When it comes to naming your child, you want to choose a name that not only reflects something special about them, or what you would like them to become, but which also sounds great. After all, they’re going to be using this name for the rest of their lives.
While nobody wants to go for something so ‘out there’ it’s going to prove difficult for a child to use in the years to come, going for something unique is also a popular option.
Perhaps you’re about to have another child and you’re unsure what name to go for, or maybe you’re thinking of having another child at some point in the future and you’re mulling over possible names ahead of time. Maybe you’re just interested in popular names! Whatever your situation, knowing the different names that are popular is a good idea. That way, you can look for some inspiration yourself, or you can perhaps avoid something which is too popular and which is going to make it difficult for your child to stand out in their class at school.
Let’s take a look at the most popular girls and boys names in the UK in 2021.
Olivia – Olivia is the female version of the popular Oliver, a boy’s name. In latin it means ‘olive tree’ and it also has roots in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night play. Dating back to 13th century England, this is a name that has history and popularity on its side. It’s also a beautiful name for a little girl and one which can easily be shortened as a nickname too.
Amelia – Another very popular girl’s name in 2021 was Amelia. This is another name which has Latin rooms and comes from ‘Amal’, which literally translates as ‘work’. A pretty name that can be shortened once more.
Isla – Isla has long been gaining popularity and it has several different ways of spelling it, depending upon the country you’re in. For the UK, the spelling is Isla, which has Spanish roots. The word means ‘island’ but it also has Scottish origins too, again meaning the same thing.
Ava – A beautiful name that is truly classical and pretty for a girl. This name has German roots but also Latin too. The word means ‘bird’ but there is some confusion as to whether Ava actually derived from Eva or Eve. In that case, it would also have Hebrew roots too, meaning ‘life’.
Mia – The name Mia has become even more popular over the last few years and comes from Egyptian history. The word means ‘beloved’ and also has links with Italian roots, again inking to ‘love’ or ‘mine’.
Ivy – There are many names that were popular many years ago that are now coming back into fashion and Ivy is one of them. This is a name that has English and Latin roots and means ‘vine’. Of course, we think of the ivy leaf and vines that are famous for growing upwards, regardless of adversity. In Ancient Greece, the ivy was also a sign of fertility.
Lily – Another flower-related name that has found itself in fashion once more. This beautiful name is English in origin and obviously refers to the delicate yet stunning flower. The lily is pure white and that is a sign of innocence and purity.
Isabella – Isabella is a fantastic name for shortening as it can be shortened to ‘Isa’ or ‘Bella’ too. The name comes from both Italian and Spanish roots and is also linked to the English name of Elizabeth. In Hebrew, the name means ‘God is my oath’ and it has been used as a girl’s name since the 13th century.
Rosie – Rose has always been a very popular girl’s name but to give it a new modern twist, many couples are choosing to name their baby girl Rosie instead. This is a pretty name for a baby and can also be shortened to Rose too. Obviously, the name comes from Rose and that is a flower. The name has English roots and is one of the oldest around.
Sophia – Ah, the beauty and opulence of the name Sophia! There are many different ways to spell this name, again depending upon where you are in the world. Sofia is the Spanish version. However, Sophia has Greek roots and means ‘wisdom’.
These are the ten most popular girls’ names in the UK in 2021. Do you know a little girl by these names? It’s possible you do, given their popularity! Now, let’s look at the boys and their most popular names of the last 12 months.
You’ll quickly notice that many of the boys names on this list are quite classical. In the past, names have been quirky and modern, such as Levi or Kai, but it seems that parents are choosing to move away from these types of names for now and towards traditional names instead.
Here are the 10 most popular boys names in the UK in 2021.
Oliver – We had Olivia as number one on the girl’s list, so it’s no surprise that Oliver has made it to number one for the boys. The name dates back to Old Norse times and means ‘ancestor’s descendants’. It also has French and Latin roots and has been a strong male name throughout history.
George – Perhaps we can put the popularity of George down to Prince George, but it’s always been a very strong and popular name regardless. With Greek origins, George means ‘farmer’ and has connections with hard work, the earth and nature.
Arthur – Arthur is another traditional name that is making a comeback and this name has very strong Celtic roots. It is thought that the name means ‘bear’ and because of it’s links with King Arthur, it is a name that brings to mind strength and resilience.
Noah – Noah is a Biblical name, obviously coming from Noah and his arc from the Old Testament. This is a very popular name at the moment and it has Hebrew roots, with the word meaning ‘rest’.
Muhammad – The name Muhammad has always been very popular in the Middle East but it is now increasingly popular in the UK too. The word means ‘praiseworthy’ and is obviously linked with the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam. Muhammad is a very popular name for Muslim parents to call their children, either as a first name or a middle name.
Leo – Leo can be short for Leonardo, Leon, or simply used on its own and it has German roots as well as Latin. In Latin, Leo mean ‘lion’, so the name stands for strength, fearlessness and courage. This is also a very good name for a baby boy as it grows with him throughout his life.
Oscar – Another traditional name that has become even more popular over the last year. Oscar has English and Irish roots and traditionally means ‘champion warrior’. It can also mean ‘deer-lover’ with links to hunting.
Harry – The name Harry has always been popular, and we often think of Prince Harry when we hear it. However, the name is often a nickname, short for Henry or even Harold. The name used on it is own has become increasingly popular and is a good choice for a boy. The name has English roots and it’s meaning is ‘ruler of the army’.
Archie – Another name that has probably become popular due to royal connections. Archie can be used alone as a name or as a shortened nickname for a longer name, such as Archibald. Archie has Scottish and English roots, but also has connects with Germany. The name means ‘genuine’ or ‘brave’.
Jack – Jack is an English name which dates back to medieval times. It actually came from the very popular name ‘John’, and is an evolved version which has gained popularity in the modern day. Of course, we also have Jack & The Beanstalk to thank for its fame! The name also means ‘God is gracious’ and is a wonderful name for a little boy.
How many of those boys’ names would you consider for your little one? Maybe you know a little boy that has one of those names, or maybe more than one considering how popular they are!
It’s interesting to see popular names and decide whether they would make your shortlist or not. It could be that you have looked at those names and found a few that you like. It might also be that you’ve found none that really call out to you.
Choosing a name for your little one is a huge decision and something that needs to be considered carefully. Maybe you don’t like any of the names on this list and something completely different comes to your mind. That’s fine! But, by learning about popular names you can either avoid them out of a desire to be unique, or opt for something which hits home and says “yes, that’s the one!”