LONDON – “Muhammad” was the most popular name chosen for newborn boys in Britain in 2014, according to data released on Monday by the parenting website BabyCentre.
The list compiled by BabyCentre also shows that Sophia was this year’s most popular name chosen by parents of newborn girls, while the report also reflects an increase in Arabic names such as Nur, Maryam, Omar, Ali and Ibrahim.
Oliver and Jack used to lead the list of names in Britain. This year, however, Muhammad – which can be written in 10 different ways – took the lead, five decades after its entry into the list of the 100 most common names in the United Kingdom.
Sophia, Emily and Lily topped the list of female names for newborn British girls this year.
“With the increase in Arabic names, the top 100 list reflects the ever-increasing diversity of the UK today,” the Daily Mail quoted BabyCentre’s Managing Editor, Sarah Redshaw, as saying. She also pointed out other names as examples for this diversity, such as Aarav, a name of Indian origin.
BabyCentre also noted the influence of television series on parents, who were often inspired in their naming choices by popular shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad.”
Emilia, Danerys and Tyrion were among the names inspired by “Game of Thrones,” while parents naming their children Skyler, Jesse or Walter probably took inspiration from “Breaking Bad.”
Another TV show with a considerable influence on baby names was “Orange is the New Black,” which has inspired many parents to name their new girl baby Piper, in honor of the series’ protagonist.
In addition, David and Victoria Beckham are still setting trends: the names of their children (Harper, Romeo and Cruz) are now also among the 100 most-used.
The popularity of British Royal Family members’ names declined this year, as did the prevalence of celebrity-inspired names.
“Parents are weary of names associated to celebrities who exhibit bad behavior; the controversial pop singer Miley Cyrus being a prime example,” Redshaw added to the same news portal.
Some of the most interesting names included London, Blue, Hendrix, Prince and King.
BabyCentre’s data is based on a survey of 56,157 members of the website who had a child in 2014.