How popular is the baby name Finlay in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Finlay and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Finlay.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Finlay

Number of Babies Named Finlay

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Finlay

Popular Baby Names in England and Wales, 2015

According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the most popular baby names in England and Wales last year were (again) Amelia and Oliver.

Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Amelia, 5,158 baby girls
2. Olivia, 4,853
3. Emily, 3,893
4. Isla, 3,474
5. Ava, 3,414
6. Ella, 3,028
7. Jessica, 2,937
8. Isabella, 2,876
9. Mia, 2,842
10. Poppy, 2,816
1. Oliver, 6,941 baby boys
2. Jack, 5,371
3. Harry, 5,308
4. George, 4,869
5. Jacob, 4,850
6. Charlie, 4,831
7. Noah, 4,148
8. William, 4,083
9. Thomas, 4,075
10. Oscar, 4,066

In the girls’ top 10, Ella and Mia replace Lily (now 13th) and Sophie (now 11th).

In the boys’ top 10, Noah (the top name in the U.S. right now) replace James (11th).

In the girls’ top 100, Penelope, Mila, Clara, Arabella, Maddison and Aria replace Lydia (now 103rd), Faith (104th), Mollie (105th), Brooke (107th), Isabel (110th) and Amy (117th).

In the boys’ top 100, Jaxon, Roman, Reggie and Carter replace Owen (now 101st), Robert (105th), Joey (117th) and Finlay (123rd).

Here are some of last year’s rare baby names, each given to either 3, 4 or 5 babies:

Rare Girl Names Rare Boy Names
Aarzoo, Autumn-Lily, Boglarka, Comfort, Edna, Enxi, Euphemia, Flourish, Fozia, Gabia, Jupiter, Lady, Lleucu, Llio, Merveille, Nectaria, Pebbles, Peony, Prisca, Purity, Quorra, Reisel, Sloka, Tuba, Venice, Vimbainashe, Ylva Alffi, Bam, Bright, Crimea, Cuthbert, Efezino, Elimelech, Fyfe, Ghyll, Gryff, James-Dean, Jamesdean, Kushagra, Ignatius, Marmaduke, Math, Mio, Osagie, Otso, Pip, Przemyslaw, Sherlock, Swayley, Ringo, Testimony, Thierno, Zephyrus

(Crimea is intriguing, isn’t it? It was used as a baby name in the 1850s, during the Crimean War, but this is the first time I’ve seen it on a modern name list.)

And what about Welsh names?

Welsh Girl Names Welsh Boy Names
  • Seren (“star”) ranks 17th in Wales
  • Ffion (“foxglove”), 20th
  • Megan, 27th
    • & 76th overall
  • Mali, 45th
  • Alys, 66th
  • Carys (“love”), 72nd
  • Efa, 73rd
  • Cadi, 82nd
  • Lili, 85th
  • Lowri, 88th
  • Eira (“snow”), 92nd
  • Ela, 97th
  • Elin, 97th
  • Dylan ranks 13th in Wales
    • & 38th overall
  • Osian, 25th
  • Harri, 27th
  • Jac, 33rd
  • Rhys, 34th
  • Evan, 37th
  • Tomos, 47th
  • Cai, 51st
  • Ioan, 56th
  • Morgan, 67th
  • Elis, 66th
  • Hari, 82nd
  • Gethin (“swarthy”), 88th
  • Iestyn, 88th
  • Macsen, 92nd
  • Owain, 92nd
  • Ifan, 96th

Finally, if you’d like to go back another year, here are the England and Wales rankings for 2014.

Source: Baby names in England and Wales: 2015


Popular Baby Names in Scotland, 2015

According to provisional data from National Records of Scotland, the most popular baby names in Scotland in 2015 were Emily and Jack.

