When Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow named their baby girl Apple in 2004 there was a media storm centred around what licence we have to give children names that aren’t what we would expect. At the same time as the rise in more ‘out there’ names, there is a casual decline of more traditional names.
The Independent reviewed 36 names that are dying a death, and at the top of the list were Dean and Derek for a boy, and Angela and Debra for a girl; but what makes a name appropriate for the times? Popular culture remains the biggest contributor to the way that new parents make their choice, Charlotte and George, the country’s youngest royals gave rise to a boom for those name choices in the past three years; whilst the Kardashian craze in the US has led to the most popular new name in the states becoming Kylo in 2017.
The boy band One Direction also remains popular with many parents across England and Wales, but it appears that Irish member Niall Horan is the least notable. Only 155 boys were given his first name in 2014, compared to 231 Zayns, 902 Liams, 999 boys called Louis, and 5,379 called Harry. Popular TV series Game of Thrones has also begun making its impact on names across the UK Arya is the most popular girl’s name, with 244 babies named after the character played by Maisie Williams.There were also 53 babies named Khaleesi, nine Daenerys, six Sansas and four Briennes.
Today magazine has predicted a trend for 2017 amongst the upper elite in the UK around names, saying that the most up and coming names are set to be Gods; with Thor, Persephone and Zelda topping the list. Tatler, in a similar trend has predicted Czar-Czar, Ra and Innusbruck to be the most popular for the British upper classes. HSPS applicants should think about how names can tell us about a time or period of history. EP applicants should think about how choosing names outside of the ordinary can affect the way a child is spoken to and their development as a young person. 1500 boys were named Messiah in 2016, 40 baby girls were named Goddess and 27 Lords. Philosophy and Theology candidates may wish to think about the affect on religion of anthropomorphoisising names previously reserved for the transcendent.