British Names That Never Crossed the Pond (But Should)
British names and American names are as different as they are alike.
For every name that’s popular on both sides of the Atlantic, there are just as many that are only common in one country. Parents in the US and England and Wales share four girl names and three boy names in their Top 10 lists — Olivia, Amelia, Ava, Mia, Noah, Oliver, and Henry — but other British Top 10 names, like Florence and Harry, are well below the American Top 100.
There are hundreds more names that rank highly in Britain but remain relatively unused in the States. American parents are catching up with some of them — British favorites like Poppy, Freya and Archie have raced up the US charts in recent years — but many are still well below the radar.
We surveyed the list of popular British names to find over 200 British names for girls and British names for boys that we consider undiscovered in the US. Sure, American parents may have heard of these choices, but they’re not using them for their babies in large numbers. This makes them the perfect balance of familiar yet rare.
Vintage British Names
British parents are often the first to revive vintage names: they were ahead of America in bringing back names like Florence, Edith, Arthur and Jasper. Here are more charmingly old-fashioned names that are gaining ground in the UK, but still in limbo elsewhere.
Trendsetting British Names
Some of the hottest names in the UK are ones we can genuinely see getting big in the States soon. The coolest British parents are using these names, and you might like them too.
English Nickname Names
Nicknames as first names are one of the defining features of British style. American parents have fallen in love with Archie, the transatlantic royal name, but there are many more where that came from. Cute, casual, often vintage — here are some popular options you might be missing out on.
Multicultural British Names
Popular British names reflect the diverse languages and cultures of the British Isles. On the charts there are plenty of names of Welsh, Scottish and Irish origin, plus many from Arabic and Muslim culture, Indian languages, Eastern Europe and more. It’s hard to narrow them down, but here are some we believe would travel well to the States.
British Last Names as First Names
If you’re looking for surname-style options beyond familiar favorites like Parker and Cooper, here’s fresh inspiration from the British charts.
Nature and Word British Names
British parents love many of the same nature names as Americans, like Ivy and Oakley, but they also have their own unique favorites. Here are some wild and sweet options you may not have considered.
Long, Lyrical British Names
Parents everywhere are enjoying dramatic, maximalist names, especially for girls. Here are some offbeat ideas from the England and Wales Top 1000:
Short, Sweet British Names
If you like your names short and streamlined, you might just love these mini names on the UK charts.
“Too Soon?” British Names
Ready for some wildcards? In the States, these names are either unfashionably dated, or better known on the opposite sex. But in Britain they’re relatively popular… does that help you see them through fresh eyes?