Most Popular Scottish Baby Names Here and There
By Abby Sandel
Last week we looked at Irish baby names. This week, we turn our attention to Scottish baby names. The new Scottish baby name statistics for 2016 were just released, making it the perfect moment to dive into the data.
While Irish names have been white hot in the US for decades, Scottish choices remained relatively rare until recent years. Now a handful of these are racing up the popularity charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
The good news for American parents in love with all things Scottish? Many others remain undiscovered gems in the US.
Sharp-eyed readers will notice some overlap between our Irish and Scottish lists. That’s thanks to the shared Gaelic roots of the two languages.
Here are the popular Scottish baby names currently in the US Top 1000. That doesn’t mean they’re wildly popular, though. Just two of these Scottish baby names crack the US Top 100!
Annabel/Annabelle, #169 girls – It’s said that the Scots first reimagined the medieval Amabel into Annabel, sometime in the Middle Ages. Americans prefer this name spelled Annabelle, a Top 100 favorite in the US.
Lachlan, #92 boys – A traditional Scottish favorite for boys, it’s only recently made inroads in the US.
All in all, there’s very little overlap between the most popular lists when it comes to Scottish names. But that’s not true of names overall. Ava and Emily, Noah and Oliver are almost equally popular here and there. The Top Names in Scotland – Jack and Olivia – feel right at home in the US, too.
Now let’s look at popular Scottish names that American parents have yet to discover:
Iona #75 – Another Scottish island name.
Mhairi #240 – (MA-ree or VA-ree) – Yet another form of the enduring Mary.
Do you have a favorite Scottish baby name?
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on March 23rd, 2017 at 7:50 am
For some reason I always thought Fraser would be cute for a girl- maybe because it means strawberry? I don’t know but I think it would be adorable with a ultra feminine middle, like Fraser Catherine or Fraser Jane
on March 23rd, 2017 at 8:16 am
Ross is my husband’s name and is so rare and awesome!
on March 23rd, 2017 at 9:33 am
on March 23rd, 2017 at 8:14 pm
Elliot! It’s a Scottish clan name meaning “with bravery and right”. Love it, it’s my son’s name.
on March 23rd, 2017 at 9:19 pm
Eilidh is one of my favorites! Only spelled Ilee 🙂 But the Gaelic spelling makes it really cool looking.
Abby Sandel Said
on March 24th, 2017 at 8:21 am
@ARhythmofNames – I was thinking that, too! But Ilee looks a little incomplete to my eye. Aylee would almost inevitably be pronounced with a long A sound. So … Eilee? Eylee? I keep coming back to Eilidh!
on March 24th, 2017 at 9:42 am
Our daughter’s name is Murron we pronounce it muh rhen.. I love her name we live in the USA. We get compliments. I also had Mirren picked.
on March 25th, 2017 at 8:56 am
My friend was named Eilidh despite her parents having absolutely no connection with Scotland or any Gaelic roots. I don’t think anyone has ever pronounced her name right first time while I’ve known her, and the immediate question after she has clarified the pronunciation is ‘What a lovely Irish name’ she then always corrects them to say it’s Scottish. Honestly, I don’t think it’s worth the spelling and pronunciation struggles if you don’t even have any Gaelic roots or connections with the name. Shame, because it really is pretty.
on March 27th, 2017 at 12:23 pm
I’m Scottish and I’ve never ever met someone who spells it Esmee, only Esme. Also, Ciara is the Scottish spelling, and although Lachlan is a Scottish name it is much more common in Australia, I’ve never met a Scottish person called Lachlan. Personally, I love Morven and Catriona.
on April 21st, 2017 at 7:09 pm
Arabella & Angus are my faves.
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