12 Aug 2013

What happened to Hashtag? Harry and Amelia top baby names

Last year saw the first baby named Hashtag but Harry and Amelia still came out on top. Channel 4 News looks at why traditional names remain popular.

Whatever happened to Hashtag? Harry and Amelia top baby names (G)

Hashtag Jameson was born in November 2012. Underneath the photo of a baby girl on Facebook, a caption read: “Hashtag Jameson was born at 10oclock last night. She weys (sic) 8pounds and I luv (sic) her so much!!!!”

But it is not clear whether the birth announcement was a joke, viral marketing campaign or the real thing.

Earlier this year, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their first child North West while Coleen and Wayne Rooney welcomed baby boy Klay.

Despite the celebrity and social media craze, it seems that parents are sticking to more traditional names.

Harry and Amelia

Harry and Amelia were the top names for babies born in England and Wales last year, staying in the top spots from 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Lisa Penney, of the UK parenting club Bounty.com, believes that while celebrity-styled or unusual names may be fun, parents know their children will “probably have an easier ride in the playground if they choose a more traditional name”.

Noting that some “vintage-style” names like Elsie, Frankie and Arthur have become popular again, she said: “We are now seeing a growing trend for ‘old man’ and ‘old lady’ names.

“Many are given a contemporary spin by using the nickname for the traditional variation like Alfie, Archie, Bobby, Charlie, Frankie and Freddy.

“Today’s baby trends change quickly and names that first seem unusual can quickly become common in the classroom. Just a few years ago Ava and Isla were relatively unheard of as a baby girl’s name, yet now they are in the top 20.”

The Office for National Statistics data covered the north east, north west, Yorkshire and the Humber, east Midlands, west Midlands, the east, London, south east, south west and Wales. Harry was the top choice for a boy in all bar three of these areas.


Muhammad was the top name for a new baby boy in London, while parents in the north east opted for Jack and Welsh parents picked Jacob.

Among boys’ names, Riley replaced Joshua in the top 10 popularity charts created from the final annual births registrations, which include all live births in England and Wales in 2012.

Riley climbed five places from number 13 to number eight for baby boys.

Among the girls, Mia and Isla replaced Ruby and Grace in the top 10 by climbing six and seven places from numbers 13 and 15 respectively to fill the seventh and eighth slots.

In Wales, Jacob was the most popular name for baby boys, replacing Oliver, while Amelia replaced Lily as the most popular name for baby girls.

From ‘Messiah’ to Martin

Meanwhile in Tennessee, in the US, a baby had his name changed from Messiah to Martin, after a judge ruled that the religious name was earned by one person and “that one person is Jesus Christ”.

The names Jaxson, Brantley and Jace rank among the most popular choices in the state.

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