Home   Lifestyle   Article

Subscribe Now

Baby names consistently popular in the last 100 years according to ONS birth records analysed by labels firm My Nametags





Baby names which have not fallen out of fashion in 100 years have been revealed.

Analysis of a century's worth of birth data has found a small handful of names that have consistently remained a firm favourite with parents through the generations.

My Nametags has trawled 100 years worth of name data
My Nametags has trawled 100 years worth of name data

Only 15 names, say those behind the research, have made it into the top 100 most popular baby names every single decade since the 1920s.

And it may be no surprise to find that it's the more traditional monikers - many often favoured by the royal family including Charles, Elizabeth, Edward and George - that make up a chunk of the the final list which has been compiled by name label manufacturers My Nametags using registered birth records kept by the Office for National Statistics for England and Wales.

The research has used registered births data kept by the Office for National Statistics. Image: iStock.
The research has used registered births data kept by the Office for National Statistics. Image: iStock.

Research has also revealed it may be girls' names that fall in and out of fashion more quickly than those for boys - with 13 boys' names in the top 15 list compared to just two names given to girls.

There are also 339 different names for girls to have appeared in the top 100 of each decade between 1920 and 2010, compared to just 276 for boys, suggesting that parents may indeed be more daring and varied in their name choices for daughters compared to sons.

While Gwendoline, Doris, and Vera were all firm staples of the 1920s, says My Nametags, they haven't stood the test of time in the same way that names for boys have done and have since been replaced with names including Harriet, Robyn and Zoe in later decades.

Are parents more daring with names for girls or boys? Image: iStock.
Are parents more daring with names for girls or boys? Image: iStock.

The analysis by mynametags.com also points to a change in attitudes towards nicknames throughout the generations.

For instance, Alexander is one of the most consistently popular names having been in the charts every decade since the 1920s, whilst Alex didn’t become a name that was popular in its own right until the 80s.

The same trend, say researchers, can be seen with Anthony, Daniel, and Joshua, with their shortened versions - Tony, Danny, and Josh - all making appearances as given names much later in the birth records.

A preference for nicknames as children's given names shows parents becoming more informal with their name choices, especially when it comes to boys, as we move through the decades.

In the 1920s, just three nicknames appear in the top 100 boys’ chart - Harry, Roy and Fred - compared to 15 in the 2010s chart including recent favourites Teddy, Ollie and Freddie.

There are 15 names which have remained consistently popular in the last century
There are 15 names which have remained consistently popular in the last century

Lars B. Andersen, managing director at My Nametags, said: "At My Nametags, we have been tracking baby name trends for almost two decades. Throughout the years, we have seen many names come and go, with trends often influenced by pop culture. For example, we saw a huge spike in the name Aria whilst Game of Thrones was airing. However, there are some names that seem to have enduring appeal.

"It’s interesting to see that, whilst traditional monikers like Elizabeth and George are maintaining their charm, names in general are becoming more diverse as parents favour less formal options, and increasingly take inspiration from popular culture. For example, Maeve made the top 100 charts in 2020, a year after the Netflix show Sex Education aired for the first time with its lead character Maeve Wiley. As popular culture continues to have a wider social impact, we expect this trend to grow, leading to an even broader range of names in the UK."

Children pictured at the Queen's Coronation in 1953 - Elizabeth made the top 15
Children pictured at the Queen's Coronation in 1953 - Elizabeth made the top 15

Earlier this year parenting website Baby Centre unveiled a list of names it said were falling out of favour with families. While Olivia, Lily, Noah and Oliver are among those most frequently chosen by families welcoming a new baby - the likes of Stacey, Shirley, Cliff and Giles hit zero registrations according to birth records for the last 12 months.

Deirdre, Sheila, Nigel and Harold are also among the baby names thought to be at risk of dying out, suggested researchers, after no family is understood to have chosen the names in 2022.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More