The Wide World of Real Names: U.K. Edition

Jan 24th 2013

In a past post, I offered some examples of the extraordinary range of names given to American babies. Today I'd like to do the same for babies on the other side of the Atlantic.

Below are some of the most striking names chosen in England and Wales in the most recent year on record. Certain styles, like "The Exalted," look a lot like the American lists. But an emphasis on mythology, literature, and above all cuteness marks the distictive extremes of British name style.

Names above the line are female, below male. Each name was given to at least three babies in the most recent data year; a * indicates that the name ranked in the top 1000 for the year, and ** indicates a top 200 ranking.

The Exalted
Winner
Victorious
Marvellous
Empress
------
Great
Excellent
Lord

Hardcore Mythological names
Antigone
Calliope
Persephone*
Echo
Electra
Pandora
Io
------
Ares
Atlas
Zeus

Hardcore Literary Names
Isolde
------
Tennyson
Huxley*
Huckleberry

Cutesy-Cute
Betsy-Bo
Honey-Belle
Maisy-May
Poppy-Sue
Pixie-Lou
------
Olly-Ray
Alfie-J
Jimmy-Joe
Teddy-James
Georgie-Lee

Yes, That's the Full Name
Bunny
Kitty**
Tiggy
Pip
------
Iggy
L-Jay
Lucky
Motty
Macky
Kitto
Juke

Hmm, That Word Does Sound Nice
Hasty
Favour*
Sequoia
Testimony
------
Rayon
Exodus

Comments

1
January 24, 2013 2:03 PM

Lol@ Rayon!!!

His sister is perhaps Terylene? And his brother Nylon?

 

 

2
By PJ
January 24, 2013 3:23 PM

Wow, some of these are really great! I could see some of them taking off in the U.S. too, although our brand of cutsey-cute is different. 

Does the U.K. actually record hyphened first names? I know that the issue of punctuation in first names comes up with the SSA. 

3
January 24, 2013 5:05 PM

Becasue Kitty is a traditional nickname it's use as a full name isn't nearly as bad as Bunny.    

4
January 24, 2013 5:43 PM

PJ, yes, the UK does track hyphenated names with the hyphen intact. Handy, since it's such a hot style there right now. E.g. 65 different names ending in -Louise were recorded at the 3 or more level.

5
January 24, 2013 6:27 PM

I used to work with a woman named Pandora.  I also know a little girl named Calliope. I'm surprised that doesn't rank higher, since it can have the nn Callie.

The Exalted names are the strangest to me. Winner? And Great is such a normal part of everyday speech, it seems like a great source of confusion.

6
January 25, 2013 2:56 AM

While I enjoyed the lists, I think that my favourite part of this post was the category titles!

7
January 25, 2013 9:14 PM

I really like: Isolde, Antigone, Zeus, Echo and Iggy but most of the others aren't my style.  Fun to read though!

It does read very British, especially the cutesy-cute names!

8
January 27, 2013 3:26 PM

The "exalted" ones definitely sound like they come from the central African immigrant community in the UK- I know a lovely little girl called Victorious whose parents were born in Nigeria. In Canada, I know or know of kids with similar names whose parents are originally from Ghana, Cameroon, and Burundi. Lots of them have a more 'boring' middle name that they use in school/community library programmes, but the grandparents use their real names when they come to pick them up :)

Kitto is a traditional Cornish form of Christopher (Jory is George; Jago is Jacob/James).

9
January 27, 2013 4:14 PM

Motty is a Yiddish name, a nickname for Modechai.  London has a significant population of ultra-Orthodox Jews in neighborhoods like Golders Green and Stamford Hill.  They are Yiddish-speaking, and often give their children Yiddish names. If you look in the NYC vital statistic under non-Hispanic white, you will see Yiddisih names listed as well as Hebrew.  Some Yiddish names I found are Mendy, Shmiel, Hershel, Yossi, Hersh, Shloimy, Zalmen, Cheskel, Nuchem, Mayer.  NYC Yiddish names for girls include Gitty, Malky,  Faigy, Rivky, Raizy, Shaindy, Chany, Hindy Blima, Gittel, Goldy, Pessy, Fraidy, Chavy, Zissy, Liba, Esty, Perl, Zlata.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/public/press11/pr034-11-babynames.pdf

I have no doubt that the London ultra-Orthodox have similar naming patterns.

10
January 27, 2013 6:02 PM

On names like Kitto and Motty -- like Kitty, Iggy and others on the list they're perfectly traditional. The distinctive part is using them as full names rather than nicknames. FWIW England recorded 15 Mordechais and 3 Mottys last year, while New York recorded 81 Mordechais and no (or unmeasurably few) Mottys.

11
January 27, 2013 7:37 PM

Huckleberry is an interesting one to me. Surely it can't be used without thinking of Huckleberry Finn -- who's sort of the ultimate old-style American child!

12
January 28, 2013 12:26 AM

Laura, actually it is not unusual for Ultra-Orthodox Jews to use nicknames on civil legal documents.  If you look at the NY data you will see Mendy as well as Mendel, Nuchem as well as Menachem, Yossi as well as Yosef, Malky as well as Malka, and so on.  When my own family immigrated, their names were recorded as Schlaimie, Civie, Yankel, and Srul instead of Schlomo, Tzivya, Yaakov, and Yisroel.  To ultra-Orthodox Jews the only thing that matters is the name as bestowed at the circumcision ceremony.  For girls it doesn't matter what the name is--it can be anything.  In fact ultra-Orthodox Jews are not really concerned about civil law at all.  Many of them do not even bother with marriage licenses.  Their only concern is that the kesubah (marriage contract) be valid according to halacha (Jewish law).

