Baby names: Edinburgh bucks Scottish trend

Isla Fisher's name is the favourite for newborn girls in Edinburgh in 2015. Picture: Getty

Isla Fisher's name is the favourite for newborn girls in Edinburgh in 2015. Picture: Getty

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EDINBURGH is showing its individuality with baby names, bucking the national trend of Jacks and Emilys to opt instead for Oliver and Isla.

Oliver – the name of 49 of our newborn boys – and Isla – the title given to 44 of Edinburgh’s infant girls – flew in the face of the rather more traditional James and Sophie, which came top in 2014.

The names have grown in popularity in recent times, with well-known Olivers including Olly Murs, Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist and historical partypooper Oliver Cromwell.

Isla is the name given to Confessions of a Shopaholic beauty, Isla Fisher, who is married to comedian and Sacha Baron Cohen. Other well-known Islas include Harry Potter’s Isla Hitchens (Sirius’ sister), the Queen’s great-granddaughter Isla Phillips, and Scots singer and actor Isla St Clair.

The second most popular boys’ name, Alexander, was given to 47 Edinburgh boys.

The name of course has royal associations – Prince George, one of the world’s most famous boys, is also an Alexander as this is the middle name William and Kate chose for their son.

And though there’s never been an English King named Alexander, there have been several in Scotland.

Number two on the list for girls is Olivia, the name chosen for 29 infants in the city.

American actress Olivia Wilde is well-known - the Legacy actress is viewed as one of the most beautiful and stylish women in the world.

42 boys were named Jack in the city and Sophie was the name given to 29 girls.

Fourth on the list was James, with 33 boys given this, another royal name, while 28 girls were named Emily. The National Records of Scotland released the annual statistics yesterday.

The births of 25,970 boys and 24,490 girls were registered across the country in the period covered by the figures.

This year the number of unique names chosen by parents were “well above” the levels of 10, 20 or 40 years ago, according to NRS, with 1977 boys and 2714 girls given first forenames that were unique this year.

Muhammad was the most popular boys’ name in Glasgow – for a third year.

The annual list of baby names reveals that John has slipped further down the top 100. It was consistently the second most popular name throughout the 1970s, but in 2015 it ranked 59th.

Some of the more unusual names on the list for Edinburgh were Leo in seventh place, with 28 boys named this, perhaps choosing inspiration from Hollywood star Leonardo Di Caprio, often known as 
Leo.

Lewis, a rather unusual name these days, came in fifth place and was chosen for 30 boys. Old favourite Charlie came in tenth place.

newsen@edinburghnews.com