MORE Scottish babies were given unique names this year than ever before but other parents remained doggedly loyal to established favourites, National Records of Scotland figures showed today.
Sophie notched up a ninth year in a row as the favourite for girls, while Jack was top for boys for a sixth year.
The statistics also showed James moved into the number two slot for the first time since the Millennium, pushing Lewis into third place.
Among the highest risers were Sienna, up 32 places to joint 49th, and Oscar, up 23 places to 37th.
Oliver rose six places to fourth, and Daniel was up one at fifth for boys.
Despite no change at the top, there were some significant regional variations among boys’ names, with Kai the favourite in Clackmannanshire, while 30th nationally.
Finlay was top in Dumfries and Galloway despite slipping to 17th nationally.
Ethan was number one in both Aberdeen and Angus, even though it too slid, to 12th across the country.
Muhammad top in Glasgow
Scotland’s two largest cities also went their own way, with Muhammad the favourite in Glasgow and Alexander in Edinburgh - which was also equal first in Midlothian and Shetland.
While there was less divergence among the top girls’ names regionally, Sophie may not make it to a decade in top spot, the figures suggested.
The name’s lead has been progressively cut over the last three years, with Olivia just nine babies behind compared to 239 in 2010.
Emily fell from second to third, and Isla rose from sixth to fourth.
The girls’ top ten also had two new entrants in the shape of the names Ella and Millie, with Lucy, Ava, Amelia - the favourite last year in England and Wales - and Jessica making up the list.
The number of unique names climbed to a record 4,832 - 80 more than last year and more than 300 up on 2011.
They accounted for nearly two thirds of the total of more than 7,400 names chosen.
Such names, which have ranged from Awesome to Willieboy in the past, will be released at the end of the year.
‘Positive’ associations important
Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, said: “For a lot of parents, positive associations with baby names are important.
“Parents often comment that people they know and like, family traditions and positive events in their life can have an impact on what they choose to name their children.”
However, some parents will scan the latest list of favourites and quietly begrudge the name they chose for their son or daughter becoming too popular.
Glasgow couple Chris Dorman and Diane Fay, named their older son Lucas when he was born eight years ago, which this year became the biggest riser in the top 20 - up 12 places to eighth. The name did not even register in the top 100 before 2000.
Mr Dorman said: “I wish all of those other people would stop copying us - I would quite like the name Lucas to remain a little more exclusive!”
Ms Fay said: “Lucas was the only baby name we could agree on at the time.
“I used to watch movie credits to get ideas. Lucas was on one - not George Lucas - and we both liked it.
“I liked the matching of the name with Dorman as it sounded quite European.”
Overall, some 26,700 boys and 25,200 girls were registered in the first 11 months of this year.
The top 50 boys’ names accounted for 42 per cent of all those registered while the top 50 girls’ first names represented 40 per cent of all the names registered.
• To see the full National Records of Scotland report, click here.