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Parents find a way to unique baby names

Thousands of parents have solved the problem of choosing a baby name by making one up. While the lists of the most popular baby names in 2017 show familiar choices for most of the 679,106 newborns, a significant number of parents decided to go their own way and give their child a unique name. 

Latest figures for England and Wales show there were almost 43,000 babies registered with a name like none other. Some of these names are rarities from yesteryear or from other cultures but often they have been created to give a son or a daughter a distinctive name.

It would be nice to give you some examples but the Office for National Statistics withholds these names ‘to protect the confidentiality of the individuals’. The stats stop at names chosen three times where alphabetically Zymal clocks in last for girls and Zyren for boys.

Sarah goes but Hunter charges in

At the other end of the spectrum 2017 was a fairly standard year with Olivia and Amelia unchanged at the top while Isla and Ava moved a place. Emily dropped down to five. Below her, Poppy came in and Jessica dropped out. Among the boys, Oliver, Harry and George held their top three places with Leo the only new entry in the top ten as Thomas dropped down.

Elsewhere the lists show some interesting trends. Parents of girls who had been taking inspiration from nature – flowers and seasons for example – are looking to the sky. Aurora came shining into the top 100 for the first time and Luna moved up 30 places to 48.

Alas poor Sarah, we must bid her farewell from the top 100 for the first time in more than 110 years. On the brighter side, the alternative spelling Sara continues to make her way up the chart and now sits at 82. Penelope is back in favour with a rise of 460 places since 2007 that puts her just outside the top 50. Other improvers include Aria, Orla, Bonnie and Hallie.

Hunter was highest riser into the top 100 for baby boys, coming in at 78. Ralph at 98 is another new entrant. Arthur continued his rise to 19 while Arlo, who was nowhere ten years ago, is at 42.



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