“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." So says Romeo Montague when he falls in love with Juliet Capulet in Shakespeare's lyrical tale of "star-cross'd" lovers doomed from the start as members of two warring families. And we know exactly what he meant - the name of a certain something is far less important than the quality of that certain something.
Up to a point Romeo…. but not when it comes to naming babies! We all know how important a moniker is – whether you’re a trend and influencer follower or determined to choose a very individual or unusual name to ensure your child won’t be one of six in a class with the same name.
British parents are inspired by everything it seems from climate activism – Greta – after Greta Thunberg and the Royals – George and William - to pop culture and celebrities – Kady and Scott from Love Island and Maisie and Emilia from Game of Thrones. The fad for naming babies by the place they were conceived – Victoria Beckham apparently chose the name Brooklyn after discovering she was pregnant in New York – seems to have been overtaken by names of characters from the latest TV series or box set certainly among the “Netflix and chill” generation ! And of course trends change from generation to generation – James and Mary and Michael and Linda topped the name charts in the 1950’s with David and Susan joining them in the 60’s. Michael and Christopher and Jessica and Jennifer followed in the 70’s and 80’s while a decade later Thomas and Rebecca and James and Lauren led the way. Here I have to declare an interest – my son, born in 1987 was christened James Matthew and my daughter born four years later Rebecca Jane – as our surname is Thomas, they top the decade’s name popularity stakes between them !! Millennial names in 2000 saw a combination of the traditional and the unusual with Jacob, Michael, Matthew and Emily Hannah and Maddison seeing a surge in popularity. Noah and Liam and Emma and Sophie topped the bill in 2010’s and the trend emerging this decade sees a range of influences.
A number of parenting websites have analysed thousands of baby registrations in the first six months of this year and come up with some interesting stats. The usual favourites are still at the top (Olivia and Oliver) but those TV characters are making a real impact with babies named Tommy, Ada, Arthur and Esme after characters in Peaky Blinders and Otis, Evie and Maeve from Sex Education. Muhammed has also proved its lasting power and biblical names such as Noah and Jacob are retaining top 20 positions.
So with a few slight variations between parenting websites, these are the top 20 trending names so far in the UK this year – you’ll be spoilt for choice !
Most Popular Boys Names
Most Popular Girls Names
Registering Your Baby's Name
You have six weeks to make a decision on a name. By law, your baby’s birth must be registered within 42 days of the birth.
The appointment to register your baby with the registrar is private and takes around 20 minutes. The registrar will ask for details for the birth entry and it is important that this information is accurate. The registration is a legal record and is difficult to correct later and you may incur a fee for any future corrections. In England and Wales births must be registered at the registration office in the area where your baby was born.