Olivia and Oliver are still the most popular baby names in the UK
In 2020, the UK saw some more unusual baby names topping the lists of most popular
Vintage baby names are particularly popular choices in the UK
Will 2021's popular baby names continue with a similar pattern? We look at the trends
Whether you're keen to follow the trends with baby names, or if you're desperate to know what everyone else is calling their newborns so your child won't be one of five in a class with the same name, it's always interesting to take a look at what the most popular baby names for boys and girls are set to be in the UK this year, in 2021.
Baby naming site Nameberry has used its expertise to predict what kind of names we'll see showing up on the birth certificates. So, what's likely to top the popularity lists for 2021? Unsurprisingly, the one thing parents won't be taking inspiration from when it comes to naming their children this year is... coronavirus. Which means names that have even the slightest echoes of COVID (Cora, Cordelia, Corey, we're looking at you) are set to be on the decline.
Watch: Most popular baby names in England and Wales revealed
While old fashioned names have been having their moment for the past few years, likely in a bid for parents to make their child more unique, this year the trend is predicted to shift more towards Japanese-inspired names. With "attractive rhythms and straightforward pronunciations," the baby naming experts think monikers such as Aiko, Kaori, Mika and Yuki will be on the rise.
The world's new obsession with cottage-core is also set to have ripples where baby names are concerned, so expect to hear of more babies named Flora, River, Bear, Clover and Silas than ever before. Oh, so wholesome.
And in terms of word sounds, Nameberry thinks we'll all go gaga for vowels, becoming big fans of the 'long A' for baby girls (think Ada, Vega, Maeve). Plus, when it comes to middle names, prepare to follow celebrities like Katy Perry (whose daughter Daisy Dove was born in 2020) opting for bird-themed names. Lark, Sparrow, Phoenix and Wren could all be ones you see increasingly chosen as middle names for babies born in 2021.
Of course, while baby naming trends come and go over the years, most seem to stick around for a long stretch of time, so it's also worth seeking inspiration from the baby names that have proven most popular in recent years. Every year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) releases the most recent baby name data for England and Wales, and their most recent data provides information on which names were most loved among parents in 2019 (you can probably assume that 2020's baby naming patterns will have looked something similar.)
As you might well have guessed, the usual favourites were still lurking at the top (Olivia and Oliver, I'm looking at you), but some new trends also emerged. Like the new obsession with naming babies after characters from Peaky Blinders, with the likes of Tommy, Ada, and Arthur all seeing a surge in popularity.
Some of the other boys' names that have grown in popularity in recent years (and so will likely stick around for 2021, too) include Louis, Chester, Hudson, Oakley and Alfred. For girls, the names growing fastest in acclaim include Lara, Mabel, Thea, Bonnie, and Arabella.
Here's the full low down on the most popular baby names right now:
Boys' names popular in 2019 and 2020:
Girls' names popular in 2019 and 2020:
You can find more baby name inspiration for 2020 over on Nameberry.
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