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Classic names ride out trends and novelties

No matter how determined some parents are to give their children unfamiliar names that stand out from the mainstream, there are some that never to go out of fashion. These are the classics that often have a pedigree going back 100 years or more.

Interestingly, the most recent data from the US Social Security database illustrates the point. While the Kardashian family tree has sprouted a flowering of original names such as North, Saint, Chicago and Reign and while other celebs compose something entirely new, the great survivors survive.

Take Elizabeth at number 13 in the US and 44 in England/Wales or William in third place in the US and number 11 in England. Joseph is 19 and David 23 in the US compared with 28 and 44 in the UK.

According to the US figures Michael (currently 12) is the name that has held the top spot most often in the past 75 years. He comes in at a solid 68 in England. Mary was the most popular name for girls for 38 years from 1918 but, as in the UK, she has now slipped out of the top 100.

The biggest contrast with names on either side of the Atlantic is seen in John who’s still a top 30 choice in America while three years ago he left the England/Wales top 100 for the first time in a century.

Overall, name trends move more slowly across America where among the classics Anna, Robert, Charles, Sarah and Victoria all show higher ratings than they do in the UK. The once exception is Thomas who sits at 13 in England and 48 in America.

One of the biggest casualties of changing taste is Laura, hugely popular through the 1960s and 70s and now out of the US top 100 and down at 145 in England and Wales.


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