The Office for National Statistics has just released the 100 most popular baby names in England and Wales for 2012.
Topping the list for boys is Harry, Oliver and Jack. The top three names for girls are Amelia, Olivia, Jessica. (For royal family fanatics out there, George is at number 12 and likely to climb the list in 2013.)
Top American boy’s names in 2012 were Jacob, Mason and Ethan. For the girls, Sophia, Emma, Isabella.
Choosing a name is a huge responsibility and can be such a challenge. It’s an important first step in building a child’s identity. For some, the naming process is about tradition and a connection with ancestors and your roots. For others, it’s about standing out and nurturing individuality.
Maybe it isn’t about either. You may just want to choose a beautiful name that your baby can grow into, perhaps something simple – a name that sounds good and feels right. Of course, it involves a level of compromise if you’re two people making the decision. It’s also difficult to find a name you don’t already associate with someone from your past, who has already assigned certain characteristics to the syllables you will be stringing together for years to come. And then there are, of course, the well-meaning relatives and friends, with their own opinions and ideas.
So where to start?
I think the annual lists are a great place to get some ideas. There are always favourite literary and movie characters, a favourite aunt, an uncle who always made you laugh, a dear childhood friend you share great memories with. Alternatively, for all the baby Sevens, Norths, Apples, Scotlands, Peaches and Blue Ivys out there – it’s clear that there are no rules and you can find inspiration in any corner of the world, your house, or your kitchen.
After a little research, I put together a list of some of the strangest, most common unusual baby names. The data is based on a large sample and each name has been used at least twice (unbelievable!). Check it out for yourself and let me know about some unusual baby names you have come across.