Here are Scotland’s projected top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily
2. Sophie
3. Olivia
4. Isla
5. Ava
6. Jessica
7. Amelia
8. Ella
9. Lucy
10. Lily
1. Jack
2. Oliver
3. James
4. Lewis
5. Alexander
6. Charlie
7. Logan
8. Lucas
9. Harris
10. Daniel, Finlay & Jacob (3-way tie)

The press release also mentioned that Leo, Brodie, Harrison, Georgia and Rosie were big climbers this year.

But this data only accounts for the first 11 months or so of 2015, so I’ll wait until the finalized data is published (typically in March) before updating this post with more detail.

Until then, here are the top baby names in Scotland for 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.

For more sets of rankings, see the name rankings category, or the UK & Ireland name rankings subcategory.

UPDATE, 3/22/16: Here are Scotland’s finalized rankings for 2015.

Sources: Jack and Emily are Scotland’s top baby names, Baby names: Jack and Emily top Scottish list again

Popular Baby Names in Scotland, 2014

According to provisional data from National Records of Scotland, the most popular baby names in Scotland in 2014 were Emily and Jack.

The provisional data accounts for the first 11 months of 2014; finalized data will be out on March 11, 2015.

Here are Scotland’s projected top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily, 539 baby girls
2. Sophie, 514
3. Olivia, 446
4. Isla, 401
5. Jessica, 392
6. Ava, 349
7. Amelia, 340
8. Lucy, 338
9. Lily, 282
10. Ella, 256 (tie)
10. Sophia, 256 (tie)
12. Ellie, 254
13. Grace, 244
14. Freya, 235
15. Millie, 233
16. Chloe, 228
17. Emma, 216
18. Mia, 213
19. Eilidh, 207
20. Anna, 200
1. Jack, 540 baby boys
2. James, 414
3. Lewis, 373
4. Oliver, 362
5. Logan, 328
6. Daniel, 322
7. Noah, 305
8. Charlie, 296
9. Lucas, 292
10. Alexander, 285
11. Mason, 263
12. Finlay, 258
13. Max, 256
14. Adam, 253
15. Harry, 251
16. Harris, 250
17. Aaron, 247
18. Ethan, 241
19. Cameron, 237
20. Jacob, 231

The fastest climbers within the top 20 were Noah, Max and Adam for boys and Grace and Freya for girls.

Newbies to the boys’ top 20 were Aaron and Cameron. They replaced Alfie and Riley.

Newbies to the girls’ top 20 were Eilidh and Anna. They replaced Erin and Eva.

(Did you know that Eilidh, in combination with the surname McCorquodale, was determined to be the 10th most Scottish name of all time?)

I won’t go any deeper into this set of data, as the real thing will be released in a matter of months, but if you want to see the full (provisional) top 100 for Scotland check out my sources.

Or, you could take a look at the top baby names in Scotland for 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.

UPDATE, March 12 – The updated data was released yesterday! Click the 2nd source link below and download Table 4 or Table 5 for the full set of names.

Sources: Jack and Emily are Scotland’s top baby names, Babies’ First Names 2014: List of Detailed Tables and Infographic

Popular Baby Names in Scotland, 2013

This is the second 2013 list I’ve seen so far.

According to provisional finalized data from Scotland’s General Register Office, the most popular baby names in Scotland are still Sophie and Jack.

Here are Scotland’s projected top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Sophie, 516 baby girls
2. Olivia, 499
3. Emily, 490
4. Isla, 409
5. Lucy, 393
6. Ava, 383
7. Jessica, 374
8. Amelia, 303
9. Ella, 300
10. Millie, 297
11. Lily, 288
12. Chloe, 267
13. Sophia, 266
14. Ellie, 256
15. Eva, 254
16. Emma, 251
17. Mia, 236
18. Freya, 225 (tie)
19. Grace, 225 (tie)
20. Erin, 223
1. Jack, 595 baby boys
2. James, 434
3. Lewis, 382
4. Oliver, 361
5. Daniel, 359
6. Logan, 349
7. Alexander, 318
8. Lucas, 313
9. Charlie, 301
10. Harry, 299
11. Mason, 292
12. Ethan, 284
13. Noah, 282
14. Harris, 270
15. Riley, 265
16. Finlay, 259
17. Alfie, 257
18. Jacob, 249
19. Max, 247
20. Adam, 243

New to the top 20 girl names are Ella and Erin. Drop-outs are Hannah and Holly.

