Unusual British Baby Names

May 12, 2014 Pamela Redmond
British baby names

The British are known as much for their eccentricity as for their conventionality, two stereotypes evidenced in the unusual British baby names from the recent birth announcements in the London Telegraph.

Yes, there are plenty of boys with the traditional British names Henry and Oliver and lots of girls called the Number 1 Amelia and the very proper Charlotte.

Sometimes, the two images cross, with the same eccentric (to American ears, at least) names being used so often they begin to feel conventional.  The first three months of 2014, for instance, seem to be rife with girls named Matilda and Ottilie and boys named every variation of Fred: Frederick and Wilfred and Alfred and Freddie.

But what we’re focusing on today are the truly unusual British names, the one-offs and the unusual choices that may prove fashion forward or may just be evidence of the infamous British wackiness.  These eccentric new names fall into several different camps.

The first and largest might be thought of as the mainstream eccentric British names, such as:

Several of the fresh and unusual British names are nickname-names, so popular in the UK now.  From the current birth announcements these are:

and Boys




Another category of unusual names from the birth announcements are names from the British isles that transcend style —  Scottish or Irish or Welsh or English names that are neither in nor out of fashion but stand apart from the crowd.  These include:

Unique British Baby Names




Iona (the only girls’ name in this bunch)





Then there are those names from other cultures, usually European but a few Asian as well.  These may have genuine family connections or just appeal on the basis of travel or culture.  These include:

I also want to make note of the unusual number of boys’ names that start with the letter R, including:









Also of note for boys are two names, Brook and Aubrey, that (in the U.S. at least) have largely migrated to the girls’ side; good to see them moving back.

Image from the excellent British children’s clothing store Elfie London.


best baby names

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About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles


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