When I lived in London in the 90s, I was gobsmacked (astonished in British) by how different the baby names were there. It wasn’t like they used names Americans had never heard of – exotic ones like Pema or invented ones like Puma – but that they used some of the familiar English names far more often than did parents in the U.S.
Clementine and Hugo, for instance, were the most fashionable names of that day in the U.K., names I’d rarely heard stateside. Clementine was pronounced with an –een ending, which removed it from the “Oh My Darling” association – not that many Brits carried that association.
Some of the names popular in Britain and not in the U.S. are similarly free of connections that may damn them in America: Jemima, say, and Archie. Others are old Celtic or Cornish or Welsh names that never crossed the ocean, such as Tamsin and Callum.
Based on another entertaining tour through the London Telegraph birth announcements from the past few months, here are some names that are stylish in the U.K. right now.
FREDERICK or FREDDIE
TOBIAS or TOBY