We have been tracking baby name trends for over two decades. During this time, we have seen several name trends come and go. However, some names have stood the test of time and remained universally popular with parents throughout the generations.
We wanted to explore this further. So, we analysed all the baby name data we could find – 100 years’ worth in England and Wales, and 50 years’ worth in Scotland – to establish which names have consistently appeared in the top 100 charts every year since registered birth records began .
We know that many parents choose a name based on its meaning. So, once we uncovered the most enduringly popular names, we delved deeper to find out whether the meanings behind them are the reason these names continue to appeal to parents.
The Meanings Behind the Names
- Adam (Scotland) – A well-known Hebrew name, Adam means “son of the red Earth”
- Alexander (England, Wales, and Scotland) – A Latin variant of the Greek name Alexandros, meaning “defender of men”
- Andrew (Scotland) – A Greek name meaning “strong and manly”
- Charles (England and Wales) – Derived from the Old English word “ceorl,” meaning “free man”
- Daniel (England, Wales, and Scotland) – A popular Hebrew name, meaning “God is my judge”
- David (England and Wales) – The name David has deep Biblical roots and means “beloved”
- Edward (England and Wales) – Derived from the Anglo-Saxons, Edward means “prosperous”
- Elizabeth (England and Wales) – Biblical name of Hebrew origin meaning “God is my oath”
- Emma (Scotland) – Inspired by an old Germanic word meaning “whole” or “universal”
- Fraser (Scotland) – Name of Scottish and Norman origin meaning “of the forest men”
- George (England and Wales) – Its original Greek form, Georgios, is based on the Greek word georgos meaning “farmer”
- James (England, Wales, and Scotland) – A biblical name meaning “substitute”
- Jamie (Scotland) – Jamie is a gender-neutral name of Hebrew origin, stemming from the traditional name “James”
- John (Scotland) – An ever-popular name with biblical origins meaning “graced by God”
- Joseph (England, Wales, and Scotland) – Originally a Hebrew name meaning “God will add”
- Matthew (Scotland) – Stems originally from the Hebrew name Mattityahu, which means “gift of God”
- Michael (England, Wales, and Scotland) – Hebrew origin meaning “gift from God”
- Mohammed (England and Wales) – Of Arabic origin meaning “the praised one”
- Robert (England, Wales, and Scotland) – An old German name that means “bright fame”
- Ryan (Scotland) – A Gaelic name that comes from the words “righ” and “an”, which together mean “little king”
- Sarah (England and Wales) – Hebrew word meaning noblewoman or princess
- Thomas (England, Wales, and Scotland) – Originates from the Hebrew word “ta’om,” meaning “twin”
- William (England, Wales, and Scotland) – Has English roots that date back almost a thousand years and means “resolute protector”
Whilst the names are derived from a wider variety of languages, from Gaelic to Arabic, it’s interesting to see that they are almost all linked by the strong meanings behind them. Whether your child’s name is universally popular, or more unique, using our range of customisable iron-on name labels and stick on name labels will ensure that their possessions are always returned to their rightful owner safely.