Across Britain, 1,305 parents were asked which names were increasing in popularity in their local area. And with over 62,000 different baby names used annually in the UK, there are a number of wacky new baby-naming trends starting to break through. The fastest-growing up-and-coming trends revealed by the poll include Muslim names going mainstream, with six per cent of parents quizzed seeing more non-Muslim families using Muslim names.
Surnames as first names (66% have seen an increase in this) Cooper, Grayson, Parker, Quinn, Jones, Carter, Mason, Jackson, Hunter, Riley
Traditional English names (but not twee) (61%) Sarah, Penelope, Emma and Lucy
Gender Neutral names (41%) Alex, Charlie, Elliott, Ellis, Max and Sydney
Names with X spellings (35%) Jaxxon, Xanthe, Xander and Jaxton the most picked for new babies
Water names (16%) River, Lake, Delta and Coast
Frozen names (13%) Elsa, Kai, Anna and Olaf
Viking / Scandi names (11% report an increase) Magnus, Agnes, Linnea, Freya, Annika, Astrid and Britta
Tough names (10%) Axl, Maverick and Diesel
Non-Muslim families using Muslim names (6%) Zane, Zahra, Ayesha, Farah, Anila, Omar and Jana
Unicorn names (4%) Rainbow, Twinkle, Sassy, Sparkle and Princess
70’s names (4%) Michelle, Susan and Gary
US placenames (3%) Texas, Miami, Arizona and Tennessee
Text abbreviation names (1%) e.g.Â ILY for I Love You
In 2015 the trend for unusual baby names continues, along with inspiration taken from showbiz and movies as well as a rise in the popularity of names inspired by space and nature.
DC and Marvel Comics’ continued success at the box office provides plenty of inspiration for baby names in early 2016. Kara from Supergirl, Harley (and Quinn) from Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman’s alter ego Diana (Prince) have all charged up the charts this year. Felicity (Smoak), from the smash hit comic book series Arrow, flies into the top 100 after a long absence and Thea (Queen) from the same series has also gone up thirteen places.
Names inspired by all things heavenly have been rocketing up the charts this year. Nova, Orion and Luna have all increased in popularity. Even the name Jupiter has been spotted in the far flung reaches of the baby names universe! Could Tim Peake’s epic space voyage have ignited parents’ imaginations? Star Wars names Leia, Kylo, and Finn have all had a boost. And Ezra, from spin-off animation Star Wars Rebels, has had a meteoric rise, entering the top 100 for the very first time in 2016.
This year, Rolling Stones rock ‘n’ roll legend Ronnie Wood called his twin girls Gracie and Alice and many other parents have followed suit, with both names rapidly gaining popularity in early 2016.
Jamie Oliver’s unusual name choice for his new baby boy, River, saw a last minute surge in popularity, with more babies called River than ever before.
Victoria Beckham’s uncanny ability to spot a trend, or start one, means that Harper is still a popular name choice and is one of this year’s biggest risers, jumping an astonishing 31 places to sit at number 56. The Beckhams named their daughter after the author Harper Lee, who died earlier this year. Perhaps that news inspired other parents to honour the writer, too?
Coleen and Wayne Rooney’s baby name choices are also proving popular, with Kai a new entry to the top 100, and twice as many babies called Kit and Klay compared to last year.
Baby names inspired by nature have been shooting up in early 2016, too. Traditional names like Lily, Poppy, Daisy and Holly have all seen their positions rise within the top 50.
However, parents are proving even more creative with their baby name choices, with Eden jumping up to secure a spot in the top 100 and Hazel also leaping up. Outside the top 100, Maple, Forrest, Bluebell and Yew have all featured this year, too, some for the very first time.
Biggest risers in the baby name charts include Jenson, up 31 spots to number 62, Stanley, up 21 spots to number 77 and Darcie, which rose 26 places to sit at number 34.
The highest new entries to the top 100 include Arlo, Ezra, Kai, Jesse and Albie for boys and Mya, Luna, Lexi, Heidi and Lyla for girls.