The British Isles include England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic or Ireland. Any baby name that comes from the breathtaking islands nestled in the Atlantic not far from mainland Europe is bound to be beautiful. These islands are known for their rolling green hills, quaint cottages, stunning vistas and ancient castles. Bagpipe music, Irish jigs, fish and chips and an array of accents can also be found when traveling from one end of the islands to the other.
The stress of being a parent begins long before Baby takes his first breath. Baby showers and monthly check-ups are nothing compared to the intense pressure put on parents to find the perfect name for their impending arrivals. The names expecting parents have to choose from are endless and overwhelming. Where does one begin?
Allow us to offer parents in the throes of name-picking some lovely options that are properly perfect for any little lady or gentleman. British names are timeless. They sound posh and polished in the best of ways. Parents searching for a name that has a rich history, a unique yet familiar sound and a refined timbre need look no further than the 25 British names on the list below.
Pronounced AYL-suh, this Scottish from Norse beauty means elf victory, making this stunning choice full of magic and whimsy. In Hebrew, it means consecrated to God. Ailsa is uncommon, unexpected and a fun twist on the currently popular name Elsa. It is the name of an island called Ailsa Craig found on the Firth of Clyde in Scotland known for its rocky terrain and gloomy splendor.
This lovely name currently ranks as the 5,456th most popular name chosen for girls in the United States, and is up in popularity 1,677 places since 2015. Love Ailsa? Grab this charming name while it's still largely unheard of and enjoy compliments galore. Similar names include Sophia, Ava and Ayla.
This simple yet sophisticated name is of Hebrew origin and means born in the morning or starting life at dawn. Asa is currently the 563rd most popular name for boys in the United States, and is up 68 places since 2015.
English child actor, Asa Butterfield, has recently starred in hit movies such as Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, Hugo and Ender's Game, and has helped to give this biblical name a rebirth of sorts. In the Bible, Asa was a king of Judah who ruled for over 40 years. Asa Gray is an acclaimed botanist, and Radiohead singer, Colin Greenwood has a son named Asa.
Ace is a possible nickname for this moniker that only makes it more irresistible. Other names that may appeal to fans of the name Asa include Asher, Ari and Jude.
Annabel is a Scottish variant of the name Amabel and means loving. This name is sweet and stunning. Perfect for any little lassie making her debut on Earth in the near future. At present, the name Annabel is ranked as the 573rd most popular choice for little girls in the United States.
Annabel was the name given to one of London's swankiest 60's nightclubs. The name is also used in the title of British author Edgar Allan Poe's tragic poem, Annabel Lee, which he wrote after the death of his wife, Virginia. Annabel is a royal name in Scotland that appeared as early as the 12th century.
This lovely name can be shortened in a variety of ways: Anne, Annie, Anna, Belle and Bella are all options. Those who love the name Annabel may also wish to consider the names Charlotte, Isabella or Amelia for a little girl.
Alastair is the English form of the Scottish name, Alasdair, the Gaelic form of the name Alexandar, which means defender of mankind. Currently the 2,176th most popular name used for boys in the United States, and up in popularity 118 places since 2015, this name, often used in England and Scotland, appears to be on the rise in the U.S. Alastair was the 889th most popular name used for boys in England in 2015.
Alastair Cook is the host of Masterpiece Theater who's debonair demeanor gives this name a suave and dapper feel. It can be shortened to Al, or Ally, if parents aren't afraid of going the gender neutral route. Fans of this name may also want to consider the similar boy's names Everett, Alister or Emmet for their darling boy.
Beatrix is a name of Latin origin that means she who brings happiness. It also has roots in German, where the name means blessed. Both definitions of this classic choice are equally exquisite. At present, Beatrix ranks as the 1,115th most popular name for girls in the United States, while it ranked as the 208th most popular for girls in England in 2015.
Trixie and Bea are both shortenings of this name that make it even more of a perfect choice. Either one would fit a precious little girl like a fancy glove. British children's author and creator of the beloved character Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter (born Helen), is one notable lady who brought clout to this gorgeous name. Fuller House's Jodi Sweetin chose the name Beatrix for her daughter, and Kate Spade chose the name Beatrix as the middle name for her girl, Frances.
Similar sophisticated-sounding names include Fiona, Adelaide and Matilda.
Beckett is a name to watch, it was virtually unheard of in the United States in 2006, and since then has become the 216th most popular choice for boys in the U.S. It is name of Irish and English origin that means bee cottage.
