The top of the baby name charts has become relatively stale over the last few years, but there are new trends and names making waves further down. Younger mums are starting to ignore popular trends, heading towards more modern names. Research from the ONS (Office of National Statistics) has looked how recent trends have impacted our choices.
Naming a baby is one of the toughest things I've had to do. You're deciding something that will (whether we want it to or not) be judged by those around us and will be how your child is identified for life. It's a big responsibility and the baby name charts is where we all start. Obviously Lily is quite a common name (with it's various spellings) but when researching Cecily's name (after we'd chosen it) I found it is a name that has barely made the 1% mark during my lifetime!
One of main changes is the rapid rise of gender neutral names, particularly for boys. Rowan (which has been used primarily for girls) has soared into the top 100 for boys, while Jesse and Sonny both see double digit jumps. Even Grayson, made popular by dress-donning artist Grayson Perry, has entered the top 100, jumping 26 places to 83.
Also popular for boys is the “O” sound which is masculine yet noble. Theodore, Tobias and Arlo are the biggest risers in the trend after being used by celebrities such as Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews.
The new generation of Star Wars names has continued to have an impact on the boys charts with Finn and Ezra both moving up. Surprisingly though, vintage name Luke slips 18 places and is almost out of the top 100. Meanwhile last year’s ‘Soft Macho’ trend seeing manly but gentle names including Hunter, Jaxon and Reggie continues to dominate through 2019.
There has also been an increase in French names for boys thanks to the birth of HRH Prince Louis of Cambridge in April 2018. Louis has jumped 13 places to number 69. As well as royal influence playing a part, there have also been ripples from the political world. Tory remainer Rory’s Stewart’s moniker has crept up seven places to 47, while the controversial Jacob Rees-Mogg has sent Jacob tumbling out of the top 10 for the first time in several years.
Meanwhile for the girls, it’s all about the ‘A’ sound. A names are feminine but also strong in sound (such as Alexandra), which are appealing traits for many parents, especially younger feminists who want their child’s name to send a message about who they are in the world. For this trend, the biggest chart climber is Ada. As the name of Robbie Williams’ wife, soaring a whopping 49 places to reach the top 100 after their daughter was a bridesmaid for HRH Princess Eugenie in October 2018 and coverage of the couple in the media increased.