Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Irish babies remain conservatively Irish

In 2010 I wrote about a CNN news report that claimed the most common name for boys in Britain was now Muhammad, supposedly indicating a big increase in the Muslim population there. I pointed out that there were various problems with that interpretation.

Now the Central Statistics Office in Ireland has released a list of the most common names for babies in 2011, and these remain resolutely Anglo-Irish or Biblical. Top 20 names for girls:

Emily
Sophie
Emma
Grace
Lily
Sarah
Lucy
Ava
Chloe
Katie
Ella
Mia
Aoife
Caoimhe
Kate
Leah
Hannah
Anna
Saoirse
Ruby

And boys:
Jack
James
Sean
Daniel
Conor
Ryan
Adam
Harry
Michael
Alex
Dylan
Luke
Cian
Jamie
Oisin
Aaron
Liam
Thomas
Darragh
Charlie

Nothing jumps out here as an especially unusual or foreign name. Does that indicate anything about demographic or cultural changes in Ireland? Not sure, feel free to comment below.

2 comments:

  1. I was told many times that in the 70's lots of Irish boys were named John or Paul or even John Paul after the Pope of the time. I wonder how many boys are being called Ben? Or if the current Pope had picked a more generic name rather than Benedict, say Matthew for instance, would there be a lot Matthews?

    You know what's interesting? Jack is always at or near the top of these lists. I know one person named Jack. One. And it's a FB friend, not even in my phonebook. David isn't on the list. David is the most common name in my phonebook. John is in second place. No Johns here unless you count Seans.

    What happened to the days when 4 boys might be called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? I know of such siblings.

    I'm glad to see there's nothing pretentious anyway. Or R n' B inspired, such as Jermelanie.

    Would you believe I know twins named Thomas and Gerald! Of course everyone calls them Tom and Gerry. (Pity Gerry's name wasn't Jeremy, Jeremiah or Jerome for the sake of the 'J').

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha exactly, I also don't know any Jacks! I guess all the Jacks are under 8 years old and we'll have a wave of them soon.

    I doubt we'll see that many inspired by Benedict, that ship may have sailed by now, but you're right, my generation has a bunch of JPs because of the previous pope.

    I am surprised to see how few Irish names there are, I'd thought they were back in fashion. I see only a few: Aoife, Caoimhe, Saoirse, Sean, Cian, Oisin.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.