Which single-syllable names were the most popular in 2021?
I scanned the 2021 rankings for one-syllable names and found these:
Grace (ranked 34th overall)
(A little lower down were Sage, Ruth, and Blake.)
James (ranked 5th overall)
(A little lower down were George, Rhett, and Jude.)
These lists include the same names that appeared on the 2020 lists, but in both cases the names are in a slightly different order.
And, of course, here’s the usual disclaimer: I left out the borderline boy names (Owen, Wyatt, Charles, Miles/Myles, Ryan, Ian, Rowan, Gael) that can be pronounced with either one or two syllables, depending upon the accent of the speaker. Notably, all nine of these names ranked higher than both Chase and Cole.
Which girl names increased in usage the most from 2020 to 2021?
Here’s a table of the fastest-rising girl names of 2021. On the left are the top 25 increases in terms of absolute numbers of babies, and on the right are the top 25 increases in terms of relative numbers of babies.
*Also at 250%, were Lakeyn, Nimrat, Vamika, and Zienna.
Some possible explanations…
Thyri is a character on the TV series Vikings.
“Yomii” is a song by rapper Moneybagg Yo (lyric: “Let’s have a lil’ girl and name her Yomii”).
Raya is the title character in the Disney movie Raya and the Last Dragon (2021).
Lilibeth is very close to Lilibet, the name of the daughter (b. June 2021) of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
If you can explain any of the other rises, please leave a comment!
The boy name Bane may have been inspired by the DC Comics supervillain Bane, and the boy name Ranaridh is similar to the name of former Cambodian prime minister Norodom Ranariddh, who died in late 2021.
Finally, in 2020, the top baby names on the island were Nora/Charlotte (tie) and Hudson.
*Nova and Lucas might actually be 4th-place names. My source included conflicting information.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the most popular baby names in England and Wales last year — for the fifth year in a row — were Olivia and Oliver.
Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:
Olivia, 3,640 baby girls
Oliver, 4,225 baby boys
In the girls’ top 10, Ivy and Rosie replaced Grace and Freya.
In the boys’ top 10, Archie replaced Charlie. (No doubt Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to name their first child Archie in 2019 gave the name a boost, but Archie was on the rise in England and Wales long before it became a royal baby name.)
The fastest-rising names within the top 100 were…
Arabella, Mabel, Lyra, and Maeve (for girls)
Roman, Milo, Otis, and Myles (for boys)
(The popular British TV series Sex Education features main characters named Otis and Maeve.)
Here are the top 10 lists for England and Wales separately:
Liliwen comes from lili wen, one of the Welsh words for snowdrop (a small, white flower that blooms during the winter). The hyphenated variant Lili-wen was also given to three baby girls last year, bringing the grand total to six.
Also given to six baby girls last year? The name Eirlys, from eirlys, another Welsh word for snowdrop. :)
Please note that I intentionally left out names that could go either way (1-syllable or 2-syllable) depending upon one’s regional accent. I don’t think this made a difference on the girls’ side, but on the boys’ side I omitted a number of gray-area names (Owen, Wyatt, Charles, Ryan, Miles, Ian, Gael, Rowan, and Myles) that ranked higher than Cole.