It’s not always helpful to follow the crowd. But if you’re trying to narrow down your baby name search, it can be useful to rule out the obvious.
Maybe you want a unique or unusual baby name that will be the only one of its kind in the class register? Or maybe the top 100 baby names for boys and girls are a better fit for you - either way it’s worth checking out, right?
What is the most popular name for 2023?
For the first time, Noah overtakes Oliver as the most popular name for baby boys in 2023. Muhammed remains super popular, with names such as Ezra and Albie climbing the rankings.
For girls, Olivia remains number one choice for families in the UK. With names Amelia and Isla followed in second and third position.
To help you with your search for the baby name you love the most, here’s our guide to the 100 most popular baby names in the UK this year for boys and girls, using the most recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) data available from babies born in England and Wales in 2021.
What will be the most popular baby names in 2024?
Baby name consultant, SJ. Strum, has teamed up with thortful to predict the most popular baby names and trends for 2024.
According to Strum, "Disney names are one of the most common requests we get at the baby name consultancy, Baby Name Envy. With Molly Mae choosing Bambi and Stacey Dooley choosing Minnie - it’s a big trend for 2024. Wearable names in this trend are Aurora, meaning 'dawn' and the name of Sleeping Beauty, which is trending up an incredible 230 places last year and I predict it will hit the top 20 most popular girl names in 2024.”
She adds, "There were 24 boys and 37 girls named Ariel last year but when we watch a blockbuster, baby names follow, and I predict Eric will also be a top baby name again within the next couple of years while it’s been languishing outside for over a decade."
She continues, "More subtle names from Disney are Gus, after one of Cinderella’s mice, or Flynn from Tangled. For girls, Esmerelda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame is one to use quickly as the remake is rumoured to be released in 2024.”
Barbie names are also set to rise with Strum saying, “BarbieCore names will be huge next year. Think girly and playful like Mariposa meaning 'butterfly,' Blossom which makes you think pink and I think we’ll see a few Skippers joining the playground. There were three boys called Ken last year, but Kenny is a more modern-sounding version.”
She adds, “Margot already is trending and up 30 places last year. If it repeats the same, it will sit nicely in the top 20 names in the UK for girls - a huge revival for a name totally disused when Margot Robbie was born, given to just eight babies that year.”
Popular baby girl names in the UK
Olivia - a firm favourite for many years, of English, Greek, Latin, and Nordic origin, meaning ‘olive’ or ‘olive tree’.
Amelia - of Germanic, Greek, and Italian, meaning ‘industrious’, ‘ever improving’, ‘hard work’, or ‘fertile’.
Isla - a popular Scottish baby name. Isla means ‘island’.
Ava - of Latin, Hebrew, and Persian origins, meaning variously, ‘voice’, ‘bird’, ‘water’ and ‘sweet melody’. With all these associations, we can see why it’s a popular choice!
Ivy - a name that has very much grown in popularity, jumping 163 places since 2011. Of Old English origin, Ivy means ‘climber’, ‘climbing vine plant’, or ‘vine’.
Freya - of Norse origin, this name has gained 6 places since 2020, making it one of the most popular baby girl name choices. Freya, wife of Odin, is one of the most famous of the Norse gods. If you’re looking for a name rich with mythology, this one's for you! For more Norse name inspiration, see our list of Norse baby names.
Lily - of English and Greek origin, after the flower, which symbolises purity and innocence.
Florence - of Latin origin, meaning ‘prosperous’, ‘blooming’ or ‘flourishing’.
Mia - of Scandinavian and Italian origin, meaning ‘beloved’ or ‘the bitter ocean’.
Willow - a lovely choice of English origin, recalling the Willow tree.
Rosie - of Latin origin, meaning ‘rose’.
Sophia - of Greek origin, meaning ‘wisdom’.
Isabella - of Latin, Italian, and Spanish origin, meaning ‘God is my oath’.
Grace - of Latin origin, meaning ‘God’s grace’.
Daisy - having jumped up nine places since 2020, this name is certainly one of the most popular names. Daisy is of Old English origin, meaning ‘day’s eye’.
Sienna - also gaining popularity in the last ten years, jumping up twenty places since 2011. Sienna is of Latin origin, meaning ‘from the town of Sienna’.
