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Why are Americans more open to modern names than British people?
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Dawncarter100287 · 07/05/2022 14:47

I’m from US and have been on this website and other name forum websites for a long time and I have a question for British people mainly. I’ve noticed that brits always tend to stick to the old fashioned common names like Olivia, lily, Ella (Which are top names here aswell don’t get me wrong) but on the US charts there are a lot more modern names like paisley, kinsley, raelyn etc. I understand that everyone has different tastes and not everyone in America likes the modern style names either, but I’ve seen Brits call these newer names “trashy” or “too American” as insults. I’ve looked through the British top 100 and there arent really any standout names why are British people not as adventurous with their naming choices as Americans are?

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CompostMaker · 07/05/2022 14:49

Because it is a different country we have a different culture resulting in different likes and dislikes…

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LoudingVoice · 07/05/2022 14:51

Because it’s a different country, it’s like asking why in France people tend to prefer French names!

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Imogensmumma · 07/05/2022 14:52

I’m Australian, now living in the UK , Australia also follows the UK view of giving classic timeless names. Modern names are like kitchen upgrades they show generational age

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Threetulips · 07/05/2022 14:52

Names change in popularity.

yes the current names, Ella, Sofia, Grace, and making way for more Irish based names, but American names are creeping in!

More American TV may be the reason that the names are begging to become more popular.

It goes in cycles.

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merryhouse · 07/05/2022 14:52

Perhaps it's because the US is a mixture of so many different language traditions that everyone is used to hearing names that sound to them unusual?

(Paisley is a town in Scotland, and a pattern originally from India to which we gave the name of the town that stole adopted it)

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Chica10 · 07/05/2022 14:55

The names you mentioned - Paisley, Kinsley and Raelyn are acutely very old names, historically and religiously. So hardly modern, and definitely not any more modern than Olivia it Lilly or Ella.The first 2 are also surnames and places, but also used as a unisex name.

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Allinmyhead101 · 07/05/2022 14:57

Snobbishness and classism. "New" are seen as chavvy and an indicator that you're from a lower class

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PierresPotato · 07/05/2022 14:57

It's cultural. There are some names that just sound unusual on a UK baby in my opinion.
If you've grown up in USA you'll have a different feel for names.
Similarly within the UK there are different naming traditions in different geographical areas and within different cultural groups.
It's like the English language itself: we may all share a majority of vocabulary and structure but there are many, many variants.

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ButFirstTea · 07/05/2022 14:59

I wouldn't think of any of those as modern names tbh, they sound 80s/90s to me and a bit dated.

There are plenty of equivalent names in the UK, I would just guess that they aren't popular enough to make the top 100.

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Dawncarter100287 · 07/05/2022 15:00

Yes they are surnames being the operative word. They are modern names because they only came into use as FIRST names in the past 10 years, they were only ever second names before them

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PierresPotato · 07/05/2022 15:02

Paisley as a girls name was never been widely adopted in the UK. Of the top of my head Florence has had far more success since the Victorian era. (Maybe Paisley will come to be as popular who knows!)
I've known a few Raes and many Lyns but it's far less common to run them together.
I think it's stretching to say they are really part of any UK naming culture.

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Dawncarter100287 · 07/05/2022 15:02

80s and 90s? Do you know anyone over age of 10 with them names, it’s impossible they only entered the top 1000 popaulrity charts in the US in 2012

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SoupDragon · 07/05/2022 15:05

Could you be any more sneery in your post?

it's simply because we are a different country. Hardly rocket science.

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EufyProsser · 07/05/2022 15:05

A lot of those place-name names that are popular in the US are popular because the parent hasn't actually been to Paisley/Everton/Warwick/Weobley.

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stuntbubbles · 07/05/2022 15:07

I understand that everyone has different tastes
Do you though

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JonesBones · 07/05/2022 15:09

Class system maybe. My children’s prep school has 460 pupils, I would say it’s the same 40 names used over and over. Boys are all Hugo, Archie, Harry, Henry, Alexander, Charlie, Ollie with the occasional Peregrine and Willoughby. Girls are Millie, Clemmie, Mills (Camilla), Georgiana, Katie, Isabella, Octavia. I am not from this country but have lived here a long time and have learnt a child’s first name usually makes a statement about their background, sometimes it’s aspirational of course. A black lab in the boot is also mandatory.

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JonesBones · 07/05/2022 15:11

I say 40 names, thinking about it, more like the same 20 names.

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TryingNotToReact9to5 · 07/05/2022 15:11

I'm Irish not American or British but i'd guess it's because a huge part of America's identity is that 'we all came from all over the world to unite', so there's no one identity that is accepted as the only default. In Ireland, there are two normals I'd say. Irish names are normal and English names are normal. They're both normal. So I'd imagine in America it's like that but on a much wider scale.

But also, I think it's to do with the aristocracy in the UK, that's still seen as what British people must all be aspiring to, whether they are or they aren't! I think that keeps people in the UK more conventional in their choices.

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MrsTerryPratchett · 07/05/2022 15:14

I'm a tiny bit suspicious of the OP. It's a pretty classic stereotype of Americans to push and say, "why don't you...?" Or "its so weird when people do..." about other cultures. It does rather suggest American things are best and knowing MN's obsession with hating American things, a little dog-whistley.

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ButFirstTea · 07/05/2022 15:15

Dawncarter100287

80s and 90s? Do you know anyone over age of 10 with them names, it’s impossible they only entered the top 1000 popaulrity charts in the US in 2012

I don't know anyone of any age with those names 😅 I said they sounded older to my ear, I just don't think the sound of them is very modern.

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midsomermurderess · 07/05/2022 15:32

See, if you live in the US, Paisley might be regarded as a nice name. In Scotland, especially the West, not so much. It’s a rather depressing, post-industrial, down-at-heel town. Different cultures, different references.

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BlueKaftan · 07/05/2022 15:33

I honestly think many Americans don’t understand how different the two cultures are and they don’t understand why there’s so much anti-American sentiment in England especially. I don’t find the OPs post sneery or obstinate. But the idea that the names mentioned, Paisley and Raelyn, are modern, is not correct. Those would be considered down market names in America and mostly associated with the South.

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Dodgygeezer · 07/05/2022 15:36

Fairly sure Kingsley Amis is/was more than ten years old

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OhLordyWhatNow · 07/05/2022 15:41

I agree with PP I would put Paisley, Kinsley, Raelyn in with the UK names Kylie, Kelsey, Chelsea that were popular in the late 80's and 90's.

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Irishfarmer · 07/05/2022 15:56

really don't think they are very different:

https://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/

As pp said that over all the USA has a bigger pot of cultures to pick names from there are people descended from all over Europe/ Africa/ Asia living there. This is true for parts of the UK too but not to the same extent.

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