IT might be stretching it to suggest the secularisation of Scottish society has had a bearing on the choice of babies’ names over the past 12 months.
But when the most popular names for 2015 were published yesterday, it was noticeable that the influence of Christianity on Christian names seems to have diminished.
Jack – a name more commonly associated with beanstalks than the Bible – and Emily were again the most popular names for baby boys and girls.
But when it came to names derived from the Good Book, Noah (as in the ark) had slipped from its high water mark of seventh most popular last year to a more lowly 14th in the top 20 most common Scottish names.
Similarly, Daniel (as in the Lions’ Den) had fallen four places to tenth most popular Christian name.
Aaron (as in the son of Moses) and Adam (as in the Garden of Eden) were locked together at 18th equal – a fall of one and two places respectivey.
With 2015 being the year of the newest Star Wars film release, 134 children were given the name Luke
Bucking the trend in this Old Testament inspired chart was Jacob, a name which ascended nine places (like an angel up a ladder) to tenth equal.
When it came to the New Testament, James (as in the apostle) was popular, but fell one place to third. And John (as in the Gospel according to) has witnessed a steady decline. From a high of 2nd in 1974, the moniker fell to 59th most popular this year.
Climbers on the list compiled by the National Records of Scotland were: Leo, Brodie, and Harrison for the boys and Georgie and Rosie for girls.
Leo climbed 11 places in the boys’ list to 13th, Brodie moved up 12 to 31st, and Harrison was up 13 to 35th. Among girls, Georgia climbed 12 places to 27th, and Rosie was up 15 to 35th.
The births of 25,970 boys and 24,490 girls were registered in the period covered by the figures.
This year, the number of unique names chosen by parents was “well above” the levels of ten, 20 or 40 years ago. According to NRS. 1,977 boys and 2,714 girls were given first forenames that were unique this year. It was the eight consecutive year that Jack was the most popular first forename for baby boys. Oliver rose two places to second, James was down one to third, and Lewis also fell one place to fourth.
Alexander was up five places to fifth, Charlie up two places to sixth, Logan was seventh, having fallen two places, and Lucas climbed a place to eighth.
The top four girls’ names were in the same order as in 2014. Emily was most popular for baby girls for a second year running. Sophie (the top girls’ name in every year from 2005 to 2013) remained in second place, Olivia was third and Isla fourth.
Ava rose one place to fifth, Jessica fell one place to sixth, and Amelia remained seventh. Ella rose three places to eighth, Lucy was down one at ninth, and Lily fell one place to tenth. Ella was the only new entrant to the girls’ Top Ten.
Anna (up 4 places to 16th) was the fastest riser in the girls’ Top 20. Emma moved up three places to 15th. There was one new Top 20 entry: Eva (up four places to 18th).