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British baby girl names

Diane Ashoff has a background in mathematics and a keen eye for baby name trends. She lives with her husband and three children in Florida.

Baby girl names from across the pond

We think of British names as a category of their own, but Great Britain sees new baby name trends emerge every year. Join us as we learn what's posh — and what's not.

Baby girl names with a British sound appeal to American ears for several reasons. They exude femininity and wealth and remind us of Jane Austen novels. Many lists of British baby girl names rely on literary works and regal names, overlooking the fact that British naming trends are as varied as those in the U.S. Like our Social Security Administration, the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics releases data each year revealing the top names given to baby girls and boys. We perused the stats and figured out where the Brits are turning for baby name inspiration, and we love what we found.

Top 20 British names for girls

At a glance, the British top 20 look similar to the top names in the states: short, feminine names with a royal sound. However, there are significant outliers — Poppy doesn't even make the U.S. top 1,000. Unisex names Americans adore, such as Madison, Avery and Harper, are nowhere to be found. We've included the current U.S. rank to help you see how the names hold up here.

  1. Amelia (17)
  2. Olivia (3)
  3. Jessica (163)
  4. Emily (7)
  5. Lily (27)
  6. Ava (5)
  7. Mia (6)
  8. Isla (167)
  9. Sophie (76)
  10. Isabella (4)
  11. Evie (559)
  12. Ruby (93)
  13. Poppy (unranked)
  14. Grace (22)
  15. Sophia (1)
  16. Chloe (14)
  17. Isabelle (115)
  18. Ella (15)
  19. Freya (908)
  20. Charlotte (11)

Diminutives as given names

As we scanned the list of top names in Britain, one type of name caught our attention immediately: nicknames as given names. While once popular in the U.S., this tradition that blurs class lines has fallen out of favor, with parents preferring the elegance of long, traditional names. Giving your daughter a nickname for her first name will help her appear relatable and familiar upon first introductions. Check out our British baby girl nickname favorites.

Hyphenated names

While apostrophes win out in American naming punctuation, the British have grown fond of the hyphen. The combination of Lily-Rose alone was given to 247 girls. As you can see, many of the names combine the most commonly used names with American middle name classics Mae, Grace and Louise. Though growing in popularity, many Brits find the names a bit low class and look down on those who use them. If you tend to agree, but like the two-name flow, consider one of these pairings as separate first and middle names. You can always call your baby girl Cecilia Jane at home, leaving her free to go by just Cecilia with friends. Here are a few popular combos to get you started.

  • Amelia-Grace
  • Ava-Rose
  • Bella-Rose
  • Daisy-Mae
  • Ella-Louise
  • Ellie-May
  • Evie-Mae
  • Gracie-Mae
  • Isla-Rose
  • Lacey-Mae
  • Lily-Mae
  • Lola-Rose
  • Mia-Rose
  • Millie-Mae
  • Olivia-Grace
  • Ruby-Leigh
  • Summer-Rose

Other British baby name trends

Looking for more British inspiration? Try out botanical names. Daisy, Holly, Jasmine, Ivy, Rose and Violet all make the top 100, with Willow and Iris not too far behind. Royal names also shine on the charts, with current royals Elizabeth and Catherine staying popular year after year. If you prefer an older style, grandma names like Florence, Harriet and Martha belong to hundreds of British baby girls. Which baby name trend from across the pond is your favorite?

More on baby names

Edgy, trendy names for boys and girls
Baby names from classic children's literature
Baby names that start with A

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