Christening Gifts and The X Factor

The engravers at CHRISTENINGsilver are always quick to spot a trend. The number of napkin rings, tankards, mugs, egg cups and quaichs we engrave with Christian names every week gives us a good indication of the most popular names being chosen by parents in the UK.

For boys, we are seeing many familiar favourites. Tom and Thomas, Ollie and Oliver, Josh and Joshua, James and Jamie all feature strongly along with Jack, Harry and Charlie. We have the occasional family name or Victorian hangover, but in the main, parents are still fairly conservative when it comes to boys’ names.

It’s a different story with girls’ names. Parents seem to be a bit more fickle. We certainly don’t see Grace or Ruby as often as we used to, whilst a recent arrival, Amelia, seems to be featuring more and more. There is also a growing trend for parents to take a fairly common name and give it a “tweak”. For example, Lily is still a very popular name, but we are also seeing Lilly and Lilie or Lillie. Then again, is it Isabelle, Isobel, Isabel or Isobelle? There also seems to be an upsurge in interesting locations like Madison, Skye, Sienna, Sofia and Paris.

The recent Office for National Statistics review of the first names to be given to UK babies in 2011 appears to back up these trends. The top five boys’ names in 2011 were: Harry, Oliver, Jack, Alfie and Charlie. The top five girl’s names were: Amelia, Olivia, Lily, Jessica and Emily.

The dominance of Amelia and Harry is interesting. Some social commentators are suggesting that the popularity of X Factor stars Harry Styles and Amelia Lily may be influencing the trend. There may be something in this because, whilst we can all think of plenty of famous other chaps called Harry who may have influenced the choice, you would probably struggle to name more than two other famous chapettes called Amelia … go on, have a try … ummmm … Amelia Earhart? Yes that’s one … and …. ummm?

Don’t worry, we don’t think that Amelia will be on the top spot for long … our engravers have already guessed which girls’ name may hit the number one spot next year … we think it might possibly, just possibly, be … Jessica?


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