerson
By Eleanor Nickerson
This March saw the official statistics for Scotland released for 2015. Once again, Emily and Jack were the number one choices – Emily for the second year running, and Jack for the eighth – and overall very little change to the top 10 names.
By Eleanor Nickerson
As this year draws to a close, it’s time once again to look back at the most prevalent trends that have influenced baby names in Britain in 2015.
The 2014 British Name Trends of ‘ar’ sounds and surnames which I wrote about last year are in full swing. Arlo has been prolific in British birth announcements, meanwhile Cooper, Carter, Parker, Hunter, Lincoln (for boys) and Harper and Darcey (for girls) have continued to rise.
But other trends are beginning to emerge this year, and some are definitely ones to watch out for:
Brits love diminutives. We use them, often automatically, to shorten names in a familiar way, and they have been essential for centuries as a way of distinguishing individuals with the same name. We love them so much, many of them have now been elevated into full-name status, and happily litter the Top 100.
The most common are two-syllable, ie/y-endings we know and love well; Isabelles are Izzy, Olivers are Ollie, Katherines are Katies and Fredericks are Freddies. But more and more, parents are looking to a more brisk and quirky style of diminutive. Edwards are often Ned, rather than Eddy; several Henrys are Hal, and Christophers are the striking Kit rather than Chris.
With this niche trend in mind, here is a rundown of some one-syllable diminutives that have become overlooked since they were developed in the Middle Ages. Several of them, perhaps surprisingly, were unisex.
In the 16th century Bess was a popular nickname for Elizabeth. You could almost say that it was the diminutive for the name, as the most famous bearer, Elizabeth I, was known fondly as “Good Queen Bess“. It began to lose favour in the 18th century, but was revived as Bessie in the 19th. In some instances, Bess was also used as a diminutive for Beatrice.
Overall, the Top 10 a pretty conservative, barely moving, especially for the boys.
New to the Top 100 are Ellis, Joey, Jackson, Thea, Darcie, Lottie, Harper, Nancy and Robyn.
These replaced Evan, Aiden, Cameron, Niamh, Paige, Skye, Tilly, Isobel, Maddison and Madison which fell out of the top 100.
As both a Brit and a name lover, the release of the US statistics is always fascinating for me.
On your top 10 are names of interest which are having a direct influence on British names. There are names which have had their day in the UK and are now swiftly declining, and, of course, there are names which are very similar in both countries.