I’m fascinated by names…maybe it is because I have a fairly unusual name myself, first and second name, but I have always been interested in names. When i was a child we had a big dictionary which had a list of first names and their meanings in the back, and I used to sit and read it and make lists of names I liked.

Choosing a name for our own children was incredibly difficult as my husband and I had totally different ideas on what we liked… he thought Arthur or Eric, I thought Rufus or Alexander. Arthur and Eric seemed horribly old fashioned to me twenty-odd years ago, now names like that are becoming more and more popular again. Whatever you name a child, you can never govern what it is called… some names are shortened, James to Jim, some are lengthened John to Johnners, and sometimes nicknames are created parents couldn’t possibly have imagined.

Last week the Office for National Statistics published lists of the most popular names chosen by parents in 2014 for their new infants. Oliver and Amelia were the most popular baby names in England and Wales, 5,327 girls were called Amelia and 6,649 baby boys were named Oliver.

Here’s the top ten for each:

  • Amelia
  • Olivia
  • Isla
  • Emily
  • Poppy
  • Ava
  • Isabella
  • Jessica
  • Lily
  • Sophie
  • Oliver
  • Jack
  • Harry
  • Jacob
  • Charlie
  • Thomas
  • George
  • Oscar
  • James
  • William

There are always new names which are fashionable, from films, TV, actors, actresses, sports personalities; The Game Of Thrones has been the inspiration for names such as Arya, Khaleesi and Tyrion. The name harper, which was practically unknown as a first name is now 89th in the top 100 names, having been nowhere at all prior to the Beckhams calling their daughter it. The different origins of many people in England and Wales has also brought different names, and Mohammed and variation of it is a very popular and common name now. However, there are names which become popular for no discernible reason and last year new such names included Robyn, Nancy and Lottie for girls and Jackson, Joey and Ellis for boys.

The name choices are slightly different in Scotland; Jack and Emily were the most popular in Scotland:

  • Jack
  • James
  • lewis
  • Oliver
  • Logan
  • Daniel
  • Noah
  • Charlie
  • Lucas
  • Alexander

and

  • Emily
  • Sophie
  • Olivia
  • Isla
  • Jessica
  • Ava
  • Amelia
  • Lucy
  • Lily
  • Ella and Sophia

There was an interesting selection of newly popular names too, Aaron, Callum, Rory, Oscar, Samuel, Layla and Molly

Jack and Emily were also the most popular baby names in Northern Ireland, but there were also some very unusual names including Blessing, Piper, Coco, Suri, Texas and Maisie, and for boys Devin, Kanye, Peanut, Princeton and Rocco.

I wonder what new trends will appear this year – we will have to wait until next summer to find out!

 

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