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Morpheus, Fury and Bee: The full list of Scottish baby names used in 2021 revealed

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While more traditional choices like Jack and Olivia proved to be the most popular baby names in Scotland in 2021, some parents opted for more unusual choices. We’ve unpacked the latest baby naming trends and most popular names in Scotland.

The annual list of baby names registered in Scotland is released by the National Records of Scotland.

In 2021 Scotland welcomed to the world baby girls named Bee, Berry, Domino, Madge, Margarita, Rainbow and Royalty.

There was also a range of baby boys with more unusual monikers, including Tudor, Tiger, Royal, Fury, Wrath and Mate.

Here’s the full list of names given to babies born last year in the country.

How have the most popular names changed over time?

We’ve looked at the top baby names given in Scotland from 1974 to 2021, the latest data to see how the most popular names have changed with time.

Heroes of the big screen

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO series Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO series Game of Thrones

While some parents prefer to go for more tried and tested names, others prefer to be a bit more unique in their choices.

Despite the fiery ending for Kings Landing, parents in Scotland continue to name their baby girls after the mother of dragons. Khaleesi has been used every year since 2012, however Daenerys appeared in the Scottish list for the first time in 2021.

Normal People, which had a TV series released in 2020 adapted from Sally Rooney’s book of the same name caused the popularity of one of its main characters to skyrocket.

Connell, the name of the male protagonist, saw 27 babies receive his namesake in 2021, a huge increase from 5 the year before. The name has been getting more use since the mid 2000s, but had remained in single figures until this year.

Paul Mescal who played Connell in the TV adaptation of Normal People.

Marianne however, the female protagonist, didn’t see the same surge. Only one baby was named Marianne in 2021.

Despite the birth of a royal baby in 2021 – no one chose to name their child after her.

Meghan and Harry chose the name Lilibet for their daughter last year.

There had only been three previously born in Scotland between 1974 and 2020, in 1980, 2004 and 2016.

All of the other royal babies have caused a small surge in the popularity of their name in the year of their birth, but in Scotland, it seems Lilibet didn’t inspire anyone.

Other pop culture-inspired names included Samwise, like Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings, Morpheus, a character in the Matrix and Kal-El, Superman’s real name.

Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in The Matrix.
Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in The Matrix.

There was also a Phineas – potentially inspired by the children’s TV show. No one opted for his brother’s name Ferb though.

Names dying out?

We’ve been keeping an eye on the baby names that are falling out of fashion or going completely extinct in Scotland.

It was another bad year for the girls’ names Karen, Susan, and Gillian with no babies in Scotland receiving these once-popular names once again. Julie and Angela were not given as names for the first time.

Martyn remains extinct as a boys’ name, with no baby boys registered in 2020 or 2021. Many of the at risk boys’ names have clung on to see another year, however, with six Brians, five Garys, one Graham, and one Wayne registered in 2021 in Scotland.

Director of statistical services Pete Whitehouse said: “Beneath the headline figures the long term trend is for more names to be used each year, including some names only given to one baby in 2021.

“Almost 12% of baby girls were given a name that no other girl was registered with in 2021. Almost 9% of boys had unique names for births last year. Together with the growing range of names being used this means it’s far less common for children to share their name with their classmates than it was for their parents or grandparents.”


More from our baby names series

Most popular baby names in the north and north-east in 2021

King David and the death of Karen: Scotland’s baby name trends for past 50 years

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