If you’re looking for some baby name inspiration, look back in time.
Old-fashioned names have been on the rise for a while – but now names from the early 20th century are increasing in popularity.
For girls, names like Florence and Ivy which were popular in the early 1900s, are now back in the top 20 names for girls, after falling out of the list for decades.
Arthur surged into the top 10 boys’ names for the first time since the 1920s, and Ada jumped into the girls’ top 100 for the first time in a century. Both names haven’t appeared in the top 100 list since 1924.
Of course, traditional names like George, William, Edward and Elizabeth have consistently featured in the top 100 since the early 20th century.
But it seems its only names from the 1900s and 1920s that are surging in popularity. New parents are avoiding names which were common for new babies in the 1940s and 1950s.
Kenneth, Roger, Keith, Terence and Barry were all in the top 20 names for boys in 1944 but none are in the top 1,000 in 2018.
The names Christine, Jean, Ann, Susan, Janet, Maureen, Carol, Pauline, Joan and Pamela were all in the top 20 in 1944, but none are in the top 1,000 names for girls in 2018.
Even names that were popular 10 years ago are starting to fall out of favour.
Compared with 2008, only Oliver, Harry, Jack and Charlie have remained in the top ten names for boys. None of the 2018 top 10 names for boys featured in the top 10 between 1944 and 1984.
Olivia, Amelia, Emily and Grace were the only names to feature in both the 2008 and 2018 top 10 names for girls. None of the top 10 names for girls in 2018 appeared in the top 10 before 1994.
The Office for National Statistics, who put together the list of the most popular baby names every year, said: ‘We cannot say for sure why this is happening. However, new parents may associate names which were popular in the 40s and 50s with their own parents or grandparents, and therefore be less inclined to choose them.
‘In contrast, it is unlikely that new parents of today will have living memories of those born in the early 1900s, which may contribute to the revival in popularity of these names.
‘While some names for girls are making a return, other names that were popular at the start of the 1900s are now considerably less popular.
‘In 2018, there were fewer than three girls named Gladys, or Marjorie – names that had been in the top 20 in the early decades of the 1900s. However, these names were still in the top 100 in the 1930s and 1940s respectively, which means they are still likely to be within living memory.’
We’ve put together the list of the most popular baby names for 1900 so if the trend continues, expect to see more if these cropping up in the list next year.
Top baby names for boys in 1900
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