Children’s names – ancient and modern

woman_pushing_stroller_1600_wht_13782-1I mentioned in a recent post a number of old-fashioned names in a country graveyard. looked at birth records from 1905 to see which names were still in use and which hadn’t survived to the present day.


Names not listed in latest birth records

Cecil, Rowland, Willie, and Bertha, Blodwen, Fanny, Gertrude, Gladys, Margery, and Muriel.

Endangered names (reduced by 99%)

Clifford, Horace, Harold, Leslie, Norman and Doris, Edna, Ethel, Hilda, Marion, and Phyllis

Also at risk

Bernard, Ann, Janet and Trevor

Some names have become shortened, the so-called “Alfie” effect. So Freddie and Archie rather than Frederick and Archibald, and Charlies rather than Charles. Lexi and Ellie have replaced Alexandra and Eleanor.

It seems male names are more likely to be passed on from father to son whereas girls’ names are more at risk although they may be passed on as middle names.

Names from 1905 still popular

Lily, Hannah, Lydia, Alan, Patrick, and Joe

Names still in use but more popular now than in 1905

Oliver, Jacob, Amelia, Charlotte and Grace

In a different survey by Mumsnet it was found that parents are looking back to the middle ages and Anglo-Saxon times for names that will give their children a head start in class and which go well with the surname.

So names like Ned, Audley, Peyton,Wyatt and Alfred for boys, and Millicent, Elvina, Kendra, and Winnie are becoming more popular (at least among Mumsnet members).

These have replaced the last craze for Edwardian names such as Mabel, Stanley and Elsie which have been popular for several years. (See last year’s most popular names here).

75% of parents have recognised that teachers don’t relate as well to Jayden,Crystal, Bailey, Chase and Tyler as they do to George, Edward, Emily and Hannah and 20% have opted for names thatwill help their children do well in life”

There are still plenty of unusual (some might think stupid) names to be heard in playgrounds such as Lanesra (Arsenal spelt backwards) Galaxy Star, Egypt, Kaseza, Cash, Mysti-Rae, Woodrow, Tarrant, and Odin Fox. They wouldn’t get away with that in Iceland!




2 thoughts on “Children’s names – ancient and modern

  1. […] Dutch surname Schuyler) is now more popular than Mary and can also be used for a boy’s name. Names change as people want to emulate their heroes. Their kids might take a different view when they grow up […]

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