Baby names: Peaky Blinders 'may have inspired' choices

Written by on August 29, 2019

TV drama Peaky Blinders may have inspired some of the most popular baby names in England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.

Arthur entered the top 10 for boys for the first time since the 1920s, with Ada in the top 100 girls’ names for the first time in a century.

The ONS said girls named Alexa also halved in a year, possibly due to potential confusion with Amazon’s Echo.

Oliver and Olivia retained the number one spots.

There were 5,390 boys named Oliver born in England and Wales in 2018, down from 6,259 the year before.

George was second for boys with 4,960.

Olivia was the name of 4,598 baby girls, down from 5,204 but still ahead of Amelia in second, with 3,941.

Statistician Nick Stripe said: “Oliver and Olivia remained the most popular baby names in 2018, although there are the first signs that Oliver’s six-year reign as the number one name for boys is under threat.

“Arthur surged into the top 10 boys’ names for the first time since the 1920s, and Ada jumped into the girls’ top 100 for the first time in a century too, both perhaps inspired by characters in the BBC TV drama Peaky Blinders.”

Arthur and Ada are key members of the Shelby family featured in the Bafta-winning series.

Mr Stripe said the fall in babies named Alexa was possibly due to “the growth in the use of technology assistants in our homes”, adding: “Communicating with young children can be hard enough at the best of times.”

The ONS only provides figures when there were at least three babies given the same spelling of a name. It does not reveal names taken by only one or two babies to protect their privacy.

Figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland have already been published.

Olivia and Jack were the most popular names in Scotland, while in Northern Ireland the most popular boys’ name was a tie between Noah and James, with Grace the most popular for girls.

What inspired you when choosing your baby’s name? Or is there a story behind your name?

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