News and Views from Scotland

Top Ten Scottish Forenames

New Register House, the main building of the General Register Office for Scotland, located near St Andrew Square

In the 19th century there was a practice in Scotland of giving children a forename that had been borne by a grandfather/grandmother using a formula based on the 1st son named after paternal grandfather, 2nd son named after maternal grandfather, 3rd son named after Father and 4th son named after the father's eldest brother. Likewise, daughters were named according to 1st daughter after maternal grandmother, 2nd daughter after paternal grandmother, 3rd daughter after mother and 4th daughter after the mother's eldest sister.

This system fell by the wayside in the 20th century and these days it seems that parents are opting for unique or unusual names instead, sometimes influenced by film or pop stars, characters in TV soaps and many parents just strive to be as unique as possible.

There were 50,460 babies registered in Scotland in 2015 and of these, 1,977 boys had a unique name and 2,714 girls' names were given to just one child. It is to be hoped that the children named, for example, Thor, Winner, Calypso, Mercedes-Cherie, Surely, Tyson - and Frankie-Boy. Girls - Splendor, Summer-Lily, Nettle, Angel-Rose, Bliss, Calypso, Caledonia, Elektra and Nirvana, Snow and Porsche approve of the names their parents selected for them. Of course, there were some "popular" names. The top names for boys were Jack, Oliver, James, Lewis, Alexander, Charlie, Lucas, Logan, Harris and Daniel. The top names for girls in 2015 were Emily, Sophie, Olivia, Isla, Jessica, Ava, Amelia, Ella, Lucy and Lily.

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July 2016

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