In recent years, barely a month has gone by without some new survey appearing that reveals changing trends in the popularity of baby names. Some of these like to gleefully tell us about names that are heading for extinction, usually because this might bait the former footballer-turned pundit Gary Neville. But others reveal the most popular names.
The infant equipment site Bella Baby has been doing its own recent research and has come up with another list of names, based on Baby Name UK and Google trends.
It suggests that parents who welcome a daughter into the world will not just have some interesting choices to make when buying baby girl dresses. They will be going against the grain if they opt to call her Lorraine, Suzanne or Kristen.
Equally, boys are going to have unusual names if they are called Chad, Nigel or, once again, Gary.
Other unpopular girls’ names include Angela, Sophia and Nicole, the last of which may or may not have anything to do with 1990s car adverts. Alexa is also on the list, but that may be because it will cause problems with the household voice-activated AI system.
Alongside Gary and Nigel, out-of favour boys’ names also include Jeffrey, Stuart, Bill and Ashton, although whether the latter is truer in Ashton-under-Lyne than elsewhere is not stated.
No doubt there will be another survey along in the next month or two that will provide a further update on baby name popularity. Each may contain some surprises, but they may also echo the results of previous polls, confirming that your son will be in a very small minority if he is going round being called ‘Gaz’ by his friends 15 years from now.
Of course, some might want their child to stand out and start a trend. That may not be the worst idea; after all, fashion goes in cycles and if certain names come back into vogue (with or without the help of a car ad), they will grow up as trendsetters.