When you are choosing a name for your baby, it can be helpful to do so in an informed manner. That means knowing about the meaning behind a name, a little something about its history, and its etymological distinctions.
On top of that, it can help to know about the most popular baby names currently going. That will give you an idea of the kind of names you might want to try out, as well as an indication of which to avoid, should you be concerned about that.
So what are the most popular baby names right now in the UK? In this post, we’ll take a look at each of them in turn, and discuss a little something about them, to help you in your decision-making process.
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The Top 10 Baby Names for 2021
First, here are the top ten baby names for last year in the UK.
The names that gained the most popularity compared to prior years were Freya and Lily, which replaced Emily and Ella.
Other new entries to the top list included: Alfred, Chester, Hudson, Ibrahim and Oakley. These names replaced Alex, Dexter, Dominic, Kai, Sonny and Tobias.
However, there were no new entries to the top ten names for boys, unlike for the girls, which had those two new ones.
Mother’s Age & Choice Of Name
One of the most interesting findings in the statistics for these names is that the mother’s age had a huge bearing on what kinds of names they chose, with definite and obvious variations based on how old they were.
For example, mothers over the age of about 35 tended to choose more traditional names such as Charlotte and Emily. Mothers under 35 were more likely to instead opt for names along the lines of Harper and Mia.
In fact, only half of the top 10 names for girls chosen by mothers under 25 featured in the same list of mothers over 25 years.
There is a similar sort of trend in the boys’ names too, in that there were a lot more non-traditional names, often including shortened names like Freddie. In fact, half of the top 10 boys' names chosen by mothers under 25 were shortened versions of traditional names.
The Influence Of Culture
One determining factor that you can always be sure will make a huge difference is the influence of popular culture. Whenever there are common names in the media or amongst famous people and their children, you can be sure that those names - or versions and derivations of them - will likewise appear in the top baby names for the year.
This past year, that was no different to usual, and there were indeed a number of culturally-influenced names which appeared higher than before, appeared on the top 100 for the first time, or otherwise gained noticeably in popularity.
Sometimes, there is an opposite reaction, and a name becomes less popular as a result of some significant cultural event or meaning. A good example of this is Alexa, which has decreased rapidly since 2016 when the Amazon Alexa came out.
On the other side, a name that has increased rapidly is Dua - probably because of the singer Dua Lipa. In fact, Dua doubled last year, one of the most significant changes of the year. Similarly, the actor Taron Egerton has likely caused the noticeable spike in the name Taron in the past few years.
As you can see, there are some significant ways in which culture affects which baby names are chosen.
The Most Popular Baby Names & Their Meanings
As we mentioned earlier, when you are choosing a baby name, you almost certainly want to make sure that you are choosing a name that you understand and feel an affinity for. For that reason, it’s wise to look into the meanings of the names that you are considering. Let’s take a look at the most popular baby names’ meanings right now.
Oliver: Etymologically, this word has its roots in the olive tree, and you might consider naming a child Oliver in terms of offering an olive branch of peace.
Olivia: This is the female version of Oliver, and it has the same etymological root and meanings as Oliver.
George: This name has a very strong history in English culture, coming as it does from the famous Saint George of England. In recent years, it has also gained in popularity as a result of the young Prince George’s birth. In terms of meaning, it comes from a word meaning to work.
Amelia: This name is traditionally a variant of either Emilia or Amalia. One famous Amelia is Lockhart, as well as the title character of a novel by Henry Fielding. It has a reputation as being quite a refined and wholesome name.
Noah: Of course, you may already be aware that Noah is a biblical name - in fact, it’s one of the most famous characters from the Bible. It has become more popular recently.
Isla: This beautiful name coincides with the Spanish isla, for island. It has a distinctly feminine feel, and people tend to think of it as another refined name.
Arthur: This is another strong English name with a lot of history to it - most famously, the King Arthur of British legend. It has an austere feel to it, most would say.
Ava: This name is an example of the short-form names which are becoming especially popular at the moment amongst girls’ names in particular. It has a tone of the 1920’s to it, and it is coming back in a big way for many people.
Those are just some of the most popular names out there from the past year in the UK. Hopefully by now you have a better and stronger idea of what kind of name you want for your own child. If you are struggling, take a look through these and others and you should gain some inspiration.
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