Irish playwright, Samuel Beckett helps bring sophistication and literary history to the name. Celebs love this one. Famous folks who have chosen the name Beckett for one of their children include Melissa Etheridge, Conan O'Brien, Nicole Sullivan, Natalie Maines, Stella McCartney and Malcolm McDowell. Those who adore this name may also wish to consider choosing the similarly dashing names Grayson, Hudson or Owen.
"There are too many countries where the values we take for granted in our civil servants simply do not exist. Seeing these values in action, applied with dedication by hardworking individuals, makes me proud to lead a service that is making life better for millions across Britain." -Gus O'Donnell
Oh, my darling Clementine. This name is one in a million. Not only is it the title of a brand of mini oranges everyone loves to munch on, it's a name that carries with it whimsy, grace and style. It's the French feminine version of the name Clement, which is of Latin origin and means mild, merciful.
At present, Clementine is the 775th most popular name for girls in the United States, ranked 396th for girls in England in 2015, and is currently just outside of the top 100 for little ladies in France. Other adorable names that may appeal to fans of this name include Penelope, Olive or Willow.
"If you lead a country like Britain, a strong country, a country which has taken a lead in world affairs in good times and in bad, a country that is always reliable, then you have to have a touch of iron about you." -Margaret Thatcher
This brooding and bold name is of Scottish origin and means dark warrior. It was originally a surname, then a clan name in Scotland. Duncan was the name given to two different Scottish kings, and a Scottish saint. The name is also used in Shakespeare's classic tragedy, Macbeth.
David Bowie's son was given the unfortunate name of Zowie. What did he do about it? Welp, first he changed his name to Joey. He must have felt it was still a bit too close to the original, and eventually changed his name once again, to Duncan. Stellar choice! Currently, Duncan is the 908th most popular choice for boys in the United States. It's not overly used, but not too strange either.
Other names that may appeal to fans of this name include Griffin, Gavin and Holden.
This sublime name of Greek origin means sweetly speaking. It ranks as the 6,686th most used girls name in the United States at present, making this moniker one that is largely unheard of; it's a special choice full of melody and charm. Parents who are searching for a name full of class that isn't going to be overly used in the near future may have met their match with this gorgeous name.
Eula, Laila and Lally are all lovely nicknames for this sparkling choice. The Spanish version of this name is Olalla, and the French version is Eulalie. Both of these equal Eulalia in style and sweetness. Those who love this name may also want to consider the names Everly, Eden or Thora for a little lady.
Felix is a Latin name that means happy, fortunate. This name has long been one of high class and prestige in London, and has only recently found recognition in the U.S. as well. Along with Felix the Cat, this name has been assigned to 4 popes and 67 saints. It has also appeared in the popular films Spy Kids, The Hangover and in the Twilight series.
It is presently the 253rd most popular name for boys in the United States, and ranked 95th for boys in England in 2015. Fans of the name Felix may also like the names Miles, Jasper or Finn for a little lad.
“He noticed that he felt calmer now she was here, still in that grey dress with her dowdy hat, the air around her redolent with orchid oil. Perhaps all women in England had this effect. Perhaps they all smelled of flowers and exuded a calm and measured purpose. He couldn’t remember.” -Sara Sheridan, On Starlit Seas
This captivating name can be pronounced zhahn-vee-EV or GEN-uh-veev. Either way, it's an enchanting choice perfect for any little lady. It is an English name taken from French that means white wave. Genevieve is currently the 192nd most popular name chosen for girls in the United States, down just 8 places in popularity since 2015.
Saint Genevieve was a medieval hero called the patroness of Paris. She is know for using her wisdom and faith to assist the city in defending themselves against Attila the Hun. Evie, Genna and Nev are all endearing nicknames that come with this delightful name.
Names similar to Genevieve that are equally elegant include Evelyn, Adelaide and Vivienne.
“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'"-Winston S. Churchill, Never Give In! The Best of Winston Churchill's Speeches
This unique and very British-sounding name is of Greek origin and means young goat or shield. It's meaning makes it a great choice for a Capricorn baby, which is anyone born between March 21st and April 19th. This name isn't just a dashing designation for babies arriving in the midst of spring; it's a great choice for any young chap.
While this name is presently not a very popular choice for boys in the United States, ranking 7,114th this year, it has risen 463 places in popularity since 2015. It may be a name we'll be hearing a lot more of in the future. It's a fun twist on the more popular name Miles. Names that may appeal to fans of Giles include Clark, Preston and Guy.
“The sea is calm tonight.The tide is full, the moon lies fairUpon the straits;- on the French coast the lightGleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.”
-Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach and Other Poems
Pronounced IHM-eh-jen, Imogen is an ethereal-sounding name of Celtic origin that means maiden or innocent. Immie is a shortening of this name we just adore. Mo is another way to go with this one that is just as swoon-worthy.
Currently, Imogen is the 1,291st most popular name for girls in the United States and in 2015, it was the 34th most popular girls name in England, 74th most popular choice for lassies in Scotland and the 35th most popular choice in Australia. At present, it is the 42nd most popular name for girls in both England and Wales.
This name is pretty, distinctive and timeless. Grammy winning musician, Imogen Heap, has helped this name gain some notice in recent years. Those who love the name Imogen may also wish to consider the names Violet, Eloise or Stella for a little girl.
“In these latter days, knighthood was an honor few Englishmen escaped.” -Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama
This expensive-sounding designation is a gemstone name, one of the few ever used for boys, that is hip, suave and classic all at the same time. It is a name of Persian origin that means treasurer or bringer of treasure. It is believed that one of the three wise men in the Bible, known for brining gifts to Jesus after his birth, was named Jasper, making this name one that has been around for quite a long while.
It is currently the 204th most popular name for boys in the United States, down only one spot since 2015, while it ranked 104th in England, 49th in the Netherlands and 74th in Australia in 2015. Looking for a name that is hip without even trying and will give your baby a posh-sounding title? You've met your match. Fans of Jasper may also wish to consider the similarly cool names Asher, Jude or Milo.
"It's celebrated in British culture to be eccentric." -Paloma Faith
Pronounced JESS-ah-min, this name is of Persian origin, and was an earlier spelling for the jasmine flower. It's as lovely as it is unique. Despite being a name rarely used in the past, it is gaining recognition quickly. Jessamine is currently ranked as the 8,884th most popular name chosen for girls in the United States, but is up in popularity 648 places since 2015.
It was first used in England in the 1900's as a variation of the names Jasmine, Yasmin or Yasmine. It's a fresh twist on the Jess names of the 90's. Jess and Jessie are sweet and well-known nicknames for this enchanting name. Minnie is another that just as adorable. Love this name? Others to consider include the lovely names Josephine, Brielle and Evangeline.
"The landscape at its finest possess a quality that the landscapes of other nations, however more superficially dramatic, inevitably fail to possess." -Kazuo Ishiguro
Lennon is a name of Irish origin means small coat or cape. This name has an obvious tie to The Beatles, but is also a smooth-sounding name that invokes images of carefree days spent in Irish countryside.
Lennon is currently more popular for girls than boys, and we love it for either gender. Presently it is the 594th most popular name for boys in the United States. Similar names with a musical past include Hendrix, Presley and Jagger. Len is a sweet shortening of this name, and Lenny is another option that's rarely heard and sounds fresh and fun.
“This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,This other Eden, demi-paradise,This fortress built by Nature for herselfAgainst infection and the hand of war,This happy breed of men, this little world,This precious stone set in the silver sea.”
Millie is a darling diminutive of the name Mildred which means mild strength. All on its own, it captures the delicate beauty of femininity and still manages to be just the cutest name ever. It is currently the 391st most popular name for little ladies in the United States. In the British Isles, it's all the rage, presently ranking 26th for girls in Wales and the currently the 10th most popular choice for Scottish lassies.
Millie reached its height of popularity in the United States in 1881, when it peaked at the 128th most popular name for girls. It seems to be growing in popularity once again. Tilley and Milla are similar names that were once old-fashioned, but are relishing another turn in the spotlight. Fans of the name Millie may also wish to consider the names Piper, Mila or Harper for their little girl.
“So many of the loveliest things in England are melancholy.” -Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle
Pronounced OH-din, Odin is a name that originated in Old Norse mythology. It was the name of a supreme Norse god know for his good looks and charm. He was the god of art, wisdom, culture and law. Not a bad combination. Other names this god was know by include Yggr, Alfdor and Sigfodr, none of which are anywhere near as charming.
Odin is a great alternative to the more popular Aiden. It's is original and interesting without being too out-there. The word Wednesday was derived from the English version of the name Odin, Woden. Odin is currently the 371st most popular name for boys in the United States, and has risen in popularity 8 places since 2015. Silas, Levi and Orion are other names that may appeal to those who like the name Odin.
“It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life." -P.D. James, A Taste for Death
This gorgeous Greek name means friend of horses, and has gained recognition in recent years thanks to Duchess Kate's lovely little sis. Miss Middleton gives this name an ultra-chic edge. Pippa is currently the 1,257th most popular name for girls in the United States, up in popularity 177 places since 2015. In 2015, it ranked as the 138th most popular name chosen for girls in England and 93rd for girls in Australia.
