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Top English Girls’ Names: Who Are The Most Popular?

Top English Girls’ Names: Who Are The Most Popular?

The top English girls’ names for the current year are listed on Nameberry here. You can also see popularity statistics for English names on the individual name pages.

English name standings have not been published consistently every year. At the beginning of 2009, the UK ‘s Office for National Statistics let it be known that they wouldn’t be issuing their annual lists of most popular British names due to recessional budget cuts, and a collective moan was heard across the name-o-sphere.  (Can you imagine what would happen if our Social Security list didn’t appear one Mother’s Day?)

Well, I don’t know what happened–maybe the uproar was too deafening–but suddenly,  nine months later, their lists of top 100 boys and 100 girls names  in England and Wales have now materialized.  Definitely a case of better late than never.

Once upon a time I used to think that, since we share the same language, the Yanks and the Brits would have similar taste in names.  That was before I married a Brit myself and it came to naming our daughter, when I saw just how different our perceptions of most names were.  And though things have evened out to some degree with the rise of the Internet and the international sharing of opinions, looking at the top English girls’ names today (we’ll take up the boys’ next week), we can see that there is still quite a divide. 

The top ten names , with one exception, aren’t that different:

OLIVIA*RUBYEMILYGRACEJESSICACHLOESOPHIELILYAMELIAEVIE

*Note: If all the different versions of Isabel /Isabella were added together, it would be #1.

The exception, of course, is  Evie , which is only #853 in America, and is indicative of further discrepancies moving down  the rest of the   What’s especially interesting are the number of names in the UK top 100 that don’t even appear in the US top 1000 at all!  These include:

MILLIEFREYAPOPPYIMOGENMAISIEROSIENIAMHHARRIETHOLLIETILLYFLORENCEESME

One thing that jumps out is the stronger representation of nickname names–5 out of 10.  And also the popularity of names that are still seen as cutting edge on this side of the Atlantic: Poppy, Imogen, Esme, as well as  a couple that are still considered too old fashioned by most American parents (nameberryites being the exception)–Harriet and Florence.

Here are some other top English girls’ names that rank much higher up –these are not even in the Top 500 in the US–but do have a good chance of  rising soon:

ISLAMATILDAISABELAMELIELIBBYEVEEMILIA

THOSE NEW TO THE TOP 100 AFTER TAKING  THE MOST STARTLING LEAPS:

LEXI — up 4917 placesLEXIE — up 4911AMELIE –up 2641SIENNA — up 1060GRACIE — up 529AVA — up 508

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

SCOTLAND:

SOPHIEEMILYOLIVIACHLOEEMMA

NORTHERN IRELAND

KATIESOPHIEGRACEJESSICAEMMA

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.