Thursday, December 5, 2013

American v. British: Part 1

The British ONS released their name data a few months back (woo-hoo! more numbers!). Top 100 is here, and you can download their full lists here (don't worry, nowhere near as long as the US lists!).
Despite the fact that Americans have a much larger "naming pool", there are many names that appear on the British list that don't on the American.
Part of that can be explained by the fact that the British list allows hyphenated names--"Lily-Grace" appears just like that, where on the American list it'd be either "Lilygrace" or "Lily" with "Grace" as a middle.
Surprisingly, Brits also have a much smaller babies/name ratio--with 60 babies/name for boys ('names' separated by spelling, so "Aidan" & "Aiden" are considered different names), and 46 babies/name for girls. Americans average 142 babies/name for boys, and 99 babies/name for girls. Again, this can partially be explained by the hyphenated names, and partially by the fact that the US just has a much, much larger population--about 730,000 babies were born last year in the UK, and 3,900,000 in the US.

I first set out to find the "most British" & "most American" names--that is, names that are infinitely more common in Britain than the US and vice-versa. And so here, are the top 20 names that appear on the British popularity lists, but not the American:

Boys:
  1. Olly
  2. Albie
  3. Fraser
  4. Osian
  5. Harri
  6. Gethin
  7. Tomos
  8. Barney
  9. Tyler-James
  10. Bertie
  11. Dougie
  12. Oliwier
  13. Frazer
  14. Georgie
  15. Tommy-Lee
  16. Iestyn
  17. Herbie
  18. Ieuan
  19. Teddie
  20. Rudi

Girls:
  1. Lily-Rose
  2. Amelia-Rose
  3. Lily-Mae
  4. Ffion
  5. Ellie-May
  6. Lily-May
  7. Ellie-Mae
  8. Lilly-May
  9. Bethan
  10. Jorgie
  11. Lilly-Mae
  12. Lilly-Rose
  13. Ella-Rose
  14. Tulisa
  15. Ellie-Mai
  16. Gracie-Mae
  17. Ava-Rose
  18. Evie-Mae
  19. Lillie-Mae
  20. Lacey-Mae

Good grief. Those hyphens really confuse things. Removing those....

Boys:
  1. Olly
  2. Albie
  3. Fraser
  4. Osian
  5. Harri
  6. Gethin
  7. Tomos
  8. Barney
  9. Bertie
  10. Dougie
  11. Oliwier
  12. Frazer
  13. Georgie
  14. Iestyn
  15. Herbie
  16. Ieuan
  17. Teddie
  18. Rudi
  19. Iwan
  20. Elis

Girls:
  1. Ffion
  2. Bethan
  3. Jeorgie
  4. Tulisa
  5. Poppie
  6. Fearne
  7. Lowri
  8. Xanthe
  9. Orlaith
  10. Dulcie
  11. Dolcie
  12. Kornelia
  13. Tamzin
  14. Eleri
  15. Cadi
  16. Hettie
  17. Ottilie
  18. Neive
  19. Catrin
  20. Romilly

I'm guessing that in the US, most of these won't ring 'British' so much as "rare", or to the non-nerdy, "weird". So, how about the most 'British' names that appear on both (full) popularity lists?

Boys:
  1. Alfie
  2. Barnaby
  3. Archie
  4. Harry
  5. Finlay
  6. Rafferty
  7. Vinnie
  8. Kenzie
  9. Freddie
  10. Mikolaj
  11. Jac
  12. Ashley
  13. Wiktor
  14. Ollie
  15. Matas
  16. Mckenzie
  17. Rupert
  18. Franciszek
  19. Owain
  20. Jenson


Girls:
  1. Darcey
  2. Isobelle
  3. Cerys
  4. Darcie
  5. Poppy
  6. Orla
  7. Florence
  8. Niamh
  9. Freya
  10. Kitty
  11. Oliwia
  12. Imogen
  13. Sian
  14. Zuzanna
  15. Nikola
  16. Maisie
  17. Seren
  18. Aqsa
  19. Wiktoria
  20. Georgie

I have to admit, I really like most of these names!
Apparently the influence of Eastern Europe is much stronger in the UK than the US! Not too surprising, though, given its closer proximity. I imagine we'll see something similar with the US & Spanish names next time... 

Still too outlandish? Well, here are the most 'British' names from the American Top 1000: 

Boys:
  1. Harry
  2. Theo
  3. Harvey
  4. Reuben
  5. Callum
  6. Finley
  7. Lewis
  8. Frankie
  9. Jamie
  10. Harley
  11. Toby
  12. Charlie
  13. Bobby
  14. Tommy
  15. Sonny
  16. Stanley
  17. George
  18. Ronnie
  19. Alfred
  20. Ben

Girls:
  1. Evie
  2. Millie
  3. Esme
  4. Matilda
  5. Holly
  6. Isla
  7. Amelie
  8. Martha
  9. Lacey
  10. Tia
  11. Jessica
  12. Phoebe
  13. Zara
  14. Lara
  15. Libby
  16. Mollie
  17. Lola
  18. Alisha
  19. Beatrice
  20. Daisy

Even though I knew going in that the big British trends right now are double-names and diminutives--for both genders--I'm still surprised at many of these names! For the most part, not what the typical American thinks of when we hear "British".

The most 'American' names coming next time. Cheers!