Popular baby names in England and Wales (UK), 2008

Flag of the United Kingdom
Flag of the United Kingdom

Ready for some rankings?

Here are England and Wales’ top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2008:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 5,325 baby girls
  2. Ruby, 4,931
  3. Emily, 4,881
  4. Grace, 4,775
  5. Jessica, 4,672
  6. Chloe, 4,605
  7. Sophie, 4,380
  8. Lily, 4,047
  9. Amelia, 3,440
  10. Evie, 3,281
  11. Mia, 3,121
  12. Ella, 3,042
  13. Charlotte, 2,939
  14. Lucy, 2,876
  15. Megan, 2,515
  16. Ellie, 2,505
  17. Isabelle, 2,460
  18. Isabella, 2,424
  19. Hannah, 2,335
  20. Katie, 2,324

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 8,010 baby boys
  2. Oliver, 7,417
  3. Thomas, 6,062
  4. Harry, 6,008
  5. Joshua, 5,716
  6. Alfie, 5,566
  7. Charlie, 5,291
  8. Daniel, 5,191
  9. James, 5,170
  10. William, 5,169
  11. Samuel, 4,624
  12. George, 4,214
  13. Joseph, 3,764
  14. Lewis, 3,482
  15. Ethan, 3,451
  16. Mohammed, 3,442
  17. Dylan, 3,373
  18. Benjamin, 3,275
  19. Alexander, 3,215
  20. Jacob, 3,127

Intriguingly, the name Honey ranked 190th on the girls’ list. A whopping 279 baby girls got the name. In contrast, just 90 U.S. baby girls were named Honey that year, and the name has never once cracked the U.S. top 1,000. I wonder what accounts for the relative popularity of Honey overseas.

Finally, here are some of the names that were used less often in 2008…

Uncommon Girl NamesUncommon Boy Names
Bluebell (20 baby girls), Primrose (17), Temperance (13), Breeze (11), Cleopatra (11), Sorrel (11), Tigerlily (9), Tirion (9), Comfort (8), Peaches (8), Pebbles (8), Beyonce (7), Miami (7), Zinnia (7), Godiva (6), Mercades (5), Panashe (5), Tulip (5), Wednesday (5), Magenta (4), Boadicea (3), Cayenne (3), Kimora-Lee (3), Plum (3), Rejoice (3)Spike (23 baby boys), Willoughby (22), Ziggy (20), Ptolemy (19), Zidane (13), Zinedine (12), Kal-El (10), Hendrix (9), Humphrey (8), Elan (6), Gruff (6), Legend (6), Achilles (5), Amen (5), Bright (5), Jesse-James (5), Tennyson (5), Darlington (4), James-Dean (4), Courage (3), Freedom (3), Messiah (3), Remus (3), Riquelme (3), Seven (3)

What are your thoughts on these rankings/names?

Sources: Office for National Statistics, England & Wales Baby Names

Image: Adapted from Flag of the United Kingdom (public domain)

9 thoughts on “Popular baby names in England and Wales (UK), 2008

  1. It completely delights me that more than one person named their child James Hyphen Dean and Jesse Hyphen James.

    If I have another baby, I am going to make their middle name “Hyphen” just for the lulz.

  2. I love those hyphenated names too. Jesse-James is one I see every once in a while, but Kimora-Lee? That’s rare. (And also kinda funny, at least to me, because I’m not exactly sure what Kimora Lee Simmons is famous for.)

  3. Some interesting names there. I quite like Sorrel for a girl. I don’t think I could use any of the rare boys’ names. I’m kinda surprised that there aren’t more Tennysons around. But Gruff? !

  4. *Awesome* lists!
    Although I don’t like all of them, these I am very much in favour of:
    Willoughby (this one and Bellamy are all boy for me!)
    Humphrey (reminds me of Alphonse, so out of style and so adorable!)
    Courage (Virtue names for boys are few, but this one is new and wonderful!)
    Freedom (I don’t see the problem with this, as long as it’s on a boy!)
    Sorrel (awesome, this one is high on my list!)
    Comfort (the ONLY name I LOVE but don’t have the courage to completely commit to…)
    Plum (so much sweeter than other monosyllabic favourites like Claire)
    Rejoice (awesome way to honour a Joyce!)

    I cringe whenever I see Comfort, because I love her so much but for some reason I can never even bring myself to put her on my list, and my list has Morning on it!
    I love her, but she’s too beautiful to be stuck in the middle, but I can’t bring myself to use her up front either so it’s just an eternal thorn in my side! :(

  5. As a lifelong Dolphins fan, Miami is quite possibly my biggest guilty pleasure name ;)

  6. Kimora-Lee is atrocious. It would be great if it were original, but who is naming their baby after a diva celebrity? Numbskulls. Most of those other unique baby names are pretty cool, though. Nice going, England and Wales!

  7. Oh, I really love the name Plum! I can’t believe there aren’t more…is that # just for the girls BORN that year?? Because in 2005 when I was pregnant in the U.S., read some British baby mags, & found many people saying they had a daughter with that name. (at least 8) I ended up using it for my daughter’s name; it fits her personality so perfectly! And yet, have gotten plenty of strange looks when adults here hear it (if not derision ;) It’s beatiful, lovel, strong-sounding. The related names like Cherry, or Violet, etc. don’t make people bat an eye. What gives? Plum is a great name. =)

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