The 100+ Poshest Names in Britain
Posh British baby names are famed for their characteristic quirk and charm. Delightfully extravagant combinations such as Cleo Isobel Loveday and Alexander Rassie Ridgeway (to be known as "Beetle") pepper the birth announcement pages of the London-based Telegraph newspaper.
(To generate your very own Telegraph-worthy name combination, take our fun quiz: What's Your Posh Name?)
Of course, the poshest people in Britain arguably have the most ordinary names: Elizabeth, Charles, William, Catherine, George. But the controversial term “posh” encompasses far more than just status or lineage.
Love it or loathe it – and I tend to come down on the latter side – it’s a very popular shorthand for a very particular style: rare, rarefied, refined… and yes, maybe a little bit pompous or pretentious.
So, what are the posh names of the moment? The choices that exemplify that oh-so-British blend of elegance and eccentricity?
We analyzed the Telegraph announcements from the past year to reveal what’s hot and what’s not among the British upper classes.
Posh British Girl Names
The most popular first names for girls provide a perfect snapshot of how different the Telegraph rankings are from the official popular British names charts.
Florence (#8 nationally) was the top pick for Telegraph parents last year, with seven uses in a population of 204 baby girls.
But joint second with six births apiece were Poppy (#17 nationally) and Ottilie/Ottalie, which ranks all the way down at #118 in the latest official data in its dominant spelling.
They were followed by Amelia, used five times. And then, with four births each, came Eleanor, Isabelle/Isobel, Ruby, Sophia/Sofia and Clementine – the latter way down at #175 in the national data.
Head a little further down the list and you’ll find many more stylish British girl names that were used multiple times by Telegraph parents in the first or middle slot, yet rank below the official Top 100.
Posh British Boy Names
The most popular Telegraph first names for boys also include several choices absent from the national Top 100, but the very top picks remain the classics.
The top spot this year was claimed by distinguished classic Frederick, with ten uses in a population of 248 baby boys. Popular short form Freddie was also given three times in its own right.
Longstanding British favorites Arthur, Henry and Rory tied for second place, with nine uses each. And up-and-comer Theodore/Theodor was used eight times.
As well as classics like George, Thomas, Alexander and Edward, among the rarer names given to at least four baby boys this year were Alfred (#80 nationally), Hector (#257) and Wilfred (#147).
A little further down the charts you’ll find a treasure trove of distinguished British boy names below the official Top 100, but used multiple times by Telegraph parents.
Unique British Girl Names
Even more enticing are the unique British names which appeared in just one birth announcement from the past year and also rank below the Top 1000 baby names in England and Wales.
On the girls' side, these rarities range from neglected mythological names like Antigone, Cleone and Pandora to sweet and quirky nicknames as given names, like Essie, Phenie and Posey.
Also making the list are several beautiful girl names hailing from the British Isles, like Fenella, Loveday and Morven.
These lovely choices are rare even in their native land, but virtually unheard of elsewhere – making them ideal for parents looking for truly unique girl names with a long and legitimate history.
Unique British Boy Names
The unique Telegraph boy names this year featured a whole host of dashing family surnames given as middle names – a tradition amongst the British upper classes.
Some of our favorite examples include Arundel, Fitzgerald, Templer and Weymont – all bold but wearable, even in the first name slot.
Other popular styles with the latest crop of Telegraph parents are weighty ancient names like Augustus, Balthazar and Thaddeus, and international gems like Aubert, Kazimir and Riou.
And it’s notable how many jaunty O-ending names make the list too: Ludo, Marceau, Pietro, Tassilo and Veikko all feel delightfully eccentric, but not too esoteric, with kindergartens around the country full of little Leos, Theos, Arlos and Milos.
To see the full list of Telegraph names 2022 – as well as some of the most intriguing full names, sibling names, and twin and triplet names of the year – join the discussion our forums.