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Top English Boys’ Names

Top English Boys’ Names

Yesterday we took a look at the long-delayed UK Office for National Statistics’ list of most popular girls’ names in England and Wales for 2008–and now it’s the boys’ turn.  We see many similar patterns across the gender divide, though perhaps even more names in the boy’ column that are less familiar in the US.

The top ten names are:

  1. JACK–#1 for the 13th consecutive year

2. OLIVER*

3. THOMAS

4. HARRY— relecting the popularity of both the younger prince + Harry Potter

5. JOSHUA

6. ALFIE–the name of a perpetually popular BBC TV character

7. CHARLIE

8. DANIEL

9. JAMES

10. WILLIAM

*Note must be made though, that the ONS, like our Social Security Administration, ranks each spelling of a name separately, and if all the spellings of the name Mohammed were totalled, that name would rank in second place, reflecting Britain‘s growing ethnic diversity.

As with their sisters, there are a number of male baby names in the UK top 100 that don’t even appear in the US top 1000 at all.  These include:

ALFIEARCHIEHARVEYTHEOFREDDIELOUIEEWANZAK

Here again, an astonishing number of nickname names–60%! — a couple of which it’s difficult to imagine catching a Virgin trans-Atlantic flight and landing over here–certainly true in the case of Louie.  Another that pops out is Harvey, an upscale Brit favorite rarely considered in the US (except, of course, by some bold nameberryites).

There are some other top English boys’ names that rank much higher up–the followng  are not even in the Top 500 in the US–though some have the potential of catching on:

HARRYLEWISCALLUMFINLEYRHYSTOBYBENLEON–popular all over EuropeHARLEYKIANKIERANBAILEY (now used more for girls in the US)REUBENELLISBILLY

Those new to the Top 100 in 2008 following substantial  leaps:

KIAN — up 436 placesRILEY — up 306 placesJAYDEN — up 281 places (and proving that the cultural exchange works both ways)ASHTON — up 264LOGAN — up 195THEO — up 172LUCA — up 135BLAKE — up 105

And, once again, to complete the picture, here are the top names on neighboring lists:

SCOTLAND

JACKLEWISDANIELLIAMJAMES

NORTHERN IRELAND

JACKMATTHEWDANIELJAMESRYAN

For the full list of the British/Wales top 100, go to: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/Product.asp?vlnk=15282

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.