English poet, Robert Browning, helped to popularize the name in the United Kingdom after publishing the lovely poem Pippa Passes. Pippa is often a shortening of the names Phillipa, Patricia or Penelope, but is a wonderful stand-alone choice as well. Other names that may appeal to fans of Pippa include Poppy, Penny and Clara.
“If you happen to pass by 84 Charing Cross Road, kiss it for me? I owe it so much.” -Helene Hanff, 84, Charing Cross Road
Rhys is a name of Welsh origin that means enthusiastic or ardent. Rhys has been a long-time favorite of parents in Wales, and is also popular in England, Scotland and Ireland. Other spellings of this name include Rees, Reese and Reece, all of which are becoming more and more popular for little girls. The traditional spelling has a sturdy and steadfast feel, and is lovely to look at.
Currently, Rhys is the 406th most popular name for boys in the United States. In 2015, it ranked 136th in England and 92nd in Scotland. It was the 98th most popular choice for Irish boys in 2014. Joey McIntyre, former New Kid on the Block chose this name for his son in 2009.
“The English play hockey in any weather. Thunder, lightening, plague of locusts...nothing can stop the hockey. Do not fight the hockey, for the hockey will win.” -Maureen Johnson
This delightful Welsh name means fair, slender or white-haired. It also means famous friend. It is the name given to the heroine in the novel, Ivanhoe, penned by Scottish author, Sir Walter Scott in 1819. This name has Old World charm while still holding modern appeal, and is similar to the currently popular Rowan. The way this name flows makes it one that will go beautifully with many different middle and last names.
Rowena is not widely used in the United States, presently the 5,456th most popular name for girls, but its recognition is on the rise. It has risen 1,677 places since 2015. Ro is a shortening of the name that gives it a hip feel. Love Rowena? Similar names to possibly consider include Isolde, Gwendolyn and Moira.
"I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too." -Queen Elizabeth I
This Gaelic name means prudent, and it is definitely a wise choice for parents searching for a classic that is strong and sophisticated. It has been a British name for quite awhile, making its way into the United States in the 1980's. It is currently the 298th most popular choice for little boys in the U.S., and is up in popularity 7 places since 2015.
Dylan, Carter or Mason are other names that may appeal to those that love the name Trevor. Actor Trevor Donovan and comedian Trevor Noah have brought edge and style to this name in recent years. It's one that is sure to fit any tiny cool dude just perfectly. Trev is a possible shortening of the name that is obvious, but also sweet as can be.
"I hope I'm not a tourist attraction - I'm sure that they come here really because St. Andrews is just amazing, a beautiful place." -Prince William
Pronounced VAY-lah, Vaila is an undiscoverd gem just waiting to be used for a precious little one. It is derived from the Old Norse name Valey. Possible meanings include mighty island or Celt island, battlefield island. Vaila is the name of a quaint and enchanting little island, one of the Shetland Islands, in Scotland.
This name does not currently appear on any baby name lists in the United States, making it insteresting and rare. This bonny name isn't whacky in it's pronounciation or spelling, but is one that won't be heard very often. Parents searching for that special name that seems to have been reserved just for their little girl may have found just what they are looking for in the name Vaila. Similar and equally surprising names include Loxley, Tierney and Faeryn.
"Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you." -Diana, Princess of Wales
This name of English origin means wine's town or town of victory and is the name of one of the greatest British leaders of all time: Winston Churchill. He urged the country of England, and many across the globe, to stay strong and keep fighting for what was right during World War 2.
This name is currently the 481st most popular name given to boys in the United States, and has risen 222 spots in popularity since 2015. Other names that may appeal to fans of this stately and strong name include Oliver, Harrison and Parker.
“I would say to the House as I said to those who have joined this government: ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat….’ You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs — Victory in spite of all terror — Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.” -Winston Churchill
Pronounced ZEE-lee, This sweet and darling French name is a shortening of the name Azalea that has branched out and become a name all it's own in Europe in recent years. While it's used frequently in France, and much more sparingly in the British Isles, it is virtually unheard of in the United States, even though it's currently ranked as the 6,686th most popular name for girls.
It's another name too cute to resist that won't stay in hiding forever. Love it? Other names to consider include Zoellie, Ziva, Zarah, Zaya and Zenia.
Is one of the names on the list above made for your future son or daughter? Snatch it up now before your sister-in-law calls dibs! Cheerio!
"To see a World in a Grain of SandAnd a Heaven in a Wild Flower,Hold Infinity in the palm of your handAnd Eternity in an hour."