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Poshest Names in Britain, Part 2: Crunching the Numbers

Poshest Names in Britain, Part 2: Crunching the Numbers

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

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.