No, I'm not talking about Who companions, I'm talking about the Office for National Statistics and their annual list of the most popular baby names in England and Wales.* The BBC article just gives the top tens, but lists of the top 100 names for girls and boys are downloadable from this page. They make for rather interesting reading, especially if, like me, you are surrounded by people giving birth left, right and centre.**
Fashions for names always intrigue me. How did Olivia and Ruby get to be the two most popular girl's names of 2008? When I was a lass, Ruby was an old lady name, and the only Olivia was Newton-John. Now the nation's going to be awash with them in twenty years' time. I'm also bemused that while Katie is in there, Catherine and Katharine are not in the top 100: judging by the number we have at work, those were market-leading names for at least a couple of decades. Then for boys, Stephen or Andrew fail to make the top 100, but two different spellings of Finley/Finlay do. What's that all about? Will people start to think that Steve and Andy are weird, old-fashioned names? Or perhaps they already do?
Note to my mum if she's reading this: Florence is making a comeback, in at number 94! Meanwhile, Jill fails to make the top 100, but hey, it gives me rarity value.
Now, let's see if we can do any fannish trendspotting. I've already mentioned Rose (no. 66), Martha (no. 81) and Amy (no. 34). On the boys' list, Jack is on top and has been for YEARS, which will come as a shock to no one. Torchwood representation is pretty good, actually, with Owen (no. 48) and Rhys (no. 49), but no Ianto, not surprisingly. But perhaps there'll be a wave of Torchwood tribute babies next year? Then as far as Doctors are concerned, I note that Matt (well, Matthew) is already way more popular (at no. 28) than David (no. 64) and Christopher (no. 94). A portent of things to come, perchance? Maybe someone should start a fan campaign to get the names Tardis and Gallifrey on there for next year?
And Heroes-wise, I note that both Zachary (no. 72) and Gabriel (no. 78) are included, but until the playgrounds of the land start to fill up with little Sylars, I don't think we've got anything to worry about...
* Scottish babies have their own statistical trends: mostly the same names in a slightly different order, but with a lot of girls called Isla thrown in.
** Shout-out to livii, yay! And to Steve and Deej who probably aren't reading this...