City mums and dads lead backlash against celeb names trend

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IN an age when celebrities see fit to name their babies Cruz, Coco and Pixie, new figures today show parents in Edinburgh are taking a refreshing stand for the traditional when it comes to naming newborns.

Biblical names Daniel and James were the most popular boys’ names this year with 50 parents in Edinburgh opting for each, according to the General Register Office for Scotland figures. They were followed closely on the list by Alexander, Lewis and Jack.

Forty-five girls were named Jessica, making it the most popular name for girls in the city. Emily came second with 43, while Isla, Lily and Lucy also proved popular.

Nifa McLaughlin, who has monitored recent trends in baby names as editor of baby advice website gurgle.com, said results in Edinburgh this year were quite conventional and reflected a backlash against the use of more unusual names and spellings.

“Edinburgh’s baby names list is actually quite conventional. We’re swamped by celebrities calling their babies unusual names so perhaps as a nation of new parents we’ve swung the other way and we’re hankering after more traditional names.”

With the last of the Harry Potter movies hitting screens this year, the blockbuster book and movie series’ influence can still be seen with Daniel – after movie star Radcliffe – and Harry in the boys’ top ten and Emma – in honour of his co-star Emma Watson – on the girls’ list.

Across the Lothians results varied considerably.

In Midlothian, Charlie was the most popular name for boys – a name which did not even feature in the national top ten.

For girls in the area, it was Scotland’s third most popular girls’ name, Ava which came out on top.

Jack – a name which has featured near the top of the chart for the last decade – was West Lothian’s favourite for boys in 2011, with Sophie the most popular girls’ alternative.

In East Lothian, Harry and Lily respectively were the most widely used names.

Ms McLaughlin said although some names appeared repeatedly, many parents were keen to avoid over-familiarity.

“The advice we see time and time again when parents are agonising over what to call their baby, is to imagine your child growing up and wanting to become a judge or a politician. Is anyone going to take a child called Lotus or Pepper seriously? The other advice is to go to your local playground and listen to the names. If you hear the same name over and over again, there’s a high chance it’s a popular name in your area and probably, for your child’s sake, best to avoid.”

This year’s figures showed 4000 “unique” names given across Scotland, including Awesome, Boo-Tiger, Bruce-Lee and Diesel Joe for boys. Girls were given the names Angeliki-Electra, Autumn-Violet and Occeanna-Lake for girls. One family gave their son the name Jesuslovesme.

Scotland’s registrar general George MacKenzie said: “The list of favourite baby names provides a fascinating insight into Scotland’s people.”