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7 Reasons That The Top 100 Boys Names List 2010 is Intriguing

Posted on July 28, 2011 in Top Posts | 0 comments

The ONS list of the most popular baby names in the UK during 2010 has been published and there are some stunning results.  We’re not going to look at the girls names (because they could be used for a second post), today we’re going to look at boys names.  Here are seven reasons that the list is intriguing.

1.  Political Impact.  The name Cameron has steeply declined in popularity.  In 2000 it was the 24th most popular boys name; in 2009 it had fallen steeply to number 52, and in 2010 it fell further to number 61.  For the sake of political balance we’ll take a look the opposition too:  Ed hasn’t been in charge for long enough to be of any use, so we’ll look at the name Gordon.  Gordon is such a deeply unpopular man…sorry…name, we’re discussing names here, that it doesn’t appear on the list at all.  Not in 2010, not in 2009 and not in 2000.  It turns out that Gordon has always been deeply unpopular.  Oh, and as for Nick, who cares?  Nope, me either.

2.  The Unusual.  The name Kayden, which languished at number 1425 at the turn of the millennium (who knew that the word millennium had two Ns?) has rocketed up to number 99 on last year’s list.  Now I don’t know any Kaydens and nor, I fervently hope, do you, so I wondered if there was a famous Kayden responsible for the increased popularity of the name.  It turns out there is.  She’s called Kayden Kross and she’s a porn actress who got into the business because she wanted to buy a pony.  People are naming their boys after a porn star.  A female porn star.  That is weird.  They would have been better off naming them after the pony.

3.  F1.  The name Jenson has risen in popularity over the last ten years from 273 up to 96.  This can surely only be attributable to the popularity of Jenson Button.  The name Lewis also appears at number 27 on the list.  Okay, so it’s decreased in popularity a bit over the last ten years, but it’s still a very well-used name.  As for the name Fernando, well that appears nowhere, which is how I like it.  It goes to show that the British public do have some taste.  Despite the weird porn thing.

4.  Alexander: A safe name; a solid name; a sensible name; a reliable name and some might say, a dull name.  But that just isn’t true.  The facts tell us that the name Alexander is more exciting than you (okay, I, mostly I) had previously supposed.  From its year 2000 position of number 21 it went on a rollercoaster ride in which it plunged to number 22 in 2009 and then, in a monumental upswing of fortunes in 2010, scaled the list back to number 21.  Breathtaking.  Turns out that Alexander isn’t as dull as we thought it was.

5.  Noah.  Over the past ten years, the name Noah has risen from number 134 on the list to number 18.  I’m sure we all know a Noah*.  But I’m not keen on this name at all.  In fact, I firmly believe that the popularity of this name could be a consequence of society having become increasingly more noisy over the past ten years.  After all, it’s easy to mishear a mumbled reply of cluelessness when near heavy traffic, a mobile phone or a laptop:

What shall we call him, darling?

Noah, dear.

That’s certainly more probable than everyone making the same feeble joke about a boy being born or conceived at a time of heavy rain, isn’t it?  I hope so.

6.  Robert.  What the hell has happened to Robert?  It’s at number 90!  When I was at school it seems that approximately a third of all boys were called Robert but now it’s only the 90th most popular name in the UK.   Here are some names from last year that are considerably more popular than the name Robert: Ethan, bloody Noah, Jayden (which is the correct spelling of Kayden), Riley, Logan, Tyler, Finley, Mason and Kai.  Kai!  Who the hell knows more Kais then they know Roberts, Robs, Robbys, Bobbys and Bobs?   In 2010, Robert has plummeted so far in popularity that it’s lower on the list than Caleb.  How many Calebs have you ever met?  It turns out the only thing you can do to have a less popular name than Robert is to be called Gordon or be related to me.

7.  Self-Interest.  One of the most striking things about the list itself is that none of my immediate family are on it.  I’m not on it.  My son’s not on it.  My wife isn’t on it (the girls version of the list, obviously).  Fred and Rose make the lists – despite the exploits of the West family – but no one that shares my surname is on them.  I can’t help but feel a little left out.  Does this epic societal rejection make us the least popular family in the UK?  Should we change our names by deed poll to sensible conventional names like Harley, Hayden, Jayden, Kayden or Kai? Are we going to be cast adrift in a lifeboat or exiled to the Isle of Wight?  I suspect it’s going to mean that we’re just going to have to continue spelling our names out to people, but still, it would be nice to be loved.

*That’s a top clothing and accessories bit of wordplay especially for girls, right there.

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