Nursery Today magazine

All in the name

BabyCentre reveals half-year top baby name results

* Power joins flower as BabyCentre parents choose past presidents and Corbyn appears for the first time

* Names with deeper meanings – are we looking to the next generation for change?

* Colourful names provide parents with a new palette to choose from

* The rise of Peter and Andrew - has the backlash against vintage names begun?


Today, BabyCentre reveals what thousands of parents are choosing for their new arrivals, in its mid-year baby names results. The UK’s most trusted site for parenting information has a snapshot of what’s inspiring UK parents, from politics and the world stage, to rediscovering old favourites.

While the UK’s favourite names remain relatively stable, with vintage and flower-inspired names dominating the top spots, the baby name choices outside the top 20 often reveal up-and-coming trends as well as more unusual picks.

And as politics dominate our lives at the moment the political has become the personal with power icons making their presence felt in the mid-year results.

Corbyn appears for the first time and David, Cameron and Jeremy are popular while, fittingly for the fourth of July reveal, parents are going back in time to former presidents for inspiration.

Outside the top 20 but on the rise, the surnames of Abraham Lincoln and Jimmy Carter are being chosen as first names for boys, along with Franklin, Theodore and Teddy (after Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt) and John (after JFK). No sign of a resurgence in the popularity of Donald just yet, but with his presidency in its infancy, who knows?

First ladies of previous administrations are also providing inspiration for BabyCentre parents, with Nancy (Reagan) and Michelle (Obama) becoming increasing popular. No registrations yet for current FLOTUS Melania, though.

While Theresa isn’t a popular choice this year for girls, Maggie (Margaret Thatcher) and Amber (home secretary Amber Rudd) have seen their popularity rise, along with powerful females from history, such as Cleo (a shortened version of Cleopatra) and Delilah.

The appearance of Ariana just outside the top 100 has no doubt been inspired by the compassion and unity with the UK shown by pop star Ariana Grande in the wake of the Manchester terrorist attack.

Another key trend spotted this year is names with deeper meanings. Faith, Hope, Joy and Grace have all been registered by BabyCentre parents in 2017. Perhaps expectant mums and dads are looking for alternative leadership qualities in the next generation? 

BabyCentre parents have been also been returning to old British favourites this year, opting for 70s classics for their baby boys, such as Michael, Peter, David, Andrew, John and Adrian. Has the backlash against vintage choices such as Archie or Albert begun? Or are parents passing on the names of parents and grandparents to their new arrivals?

Colours are also becoming increasingly popular, as an unusual and distinctive name choice for baby girls. While parents may not be brave enough to go for Blue after Beyoncé’s little girl or Grey, the middle name choice for  Cheryl Cole’s baby boy, a colourful influence can be found in 2017’s name picks, with Scarlett, Olive, Sienna, Amber, Violet and Ruby all appearing outside the top 20.

Lorna Marsh, BabyCentre associate editor, said: “Following Donald Trump’s controversial rise to the White House and the UK general election, politics definitely appear to be front of mind for BabyCentre mums and dads. It’s particularly interesting that parents seem to be looking back nostalgically at past prime ministers and presidents and finding inspiration in the leader of the opposition.

“The names at the top of the charts may not reveal any massive surprises but over the years we’ve been able to predict some interesting trends by spotting what choices are coming up on the outside.

“And from these half year results we might be looking at a future generation divided between those named after power icons and those with names inspired by more spiritual values. Not to mention a resurgence of solid 70s classics and a generation of colourful girls.”

The top 20 names for boys and girls so far this year in full:


1. Olivia

2. Sophia

3. Amelia

4. Isla

5. Lily

6. Emily

7. Ava

8. Isabella

9. Mia

10. Isabelle

11. Grace

12. Charlotte

13. Poppy

14. Ella

15. Evie

16. Sophie

17. Phoebe

18. Freya

19. Chloe

20. Ivy



1. Muhammad

2. Oliver

3. Harry

4. Noah

5. Freddie

6. George

7. Jack

8. Jacob

9. Charlie

10. Leo

11. William

12. Joshua

13. Oscar

14. Henry

15. James

16. Archie

17. Alfie

18. Theo

19. Logan

20. Max


Find out more about the top names, and how they’ve risen up and down the charts, for girls: and for boys:

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