Alex tops poll of Edinburgh baby boys’ names

Alex Salmond's first name has proved popular in the Capital
Alex Salmond's first name has proved popular in the Capital
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MOVE over Harry, Lucy and Matthew – baby names such as Riley, Amelia and Logan are the trendsetters with new parents across the Lothians.

Lists of the most popular baby names for 2012 released yesterday by the National Records of Scotland still had James and Sophie entrenched as top choices for the Capital.

However, several fresh names broke into the top ten for the first time, with Amelia the sixth most popular choice for girls in Edinburgh and Riley leaping into top spot when it came to choosing boys’ names in East Lothian.

Logan was the equal most popular selection for boys born in West Lothian alongside Adam, with 19 children given the name of Wolverine’s alias from X-Men.

Alexander – the first name of Scotland’s First Minister – climbed from third spot last year to equal first alongside James in the Edinburgh rankings. Daniel, Thomas and Oliver were third, fourth and fifth respectively. Max was the equal sixth most popular name for boys in 2012, alongside Rory, after not even making the top ten at all last year.

Amongst girls’ names in the Capital, front-runner Sophie was followed in popularity by Isla, which rose from third to second spot. Emily, Sophia and Olivia filled spots three to five ahead of Amelia and Jessica, which shared sixth spot with 30 children born in Edinburgh this year with those names.

The name Amelia surged in 
popularity during a year in which 
Doctor Who’s Scottish companion, Amelia Pond, left the show in a dramatic season finalé.

Culture and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said it was possible that television programmes and popular characters had an influence on name trends from year to year, despite the likes of Jack and Sophie consistently being firm favourites.

She said: “This follows the first release of information from Scotland’s 2011 census earlier this week, which showed our population is at its highest ever level and the number of under-fives in Scotland has risen six per cent over the last ten years.”

Separate lists for council areas around Edinburgh showed different favourites. In Midlothian, Jack and Riley were the two most popular choices for boys ahead of Alfie, Finlay and Lewis. Amongst the girls Mia and Ava were second and third most popular despite struggling to crack the top ten in Edinburgh.

Grace and Leah were in the top ten names for girls in East Lothian despite not making the cut in other Lothian councils. Nineteen children, meanwhile, were called Adam in West Lothian despite the name not featuring in the top ten for boys in Edinburgh.

Ashira Mohamed, manager of Newington’s Playdays Nursery, said she had seen trends in baby names come and go in the 12 years her business had operated. She said she was not surprised by the popularity of names such as Isla, adding: “When they come and register their little babies, you see there’s another Isla, there’s another Emily.

“Emily is very popular. We have to use all their second names. There’d be one in our babies section, one in the two-three group, one in the pre-school.”

Across Scotland, parents chose almost 7400 different first forenames for their children, with nearly 4800 of them unique.