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The 100+ Poshest Names in Britain

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?)

Posh Names

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.

  1. Alba

  2. Allegra

  3. Artemis

  4. Augusta

  5. Beatrix

  6. Cecily

  7. Clementine

  8. Clio

  9. Cordelia

  10. Cosima

  11. Cressida

  12. Daphne

  13. Flora

  14. Henrietta

  15. Honor

  16. India

  17. Jemima

  18. Johanna

  19. Leonora

  20. Martha

  21. Ottilie

  22. Philippa

  23. Romilly

  24. Sybil

  25. Tallulah

  26. Theodora

  27. Thomasina

  28. Vita

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.

  1. Alastair

  2. Algernon

  3. Ambrose

  4. Atticus

  5. Augustus

  6. Balthazar

  7. Barnaby

  8. Bartholomew

  9. Basil

  10. Bertram

  11. Caspar

  12. Cosmo

  13. Digby

  14. Edgar

  15. Ernest

  16. Hamish

  17. Hector

  18. Humphrey

  19. Ignatius

  20. Ivor

  21. Jago

  22. Jonty

  23. Leopold

  24. Magnus

  25. Maximilian

  26. Merlin

  27. Montgomery

  28. Orlando

  29. Percy

  30. Rafe

  31. Rafferty

  32. Rex

  33. Rollo

  34. Spencer

  35. Valentine

  36. Wilfred

  37. Wolf

  38. Xavier

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.

  1. Amaryllis

  2. Araminta

  3. Bonibel

  4. Boudicca

  5. Catinka

  6. Constantia

  7. Delphine

  8. Estella

  9. Eugenie

  10. Eulalia

  11. Fenella

  12. Harriette

  13. Hero

  14. Ione

  15. Loveday

  16. Lucinda

  17. Minerva

  18. Pandora

  19. Patience

  20. Rhiannon

  21. Rosamond

  22. Tamsin

  23. Tiggy

  24. Topsy

  25. Tullia

  26. Vaila

  27. Venetia

  28. Veryan

  29. Xanthia

  30. Zennor

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.

  1. Achilles

  2. Aimé

  3. Arundell

  4. Beaumont

  5. Byng

  6. Campbell

  7. Cecil

  8. Constantine

  9. Devereaux

  10. Evelyn

  11. Falcon

  12. Ferdinand

  13. Fitzjohn

  14. Gilbert

  15. Giles

  16. Gustav

  17. Horatio

  18. Italo

  19. Ives

  20. Jocelyn

  21. Laszlo

  22. Ludo

  23. Marceau

  24. Mungo

  25. Penrose

  26. Percival

  27. Peregrine

  28. Ranulph

  29. Sirocco

  30. Somerled

  31. St John

  32. Tennyson

  33. Vere

  34. Willoughby

  35. Winslow

  36. Wolfgang

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.

About the Author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from the baby names to watch in 2022 to how not to choose the next big baby name. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active forums community ticking. A linguist by background, Emma speaks several languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and four young children. You can reach her at emma@nameberry.com.