Scottish Baby Names: Most Popular in 2018
Though many names closely match choices in the rest of the English-speaking world, there is a distinctly Scottish flavour in the likes of Rory/Ruaridh, Finlay, Brodie, Arran, Angus, Hamish, Fraser, Murray, Innes, Callan, Eilidh, Skye, Iona and Cara.
Notable Risers in the Top 100
Ada – Stealing the headlines, sweet Victorian darling Ada rose a massive 77 places to #72 in 2018. It’s little wonder really, given that this cupcake name fits the 100-year-rule nicely whilst also sporting strong vowels in a pocket size to rival top 10 choices Isla, Ella, Ava and Aria. The spelling Ayda also saw large gains, rising 142 places to #162.
Aila – Pronounced EYE-la, just like Scottish-island favourite Isla, Aila is a traditional Scandinavian name which derives from Helga. Scotland has long standing historic links with Scandinavian (especially thanks to their proximity) so this could be one reason for its entering the Scottish Top 100, but Aila is also purported to mean “from the strong place” in Scottish Gaelic (via an association with the Gaelic word ail meaning “stone, rock”). Furthermore, Aila is very similar to Ayla, which has been in the Scottish Top 100 since 2011. Though Ayla, too, is traditionally pronounced EYE-la, some in Scotland are opting for AY-la for both Aila and Ayla.
Lena / Louis – The most recent royal babies have had a clear impact on Scottish baby names last year. Louis, despite ranking in the Top 100 of England for over two decades, only ranked in the Scottish Top 100 from 2000-2008 and never got higher than #69. It since has been languishing below, but thanks to little Prince Louis, it has risen in the ranks once again.
Lena Tindall – born just under two months after Prince Louis – has also sparked a Scottish revival of her name. Lena rose sharply in Scotland from 2007, peaking at #95 in 2014. Afterwards, it swiftly declined but has now seen a huge increase of 62 places back to #91.
Lyle – In the rest of Britain, old-school Lyle barely ranks above the Top 1000, but in Scotland it has just made its Top 100 debut. Lyle is an Norman-introduced English surname from del isle “from the island,” or Lille in France, but its success in Scotland most likely is due to its being a traditional Scottish clan name, from the same source.
Rowan – While Rowan is predominantly masculine in England, and especially Wales, Scotland much prefers it for girls. There, it ranks #91, having risen 50 places; for boys it is #156. Another example of this gender-natural UK divide can be seen in Quinn (#95 for girls and #172 for boys in Scotland), which is also more commonly used for boys elsewhere in the UK.
Notable Risers Below the Top 100
Nova/Reeva – Riding on the coat tails of popular Ava, Eva, Cora and Nina, astronomically-inspired Nova has risen 88 places to #113, just ripe to break into the Top 100 in 2019. The similarly styled Reeva rose 56 places to #208, having not seen any use as a given name in Scotland before 2007. The catalyst for this name’s huge rise was the high-profile death of South African model Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, proving that sound really is key to a name’s success.
Vaila – Unlike Isla, Iona, Skye, Harris and Arran, sweet little Vaila has been a relatively overlooked Scottish-island name in recent decades. Derived from an Old Norse name, Valey, possibly meaning “Celt island, battlefield island” or “mighty island,” this pretty Shetland island is now gaining more attention, rising 123 places to #286.
Below is a rundown of the official Top 100 names in Scotland in 2018:
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
on March 23rd, 2019 at 9:57 pm
Lyle and Lena are so underrated despite their simplicity. I’ve had a crush on Rowan as well as some of the Norse god names for a while.
The photo is very sweet!
on March 24th, 2019 at 4:28 am
Is that a Baie woven wrap in the image? 🙂
on March 26th, 2019 at 1:47 am
Beautiful names! My sister is a Rowan. Where is the girls top 100?
leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.