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Top English Girls’ Names: Who Are The Most Popular?

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At the beginning of this year, the UK ‘s Office for National Statistics let it be known that they wouldn’t be issuing their annual lists of most popular names due to recessional budget cuts, and a collective moan was heard across the name-o-sphere.  (Can you imagine what would happen if our Social Security list didn’t appear one Mother’s Day?)

Well, I don’t know what happened–maybe the uproar was too deafening–but suddenly,  nine months later, their lists of top 100 boys and 100 girls names  in England and Wales have now materialized.  Definitely a case of better late than never.

Once upon a time I used to think that, since we share the same language, the Yanks and the Brits would have similar taste in names.  That was before I married a Brit myself and it came to naming our daughter, when I saw just how different our perceptions of most names were.  And though things have evened out to some degree with the rise of the Internet and the international sharing of opinions, looking at the top English girls’ names today (we’ll take up the boys’ next week), we can see that there is still quite a divide. 

The top ten names , with one exception, aren’t that different:

OLIVIA*
RUBY
EMILY
GRACE
JESSICA
CHLOE
SOPHIE
LILY
AMELIA
EVIE

*Note: If all the different versions of Isabel /Isabella were added together, it would be #1.

The exception, of course, is  Evie , which is only #853 in America, and is indicative of further discrepancies moving down  the rest of the   What’s especially interesting are the number of names in the UK top 100 that don’t even appear in the US top 1000 at all!  These include:

MILLIE
FREYA
POPPY
IMOGEN
MAISIE
ROSIE
NIAMH
HARRIET
HOLLIE
TILLY
FLORENCE
ESME

One thing that jumps out is the stronger representation of nickname names–5 out of 10.  And also the popularity of names that are still seen as cutting edge on this side of the Atlantic: Poppy, Imogen, Esme, as well as  a couple that are still considered too old fashioned by most American parents (nameberryites being the exception)–Harriet and Florence.

Here are some other top English girls’ names that rank much higher up –these are not even in the Top 500 in the US–but do have a good chance of  rising soon:

ISLA
MATILDA
ISABEL
AMELIE
LIBBY
EVE
EMILIA

THOSE NEW TO THE TOP 100 AFTER TAKING  THE MOST STARTLING LEAPS:

LEXI — up 4917 places
LEXIE — up 4911
AMELIE –up 2641
SIENNA — up 1060
GRACIE — up 529
AVA — up 508

And to complete the picture,  here are the top names on neighboring lists:

SCOTLAND:

SOPHIE
EMILY
OLIVIA
CHLOE
EMMA

NORTHERN IRELAND 

KATIE
SOPHIE
GRACE
JESSICA
EMMA

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