Category: Isla

I-Initial Names: Eyes on the ‘I’s’

Now that Isabella is #2 on the list of most popular girls’ names, Isaac and Isaiah are in the Top 50 for boys, and names like Isla are heating up, we’re wondering if the letter ‘I’ just might be in line to become the next vowel du jour, moving up on ‘A’ and ‘E’.

This didn’t seem a very likely prospect a few years ago, when, as recently as  1995, there wasn’t a single name starting with ‘I’ in the Top 100.  On the plus side, this means that there is a whole letter-full of neglected, waiting to be discovered, rediscovered and ready-to-be imported names.  And it’s a nice initial for a child to have, straight and strong and tied up with identity and ego.

The following girls names are the most fashion forward, either already being appreciated or else on the cusp:

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The top English girls’ names for the current year are listed on Nameberry here. You can also see popularity statistics for English names on the individual name pages.

English name standings have not been published consistently every year. At the beginning of 2009, the UK ‘s Office for National Statistics let it be known that they wouldn’t be issuing their annual lists of most popular names due to recessional budget cuts, and a collective moan was heard across the name-o-sphere.  (Can you imagine what would happen if our Social Security list didn’t appear one Mother’s Day?)

Well, I don’t know what happened–maybe the uproar was too deafening–but suddenly,  nine months later, their lists of top 100 boys and 100 girls names  in England and Wales have now materialized.  Definitely a case of better late than never.

Once upon a time I used to think that, since we share the same language, the Yanks and the Brits would have similar taste in names.  That was before I married a Brit myself and it came to naming our daughter, when I saw just how different our perceptions of most names were.  And though things have evened out to some degree with the rise of the Internet and the international sharing of opinions, looking at the top English girls’ names today (we’ll take up the boys’ next week), we can see that there is still quite a divide. 

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Back in February, a topic was posted on the Girls’ Names section of our Message Boards suggesting that people list their current Top Ten favorite names for girls, and it’s been running ever since.  What’s especially nice about this for us is that  it’s given Pam and me a fascinating look into the specific likes and loves of the nameberry community.  After all, for a long time, through our books and on the site,  you’ve gotten to know our opinions on both general categories of names and specific examples–and now the tables have been turned.

And we’re so gratified to see that we’re almost universally in synch (we’ll be dealing with dislikes and ‘heresies’ tomorrow), and that for the most part you love the names we love, affirming  to us that we have the most enlightened, most thoughtful, most tasteful, group of name lovers in existence.

Proof to us was in the pudding of names that showed up most frequently on your Top Ten lists, all possessing both substance and style.  So even though the thread is still alive, I couldn’t resist tallying up the Top Names of the Top Tens to date.

The most popular three are, in order:




Followed by:


DELILAH, and then:


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