What’s next in the baby name realm where Oliver and Olivia reign? The hottest rising names in England and Wales show some classic English style, but also point in new directions. The fastest risers of last year, according to the Baby Name Wizard Hotness formula:
|RISING GIRLS||RISING BOYS|
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Three major themes jump out from that list. The first is England’s continuing love of cute old-fashioned nicknames, like Dotty (traditionally a pet form of Dorothy), Ralphie (Ralph), and Winnie (Winifred). The second is one of the top American styles: contemporary names based on words and surnames, like Winter, Greyson and Maverick. Finally you see reflections of England’s cultural diversity in names like Alaya (the daughter of Pakistani star Sanam Jung) and Matei (the Romanian form of Matthew).
The top brand-new names show off this diversity even further. For instance, the previously unknown name Kaizer was given to 20 boys last year, even as the regal word name Kaiser (with an s) dropped in popularity. The best-known Kazier is South African soccer legend Kaizer Motaung, founder of the Kaizer Chiefs soccer team. A British indie rock band is also called the Kaizer Chiefs, after the team. At the same time, reality tv continues to shape name trends, in England as well as the U.S. The brand-new name Lotan was inspired by Lotan Carter, a stripper who appeared on the UK edition of “Big Brother.”
The most popular names making their debuts in the English name stats:
1. Kaizer (M)
2. Kaif (M)
3. Bligh (M)
4. Elizabete (F)
5. Advait (M)
6. Lotan (M)
7. Azaiah (M)
8. Taimur (M)
At the other end of the hotness spectrum, the fastest-falling names for girls were the ’90s favorites Jessica and Lauren, representing a generational changing of the guard. More surprisingly, the fastest-falling names for boys were two all-time English classics: James and Thomas. It could be that the days of conservative boys’ naming in England are numbered.