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British Names That Never Crossed the Pond

May 29, 2020 Clare Green
British names

British names and American names are as different as they are alike.

If that statement is confusing, consider that parents in both the US and in England and Wales share six girl names and two for boys in their Top 10 lists. Favored by both nations are Olivia, Ava, Isabella, Sophia, Mia and Amelia for girls, Noah and Oliver for boys.

There are hundreds more names that rank among the Top 1000 in both Britain and the US, and then there are hundreds more that remain relatively undiscovered by the other country.

We surveyed the Top 1000 British baby names to find 180 unique names — 90 British names for girls and 90 British names for boys — that we consider undiscovered in the US. Sure, American parents may have heard many of these names, but they’re not using them in the same numbers as British parents for their babies.

The main types of English baby names undiscovered in the US are:

English nickname names

British parents are much fonder than American parents of using nicknames as proper names, with Ralphie and Reggie, Honey and Hettie among the Top 1000 names in England and Wales.

Native English names

Names native to Wales, Ireland, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe appear on the British popular names list, yet are virtually unknown in the US. Among these are Arwen and Owain, Lowri and Laith.

Vintage British names

Antique names are in style on both sides of the ocean, but not always the same vintage names. Vintage choices more popular in Britain include Primrose and Percy, Persephone and Montague.

Of course, there are also some unique British baby names that don’t fit neatly into any of these categories. And a few that are discovered in the US, like Hadley, but for the opposite gender.

Here, 180 baby names — 90 for girls and 90 for boys — that rank among the British Top 1000, but are rare in the US:

British Girl Names

Aida
Alba
Amal
Aoife
Arla
Arwen
Beau
Bethan
Billie
Blossom
Bobbie
Caoimhe
Carys
Cassie
Cerys
Ciara
Coco
Connie
Darcy
Dolly
Dottie
Eira
Elif
Elodie
Elspeth
Enya
Esmae
Fern
Ffion
Fleur
Georgiana
Georgina
Giulia
Harriet
Hermione
Hettie
Honey
Ida
Indiana
Indigo
Inaya
Ines
Iona
Isobel
Isra
Iyla
Jemima
Jorgie
Keziah
Khadija
Kitty
Lavinia
Leonie
Lilia
Lottie
Lowri
Lula
Martina
Minnie
Neave
Nela
Nellie
Ocean
Orlaith
Ottilie
Peggy
Persephone
Philippa
Pixie
Polly
Primrose
Priya
Roisin
Rae
Roma
Romilly
Ronnie
Roxanne
Saffron
Saskia
Seren
Tabitha
Tia
Tilly
Una
Verity
Winifred
Xanthe
Zaynab
Zoya

English Boy Names

Albie
Andreas
Angus
Archibald
Aston
Bailey
Barnaby
Bertie
Brogan
Bryn
Buddy
Caio
Cassian
Chester
Cian
Cillian
Coby
Dawud
Denny
Dion
Emil
Emrys
Eren
Ernie
Ewan
Faris
Fergus
Finlay
Fraser
Gethin
Griff
Guy
Hadley
Hamish
Harris
Henley
Herbert
Hughie
Huw
Igor
Ioan
Ivor
Jago
Jai
Jenson
Jovan
Kenzie
Kit
Krish
Laith
Leyton
Lloyd
Lorcan
Macsen
Montague
Monty
Mylo
Ned
Niall
Ollie
Orson
Osian
Osman
Owain
Paddy
Percy
Qasim
Rafe
Rafferty
Reggie
Rio
Robin
Rome
Roscoe
Ruairi
Rufus
Rupert
Sami
Saxon
Shay
Simeon
Sultan
Teddie
Tudor
Vinnie
Vlad
Wilfred
Woody
Zayan
Ziggy

About the author

Clare Green

Clare Green writes Nameberry's weekly round-up of the latest baby name news, including celebrity announcements, unusual naming stories, and new statistics from around the world . Clare, who has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, lives in England, where she has worked in libraries and studies linguistics. You can follow her personally on Instagram and Twitter.

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