13
January 28, 2013 11:54 AM

A girl named Hasty (rhyming with "nasty," for lack of a better rhyme) went to my high school and I always assumed it was an ethnic name because she had exotic looks and surname, but I never knew her heritage.  A Google search of her surname shows others with it from Iran.  A few name sites list "Hasti" and "Hastee" as Farsi/Persion names meaning "existence" or "life."

Much prettier potential rationale than "Hmm that word does sound nice" but who knows.

14
January 28, 2013 7:35 PM

Re: Bunny as a name
 

I had a great aunt called Bunny, but I think it was a pet form of Bernice. I have no idea if this is a relatively common or a relatively unique nickname for that name, as I've never personally met any Bunnys (Bunnies?) or Bernices.

15
January 30, 2013 4:47 PM

Kitty? You think that's unusual and strange?  Not strange at all in the UK -  but it's much more common here to use shortened forms as full names.

My grandmother was called Kitty and my husband's uncle is Bunny -  short for Bernard. 

Antigone and Pandora wouldn't be considered that unusual -  pretentious maybe.

16
January 31, 2013 7:13 AM

I'm an American in the UK and I know a Daisy-Bea and a Sonny (siblings) and some full-name Hughies and Ellies, and tons of Poppys. So yes, I can confirm that cutesie is alive and well. But the little Isolde I know is the child of Americans!

17
February 1, 2013 4:39 PM

My Grandmother was Kitty (although Katherine on her birth certificate), and my DD is called Bunny (she was born on Easter and it has nothing to do with her name).

18
February 4, 2013 11:54 AM

Last Thursday, I encountered both a Sequoia and a Sequoya (in an urban area in the US.) Struck me as funny after reading this post. 

19
May 13, 2013 10:21 AM

My niece told me that trekking excursions are fun [spam link removed] and I decided to make a trip in London to find out more about trekking. I met a couple of families from England and their babies names are adorable, I love it when I hear a parent calling his child Poppy-Sue.

20
October 21, 2013 7:32 AM

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work.best memory foam mattress

21
November 25, 2013 12:52 AM

I believe this really is one of the most significant info for me personally. And i'm glad reading your article. But wish to remark on few general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is actually great : D. Good job, cheers…Come and Try to Now. Enjoy the gameBuy Real Instagram Followers

22
November 25, 2013 6:24 PM

But an emphasis on mythology, literature, and above all cuteness marks the distictive extremes of British name style.  google recovery

23
December 3, 2013 2:28 AM

 I met a couple of families from England and their babies names are adorable, I love it when I hear a parent calling his child Poppy-Sue.

<a href="http://upperdivisionmarketing.com/">Upper Division</a>

25
December 4, 2013 3:14 AM

Does the U.K. actually record hyphened first names? I know that the issue of punctuation in first names comes up with the SSA. 

"http://myfitnessweekly.com/buy-phentermine37-5-mg/">

 

buy phentermine online</a>

26
December 6, 2013 2:15 AM

Does the U.K. actually record hyphened first names? I know that the issue of punctuation in first names comes up with the SSA. 

http://www.musclefactor-x.blogspot.com

27
December 12, 2013 2:49 AM

 When my own family immigrated, their names were recorded as Schlaimie, Civie, Yankel, and Srul instead of Schlomo, Tzivya, Yaakov, and Yisroel. WHAT IS THIS?

"http://www.lifeinsurancerates.com/">lifeinsurance</a>

28
December 14, 2013 10:51 AM

Your article, though not long, it contains many profound significance, like kids uggs, though small, exhaustive, delicate and easy to use. thailand property

30
December 17, 2013 6:08 AM

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work

<a href="http://www.automobile.com/">is allstate insurance expensive</a>

31
December 17, 2013 11:35 AM

Great blog! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the information are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which really should do the trick! Have a nice day! Agen Ibcbet

32
December 19, 2013 6:43 AM

Must appreciate the great posts you have written here, I was wondering how you could write down in details.

The Hillford

34
December 22, 2013 4:07 AM

The Exalted names are the strangest to me. Winner? And Great is such a normal part of everyday speech, it seems like a great source of confusion.what you mean?

<a href="http://www.flirtdegree.com/tao-of-badass">advice on flirting with attractive women</a>

36
January 22, 2014 4:19 AM

You need to be a part of a new contest with regard to one of the better sites on-lineDetox Drinks

39
February 3, 2014 10:57 PM

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info.sbobet

40
February 3, 2014 10:58 PM

I don't know what to say. This blog is fantastic. That's not really a really huge statement, but its all I could come up with after reading this.sbobet casino You know so much about this subject. So much so that you made me want to learn more about it.

44
February 16, 2014 10:07 AM

very good post this striking high responsibility and extraordinary authorship is acquired very important information. thank you

bubblegum casting

46
February 26, 2014 5:11 AM

Mathematically, the Lizards are still eligible for playoffs, and cannot be eliminated or clinch one of the three remaining playoff spots no matter what the results of this weekend’s games are.

Melvina

47
February 26, 2014 6:55 AM

The Exalted names are the strangest to me. Winner? And Great is such a normal part of everyday speech, it seems like a great source of confusion.what you mean?

Source : GameCIH APK

48
February 26, 2014 3:00 PM

Below are some of the most striking names chosen in England and Wales in the most recent year on record. Certain styles, like "The Exalted," look a lot like the American lists. 

Jen

49
March 6, 2014 6:36 AM

To ultra-Orthodox Jews the only thing that matters is the name as bestowed at the circumcision ceremony.  

Breslin

50
March 6, 2014 2:19 PM

I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.

youtube raspberry ketone