Most popular baby names 2011: Old favourites still top in the name game

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TRADITIONAL choices are top of the pops for most proud Peterborough parents when it comes to naming their new babies.

Lily, Sophie and Isabelle were the most popular names for new-born girls in Peterborough this year, according to research by Peterborough City Council’s Register Office.

The city’s growing Muslim population meant that Mohammed stayed at the top of the name charts for boys for the fourth year in a row.

But the next most popular choices were Harry, Oliver, Charlie and Alfie.

For girls, Lily had been third in 2010, but managed to overtake Sophie and Isabelle to take the top spot this time.

Schools will be inundated with Sophies and Lilys, as they have been amongst the favourite names for Peterborough girls since 2008

There were a total of 13 new names joining the list – six new boys names, including Ethan, Lucas and Noah, and seven new girls names, including Daisy, Bethany and Imogen.

It had been predicted there would be a rise in the popularity of the names William and Kate this year, to coincide with the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in the spring.

But despite the lavish wedding in April, William could only manage 12th place in the list, falling one place from last year, and lagging behind Harry – Prince William’s younger brother – whose name leapt from seventh last year to second in the charts this year.

It was worse news for Kate and her sister Pippa, whose names could not force their way into the top 20 girls names in Peterborough, having not been on the list last year either,

However, despite the lack of influence of royalty, it is still thought celebrity culture plays a part with some parents.

Rosalind Yardy, the council’s superintendant registrar, said: “We are continuing to see an increase in popularity in traditional names, but the list also reflects the influence of celebrities on the names chosen for city children.

“While the 2001 census reveals only about 9,000 local people have a Muslim heritage, it seems that they invariably choose Mohammed as a first name for boys.”

March-based mum Amy Collett (31) is expecting her second baby with partner James Amps (34) at any moment, and said choosing a name was an important and difficult decision, but she would not be selecting a name from the top of the list.

She said: “For a boy we are looking at Lloyd or Ronnie, and for a girl we are looking at Elsie or Lily.

“But if Lily is at the top of the list we may look again, as I don’t want them to have too popular a name.

“I don’t want them to be in a class where they have the same name as others.

“When I had my first baby, Ralph, we were looking at calling him Alfie, but that was one of the most popular names, so we changed to Ralph.

“Choosing a name is difficult and important, as they will have the name for the rest of their life. It has to sound right and match with the surname. I have a baby book of names, and have been going through page by page to try and find the right one.”

Top 20 boys and girls names in Peterborough:

The top 20 names for boys:

1 Mohammed,

2 Harry,

3 Oliver,

4 Charlie, 5 Alfie, 6 Jacob, 7 Thomas, 8 Jack, 9 Riley, 10 Ethan, 11 George, 12 William, 13 Daniel/Lucas, 15 Finley/Samuel, 17 Noah, 18 Joshua/Benjamin, 20 Isaac.

The top 20 names for girls:

1 Lily,

2 Sophie,

3 Isabelle,

4 Amelia, 5 Evie, 6 Chloe, 7 Olivia, 8 Jessica, 9 Mia, 10 Emily, 11 Ruby, 12 Grace, 13 Ava/Ella/Holly, 16 Bethany/Daisy, 18, Lola, 19, Lucy, 20 Imogen.

Luke, Oscar, Hayden, Max, Lewis, Zachary, Scarlett, Amy, Freya, Caitlin, Maisai, Ellie and Kai disappeared from the list.

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