Naming an actual human is a big responsibility. Do you go for something popular and risk being one of five Olivia and Olivers on the nursery register? Or something so unique people have to ask you to repeat it twice? Well soon-to-be parents looking for some baby name inspo need look no further.
The clever bods at parenting site BabyCentre have rounded up the top 100 UK baby names of 2017 for baby girls and baby boys, to provide mums and dads-to-be with some moniker inspiration. And while there aren’t may surprises about the names that top the most popular list, there are some interesting naming trends of note.
Gender neutral names are proving to be more popular than ever, with the research revealing that in the last year there have been 20 names, each of which had at least a quarter of its registrations to both sexes.
Top of the either sex monikers is Riley, with just under two thirds of boy registrations and just over a third of girls. This was closely followed by Frankie, and Harley, which was the third most popular gender-neutral name.
Quinn came in at number five, suggesting parents could also be taking inspo from the ‘Suicide Squad’’s supervillain Harley Quinn, or ‘Homeland’’s long-suffering sidekick Peter Quinn.
We’ve already seen that our current TV must-watch can influence the names on the school register, but baby Theons could well be making way for baby Tommys, as ‘Peaky Blinders’ replaces ‘Game of Thrones’ in the battle of the baby monikers. Fellow ‘Peaky Blinders’ names Arthur and Alfie are both riding strong in the chart.
While we’re on the subject of Gangster type names, it seems parents can’t get enough of bad boy (and girl) monikers.
Reggie and Ronnie, the first names of the Kray twins, are steadily sliding up the boys’ charts, while Violet (the Krays’ mother) and Nancy (the tragic gangster’s moll in ‘Oliver Twist’) are also gaining popularity for parents of daughters.
When it comes to taking inspiration from nature, there has also been a move away from flower-inspired names in favour of more extreme nods to the great outdoors. Think the strong-sounding Forest, Hawk, Fox, and Storm which have all flown up the charts.
Parents-to-be have also been looking to the heavens for inspiration. While Luna climbed 20 places in 2017, Aurora and Skye were both entries into the top 100.
And gender-neutral natural names like Raven, Robin and River (like Jamie Oliver’s fifth son) all made an appearance in the chart.
But perhaps the biggest surprise trend in baby monikers was the impact this year’s hit show ‘Love Island’ has had. Olivia, Montana, Camilla, and Gabby are all enjoying way more registrations in 2017 than in previous years.
Commenting on the findings Lorna Marsh, BabyCentre associate editor, said: “’Love Island’ was our surprise screen inspiration this summer. Although sadly, there were no registrations for Cash, which superfans will recognise as the name chosen by runner-up Chris Hughes for the doll he looked after as part of a parenting competition on the show! But could that be a name to watch in 2018 however?”
“The number of parents choosing gender-neutral names is of real interest after the gender debate took centre stage this year,” Lorna continues. “And with Harley at number three of the gender-neutral chart and Quinn at number five it’s possible ‘Suicide Squad’ supervillain Harley Quinn influenced parents of both boys and girls.”
When it comes to softer names, Lorna says the appeal of delicate flower names is wilting in the face of more extreme forces of nature. “Perhaps this return to the wild is rooted in millennial parents’ desire to reconnect with the great outdoors. It’s certainly a growing trend to watch in 2018. And the popularity of Reggie, Ronnie and Alfie could be down to the Tom Hardy effect, as they’re all characters played by the British actor. Whatever the reason, BabyCentre parents clearly see the appeal of a bad boy.”
2017 saw seven new entries to the top 100 girls. Madison, Fatima, Amy, Aurora, Arabella, Hallie and Skye pushed out Mya, Katie, Iris, Eden, Brooke, Nina and Bethany.
And there were nine new entries into the top 100 for the boys. Ahmad, Syed, Hunter, Harley, Abdul, Roman, Parker, Levi and Joel took the places of Connor, Alex, Sam, Callum, Dexter, Omar, Ben, Cameron and Seth.
The highest baby name climbers for girls were Niamh, Harper and Ivy, while John, Louie and Theodore were the highest climbers in the boys charts.
In one of the biggest baby name shockers of 2017, John saw a meteoric rise of 41 places to number 56.
Lorna Marsh said: “In June this year, we predicted that 70s classics like John, Andrew and David would start making a comeback to become the new vintage, so watch this space!”
For the full list of 100 baby names, visit babycentre.co.uk.
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