Poppy - of Greek and origin meaning ‘from the flower’.
Elsie - of English and Scottish origin, meaning ‘hard worker’.
Emily - of Latin and Greek origin, meaning ‘industrious’.
Ella - a reliable classic. Of Old English and French origin, meaning ‘beautiful fairy’.
Evelyn - of French and Celtic origin, meaning ‘hazelnut’, ‘life’, ‘bird’ or ‘Optimistic’.
Phoebe - of Greek and Latin origin, meaning ‘the bright one’. In Greek mythology, Phoebus is the god of the sun. Phoebe is the feminization of this name.
Sofia - of Greek, Turkish, Polish, Italian, Swedish, and Spanish, and like ‘Sophia’, meaning ‘wisdom’.
Evie - of Hebrew origin, meaning ‘life’.
Charlotte - of French, Italian, Spanish, German, and English origin, meaning ‘petite and feminine’ or ‘strong’.
Harper - a name which has massively grown in popularity, jumping a whopping 832 places since 2011, when it was a new entry to the top 1000 names… something tells us this might be down to the Beckham’s third child.
Millie - a firm favourite, of German origin, meaning ‘hard worker’.
Matilda - of Germanic origin, meaning ‘might’, ‘power’, or ‘strong in war’.
Maya - also one of the baby girl names that has grown significantly in popularity since 2011, rising 29 places. Of English, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, and Spanish origin, it means ‘illusion’, ‘fantasy’.
Sophie - of Greek origin, meaning ‘wisdom’.
Alice - a name that has remained consistently popular for girls, of Germanic origin, meaning ‘noble’.
Emilia - of Latin origin, meaning ‘labour’, or ‘excel’.
Isabelle - of Hebrew and French origins, meaning ‘pledged to God’.
Ruby - of Latin and French origin, meaning ‘deep red precious stone’.
Luna - another one that has seriously grown in popularity since 2011, jumping 341 places. Luna is of Latin origin, meaning ‘moon’.
Maisie - of Scottish, English, and French origin, meaning ‘pearl’.
Aria - of Italian origin, meaning ‘song’ or ‘melody’.
Penelope - of Greek origin. In the Odyssey, Penelope, wife of Odyseus, cleverly repels suitors by weaving a never ending shroud, unpicking it at night. Penelope is an emblem of cleverness - we can understand why it’s a popular baby girl name idea!
Mila - of Spanish origin, meaning ‘miracles’.
Bonnie - of Scottish origin, meaning ‘pleasing’, ‘fun’, ‘lively’.
Eva - of Hebrew and Egyptian origin, meaning ‘bearer of good news’, ‘giver of life’.
Hallie - a name of relatively new popularity, of Scandinavian and German origin, meaning ‘dweller at the meadow’, ‘Praise the Lord’.
Eliza - of Hebrew origin, meaning ‘god is my oath’ - a shortened version of Elizabeth.
Ada - of German origin, derived from ‘Adelaide’, meaning ‘noble’.
Violet - an English name of Latin origin, meaning ‘purple’.
Esme - of French, Anglo-Saxon and Spanish origin, meaning ‘To love’, ‘beloved’, ‘little loved one’.
Arabella - of Latin and Scottish origin, meaning ‘beautiful grace’, ‘answered prayer’, or ‘lovable’.
Imogen - of Gaelic and English origin, meaning ‘maiden’. Made famous in part because Shakespeare’s daughter was called Imogen. Perfect for theatre lovers!
Jessica - of Hebrew and English origin, meaning ‘the lord beholds’.
Delilah - of Hebrew origin, meaning ‘lovelorn’, ‘seductive’, ‘delightful’.
While Olivia remains top of the list for the sixth year in a row, Freya, Florence and Willow have replaced Isabella, Rosie, and Sophia as popular girls names.
What Mumsnetters say on the most popular baby girl names
"Sophie/Sophia is pretty much perfect as a name IMO" - Mumsnet user, YouSoundLovely
"Ivy is a revival name" - Mumsnet user, ODFOx
"Ada is a lovely name and fairly popular these days too" - Mumsnet user, Isabellabasil
Popular baby boy names in the UK
51. Noah - jumping three places since 2020, to displace Oliver as the most popular boys name. Noah is of Hebrew origin, meaning ‘rest’, ‘comfort’.
