This is my last post on the 2013 England and Wales baby name list, I promise.
Here are five names from the list that made me curious enough to do some digging…
Darcy just keeps rising, doesn’t it? Wonder how high it will go. Two variants of the name are now in the top 100, and a third is just three spots away:
- Darcey (651 baby girls) – ranks 84th
- Darcy (588) – ranks 93rd
- Darcie (540) – ranks 103rd
Lower down on the list there are 22 more variants (I’m including compound names here):
- Darci (56), D’arcy (11), Darcee (9)
- Darcie-Mae (22), Darcy-Mae (13), Darcie-Mai (11), Darcy-May (9), Darcie-May (7), Darcey-Mai (5), Darcey-Mae (4), Darcey-May (3), Darci-Mae (3)
- Darcie-Rae (12), Darcey-Rae (3), Darcy-Rae (3)
- Darcy-Leigh (9), Darcie-Leigh (8), Darcey-Leigh (4)
- Darcey-Rose (6), Darcie-Rose (6), Darcy-Rose (3)
- Darcie-Louise (3)
In total, 1,989 baby girls share these 25 versions of Darcy. If we could rank the entire group, it would fall between #24 Phoebe and #25 Millie on the 2013 list.
As Lou of Mer de Noms noted in a post about female names on the rise, dancer Darcey Bussell became a judge on the TV show Strictly Come Dancing in 2012. This explains why Darcey overtook the more traditional spelling Darcy that year.
And the name is still being used for boys, at least for now. Last year, more than 2 dozen baby boys were named Darcy.
The 5th most popular girl name in England and Wales right now is Isla, which is pronounced EYE-la. The –s– is silent, the same way the –s– is silent in the word “isle.”
But more and more parents are opting to simplify the name by respelling it Iyla. Watch how the number of baby girls named Iyla has been rising in the shadow of skyrocketing Isla:
I doubt Iyla will ever overtake the traditional version of the name, but you never know, alternative spellings sometimes catch on. Darcey is now ahead of Darcy, after all, and Zoey has been more popular than Zoe here in the U.S. since 2011.
Last year, two variants of this name entered the girls’ top 1,000 for the first time:
- Manahil (52 baby girls) – ranks 750th
- Minahil (47) – ranks 813th
- Menahil (4)
And I found a fourth variant, Minaahil, on the list from 2012.
Manahil is an Arabic name that means “springs, fountains.” It’s the plural form of the word Manhal.
Ruzgar, given to 20 baby boys last year, comes from the Turkish word rüzgâr, meaning “wind.” You can hear the proper pronunciation of Rüzgâr at Forvo.
Usage of the name Tulisa plummeted last year, but that’s only part of the story. The name also increased in popularity markedly from 2009 to 2012:
- 2013: 33 baby girls named Tulisa [out of the top 1,000 again]
- 2012: 126 baby girls named Tulisa [ranked 375th]
- 2011: 86 baby girls named Tulisa [ranked 494th]
- 2010: 34 baby girls named Tulisa [ranked 988th]
- 2009: 6 baby girls named Tulisa [debut]
- 2008: unlisted
What accounts for the steep rise and the even steeper drop?
English singer and television personality Tulisa (born Tula Paulinea Contostavlos). She became famous as a member of the hip hop group N-Dubz (2000-2011) and was a judge on the TV show The X Factor (2011-2012).
But 2013 was not a good year for Tulisa. First, she left television. Second, she was arrested on drug charges. These two things were enough to knock the baby name Tulisa out of the top 1,000.
Though the stage name is pronounced tu-lee-sa, her name was originally pronounced tu-litz-a and was used to distinguish her from her grandmother (and namesake) Tula. The Greek name Tula/Toula is a short form of any Greek feminine name ending with the diminutive –toula such as Aretoula, Fotoula, Kostoula, Kritoula, Margaritoula, Panagiotoula or Stamatoula.
Have you had a chance to scan the list? Which of the baby names there made you curious?
- Gandhi, Maneka, and Ozair Husain. The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names. New Delhi: Penguin Books India, 2004.
- Smith, Sean. Tulisa. London: Simon & Schuster UK, 2012.