Category: popular Scottish names
By Abby Sandel
Last week we looked at Irish baby names. This week, we turn our attention to all names Scottish. The new Scottish baby name statistics for 2016 were just released, making it the perfect moment to dive into the data.
While Irish names have been white hot in the US for decades, Scottish choices remained relatively rare until recent years. Now a handful of these are racing up the popularity charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
The good news for American parents in love with all things Scottish? Many others remain undiscovered gems in the US.
Sharp-eyed readers will notice some overlap between our Irish and Scottish lists. That’s thanks to the shared Gaelic roots of the two languages.
Here are the popular Scottish baby names currently in the US Top 1000. That doesn’t mean they’re wildly popular, though. Just two of these Scottish baby names crack the US Top 100!
We’ve been keeping a pretty close watch on English and Irish birth announcements, but it’s been a while since we’ve checked out the Scottish.
Traditional Scottish names still prevail—for boys lots of Calums and Callums, Finlays, Camerons, Lewises and Murrays, along with Jacks, Gabriels, Charlies and Aarons. For girls, Charlotte, Chloe, Eva, Leah and Lily seem to be particular favorites, as are increasing numbers of little Maisies and Daisys. And nickname names continue to flourish for both boys and girls.
So here, from across the country—Arbroath to Berwick to Perth to the Isle of Lewis, are some of the more interesting names and combinations that have been announced in Scottish newspapers over the past two months, together with some of their sibs.
Looking through the birth announcements in the Scottish newspapers of the last few months-a site which also sometimes include the regions just below the Scottish border and the Isle of Man–a couple of prominent trends jump out.
First of all it’s the nickname names, which right now seem to be even more prevalent in Scotland than in England, for both girls and boys, with a plethora of Ellies and Evies, Alfies and Archies. Here is a list of recent ones, with some of the middle names attached to them (separated by slashes):
One of the downsides–admittedly a fairly minor one–to living in such a heavily populated country as the U.S. is that it takes the Social Security Administration five months to tally up the year’s baby name stats, while some states and other countries put out their results even before the New Year’s Eve ball drops on Times Square.
The full UK report will be arriving any day now, but in the interim, there’s a survey of 380,000 babies born in Britain in 2008 that can give us some strong clues. For girls, the Top 5 names are Olivia, Ruby, Grace, Emily, and Jessica, with a noteworthy number of nickname names further down–Evie, Katie, Ellie, Millie, Gracie, Rosie, Abbie and Tilly. Names hot over there that haven’t taken off to the same degree here: Freya, Poppy, Imogen, Niamh and Maisie. And those rising fastest? Isla, Summer and Ava.
For British boys, Jack is #1, as it has been for 14 years, followed by Oliver, Harry, Alfie and Charlie. Royal names–such as George, William and James–continue to rule, and nickname names, in addition to Alfie and Charlie, are popular with this gender too, as in Archie, Jamie, Freddie, Joe and Billy. The boys’ names heard more there than here: Lewis, Harvey and Kian. Theo was the fastest climber of the boys.
Scotland has released its official list, with Sophie, Emily, Olivia, Chloe and Emma, and Jack, Lewis, Daniel, Liam and James in the lead. Some traditional Scottish favorites continued to hold their own, including Isla, Logan, Cameron, Gregor, Kyle, Finlay , Ewan and Angus. To go somewhat farther afield, in New South Wales, the most populous part of Australia, the Top 5 for girls were Mia, Chloe, Isabella, Emily and Olivia; for boys it was Jack (fifth year in a row), William, Lachlan, Joshua and Cooper, while the starbaby influence was felt in the presence of names like Shiloh, Suri, Sunday, Honour (as it’s spelled there), and even Bronx. In Japan, the top girls’ names were Aoi, Yui and Rin; for boys Hiroto, Ren and Yuto.
One US state that has weighed in early is Arizona, where the top names were Anthony and Isabella. Several Hispanic names appeared on the boys’ list: Angel at #2, and Jose, Jesus and Luis in the Top 20. The registrar of Oakland County, Michigan, which includes several Detroit suburbs, is obviously a name buff. Among the groupings she noted in her area: Harmony and Melody; Hope, Faith, Charity and Unity; London, Paris, Phoenix, Aspen, Georgia, Austin, Savannah and Brooklyn; Zinnia, Rose, Lily, Ivy and Violet, and a contingent of ancients: Julius, Marcus, Cassius, Leonidas, Athena and Adonis.
We’ll keep you posted as more results come in.