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British Baby Names

British Baby Names

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.

And then there are those names on this list that are classics or short forms heard in America, but not as fashionably – I’m thinking of Forence, for example, and Freddie, Lucy (yes, still) and Louis.

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.

Girls

ALICECECILYCHARIS or CARYSCRESSIDADARCY or DARCEYDAVINAEDIEELIZAFLORAFLORENCEFREYAGENEVIEVEGEORGIANA or GEORGINAIMOGENJEMIMALUCYMAISIENATASHAOCTAVIA

POPPYPRIMROSETABITHATAMSINVERITYZARA

Boys

ALASTAIRANGUSARCHIEARTHURBARNABYBENEDICTBYRONCALLUMCATHANCOSMODIGBYDOMINICEWANFELIXFERGUSFLETCHERFREDERICK or FREDDIEGEORGEHARRYHARVEYHORATIOHUWIVORLACHLANLOUISOLIVEROSCAROTTORANULPHRHYSROCCOROLLORORYRUPERTSEBASTIANTHOMASTOBIAS or TOBYWALTER

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.