Death of Nigel and Carol: Traditional names like Gordon, Stuart, Sally, Sue and even Jonathan fall out of fashion in 2020… but popular Eastern Europe names beginning with K are on the rise
- Traditional names like Nigel and Carol could now be extinct as new-born names
- Younger mothers are opting for more modern and shortened names for infants
- Oliver remains most popular name boys’ name for eighth successive year
- Popularity of hit Netflix series Sex Education inspires surge in Maeve and Otis
Traditional names such as Nigel and Carol are dying out in England and Wales amid a rise in popular Eastern European names beginning with K, official data has shown.
Nigel and Carol could now be officially extinct as names for new-borns, while Jonathan, Gordon, Sally and Sue are also falling out of favour, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS only records data where three or more children have been called a single name, meaning no more than a maximum of two babies were named Nigel or Carol in 2020.
The downturn in usage is understood to be caused by younger mothers opting for more modern and shortened names, while mums aged over 35 and older tend to go for more traditional names.
Only 192 babies were named Jonathan across England and Wales in 2020, putting it outside the 200 most popular names for infants.
The data also shows that just eight boys were named Stewart in 2020 and seven registered as Gordon.
Sally, Sue and Janice are also thought to be slowly dying out as girls’ names.
Just 17 newborn girls were named Sally in 2020, while 13 were called Susan and only four named Janice.
Traditional names are making way for more modern names such as Kaiden (211), Marley (395) and Beau (419).
There were also more babies named Orfeas – nine – than Nigel, Trevor or Gordon last year.
Names beginning with a K, originating from Eastern Europe, have seen a rise in usage with more named Kal (seven), Kaidan (eight), and Kyree (six) than Keith or Piers in 2020.
Among the most popular K names were Kylo (189) and Kacper (142).
More popular than Sally, Susan and Janice for girls were Nansi (35), Mabli (35) and Skylar-Rose (33).
Oliver and Olivia remain the most popular baby names for 2020 while royal favourites like George, Archie and Mia are among Top 10 – but Harry falls five spots to eighth since last year
Oliver and Olivia remained the most popular baby names in England and Wales across 2020, official figures have shown.
Oliver has remained the most popular name for boys for the eighth successive year, while Olivia has topped the list of girls’ names for the fifth consecutive year.
Hit boxsets watched through the height of lockdown are also thought to have inspired a surge in new baby names last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Popular Netflix series Sex Education is believed to be behind a rise in the name Maeve, which soared 124 places since 2019 to become the 94th most popular girls name.
Otis, meanwhile, another character from the show, rose 28 places into 96th on the boys’ list.
Oliver and Olivia remained the two most popular names for baby boys and girls across England and Wales in 2020 (1 – Olly Murs
Other girls’ names becoming increasingly popular are Ivy and Rosie, which moved into the top 10 for the first time last year, replacing Grace and Freya.
Since 2010, Ivy has risen 221 places to take the number six spot, while Rosie now sits in ninth.
Arthur and Noah have also seen a huge rise in popularity over the last 20 years, the figures show, with both names rising more than 200 places into the boys’ top five in 2017 and 2019.
In 2020, Archie entered the top 10 for the first time, replacing Charlie, believed to be linked to the name of new-born royal Prince Archie.
It is the first time, too, that Charlie has not featured among the top 10 boys’ names since 2005.
Mothers aged 35 and older continue to choose more traditional names, while younger mums tend to opt for more modern and shortened names, the ONS says.
Asa Butterfield as Otis and Emma Mackey as Maeve ‘Sex Education’, which is said to be behind a surge in new baby names
Sian Bradford, of the ONS, said: ‘Oliver and Olivia held on to the top spots as the most popular boys’ and girls’ names in 2020 but some interesting changes took place beneath them.
‘We continue to see the age of mothers having an impact on the choice of baby name.
‘Archie jumped into the top 10 boys’ names for the first time, driven by younger mothers as well as the obvious royal link. While on the girls’ side Ivy rose to sixth place.
Characters from hit television shows and trending celebrities also continue to have an impact on baby names.
She continued: ‘Popular culture continues to provide inspiration for baby names, whether it’s characters in our favourite show or trending celebrities.
‘Maeve and Otis, characters from the popular programme Sex Education, have seen a surge in popularity in 2020.
‘While the name Margot has been rapidly climbing since actress Margot Robbie appeared in the popular film The Wolf Of Wall Street.
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