Unusual British Baby Names: Rare and Refined
Unusual British baby names are famed for their eccentricity as well as for their sophisticated style. It’s a winning combination for adventurous parents and name lovers alike!
If you have a whole afternoon to spare (don’t say we didn’t warn you!) browsing through the latest birth announcements from the London-based Telegraph newspaper is a brilliant way to get unique baby name inspiration with a distinctly British flair.
But if you don’t have a whole afternoon, never fear! We’ve analyzed the announcements from the past year to identify the stylish British names making a splash across the pond right now.
To give you an example of how these names differ from the main England & Wales popularity list, the top 5 first names for girls include two choices outside of the official Top 100: Ottilie (#142 nationally) and Flora (#291). Both were used five times in a population of only 272 baby girls.
And a little further down the list, there are many more names that appear multiple times in the Telegraph announcements, but don’t even make the official Top 1000. Antigone, Araminta, Cosima, Hester, Loveday, Maud and Xenia, to name but a few.
Timeless traditional names top the Telegraph list for boys: Henry, Arthur, Oscar and William were all used ten or more times in the first-name slot.
But some of the other unusual British boy names might surprise you! Wilfred (the name of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s baby son) was used six times as a first name and once as a middle. And Maximilian, Barnaby, Edmund, Guy and Rupert all appeared at least three times in a population of 303 baby boys.
The uncommon British boy names in this list all rank below the Top 100 nationally – and below the Top 500 in the US – but were used multiple times by Telegraph parents.
And then there are the unique British baby names that only appeared once in the Telegraph announcements – and don’t feature at all in the Top 1000 baby names in the US.
Stylish British girl name trends include long yet lively names of Italian and Greek origin, like Allegra, Elettra, Leonora and Nephele. Sweetly clunky vintage girl names are also in style, like Christabel, Georgiana, Prudence and Winifred. And, of course, nickname names are always beloved by the Brits – the quirkier the better! Milou, Posy, Suki and Tiggy are some of our favorite examples in this category.
Girl names hailing from the British Isles, like Eirlys (Welsh for “snowdrop”) and Tamsin (a Cornish feminine form of Thomas), are also in regular use. And, if unique baby names are your thing, they have the added benefit of being virtually unheard of outside the UK.
The unique British boy names here range from cool micro names like Ivo and Zeno to weighty Anglo-Saxon names like Hereward and Wyndham. Family surnames as middle names are also very popular, giving rise to some impressive full name combinations, like Archibald William Lovelace and Orlando Dare Fiteni.
Native British boy names like Welsh Carew, Scottish Hamish and English Kenelm are perfect for those seeking unusual baby names with a British flavor. As are quirky choices with a jaunty rhythm, like Jolyon, Peregrine and Zebedee.
The boy names below only appeared once in the Telegraph announcements, and don’t feature at all in the US Top 1000.
Which are your favorite unusual British baby names? What would you name a boy and girl from these lists?
For the full stats and some amazing name combos and sibling sets from this year’s Telegraph birth announcements, head over to our forums to join the conversation!