New to the top 20 boy names are Noah, Harris and Jacob. Drop-outs are Tyler, Aaron, Ryan and Liam. (There’s an extra name on the drop-out list because there was a tie for 20th place on the boys’ list last year.)

Of the 4,396 girl names bestowed last year in Scotland, 55 were given to more than 100 baby girls while 2,872 were used only once.

Of the 3,410 boy names bestowed, 74 were given to more than 100 baby boys while 2,197 were used only once.

Here are some of the names used only once in Scotland last year:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Anadoo, Ayse-Gul, Bellatrix, Bjelle, Boroka, Calaposha, Claurieli, Comfort, Diorlouise, Dristy, Drooj, Io, Light, Morag, Nellicy, Ruvimbo, Scarlett-Beau, Scotland, Success, Tarannom, Willowmena Argyll-Sutherland, Bhriclan, Boto, Bright, Cal-El, Dempster, Frew, Gexian, Godsrest, Grave, Hollywood, Johnboy, Jozzel, King-Enoch, Ledley-Lee, Mnelisi, Moray-Geo, Noxx, Success, Timocy, Woodiee

(Yup, one Success on each side.)

Want to see past lists of popular baby names in Scotland? Check out the 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 lists.

Sources: Babies’ First Names 2013 – GRO Scotland, Baby names: Jack and Sophie again Scotland’s most popular

Name Quotes for the Weekend #11

From an article in The Independent about filmmaker Lu Lu:

Lu Lu is no stranger to a language gap. Even her name is a constant source of confusion in America. “They ask me my first name. I say ‘Lu.’ Then they ask me for my last name, and I say ‘Lu.’ They think I misunderstood them.” In Chinese, the characters, while pronounced the same, are written differently. In English, though, Lu Lu’s first and last name are identical. She laughs, being frank, “My name in Chinese is ordinary, but when I came to the US, people think it is interesting.”

From a New York Times article about hipsters:

While waiting at the cash register, I picked up a pair of argyle wool socks from a nearby wicker basket and asked, “Are your socks local?” The salesman self-consciously said no. I returned the socks like an organic farmer who has learned that a friend has named her child Monsanto.

From Momo Fali’s about page:

When my son was an infant I created an on-line account with the user name “momofali” (read: Mom of Ali) and when my best friend saw the site, she sent me an e-mail asking, “Who’s Momo Fali?” I’ve been Momo ever since. As a matter of fact, most people have trouble calling me Diane anymore.

From a Scotsman.com article about surnames:

Looking to the future, a resurgence in the popularity of traditional Scottish forenames in recent years is likely to combat Anglicisation, said Hough.

“Far more Gaelic and Celtic-derived personal names are being chosen by parents in Scotland, which can be a way of affirming national identity,” she says. “Gaelic-derived forenames that are in the top 100 names in Scotland at the moment include Aiden, Callum and Finlay. Cameron is originally a clan name, and Lewis, Evan and Isla are all place names.”

Frank Dixon, statistician for the National Records of Scotland, which compiles the top 100 baby names, says that whilst Jack and Sophie are the most popular forenames, middle names are increasingly being used to showcase a sense of national identity.

From the Allmusic.com profile of Blues/R&B pianist Ivory Joe Hunter (b. 1914):

An accomplished tunesmith, he played around the Gulf Coast region, hosting his own radio program for a time in Beaumont before migrating to California in 1942. It was a wise move since Hunter — whose real name was Ivory Joe, incidentally (perhaps his folks were psychic!) — found plenty of work pounding out blues and ballads in wartime California.

From an interview with photographer Peter Belanger in The Verge:

What’s your favorite movie, period?

