These are the trending baby names for boys and girls in 2017

What’s inspiring parents in 2017 when it comes to baby names? As always, we can rely on the BabyCentre charts to reveal the latest trends, as we look at the more unusual naming choices in this year’s registrations.

Gender-neutral names are becoming more mainstream than ever before, extreme nature is overpowering flowery names and popular culture has made its mark on the charts yet again, with ITV’s surprise hit Love Island inspiring BabyCentre parents in 2017, reports the Mirror.

Trending girls’ names

Olivia has retained its stronghold at the top of the charts while the top five has had a cabinet reshuffle, but no new entries. Lily has dropped two places to number four while Sophia has risen a place to take Lily’s former number two spot. Emily has dropped from number four to number five with Amelia rising two places to number three.

The top 20 has three new entries. Evelyn, Phoebe and Aria have taken the places of Chloe, Alice and Scarlett.

2017 also saw seven new entries to the top 100. Madison, Fatima, Amy, Aurora, Arabella, Hallie and Skye ousted Mya, Katie, Iris, Eden, Brooke, Nina and Bethany.

Trending boys’ names

The power play for number one between Oliver and Muhammad has shifted again in 2017. Last year, Oliver reclaimed the top spot from Muhammad for the first time since 2013. But Oliver’s stint at number one was short lived. It’s now dropped to second place, with Muhammad reclaiming the title.

There were three new entries into the top 20 boys’ names this year. Jackson and Logan climbed a whopping 14 and 15 places respectively to sit at numbers 11 and 18 and Lucas just edged in at number 19, up from number 22. Henry, Thomas and Max saw their popularity wane in 2017, dropping 12, 6 and 14 places respectively.

There were nine new entries into the top 100 for the boys. Ahmad, Syed, Hunter, Harley, Abdul, Roman, Parker, Levi and Joel pushed out Connor, Alex, Sam, Callum, Dexter, Omar, Ben, Cameron and Seth.

One of the biggest baby name shockers this year has been the meteoric rise of John. The classic name is this year’s highest climber, storming up the charts 41 places to number 56. In June this year we predicted that 70s classics like John, Andrew and David would start making a comeback… so watch this space!

British bad boys – and girls

As always it’s the baby names sneaking up on the outside that tell us most about upcoming baby name trends, and 2017 is no different.

While East End gangster may not be BabyCentre parents’ first choice of occupation for their little bundle of joy, our mums and dads can’t get enough of those bad boy names!

Reggie and Ronnie, famous first names of the Kray twins, are steadily climbing up the boys’ charts, while Violet (the Krays’ mother) and Nancy (the tragic gangster’s moll in Oliver Twist) are gaining popularity for parents of girls.

Other classic British gangster names are also gaining a stronghold. Top 100 favourite Frankie could be inspired by Kray rival Frankie Fraser.

Carter is another high climber – could it be inspired by Michael Caines’ character in the classic British gangster movie Get Carter?

Peaky Blinders characters are also having an effect on the charts, with Tommy and Arthur rising one and seven places respectively this year, while fellow Peaky Blinder name Alfie remains a firm favourite in the top 100.

Or perhaps the popularity of Reggie, Ronnie and Alfie could be down to the Tom Hardy effect, as they’re all characters played by the British actor.

Whatever the reason, BabyCentre parents clearly see the appeal of a bad boy.

Gender equality

As conversations around gender stereotyping continue to spark debate in the UK, parents are sitting up and taking notice, with gender neutral names on the rise in this year’s charts.

Inspired perhaps by John Lewis’ decision to remove girls and boys labels from their children’s clothing range, BabyCentre parents have increasingly chosen names that are suitable for both boys or girls.

After seeing a surge in the popularity of gender neutral names this year, we wanted to dig a little further to see if this was a growing trend with BabyCentre parents.

We found 20 names, each of which had at least a quarter of its registrations to both sexes. The most popular of these was Riley, with just under two thirds of boy registrations and just over a third of girls. This was closely followed by Frankie, where the share was reversed.

The name with the most balanced split between the sexes was Harley, which was our third most popular gender-neutral name. Only a few years ago Harley was predominantly seen as a boy’s name but, in 2017, 49 per cent of BabyCentre registrations were for girls. And, with Quinn at number five in the gender-neutral list, there’s no doubt parents are also finding inspiration in Suicide Squad’s supervillain Harley Quinn.

Love Island inspiration

DC and Marvel superheroes may still be making their mark in the name charts but this year there was one small screen hit that had more drama than any blockbuster franchise. Surprise hit of the summer, ITV’s Love Island, has influenced the names that parents are choosing for their baby girls, with Olivia clinging on to the top spot and Montana, Camilla and Gabby all enjoying more registrations in 2017.

For boys, Theo remained a top 30 favourite and Harley jumped 33 places into the top 100 at number 71. Sadly, there were no registrations for Cash, which superfans will recognise as the name chosen by runner-up Chris Hughes for the doll he looked after as part of a parenting competition on the show! Is Cash a name to watch in 2018?

Nature reloaded

While names influenced by the great outdoors have been popular for the past few years, extreme nature names are storming up the charts.

Forest, Hawk, Hunter, Fox and, you guessed it, Storm, proved popular in 2017. Looking to the heavens for inspiration, Luna climbed 20 places and Hallie, Aurora and Skye were all new entries into the top 100.

Many wild choices were also popular for both boys and girls – River, Rowan, Raven and Robin all made our top 20 gender-neutral names chart. Is this return to nature rooted in millennial parents’ desire to reconnect with the great outdoors? It’s certainly a growing trend to watch in 2018.

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