Would YOU call your baby after your favourite Netflix character? TV-inspired names such as Love and Otis soar in popularity in 2021 – but Olivia is back on top and Mohammed is still the most popular for boys in the UK
Whether it’s the endless hours spent watching Netflix when there was nowhere to go, or joy of emerging from lockdown and being able to travel again, the pandemic has certainly had an impact on thei year’s most popular baby names.
British parenting website BabyCentre has revealed the top 100 boys and girls names registered by its users in 2021, with Muhammad and Olivia taking the top spots in each category.
Olivia was briefly knocked off the top spot last year by Sophia, but is back at number one for girls. Meanwhile, Muhammad usually comes out on top when all the different spelling variations are combined.
The website noted that following a period of uncertainty due to the coronavirus, hopeful parents opted for names synonymous with new beginnings, such as Aurora, throughout the year.
In a year where people made the most of their streaming platforms’ releases at home, names made popular by Disney+ shows like Luca and Netflix series like Bridgerton’s Penelope and Sex Education’s Maeve also climbed up to the top 100.
And following Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics, sports enthusiasts have also named their kin after this year’s athletes of the moment, including Jack – inspired by Jack Grealish – Jason – inspired by Olympian Jason Kenny – and Luke – after Luke Shaw – all making it into the top 100.
However, the website noted the name Piers fell out of favour this year, alongside names like Maud, Elliott and Dwayne.
British parenting website BabyCentre has revealed the top 100 names for boys and girls that were the most popular with parents in 2021, stock image
The top five for boys included Muhammad, a name of Arabic origin, as well as Noah, Oliver, George and Leo.
Meanwhile, names ending in ‘a’ were a popular choice for girls, with Olivia and Sophia take the two top spots, followed by Lily, Amelia and Ava.
BabyCentre also noted that as the coronavirus pandemic is still progressing, some names’ popularity is particularly telling.
For instance, Sarah Gilbert, who developed the Oxford vaccine to fight the pandemic was a popular choice this year, with the name going up five places compared to 2020, to number 42.
Optimistic parents also went for names such as ‘Aurora and Eden,’ symbolising new beginnings, for girls.
Top 100 baby girls’ names of 2021
Top 100 baby boys’ names of 2021
Sarah Redshaw, UK Managing Editor for BabyCentre, said: ‘Parents don’t just reflect popular trends with their baby name picks, what they don’t choose can be just as revealing.
‘We predict there will be a rise in superhero names as Marvel and DC films continue to dominate and inspire many more parents to call their baby Thor, Thanos or Sylvie,’ she added.
‘But despite all this inspiration it can take a long time for parents to decide on a name.
‘Our poll showed that 8 per cent of parents were still undecided about what to call their baby more than a week after they were born. And however long it takes to decide, many parents – nearly 13 per cent – end up regretting their name choice.’
Top baby naming trends of 2021: New parents take inspiration from Netflix hits and sporting heroes, but old fashioned monikers like Bertha and Roger fall out of favour
Without contest, 2021 was the year where pop culture was one of the biggest trend among baby names, with monikers inspired by Netflix shows breaking into the top 100.
Maeve, Otis and Eric, made popular by the character from Netflix’s raunchy series Sex Education, entered the top 100, while YOU-inspired names Love and Henry moved up the charts.
Penelope rose to number 71, perhaps influended by Miss Featherington in Bridgerton, names inspired by Made in Chelsea also rose in popularity, with Myles reaching number 56, Harry making it into the top ten, Millie in 31st position and Ollie climbing 13 places.
After a summer filled with sporting competitions including the UEFA European Championship which kicked off in June and the Olympics and Paralympics in July and August, sports enthusiasts took inspiration from their heroes as well.
Harry Kane and Harry McGuire’s exploits during the Euros saw the name making it into the top ten, while Jack was also a popular option following Jack Grealish’s rise in popularity this year.
Team GB had their second best Olympics ever in the Tokyo games this year, winning 65 medals.
Jason Kenny, first Briton to win seven Olympic gold medals with a spectacular defence of his men’s keirin title, saw the name Jason reach number 84 in the boys’ top 100 names list.
With international travel being a big topic of conversation this year, with restrictions being updated to reflect the stat of the pandemic, some parents opted for wanderlust names, picking patronyms like Ocean and Destiny making the girls’ top 100.
Meanwhile, gender neutral names were also a popular trend of 2021, with Willow reaching number 20 in the girls’ top 100 list and climbing outside of the top 100 for boys as well.
Noah was a big favourite for boys, making it to second place, and it climbed in popularity with girls too, as well as Blake.
DEATH OF OLD-FASHIONED NAMES
However, some names fell out of favour this year, with no new registrations recorded by BabyCentre.
This was the case for Piers, as well as Elliott, Clive, Maurice, Roger, Clifford, Dwayne, Vernon and Daryl.
Girls name that were not registered this year included Maud, Tina, Pauline, Doreen, Doris, Edna, Glynis, Bertha, Kerry and Gertrude.