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Office national statistics, top 100 girls names each decade for last 100 years

(20 Posts)
Swishyswashy Sun 21-Jun-15 14:26:46

Looking at girls names in particular and found this gem on ONS website. It shows so clearly how names go in and out of fashion. Not many girls names have stayed in top 100. At the start of 1900s names like Ethel, Edith, Grace etc popular, then as time goes on Joan, Patricia etc, then the era of Deborah, Sarah, then on to Rebecca, Hannah, Laura, then Ella, Jessica, Courtney type names and now Evie, Sophie, Isabella, Mia, Maisie, Lily. Today's names really are very 'cutesy' in comparison to previous decades and no doubt these kind of names will really date, even though many of them are pleasant enough. Those of you who say you hate these cutesy names: what have you called your girls. How do you avoid being of the time without being really boring and going with something that has just ALWAYS been really common like Elizabeth?

JimmyCorkhill Sun 21-Jun-15 14:42:21

Can you link to it please? I have looked but can't find it.

florascotia Sun 21-Jun-15 14:58:27

Name stats 2013

florascotia Sun 21-Jun-15 15:03:42

Also lots of past and present statistics if you browse here:

CakeRattleandRoll Sun 21-Jun-15 15:21:13

This is the link to the top 100 names for each decade:

When you open the page, scroll down to near the bottom and download the document called "Top 100 Baby Names Historical Data".

I don't think it's difficult to find names that are neither 'cutesy' nor 'boring' - there are sooo many names that exist! I would start by having a look around the 80-100 ranks of those tables. For example:

Kim82 Sun 21-Jun-15 15:26:05

I have never really thought too deeply about my dd's names but I wouldn't say they are cutesy. They are called Leah (almost 11), Megan (almost 8) and Charlotte (11 montghs). No thought went into whether they were popular or whatever, I just picked names that I liked.

Swishyswashy Sun 21-Jun-15 15:58:17

Are you suggesting I may be overthinking it Kim?!! Lovely names. Quite like Christina also from cake but really don't like the nicknames. Incidentally I have a top 10 name from my decade of birth and it has never bothered me. Just keen to avoid if poss but finding it hard to find any names I really love.

enviousllama Sun 21-Jun-15 17:05:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sun 21-Jun-15 17:25:54

How do you avoid being of the time without being really boring and going with something that has just ALWAYS been really common like Elizabeth?

It isn't boring to go with a name that has always been popular. Names become popular for lots of reasons. One good reason is that people know how to spell and pronounce the name right from the start. They will also usually have a good idea straight away what gender the child is, which is what I believe most people feel most comfortable with.

I've seen posters here say that they have a name which is very unusual for the UK, or has a very unusual spelling, and they love it because it makes them distinctive. Without ever having looked at this scientifically though, I'd say those posts are massively outnumbered by the posts that say, from personal experience, having a name like that has not been a blessing.

enviousllama Sun 21-Jun-15 18:00:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ragged Sun 21-Jun-15 18:04:47

DH has 2 sets of great-grandparents called Edith & George.
We both have a lot of Charles going back 3-4 generations.

Er, Charlie is still popular & George is well back!!

Swishyswashy Sun 21-Jun-15 18:26:50

The earliest lists are actually much more similar to today's lists- I think the Victorian/ post Victorian girls names have made a real come back, but many disappear in between. Boys names are much more consistent ragged. The names like George, Thomas, Joseph, Charles, William etc remain there throughout most decades.
Gaspode, I don't think it's boring for people to use the names you mention, I just find them boring personally and don't love them for my daughter. Names are an extremely personal choice, hence some people love Lily-Mai enough to name their daughter that, others prefer Jane. I'm really just thinking that personally I don't want a name which pins her to the decade of her birth but equally is not something that I find a bit uninteresting. No judgement on other peoples choices, difference is what makes life fun.

JimmyCorkhill Mon 22-Jun-15 07:53:31

Thanks for the link. Off for a good nose around now! My DD1's name is still racing up the charts but DD2's is nowhere near the top 100. Like Kim82 I just chose names I like. Despite the popularity of DD1's name we've yet to come across a double in any of her groups/school. We do have doubles of some more unusual names at school though which makes me grin

And thank you Cake for listing my name as one that is not cutesy or boring!

reuset Mon 22-Jun-15 08:09:15

Radical idea wink Choose something you like.

Because your options are to choose a constant timeless classic, James or Elizabeth, or to choose a name which has never been in fashion (for good reason) probably because it's so obscure or 'out there' And you can do all the research and trend prediction, based on its rise and fall over the years, but it only takes one celebrity using that name, or a new on-trend book or film to popularise it. Not something you can easily predict or control

shitebag Mon 22-Jun-15 08:25:11

My daughter is Cara, not unusual by any stretch but it doesn't seem overly popular either and certainly not "cutesy".

Everyone I know with my name is around my age and i definately think its of the era perhaps slightly dated but I like it and I've never really given it a second thought tbh.

Just pick a name you like and go with it smile

PattyPenguin Mon 22-Jun-15 08:50:30

On a sociological note, interesting to see that three spellings of Mohammed were at 56 (Mohammed), 84 (Mohammad) and 90 (Mohamed) in 1954. So already three of the 100 most popular names 60 years ago.

(Only one spelling is noted in 1964 and 1974, Mohammed, at 73 and 61 respectively - don't know whether all spellings were recorded under this one, or whether Mohammad and Mohamed weren't registered often enough to get into the top 100.)

CakeRattleandRoll Tue 23-Jun-15 17:20:13

I've had a look through the ONS data for the top 100 names in each decade of the 20th century. Interesting that while 20 boys names appear in every decade, only 5 girls names do. I think these are the names that could be considered true classics. The most consistently popular name is James, having never left the top 20 (including up to present day).



Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Tue 23-Jun-15 18:54:31

Both my children's names are in there and so is my dad's. Interesting that my name, my mum's name and my husband's name aren't!

Cumbrae Tue 23-Jun-15 19:07:21

OP Persobally we ignored all the stats and just picked names we really, really loved.

It turned out that our DD's name is extremely rare and our sons is within the Scottish top 100. It doesn't matter to us, we still think they are the best names on the planet.

Swishyswashy Tue 23-Jun-15 23:06:51

Love your analysis Cake!

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