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Scottish Baby Names: Most Popular in 2018

Scottish Baby Names: Most Popular in 2018

by Eleanor Nickerson, British Baby Names

Racing ahead of the rest of the UK when it comes to timely releasing its data, this week, Scotland published its full list of Scottish baby names registered in 2018.

Sticking with tradition, the Top 5 saw little change. Olivia remained in the #1 spot for the third year running, and Jack –determined not not be bested – has been at #1 since 2008.

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

Bear/Fox – These two swift and stylish animal names have both seen huge leaps in Scotland last year. Bear rose 909 places to #392, and Fox gained 785 places to #516.

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.

Odin / Thor – With Freya at #13, perhaps it isn’t surprising that Scots are looking to other gods from the Norse pantheon. Odin rose 120 places to #232 and Thor rose 706 places to #595.

Vaila – Unlike Isla, Iona, SkyeHarris 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.

Speaking of V place names, one little Scottish girl received the name Veyatie – as in Loch Veyatie in north-west Scotland – last year.

Other Scottish baby names that made notable gains in 2018 include: Albie, Archibald, Chester, Cillian, Kylo, Miller, Alex (g), Ariella, Norah, Remi and Winter/Wynter.

Below is a rundown of the official Top 100 names in Scotland in 2018:

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53

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62

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64

67

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77

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79

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81

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82

82

85

85

85

85

89

89

89

92

93

93

95

95

97

97

97

100

Jack

Oliver

James

Logan

Leo

Lewis

Alexander

Harris

Noah

Rory

Charlie

Harry

Lucas

Jacob

Thomas

Alfie

Archie

Max

Finlay

Finn

Adam

Daniel

Ethan

Mason

Brodie

Joshua

Theo

Cameron

Oscar

Hunter

Aaron

Callum

William

Liam

Matthew

Jaxon

Harrison

Freddie

Ollie

Jamie

Caleb

Nathan

Luke

Muhammad

Jude

Arthur

Arran

Luca

Angus

Carter

Connor

Dylan

George

Blake

Robert

Arlo

Samuel

Hamish

Jackson

Cole

Ryan

Andrew

David

Fraser

Joseph

Kai

Isaac

Michael

Reuben

Leon

Aidan

Benjamin

Blair

Riley

Ben

John

Josh

Murray

Sam

Grayson

Cooper

Callan

Elijah

Jake

Alex

Innes

Louis

Ruaridh

Owen

Tommy

Tyler

Henry

Elliot

Lyle

Jayden

Kayden

Aiden

Frankie

Gabriel

Jax

0

0

0

+1

+4

-2

+1

0

-3

+7

+3

-1

+3

-1

+5

-5

+2

+6

-7

+5

+1

0

+3

-6

+7

+5

+1

-5

+1

38

-16

+2

+0

+8

-7

+7

-2

+7

+2

0

-4

-13

0

-8

-7

+43

+12

+54

-2

+19

-1

+2

+2

+1

+13

+5

-18

+5

+1

-6

-10

-12

-8

+9

-3

+1

-22

-2

+8

+6

+12

-16

+4

-27

+4

-13

+5

-2

+6

+41

-28

+39

+50

+10

+19

+4

+23

-14

-16

+47

-5

+5

-12

+37

-15

+9

-26

+45

+19

-15

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81

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89

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91

95

95

95

95

95

95

Olivia

Emily

Isla

Sophie

Amelia

Ella

Ava

Grace

Aria

Jessica

Charlotte

Sophia

Freya

Lucy

Lily

Evie

Harper

Ellie

Eilidh

Mia

Millie

Anna

Emma

Ruby

Maisie

Rosie

Georgia

Eva

Chloe

Poppy

Orla

Holly

Hannah

Erin

Willow

Ivy

Mila

Esme

Layla

Sofia

Isabella

Robyn

Sienna

Skye

Zara

Alice

Maya

Emilia

Daisy

Katie

Niamh

Amber

Rose

Molly

Zoe

Abigail

Iona

Leah

Hallie

Thea

Gracie

Lilly

Hollie

Imogen

Cara

Ayla

Cora

Elsie

Bella

Phoebe

Summer

Ada

Bonnie

Julia

Amelie

Brooke

Matilda

Callie

Maria

Piper

Darcy

Luna

Lola

Aila

Lexi

Rebecca

Hope

Penelope

Kayla

Rowan

Clara

Georgie

Lena

Sadie

Aurora

Eden

Florence

Nina

Quinn

Violet

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+2

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+5

+1

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+1

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+1

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+2

+3

-1

+4

+1

+5

+5

+14

+10

-3

-7

-1

-4

-1

-14

0

+11

+22

+15

+8

-6

+3

-6

+8

-9

-6

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+1

-7

-10

+9

-14

+12

+1

-7

-3

+26

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+12

-3

+5

-11

+7

+16

+29

-4

+62

+3

-5

-12

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+77

+67

+15

+45

+13

+1

+10

-10

+41

+22

-4

+5

+31

-31

-23

+14

+1

+26

+50

+7

+5

+62

-6

+1

+40

+8

-1

+13

-7

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.