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The Hottest Baby Names in England, Featuring Nellie-Mae and Reggie-Jay

August 28, 2020 namerology 3 Comments

The Hottest Baby Names in England, Featuring Nellie-Mae and Reggie-Jay

August 28, 2020 Namerology 3 Comments
Image: Zazzle

Britain’s Office for National Statistics has announced the most popular baby names in England and Wales for 2019. The #1 names are unchanged: Oliver and Olivia continue their joint reign as a matching set. The biggest development at the top of the charts is about name endings. The top 7 English girls’ names now end in -a, which is the classic feminine name ending in many European languages but much less so in English.


Among new names, the top debut is Nellie-Mae, part of the hot “hyphen-cute” style specific to Britain. When Americans try to think of British-sounding baby names they usually come up with something like Nigel or Piers, but the real answer today is more like Reggie-Jay. Reggie-Jay debuts in this year’s stats with 11 boys born, ahead of both Piers and Nigel—but behind Reggie-Lee.

Among names already ranking in the top 1,000 for boys and girls, the top risers are Maeve and Tommy. The full list of fast-rising popular names:


The letter V and the diminutive -ie ending are the overall hottest trends for girls. The two trends meet in the hot rising name Stevie, which cracks the girls’ top 500 list for the first time.

For boys the cute nickname trend, as seen in the top riser Tommy, is strongest among younger parents. British mothers under age 30 are more likely to name a boy Tommy than Thomas, while the reverse is true for mothers over 30. [Read more about parental age and name style] Beyond nicknames, the boys’ rising names are a study in diversity of every kind. Check out this sampling from the next 30 fastest-rising popular names for boys:

Teo, Azlan, Kyrie, Keanu, Vlad, Oakley, Hamzah, Atlas, Hudson, Wilbur, Idris, Romeo, Khalil, Hughie, Kajus

The only kind of name you won’t find on the rising boys’ list is a formal English classic. The core names of English tradition continue their long-term fall, and the names Jaxon, Jackson and Jaxson now all outrank John.

Finally, let’s tip our caps to the British statisticians for releasing their name data right on schedule in 2020. Here in the U.S. the name stats are currently 3 ½ months behind…and counting.


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  • Kelly
    Kelly August 29, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    For those still waiting on the US stats, feel free to do like I did and send an email to actuary (at) ssa (dot) gov (their actuary department is the one responsible for compiling the lists, and I “spaced out” the address so this won’t be flagged as spam) to see what’s going on and if the lists are ready to encourage their release soon. If they’re truly busy with more important matters I don’t have a complaint, but I don’t think anyone (especially at this point) would see this as an “inappropriate” time to release baby name stats. At first I thought the delay was due to the tax deadline extension (and parents not being in a big hurry to apply for their baby’s SSN if they hadn’t already) to ensure the lists would be as accurate as usual, but that’s apparently not the case since it’s been more than three months (the amount of time of the extension) since the usual release date.

    I’ve posted something like this elsewhere in the “namenerd” community, and hopefully if they get enough emails they’ll release the lists if they’re ready. (I never got any reply to my own email to them.)

    • LauraWattenberg
      LauraWattenberg August 29, 2020 at 4:09 pm

      I agree, the “respect” delay seems like a polite fiction. I wouldn’t be surprised if they initially delayed because of chaos, and then it just slipped off the to-do list. And honestly, in many cases what looks from the outside like a coordinated strategic initiative–“The Official Government Data Release!”–actually boils down to one or two people thinking something is interesting and making time for it.

  • August 31, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    Thanks, Kelly! Done.

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