Poshest Names in Britain, Part 2: Crunching the Numbers

March 28, 2017 Eleanor Nickerson

By Eleanor Nickerson, British Baby Names

My previous post on Posh Name in Britain looked at the names most typically associated with the upper class. Uncommon they may be, but if you are to find them anywhere, it’s among England‘s elite. In this second part, I have been busily crunching data to find the names which as most popular among the upper class.

To try to ascertain which are the most popular names among the British upper classes (in England particularly), I have looked to birth announcements in The Times and The Telegraph – two newspapers which are favoured by the elite to announce family births.

I have collected and analysed all the birth announcements made in The Times in 1984 and 1994, and all the birth announcements made in The Telegraph in 2004 and 2014, directly comparing them with the national statistics in those years for England and Wales.

The results are interesting. Unlike the national Top 100 for England and Wales, the top names in the upper classes have shown little change, showing a stability in style.

With different spellings combined (e.g. Katherine and Catherine), here are the top 10 for The Times/The Telegraph in 1984, 1994, 2004 and 2014 and the corresponding ranks nationally in England and Wales.

 Times 1984  E&W 1984  Times 1994  E&W 1994
Katherine  James 
Sarah  Thomas 
Charlotte  Alexander 
Lucy  Edward 
Sophie  Nicholas 
Victoria  William 
Emily  Charles 
Alexandra  Christopher 
Elizabeth  David 
Laura  Oliver 
Sarah Christopher
Laura James
Gemma David
Emma Daniel
Rebecca Michael
Claire Matthew
Victoria Andrew
Samantha Richard
Rachel Paul
Amy Mark
Katherine James 
Lucy  Alexander 
Sophie  Thomas 
Alice  William 
Charlotte  Charles 
Emily  Oliver 
Olivia  Jack 
Eleanor  George 
Alexandra  Henry 
Isabel  Edward 
Rebecca Thomas
Lauren James
Jessica Jack
Charlotte Daniel
Hannah Matthew
Sophie Ryan
Amy Joshua
Emily Luke
Laura Samuel
Emma Jordan
Telegraph 2004 E&W 2004 Telegraph 2014 E&W 2014
Isabel  William 
Charlotte  Thomas 
Sophie  Alexander 
Alice  Oliver 
Emily  James 
Isabella  Edward 
Lucy  George 
Amelia  Henry 
Katherine  Charles 
Matilda  Harry 
Emily Jack
Ellie Joshua
Jessica Thomas
Sophie James
Chloe Daniel
Olivia Samuel
Lucy Oliver
Charlotte William
Katie Benjamin
Megan Joseph
Emily Henry
Florence William
Matilda Alexander
Poppy Harry
Jemima Edward
Beatrice George
Olivia James
Sophia Benjamin
Alice Frederick
Charlotte Jack
Amelia Oliver
Olivia Jack
Isla Harry
Emily Jacob
Poppy Charlie
Ava Thomas
Isabella George
Jessica Oscar
Lily James
Sophie William

When we look further down the rankings, it is interesting to see how many names in the Times/Telegraph were trendsetters. The likes of Henry, Harry, Hugo, Toby, Sebastian, Frederick, Harriet, Olivia, Amelia, Sophia and Francesca were all in top 50 for Times announcements in 1984 but not at all in the England and Wales top 100 that year. The same can be said for Rory, Archie, Oscar, Isabel/Isabella, Beatrice, Eliza, Matilda and Florence in 1994.
All, years later, moved up into the top 100 nationally.

Below is a breakdown of all the names which appeared in the top 50 in The Times in 1984 and 1994 and The Telegraph in 2004 and 2014 but did not appear in the England and Wales top 100 in those corresponding years.

The names which are starred entered the top 100 nationally at a later date hinting at “filtering down from the top” trend setting.

Alexandra 2014 Lilah 2014 Alastair 1984, 1994 Jasper 2004
Amelie* 2004 Louisa 1984, 1994 Albert* 2004 Jeremy 1984
Annabel* 1984, 1994, 2004 Madeleine 1994 Alfred* 2014 John 2014
Arabella* 1984, 1994, 2014 Margot 2014 Angus 1994, 2004 Julian 1984
Beatrice* 1994, 2004, 2014 Martha* 2004 Archie* 1994 Kit 2004
Beatrix 2014 Matilda* 1994, 2004 Arthur* 2004 Maximilian 1994, 2004, 2014
Camilla 1984, 1994, 2014 Ottilie 2014 Barnaby 2004, 2014 Miles 2004, 2014
Clara* 2014 Penelope* 2014 Benedict 1984, 1994 Milo 2014
Clementine 2014 Philippa 1984, 2014 Caspar 2004 Nicholas 2004
Eliza* 1994 Polly 1994 Christian 2004 Orlando 2014
Eloise 2014 Rosanna 1994 Edmund 1984 Oscar* 1994
Flora 1994, 2004, 2014 Rose* 1994 Felix* 2004, 2014 Peter 2004, 2014
Florence* 1994 Sienna* 2004 Fergus 2014 Ralph 2014
Helena 1994 Sophia* 1984, 1994 Francis 1984 Rory* 1994, 2004
Henrietta 1984, 2014 Tabitha 2004 Frederick * 1984, 1994, 2004 Rufus 2014
Honor 2004 Victoria 2004 Giles 1984 Rupert 1984
India 1994, 2004   Guy 1984, 1994, 2004 Sebastian* 1984, 1994
Iona 2014   Hamish 2004 Theo* 2004
Isabel* 1984, 1994   Harry* 1984 Theodore* 2004
Isabella* 1994   Hector 1994, 2014 Tobias 2004, 2014
Isadora 2014   Henry* 1984 Toby* 1984
Jemima 2004, 2014   Herbert 2014 Tristan 2004
Katherine 2004   Hugh 1994, 2004, 2014 Wilbur 2014
Lara 2014   Hugo* 1984, 1994, 2004 Wilfred 2004, 2014

About the author


Eleanor Nickerson, better known to Nameberry message board visitors as Elea, is a primary school teacher living in Coventry, England and author of the blog British Baby Names.

View all of Elea's articles


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