52. Oliver - of Latin origin, meaning ‘elf army’ or ‘olive tree’.
53. George - of Greek and Celtic origin, meaning ‘earth worker’, ‘farmer’.
54. Arthur - of Gaelic, Latin and Welsh origin, meaning ‘bear’, ‘stone bear’, ‘noble’.
55. Muhammad - a consistently popular name for boys, climbing seventeen places since 2011, of Arabic origin, meaning ‘praise’.
56. Leo - of German, Latin, Japanese, Irish, Romanian and Italian origin, meaning ‘lion’.
57. Harry - jumping one place since 2020, of Germanic origin, meaning ‘leader’.
58. Oscar - of Old English, Celtic and Irish origin, meaning ‘dear friend’.
59. Archie - of relatively recent popularity, jumping 15 places since 2011, meaning ‘bold’, ‘brave’.
60. Henry - of Germanic origin, meaning ‘Estate ruler’, ‘ruler of an enclosure’, ‘home ruler’.
61. Theodore - a huge increase in popularity since 2011, jumping 113 places, Theodore is hot right now. Of Greek origin, it means ‘God’s gift’.
62. Freddie - of German origin, meaning ‘noble ruler’.
63. Jack - could Jack be on its way out of fashion? It remains very popular, but has fallen three places since last year and ten since 2011. Of Hebrew and English origins, it means ‘the Lord is gracious’.
64. Charlie - of Germanic origin, meaning ‘free man’.
65. Theo - of Greek and English origin, meaning ‘gift from God’.
66. Alfie - of British origin, meaning ‘elf council’, ‘wise’.
67. Jacob - an Old Testament name, meaning ‘supplanter’.
68. Thomas - of Aramaic origin, meaning ‘twin’.
69. Finley - jumping fifteen places since 2011, this name was rising in popularity. However this year it dropped down three - perhaps Finley has peaked? Either way it’s a fun choice. Of Irish and Scottish origin, meaning ‘fair haired one’, ‘fair haired warrior’.
70. Arlo - a name that continues to grow in popularity, jumping 261 places since 2011. Derived from Old English, it means ‘fortified hill’. A great gender-neutral choice for boys and girls. For more names like this, see our list of 100 gender-neutral baby names.
71. William - of Germanic origin, meaning ‘resolute protector’.
72. Lucas - of Greek origin, meaning ‘bringer of light’.
73. Roman - of Hebrew origin, meaning ‘strong and powerful’.
74. Tommy - of English origin, meaning ‘twin’.
75. Isaac - the first son of Abraham in the Old Testament, Isaac means ‘one who laughs’.
76. Teddy - a big mover since 2011, jumping 142 places, of French origins, meaning ‘wealthy protector’.
77. Alexander - of Greek origin, meaning ‘helper and defender of mankind’.
78. Luca - of Greek and Italian origin, meaning ‘the light’.
79. Edward - of Old English origin, meaning ‘guardian of wealth’.
80. James - of Hebrew, Latin and Persian origin, meaning ‘supplanting’, ‘seizing by the heel’. It is a variant of Jacob.
81. Joshua - a name on its way down in popularity, dropping eight places since 2020 and twenty-two since 2011. It comes from Hebrew and means ‘God is deliverance’.
82. Albie - a name on the up, jumping 186 places since 2011. Of Old English origin, it means ‘bright’.
83. Elijah - of Hebrew origin, meaning ‘Yahweh is my God’.
84. Max - a diminutive of Maximilian, meaning ‘greatest’.
85. Mohammed - of Arabic origin, meaning ‘praiseworthy’.
86. Reuben - a name steadily growing in popularity. Of Hebrew origin, it means ‘behold’, ‘a son’.
87. Mason - of English and Scottish origin, meaning ‘stone worker’.
88. Sebastian - of Greek, French and Latin origin, meaning ‘venerable’ or ‘revered’.
89. Rory - of Gaelic and Irish origin, meaning
90. Jude - a name steadily growing in popularity, jumping thirteen places since 2020, of Greek origin, meaning ‘praised’.
