7 Unusual Baby Names in England and Wales, 2009

The latest batch of English baby names was released last week, and I’ve finally had time to peruse the whole thing (over 10,000 names in total). Here are a few of the interesting names I spotted:

  • T, given to 8 baby boys. The SSA doesn’t include one-letter names on the U.S. list, and I only know of one U.S. baby that may have been named T, so I’m curious about how many Ts we have over here. And whether any of them have the middle name Pain.
  • Leeloo, given to 3 baby girls. This was the name of the half-naked, orange-haired alien character played by Milla Jovovich in the The Fifth Element (1997). The U.S. list doesn’t include names given to fewer than 5 babies, which is a shame–just think of all the crazy names we’ll never see. (Also, Leeloo reminds me of Laa-Laa.)
  • Cobain, given to 3 baby boys. This one smells like teen spirit to me. And it reminds me that I started a post about ’90s alt-rock baby names ages ago that I ought to find and finish…
  • Siouxsie, given to 3 baby girls. Another music reference, this time to influential Brit rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. Either that or specifically to vocalist Siouxsie Sioux.
  • Kal-el, given to 13 baby boys. I see Superman’s birth name as a real-life baby name so often nowadays that it doesn’t even seem unusual anymore. Also, notice the hyphen–something else the SSA excludes from the U.S. list.
  • Daisy-Boo, given to 4 baby girls. Just like Jamie Oliver’s second daughter. Makes me wonder how many babies named “Buddy-Bear” will pop up on the 2010 list.
  • Xanthe, given to 55 baby girls. Up from 18 a decade ago. This one surprised me, as only a handful of U.S. babies are named Xanthe every year. Is Xanthe on its way up in England? Is Xanthe the new Zoe? Hm.

Have you had a chance to scan the full list yet? (You can download the Excel files here.)


5 thoughts on “7 Unusual Baby Names in England and Wales, 2009

  1. I went to school with a girl named Xanthe…I didn’t realise it was so unusual. I had considered the name Cobain but I decided it just wasn’t that attractive. And if my husband could have his way, our son would probably be named Kal-el, or something like it! My friend calles her daughter Leeloo, as a nickname for Leah.

  2. Xanthe means blonde I think in greek. I met a little girl with this name a while back and it was interestingly cool really like it

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