British Baby Names: The Latest Crop

Every few months, about as often as I allow myself to relish a hot caramel sundae and with about the same amount of delicious anticipation, I dip into the London Telegraph birth announcements to see what the upper-crusty British baby namers are up to.

And as with that sundae, the results rarely disappoint.  There are always plenty of eccentric three-name combinations, lots of charming sibsets, and a collection of names not often heard in my neighborhood of New Jersey.

One trend asserting itself in this collection: R names, with a raft of children (far beyond those mentioned here) called Rory, Rufus, Rupert, Rex, and Rowley, and on the girls’ side, Ruby, Rose, Rosemary, Rosalind (and Rosalyn) and Romilly.  R is a letter that’s seemed dowdy for quite some time — blame all those Baby Boom Roberts and Richards — and is due for a resurgence.

The best of the recent British baby names are, for girls:

And for boys:

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21 Responses to “British Baby Names: The Latest Crop”

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Elle Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 12:42 am

I LOVE looking at names from The Telegraph! I check the announcements every few weeks. I love how they use three name combos and they aren’t obsessed with the “flow” of names.

I really like Eliza Miranda Rosemary, Luella Helen Willa, Alasdair Lorne Leonardo, Augustus George Barden and Leo.

Bella Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 12:47 am

Brill: Ignatius Mungo, brother for Atticus Monty, Octavius Kit, and Ptolemy Ned

Salome Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 8:27 am

What fabulous lengths these names have! I’m with Bella. I’m especially loving the Ignatius Mungo, Atticus Monty, Octavius Kit and Ptolemy Ned quad. However, why is there only a lone Greek among them??

pam Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 8:31 am

Yes, those four boys are great, but I think I’m going to have to go with Loveday Celestine Primrose Kennedy as my favorite.

2four1 Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 9:02 am

I am personally loving the following names:
Persephone, Henrietta, Daphne, Halcyon, Jemima amd Mairead
I am not a fan of the boys names though.

Andrea Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 9:16 am

Luella was one of my great-great grandmothers and one of my great-aunts on the other side. It’s always had a very rural Midwestern feel for me. Interesting to see it in the Telegraph. Maybe they think it sounds different over there. Grais looks like an old Irish or Manx name to me. I think it means “gray.” Otherwise they look pretty typical of the Telegraph announcements. I’m guessing only veddy veddy upperclass parents could get away with Tancred or Loveday. I pity any child named Madame Cholet.

belly Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 9:52 am

AHHHH! 🙂 Ella Persephone! Loveday! St. John!!!!! I need to move to Britain….

Kristine Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 10:05 am

Wonderful! I wish I lived in Britain so I could get away with names like these =)
Personal favorites from this list–
Ella Persephone, Loveday Celestine Primrose Kennedy (!), Hermione Halcyon Margaret Isabel (4!!!), and Alasdair Lorne Leonardo

pam Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 11:46 am

Andrea, I was wondering (hoping?) whether Madame Cholet might be a pet.

lemon Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

St. John and Madame Cholet really got me! I can’t imagine calling a child by a prefix!

But, oh, there were some gems in there. Eliza Miranda Rosemary is my favorite, but Loveday Celestine Primrose Kennedy is really brilliant – Celestine is my favorite part of that name! And, even though I don’t love the combination of Daphne Olga Amelie, Daphne is an inspired sister to Henry and Beatrice. So fresh!

As for the boys, I was pretty excited by Algernon Frederick Hanson. Though I’d never personally use Algernon, it’s another ‘Importance of Being Earnest’ name that I love! I liked the unexpected sibling pairing of Augustus and Hugo, and isn’t Rory Sinclair Willasey neat?

Taffy Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Did America and England share baby naming fashion during the Post-WWII period? Were boomers from both cultures given lots of R names? Do the telegraph announcements provide enough information to conclude that R names are becoming popular in England after a period of less popularity?
Generally-speaking, U.S. namers are not ready to move beyond the ‘dowdy’ image of boomer generation fashion. In fact, quite the opposite: boomer fashion pretty much defines dowdy to today’s namers.
So, without some indication that U.K. namers have the same cultural baggage to overcome, I wouldn’t be comfortable seeing their alleged embrace of some R names as evidence that the ground is fertile here for the likes of Rufus.

Janine Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Unless that woman gave birth to an aristocratic old woman, there’s no excuse for Madame Cholet.
As for Persephone, I’m so thrilled that’s people have begun to use it! I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology, and I’m hoping Eurydice comes into fashion.

Em Says:

September 20th, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I have a very British taste in names it seems. I absolutely love this list. Where can I find the London Telegraph birth announcements?

Lucy Says:

September 21st, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I like Eliza Miranda Rosemary and Jemima Alice India best.

I think Loveday Celestine Primrose is a lovely combination too but I don’t think Loveday would be an easy name to carry in reality. Perhaps she is known by her middle name; Celestine is v pretty!

I find these four a bit ludicrous (unless perhaps their parents are Classical scholars or something)!!:
Ignatius Mungo, brother for Atticus Monty, Octavius Kit, and Ptolemy Ned
To the average British person, they just sound as if the parents are deliberately choosing very pretentious sounding names. I like the middle names though!

Here is the full announcement (with a link to the Telegraph site for Em):

Tânia Says:

September 23rd, 2010 at 11:18 am

The names are so gorgeous, especially the girls’. I love the Brits taste in names.

EmilyWillis Says:

September 24th, 2010 at 3:53 am

I’m not sure if lemon is aware that St. John is actually pronounced ‘sinjin’ and is quite common here!it is from the movie four weddings and a funeral hence the popularity!my sisters childrens’ births were all announced in the telegraph! Rafferty Frederik Sebastien (4), Sienna Alexis Matilda (pronounced (2.5) and most recently Clementine Amelia Lucia who was born in June!!

tammy Says:

October 1st, 2010 at 5:33 am

Madame Cholet is indeed a pusscat named after a womble from the 70s childrens show x

Katy Says:

November 19th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Some of these sibling sets are the most British names I have ever seen. They look like what I would name my kids, though.

British Baby Names: Hot New Trends – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

December 17th, 2010 at 1:57 am

[…] British baby names seem much more fashionable there than in the U.S.: Martha, Nancy, India, Alice, and Agatha for […]

Mariah Says:

December 19th, 2010 at 12:09 am

Ignatius Mungo? The kid will get called “Ignorant” throughout his school years.

Laura Says:

August 8th, 2011 at 7:53 am

I actually went to school with a girl who’s middle name was Loveday- they all had fairly upper-class old school names, Lucinda, Letitia and Sophia!

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