91. Louie - of Germanic origin, meaning ‘renowned warrior’.
92. Benjamin - of Hebrew origin, meaning ‘son of the right hand’, ‘son of the South’, ‘favorite’ son’ and ‘life’.
93. Ethan - a name perhaps on its way out of the top 100 baby names for boys, dropping 7 places since 2020, and 32 since 2011. Of Hebrew origin, Ethan means ‘strong’, ‘safe’, ‘solid’, ‘firm’.
94. Adam - of Hebrew and Arabic origin, meaning ‘man’.
95. Hugo - some might say that this name sounds a bit posh, it’s certainly catching on, jumping 6 places since 2020 and 94 since 2011. Of Germanic and Portuguese origin, it means ‘heart’, ‘mind’, ‘spirit’. If you’re on the look out for more names like this - check out our list of 100 posh baby names.
96. Joseph - of Hebrew origin, meaning ‘he shall add’, ‘may god add’.
97. Reggie - from Reginald, the Latinisation of the German name Raginwald, meaning ‘king’ or ‘queen’.
98. Ronnie - a diminutive of the Norse masculine name Ronald, Ronnie means ‘ruler’, ‘advice’ and ‘decision’. For more names of Norse origin, see our list of 100 Norse baby names.
99. Harrison - of English origin, meaning ‘son of Harry’.
100. Louis - of Germanic, French and Greek origin, meaning ‘renowned warrior’.
Evidently Noah was the most popular name, replacing Oliver from top spot and ending an eight-year reign. Interestingly, Henry replaced Jack in the top 10 names for boys too - leaving two variations of the popular Germanic name in the top 10, alongside Harry. It's also the first time Jack hasn't been in the top 10 of the ONS list since 1996!
What Mumsnetters say about popular baby boy names
"Haven't heard of a single Jude for years! It's my DH's fave boys name and was always going to be our boys name if we had one (we had a girl)" - Mumsnet user, polkapolkadot
"Lovely name, and such a nice new Pixar film recently too! I also really like Lucas but, if you're Italian, Luca is particularly nice" - Mumsnet user, OrangeAndYellowAndBlue
"My one-year-old has a friend called Hugo and thinks his name is 'Here you go' said quickly. It's the cutest thing" - Mumsnet user, RunningOnHope
How to choose a baby name
What is the coolest baby name in 2023?
While coolness doesn’t always equal popularity, might we suggest a few from the top 100 for boys and girls? How about Arlo, an excellent unisex choice, or Willow for a girl?
What names are going to be popular in 2024?
While official data from the ONS hasn't been released this year, we expect to see the usual suspects in the top 10 list based on historical data.
We anticipate Noah to remain quite high on the list for boys, and Olivia at the top of the girls - but with that said, there's no reason why Olivia should slip from first place for 2023 with the rise of Harper, Amelia and Ella.
Finding the right baby name
Choosing a baby name is a huge pressure for parents, and a decision that isn't (and shouldn't) be taken lightly. Finding a name that suits both your baby, your family and your interests and lifestyle can go a long way to shaping the life of your little one.
We've got guides on all kinds of baby names to help you in your search, including Welsh and Scottish baby names, alongside Norse baby names and even baby names inspired by nature! You'll also find posh, old-fashioned and modern baby names too.
Last but not least, if you're unsure about a name - you can always ask fellow Mumsnetters in oue Baby Names forum.
New baby essentials: what to buy
So you've got the baby name sorted, now comes the easy bit of actually having a baby, right? Well, we'll leave you to find that out for yourself, but to help make things a bit easier, we've researched and tested the best products on the market so you don't have to.
When it comes to newborn essentials, including pushchairs, baby car seats, breast pumps, baby monitors and more, our Swears By recommendations have been rigorously put through their paces by real-life parents to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck.
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About the author
Laura Westerman is an editor, writer and Deputy Head of Editorial Content at Mumsnet, overseeing the website's baby and pregnancy content. She is mum to a one-year-old.
With over seven years' experience as a full-time editor and a passion for SEO, Laura has written extensively on everything from parenting to travel, but likes nothing more than researching the best and most unique baby names, as well as their fascinating origins, to help parents decide on the perfect moniker for their new arrival.