True Romance is one of my favorites. There is an intensity of passion. It showed the extent people will go for those they love, blurred the lines between right and wrong, and had some great lines as well. I wanted to name our first child Alabama after the main character, but my wife vetoed it.

From a letter to the editor in the Casper Star-Tribune:

OK, once again I had to laugh at Tuesday’s paper.

The biggest front page news article, sporting a full banner headline in the place of honor just below the masthead was: “Liam and Emma Most Popular Names for Babies in Wyoming in 2012”

Baby names beat out the meteor sighting and the loss of a popular airline route.

Baby names beat out coverage of Israel’s air strikes on Syria.

Baby names beat out the passage of the Internet sales tax bill, sponsored by Wyoming’s Sen. Mike Enzi. That piece of news didn’t even make the front page.

Now, if the Casper Star-Tribune were a supermarket tabloid or a neighborhood weekly I wouldn’t say a thing. Is that what Wyoming’s only statewide newspaper is trying to be? I thought that the Casper Star Tribune was a real newspaper. Real newspapers carry news on the front page and publish baby name surveys in the home-and-family section.

From a post at Appellation Mountain:

Despite that data, here’s my theory: part of the increasing volatility in baby names is due to conversations like this one. The parents agree on Olive for their daughter’s name, but they’re seriously considering using something else for fear that Olive is going to become too popular. I think Anna gives her excellent advice, and some low-key encouragement to use Olive anyhow. But if we’re thinking this way, that means that we’re discarding names as “too popular” before they’re even popular. All of this crystal-ball gazing pushes us towards more and more unusual names, and growing diversity in given names.

And three in a row from an article in The Atlatnic about the names of NPR reporters

1:

But perhaps no reporter’s name is more beloved than Sylvia Poggioli, NPR’s Italian correspondent. Sylvia has had a cow in Cambodia named after her, and a restaurant in Salem, Oregon. “Every time Sylvia says her name,” the restaurateur said, “I envision Italy, I see and smell good food.”

2:

Neda Ulaby’s first name means “dew” and is fairly common in Syria. (“It’s also the name of the heroine of an opera called Pagliacci who is literally killed by a clown,” she told me over email.)

[…]

A few years ago, a pair of hardcore NPR listeners invited Neda Ulaby to their wedding, sending along a picture of their car’s license plate, which reads “OOLABEE.” “Apparently they’d developed the creepy habit of referring to each other as ‘my little Ulaby.’ So I became a mating call,” she explained.

3:

Robert Smith of Planet Money told me by email that the only reason to change his name “would be so that I could be more famous. You would remember it better if I ended by reports with, ‘I’m Mobius Tutti.'” But at the same time, he says, “I’m in this business to tell other people’s stories, and not to promote myself or my own name. Being a Robert Smith is always a good reminder that you aren’t that different than the people you cover.”

Most Popular Baby Names in Scotland, 2012

The most popular baby names in Scotland were announced last week.

According to the General Register Office, the preliminary winners were Jack for boys and Sophie for girls. Jack has been #1 for five years in a row, and Sophie for eight years in a row.

Here are Scotland’s top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of January-November, 2012:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Sophie
2. Emily
3. Olivia
4. Ava
5. Lucy
6. Isla
7. Lily
8. Jessica
9. Amelia
10. Mia
11. Millie
12. Eva
13. Ellie
14. Chloe
15. Freya
16. Sophia
17. Grace
18. Emma
19. Hannah
20. Holly
1. Jack
2. Lewis
3. Riley
4. James
5. Logan
6. Daniel
7. Ethan
8. Harry
9. Alexander
10. Oliver
11. Max
12. Tyler
13. Aaron & Charlie [tie]
15. Adam
16. Finlay
17. Alfie
18. Mason
19. Ryan
20. Liam & Lucas [tie]

Some of the names that increased in popularity from 2011 to 2012:

