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Mumsnet’s 13 baby name tribes

From Old Schoolers to Super Moderns, data analysis reveals the connections between popular and not-so-popular names

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Jul 15, 2021

Baby being held in the air smiling at the camera

A new analysis of more than 170,000 posts has uncovered Mumsnet’s 13 baby names tribes, revealing the trends and connections between the types of names considered by new and expectant parents.

Parents on Mumsnet’s baby names boards, which are visited 1.4 million times a year, will often suggest a name and ask, ‘If I like this, what else will I like?’ Using statistical textual analysis techniques, Mumsnet’s data science team analysed more than 4,000 threads and 170,000 posts to flesh out the 13 baby name tribes. In order of popularity, they are:

  • Flower power, a girls-only list with most popular names including Rose, Violet, Lily, Ivy and Daisy
  • Divinely inspired, with most popular names including Mary, Joseph, Isaac and Noah
  • Grandparent chic, with most popular names including Dorothy, Wilfred, Ava, Alfie and Evelyn
  • Royal babies, with most popular names including George, William, Elizabeth and Victoria
  • Shortened and sweet, with most popular names including Ben, Katie, Charlie, Theo and Teddie
  • Tried, trusted traditionalists, with most popular names including Olivia, John, Jack, James and Oliver
  • Cautious Celts, with most popular names including Rory, Angus, Siobhan and Caoimhe
  • Disney divas, with most popular names including Elsa, Aurora and Belle
  • Hidden gems, with most popular names including Ruby and Jade.
  • Old schoolers, with most popular names including Sharon, Sarah, Claire, Paul and Keith
  • Last names first, a boys-dominated list with most popular names including Hunter, Tyler and Taylor
  • Super moderns, with most popular names including Bear, Jaxon, Leilani and Canary
  • Classy classicists, with most popular name including Ptolemy, Persephone, Aristotle and Atlas

The analysis also uncovered surprising links to other names that are frequently discussed alongside the core tribe names. ‘Super modern’ parents thinking about Bear or Jaxon are also statistically more likely to think about Jeremy. ‘Shortened but sweet’ aficionados who are keen on Theo also discussed names such as Leo and Noah. ‘Hidden gems’ parents talking about Jade and Ruby are statistically more likely to also consider Freya, Amy and Zoe. ‘Classy classicists’ discussing Ptolemy were also – counterintuitively – more likely to mention Nigel. And ‘Royal babies’ tribe members talking about George and William are more likely to also talk about Oliver (perhaps without thinking about its regicidal connotations).

Mumsnet founder and CEO Justine Roberts said: ‘Parents searching for a baby name usually have an idea of the kind of name they’d like, and often they will search within their ‘tribe’ looking for that sweet spot: a name that has good associations, is personally meaningful for them, and is a little bit unusual without being completely off-the-wall. Knowing which names tend to be associated with your ‘tribe’ could be a shortcut to finding a name that’s just the job.’