The 100+ Poshest Names in Britain
Posh British baby names are famed for their characteristic quirk and charm. Delightfully extravagant combinations such as Theodore Wolf St Clair and Lyra Veryan Tiger 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, Harry, 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 Top 5 first names for girls provide a perfect snapshot of just how different the Telegraph rankings are from the official popular British names charts.
Charlotte (#20 nationally) was the top pick for Telegraph parents, with nine uses in a population of 248 baby girls. It was followed by stylish vintage star Margot (#80), used six times.
But the next three slots were taken by names that don’t even feature in the national Top 100: Annabel/Annabelle (#282/105), Flora (#316) and India (#200), with five uses each.
Rounding out the Top 10 were Alice, Arabella, Astrid, Clementine, Freya, Lara, Lily, Olivia and Ottilie, used four times apiece.
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 well below the official Top 100.
Posh British Boy Names
The Telegraph Top 10 first names for boys also include several choices absent from the national Top 100, but the most popular picks remain the classics.
The top spot this year was held jointly by Henry and Theodore, with 12 uses each in a population of 304 baby boys. Vintage favorite Arthur received 11 uses, Rory and its variants Ruaraidh and Rhori were used ten times in total, and William rounded out the Top 5 with nine births.
Also in the Top 10 were Frederick, Wilfred (#145 nationally), Alexander, Hector (#269), George, Charles, Hugo and Rupert (#106) – all given to at least five baby boys.
A little further down the charts you’ll find a treasure trove of distinguished British boy names well below the official Top 100, but used multiple times by Telegraph parents. Notable styles include weighty ancient names like Augustus, Leopold and Maximilian, and quirky native picks like Hamish, Merlin and Jago.
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 the UK.
On the girls' side, these rarities range from neglected mythological names like Boudicca, Hero and Minerva to sweet and quirky nicknames as given names, like Tiggy and Topsy (full name: Topsy Malory!)
Also making the list are several beautiful girl names hailing from the British Isles, like Fenella, Loveday, Rhiannon, Tamsin, Vaila, Veryan and Zennor. 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 Beaumont, Devereaux, Fitzjohn and Penrose – all bold but wearable, even in the first name slot.
Other popular styles with the latest crop of Telegraph parents are weighty ancient and mythological names like Achilles, Constantine and Percival, and undiscovered nature names like Falcon, Peregrine and Sirocco.
And it’s notable how many jaunty O-ending names make the list too: Horatio, Italo, Laszlo, Ludo, Marceau, Mungo and Winslow 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 2021 – as well as some of the most intriguing full names, sibling names and twin names of the year – join the discussion our forums.