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The figures for the most popular names in the UK in 2011 have just been released by the Office for National Statistics, containing plenty of surprises and interesting tidbits.  For one thing, it seems that despite a lot of cross-pollination, there is still a considerable divide in name popularity across the Atlantic.  Just looking at the two top names–which replaced last year’s Olivia and Oliver—there is Amelia, which is #30 in the US, and Harry, which is way down at Number 709 here—although with all those captivating shots of the ebullient prince as a spectator at the Olympics, this could change.

As usual, there is a generous infusion of celebrity influence, from the royal realm, show biz and sports.  Amelia for example, was quite probably given a bounce by the 2011 X-Factor finalist Amelia Lily.  Led by Alfie in the top five, the nickname name trend continues for both girls and boys—Evie, Ellie, Millie, Rosie, Archie, Tommy, Ollie, and Bobby being among the hottest.

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The Scottish Registry General’s Office has released the country’s most popular names for 2009, showing very little change at the top.  Jack and Sophie remained in first place, and the girls’ list wasn’t so dissimilar to ours, with Olivia, Ava, Emily, Chloe and Emma all in the top ten, along with Lucy, Katie, Amy and Erin.  For the boys, there were long-term Scottish favorites heading the list: Lewis, James, Liam, Logan, Ryan, Cameron and Callum (which would have been higher if merged with the Calum spelling) coming up behind Jack, plus the biblical Daniel and Aaron.

It gets more interesting as you look at some of the names that are rising choices for Scots parents.  One of the biggest leaps was taken by Miley (tailed by Mylea, Mylee, Mylie and Myley), which jumped 190 places, showing Hannah Montana‘s tremendous international clout.  The biggest climber for the boys was Owen, which is also moving up in the US.

Some of the other noteworthy names on the rise in Scotland–showing a persistent preference for nickname names:

EVIE

GRACIE

LAYLA

LUCIE

MAISIE

MAYA/MYA

MILLIE

POPPY

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