According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), the most popular baby names in Northern Ireland last year were Grace and James.
Here are the Northern Ireland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:
Grace, 176 baby girls
Freya and Ella, 101 each (tie)
James, 190 baby boys
Finn, 112 (tie)
Theo, 112 (tie)
Harry, 111 (tie)
Cillian, 111 (tie)
In the girls’ top 10, Fiadh, Lucy and Freya replaced Anna and Evie.
In the boys’ top 10, Finn, Theo, and Cillian replaced Jacob, Daniel, and Alfie.
Now, Northern Ireland doesn’t technically release data on all baby names…but their downloadable tables do include two extra alphabetized sets of names below those that were given to 3 babies. My strong hunch is that these were the names given to 2 babies and 1 baby, respectively, and that the numbers/rankings were simply stripped out.
So, going with that theory, here are some of the names from the second alphabetized set (the names that I’m assuming were used just once in Northern Ireland last year):
Dinas Komunikasi Informatika Statistik: A baby boy born in Indonesia in December 2020 was named Dinas Komunikasi Informatika Statistik (Department of Statistical Communication) after his father’s workplace. (NZ Herald)
Hypertext Markup Language: A baby boy born in the Philippines in June 2021 was named Hypertext Markup Language (a.k.a. HTML) reportedly because his father is a web developer. (Coconuts Manila)
Lilibet Diana: The baby girl born in California in June 2021 to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was named Lilibet Diana — first name inspired by Queen Elizabeth II (whose family nickname is Lilibet), middle name inspired by Diana, Princess of Wales. (NYT)
Mia: A baby girl born in a restroom at Miami International Airport (MIA) in June 2021 was named Mia after her birthplace. (Miami Herald)
Saint Leo and Thunder (Bolt): The twin boys born to Jamaican sprinter Usain St. Leo Bolt and his girlfriend Kasi Bennett sometime during the first half of 2021 were named Saint Leo and Thunder. (Twitter)
The Diane-variant Diahn made appearances in the U.S. baby name data for five years straight during the 1960s:
1968: 5 baby girls named Diahn
1967: 9 baby girls named Diahn
1966: 6 baby girls named Diahn
1965: 21 baby girls named Diahn
1964: 24 baby girls named Diahn [debut]
The inspiration? Actress Diahn Williams. Her first major role was as one of the girls (Terry) in the single-season sitcom Harry’s Girls (1963-1964). The series, set in then-modern times, featured a small American vaudeville troupe that performed dance numbers in Europe (because acts like theirs had long since fallen out of favor in the United States).
Diahn continued to appear on various television shows until the mid-1970s, when she quit acting to become a lawyer.
In terms of spelling, do you prefer the unusual “Diahn” or the standard “Diane”?
The modern name Croía is based on the Irish word croí, meaning “heart,” “core,” “sweetheart.” The recent trendiness can be attributed to Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor, who welcomed a baby girl named Croía in January of 2019.