Yesterday, the most popular baby names in England and Wales for 2009 were released. Oliver came out on top for boys and Mohammed was down at #16.
But Jack Doyle at the Daily Mail combined the many different spellings of Mohammed and determined that, when all of these variants are lumped together and considered a single name, Mohammed is the true #1 name.
A total of 7,549 newborns were given 12 variations of the Islamic prophet Mohammed’s name last year, such as Muhammad and Mohammad.
The second most popular boy’s name, Oliver, was given to 7,364 babies.
The other variants he considered were Muhammed, Mohamed, Mohamad, Muhamed, Mohammod, Mahamed, Muhamad, Mahammed and Mohmmed.
I haven’t had time to examine the full list yet, but I do have two thoughts to add:
- Should Mohmmed, which lacks a vowel after the h, have been included? Removing that vowel should (technically) eliminate that second syllable, fundamentally altering the pronunciation of the name.
- Other variants of both Mohammed (Muhmmad, Mohmmad) and Oliver (Olliver, Olivers) and all the combined forms (Mohammed-Ibrahim, Oliver-Jack) weren’t considered in this analysis. Their inclusion wouldn’t have changed the outcome, but still.