Scotland’s Top Baby Names Show Latest Trends
If this sounds familiar, you may remember Scotland released its provisional statistics in December — an annual treat for name lovers who are impatient to see the latest trends. Now that the births from the last few weeks of the year have been added, there are a few changes to the Top 100, and we can also see the full list of every first name given in Scotland last year.
Top 10 names in Scotland
Lots of things are changing right now, but Scottish parents’ favorite names remain the same. Jack holds the top spot for a whopping 12th year running and Olivia for the fourth year. There is only a little change in the rest of the Top 10 names since 2018. For boys, nicknames Charlie and Alfie replace Logan and Alexander, and for girls, Freya and Charlotte oust Aria and Jessica.
Here’s the full Top 10 for 2019:
Back in January we looked at the highest-climbing names in the Top 100, so now let’s take a peek at some names lower down the list that have risen since 2018. Some have only increased by a small number of births, but this can make a big difference on the charts, especially when the name is part of a wider trend.
2019 rank: 233 (19 boys)
2018 rank: 344 (10 boys)
The famous Scottish surname prefix, meaning “son”, makes a brisk and friendly little name in its own right. The English equivalent, Sonny, rose 43 places too.
2019 rank: 296 (12 boys)
2018 rank: 433 (7 boys)
This Scottish surname feels more down-to-earth than Monroe. It would make a good choice for outdoorsy types, as the highest mountain peaks in Scotland are known as Munros.
2019 rank: 206 (20 girls)
2018 rank: 449 (7 girls)
With its resemblance to popular liquid-sounding names like Nora and Lola, it’s not surprising Nola has is soaring all over the English-speaking world. In Scotland it has extra significance as a short form of Fionnuala.
2019 rank: 224 (18 girls)
2018 rank: 809 (3 girls)
This is the fastest-rising girl name in Scotland, and it’s hot in the States too. Between the popularity of Roman for boys and Remi for girls, Romi feels like the inevitable next development.
2019 rank: 320 (11 boys)
2018 rank: 595 (4 boys)
Ruaraidh is part of a trend for Rory (which is in the Top 10) and its many Gaelic spellings. Ruairi, Ruairidh, Ruaridh and Ruari all rose in 2019 too.
2019 rank: 322 (11 girls)
2018 rank: 680 (4 girls)
Sweet and offbeat, this Gaelic name had a wave of popularity in the US in the 1920s, but hasn’t been rediscovered yet. It feels like an unexpected twist on favorites like Eva and Anna.
Trends of the decade
What if we compare 2019 with 2009? Just like in other countries, the pace of change is slow at the top of the lists. More than half the names in the 2019 Top 100 were also there in 2009.
However, some names have risen out of nowhere. These names were not used at all in 2009, but were given to 10 or more children in 2019:
The following names were used only 1-3 times in 2009, but were given to 20 or more children in 2019, putting them roughly in the Top 200:
As in other countries, baby names in Scotland are tending ever more towards individuality. The most popular names are not used as much as they were 10 years ago: in 2019 38% of boys and 36% of girls were given a Top 50 name. In 2009, that was 47% of boys and 43% of girls.
The pool of names is also growing year by year. In 2019, for every 100 babies born there were 14.1 different boy names (versus 10.5 in 2009) and 18.1 different girl names (versus 14.5 in 2009).
Let’s finish by looking at some notable names only used once in Scotland last year. From a choice of thousands, we’ve whittled it down to an alphabet from each list.
Argyll (a region of Scotland)
Uilleam (the Gaelic form of William)
Caledonia (Latin name for Scotland)
Dalriada (a medieval kingdom)
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