15 British Baby Names That Just Don't Exist in America
The U.K. and the U.S.A. share a language, and so they share baby names. Mostly. There are limits to the linguistic likeness. Just as you'll never find an American driving a lorry or changing a nappy, you'll never meet an American baby named Huw.
That name is literally unknown here -- in fact, right now a lot of American readers are wondering if the three-letter string was a typo. Yet the latest baby name stats from England and Wales show that Huw remains a top-1,000 boy's name, as always.
It isn't alone. The top 1,000 names lists from England and Wales include scores of names that don't register in American stats at all. Let me emphasize that: these names aren't just rare, they're statistically nonexistent. Given that the most recent U.S. stats tally more than 30,000 names from Aaban to Zyyon, that's saying something. Below is a sampling of the names that show how two similar baby name cultures can still be worlds apart.
1. Barney (Male, England & Wales popularity rank #427): Back in 1992, this name sounded so genially out-of-date in the U.S. that it made a perfect choice for a singing purple dinosaur. The dino character wiped Barney completely off America's baby name map.
2. Dolcie (F, #582) and 3. Dulcie (F, #638): Dulcie is classic English sweetness, a 19th-century name created from the Latin word for "sweet." The more recent variant Dolcie follows the Italian spelling dolce, as in La Dolce Vita and fashion house Dolce & Gabbana.
4. Ffion (F, #255): This name shows off the Wales side of the England & Wales name charts. Ffion is Welsh for "foxgloves," and pronounced fee-ahn.
5. Dougie (M, #386), 6. Ralphie (M, #584), 7. Herbie (M, #716): Even the full names Douglas, Ralph and Herbert are out of favor in America. Using their cute diminutives as given names is hard for American parents to imagine.
8. Huw (M, #747): Huw is simply the Welsh version of Hugh, pronounced much the same as the English. If the spelling throws you, well, Hugh is no picnic on that front either.
9. Fearne (F, #347): In the U.S., no form of the name Fern has cracked the top 1,000 in fifty years. In England, though, three different versions make the cut. This non-traditional spelling is the most popular, after tv presenter Fearne Cotton.
10. Osian (M, #319): Oisín was the great warrior poet of Irish legend. Osian (OH-shen) is the Welsh version of the name with a bit more American-friendly spelling.
11. Poppie (F, #388), 12. Bluebell (F, #934): : Cuteness is thoroughly in fashion in the U.K., and thoroughly out in the U.S. These floral names epitomize the divide.
13. Kenzie (M, #410): Throughout "the colonies," the surname Mackenzie and its nickname Kenzie are popular girls' names. In the UK, they're hits for boys instead.
14. Fleur (F, 345): Fleur is French for "flower," but there are almost as many little Fleurs in England as France. The Harry Potter character Fleur Delacour is one reason.
15. Anything-Mae (F, 25 different names in the top 1,000 that don't exist in the U.S.): In England hyphenation is hot, and Mae (in every spelling) is the epicenter of the trend. Millie-Mae, Lexi-Mae, Daisy-May and Poppy-Mae are just the beginning. For boys try -Lee, as in Tommy-Lee, Jayden-Lee and Alfie-Lee.
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