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The 100 Poshest Names in Britain

The 100 Poshest Names in Britain

Here is the first of two posts examining “posh names” in Britain. This first one looks at the names rarely used outside of the upper classes ; the second to follow will examine the most common names.

Posh. It’s a term I dread, and try to avoid whenever I can. You see, it’s a very tetchy and subjective word that brings up all sorts of connotations. To call something “posh” can equally be a compliment of elegance and refinement as much as it can be a derogatory slur of aloofness and pomposity.

But, if I avoid the word to avoid offence, I’m in the minority. “Posh” is so bandied around in Britain, it can mean anything from “pertaining exclusively to the aristocracy” to “a little bit fancy.” Though ironically, the aristocracy to which it usually refers don’t actually use the word.

The fact is, Britain has an upper class, a social elite, who have their own set of habits, preferences and even names. Some names are so indicative, that you may assume as person is aristocratic just from their names. I didn’t need to know anything about fashion editor Pandora Sykes, to guess that she was upper class (sure enough, she is the granddaughter of Lord Buxton of Alsa) because Pandora is one of those delightfully eccentric names from classical mythology that has been used by the aristocracy for centuries

Almost legendary in recent years are the likes of twins Biggles George Fittleworth and Posie Betsy Winifred and their big sister Tuppence; Wulfstan Wallace and his sisters Dorothy, Cleopatra and Elektra; sisters Mimi Magenta Poodle and Ruby Rhapsody Panda; Samuel Badger, who goes by Badger ….  I could go on and on, they’re so delightfully eccentric.

The following 100 names are the names most indicative of the upper class in Britain over the last thirty years based on peerage birth announcements compared with national statistics.In other words, these names are uncommon choices in Britain except for among the upper class where they are well used.

Girl Names

  1. Allegra

  2. Anoushka

  3. Antonia

  4. Atalanta

  5. Arabella

  6. Araminta

  7. Artemis

  8. Augusta

  9. Calypso

  10. Camilla

  11. Candida

  12. Cecily

  13. Claudia

  14. Clarissa

  15. Coco

  16. Cordelia

  17. Cosima

  18. Flora

  19. Hebe

  20. Henrietta

  21. Hero

  22. India

  23. Iona

  24. Jemima

  25. Kinvara

  26. Kitty

  27. Leonora

  28. Lettice

  29. Loveday

  30. Lucinda

  31. Marina

  32. Maud

  33. Miranda

  34. Octavia

  35. Oenone

  36. Olympia

  37. Ophelia

  38. Ottilie

  39. Pandora

  40. Perdita/Purdy

  41. Primrose

  42. Romilly

  43. Rosalind

  44. Rosamund

  45. Tabitha

  46. Tatiana

  47. Theodora

  48. Venetia

  49. Verity

  50. Xanthe

Boy Names

  1. Algernon/Algy

  2. Archibald

  3. Aubrey

  4. Augustus

  5. Barnaby

  6. Benedict

  7. Bertram

  8. Casper

  9. Caspian

  10. Cosmo

  11. Digby

  12. Fabian

  13. Felix

  14. Fergus

  15. Giles

  16. Guy

  17. Hector

  18. Horatio

  19. Hugo

  20. Humphrey

  21. Inigo

  22. Ivo

  23. Jago

  24. Jocelyn

  25. Jonty

  26. Kit

  27. Leopold

  28. Ludovic/Ludo

  29. Lysander

  30. Magnus

  31. Marmaduke

  32. Montague

  33. Montgomery

  34. Mungo

  35. Orlando

  36. Otto

  37. Ralph/Rafe

  38. Rollo

  39. Rufus

  40. Rupert

  41. Tarquin

  42. Tobias

  43. Torquil

  44. Tristan

  45. Tristram

  46. Sholto

  47. St John

  48. Wilbur

  49. Wilfred

  50. Willoughby

Disclaimer: These names aren’t exclusively used by the British upper classes, and the upper classes don’t only use these names. However, these names have been statistically more common among the peerage compared with nationally in the last thirty years.

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.