Category: most popular British baby names

US vs UK Baby Names: Vive la difference!

US vs UK 2015

By Eleanor Nickerson, British Baby Names

Now that the 2015 statistics for England and Wales have finally been released, it’s interesting to take a look at how the rankings compare to that of our transatlantic cousins in the US.

Over 50% of names in both the US and England and Wales Top 100 are identical, perfectly showing that were are far more united in our taste in names than we are divided. We share many of the same media and celebrity influences — hello, Mila and Aria — as well being better connected by the global world wide web.

Indeed, many of the highest risers in E&W this year have taken cues from the US: NoahJaxon, Carter, Elijah, Harper, Penelope, Evelyn are all recent and rising additions in the UK which are longstanding to American parents. Similarly, the likes of Scarlett, Eleanor, Charlotte, Lydia, Oliver, Henry and Liam — perennial staples in Britain since the 90s — have gained favour in the last decade in the US.

We continue to transport our favourite names back and forth across the pond (after all, one country’s popular favourite is another’s undiscovered gem), looking to each other for fresh-yet-usable inspiration year on year.

However, the differences are equally fascinating as the similarities, demonstrating our unique cultural heritages and differing national viewpoints:

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British Baby Names: Tops of the pops


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.)

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British Baby Names: Hot New Trends


This was one of those delicious mornings when I allowed myself to dip into the recent British baby names in the London Telegraph birth announcements. As usual, they didn’t disappoint (can you tell that my speech has suddenly acquired a British cadence?) and I managed to pick up on some actual trends.

The first is that, now that Americans have started following the British lead and using two middle names, the Brits are upping the ante by using three. Four first names total, ala Charlie Gaspar Geoffrey Langton: that’s one major new trend.

But in another way, British parents have started imitating Americans by using surnames and word names as middle names: besides Langton, there’s a Macmillan, a Melrose, a Tiger and a Capability here.

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brit topgirls2009

At long last, the official list of the most popular names for baby girls and boys born  in England and Wales in 2009 has been released.  And, to cut to the chase, here are the Top 10 for each gender–all of which were there last year, with several remaining in the same spot:


  1. Olivia
  2. Ruby
  3. Chloe (up 3 places)
  4. Emily (down 1)
  5. Sophie (up 2)
  6. Jessica (down 1)
  7. Grace (down 3)
  8. Lily
  9. Amelia
  10. Evie


  1. Oliver (up 1)
  2. Jack (down 1)
  3. Harry (up 1)
  4. Alfie (up 2)
  5. Joshua
  6. Thomas (down 3)
  7. Charlie
  8. William (up 2)
  9. James
  10. Daniel (down 2)

So Jack hit the road, after reigning as #1 for 14 years–though he was still on top in Wales and some areas of England.  But it’s interesting to note that if the 12 different spellings of Mohammed that were listed separately had counted as one name, it would have topped Oliver.

The biggest climbers in the Top 100 were Maisie for the girls and Austin for the boys.  There were also regional differences (Isabella in London‘s Top Ten, Seren #3 in Wales) and seasonal (Holly was the favorite name for the month of December).

The Royalist spirit was reflected in the naming of 16 Kings, 68 Princes, eight Dukes, 11 Earls, four Barons and four Lords, as well as 12 Queenies, seven Queens, 109 Princesses and five Ladys.

There were only six new boys’ names in the Top 100:

  1. Aiden
  2. Arthur
  3. Frederick
  4. Jude
  5. Stanley
  6. Austin

…replacing Blake, Jay, Billy, Corey, Zak and Sean.  Showing the greatest rise within the Top 100: Lucas, Sebastian, Aidan, and Noah.

New entries in the girls’ Top 100 were Heidi, Sara and Mya, replacing Maryam, Alicia, Courtney and AbbieMaisie was the highest climber within the Top 100, followed by Lexi, Layla and Aimee.

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