Lola (up 24 places to #63)
Mollie (up 24 places to #68)
Amelia (up 20 places to #9)
Orla (up 19 places to #36)
Hollie (up 18 places to #39)
Georgia (up 13 places to #58)
Lexi (up 12 places to #38)
Lacey (up 12 places to #41)
Poppy (up 11 places to #34)
Harris (up 20 places to #29)
Harrison (up 20 places to #53)
Tyler (up 20 places to #12)
Brodie (up 17 places to #54)
Max (up 15 places to #11)
Mason (up 13 places to #18)
Finn (up 13 places to #66)
Riley (up 11 places to #3)

New to the top 100 are Bella, Darcy, Emelia, Lois, Scarlett and Willow (for girls) and Alex, Blake, Calvin, George, Olly, Sebastian, Shay and Zac (for boys).

Among the names moving downward are Abigail, Chloe, Jasmine and Phoebe (for girls) and Aiden, Jayden and Mohammed for boys. (Aiden is down 16 places to #36; Jayden down 10 places to #40.)

To compare, here’s last year’s post on the top baby names in Scotland.

Scotland’s official rankings will be out after the year ends.

Sources: Jack and Sophie are Scotland’s top baby names, Jack and Sophie top Scots baby names list in 2012, Scotland’s favourite baby names revealed

Baby Name Needed for the Sister of Finlay

A reader named Jennifer has a daughter named Finlay Augustine and is now expecting another baby girl. Here’s what she says:

I would prefer to stay in the Irish or Scottish tradition, but am open. We are considering Evangeline Fae, Raleigh Fiona, and Maevy with either Fae or Fiona as a middle name. But I am open to suggestions. I don’t want a first name that begins with F and I don’t want anything too trendy or that would be difficult for others to spell or pronounce. I’m hoping the perfect name falls out of the sky before the baby comes!

Here are my thoughts on the current contenders:

Evangeline Fae
I like how the combination reminds me of Finlay Augustine in a very subtle way. But the first names on their own are so stylistically different that they might seem mismatched. (Would a nickname be used for Evangeline?)

Raleigh Fiona
Raleigh is a name I rarely see. I think it works well with Finley. The second syllables do sound alike, so there’s a bit of an echo, but that’s my only criticism.

Maevy Fae/Maevy Fiona
I’m so used to seeing Maeve that Maevy caught me off guard. (Not in a good way, to be honest.) And I don’t care for way the v and f sounds are so close together. Maevy would be my last choice of the three.

Here are ten other names I think Jennifer might like. These first 7 are not in the U.S. top 1,000 right now:

*Moira/Maura – Anglicized versions of the Irish form of Mary.

*Keeva – Simplified (and very modern-looking) form of the Irish name Caoimhe, meaning “loveliness.” It’s another v-sound, though, so might not sound terrific next to an f-name.

*Aisling – Irish vocabulary word (meaning “fantasy” or “dream”) that later became a name. The first syllable is pronounced “ash,” so this one will sound trendy (like Ashley, Ashlyn) without technically being trendy.

*Orla – Simplified form of an Irish name that means “golden princess.” Always reminds me of Isla (eye-la), but it’s less popular and easier to pronounce.

*Talulla (nn Lulu?) – Simplified form of an Irish name meaning “abundance princess.” It’s on the long side, like Evangeline, but doesn’t sound as formal.

*Maisie – Diminutive of the Scottish form of Margaret. It’s trendy across the pond, but not over here.

*Darcy – English surname that could mean a few things, including “from Arcy” (in Normandy, France). Was more common during the late ’60s and early ’70s.

And these last 3 are in the top 1,000, but wouldn’t be considered trendy:

*Tara – Irish place name that later became a name. Was trendy in the ’70s and ’80s, but has been decreasing in popularity ever since.

*Caitlin – Irish version of Katherine. Was most popular in the ’80s and ’90s, but has slowly been falling out of favor since then.

*Rory – Form of a (traditionally male) Scottish name derived from the Scottish word for red, ruadh. Has only popped up in the top 1,000 a handful of times.

What are your thoughts on Jennifer’s current favorites? What other names would you suggest for Finlay’s little sister?