Jack and Olivia top the charts of baby names

Survey reveals celebrity influences parental choice
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The Independent Online

Britain's most popular baby names in 2008 were Jack, again, and Olivia, according to a survey.

Jack, which has been Britain's most popular boys' name for the past 14 years, retained its place despite competition from the name Oliver.

The name Olivia reclaims the top girls' name spot from Grace after just twelve months. Grace slipped back into third place behind Ruby.

The highest climbing girls names were Isla, which climbed from 58th to 35th place, and the 1960s inspired Summer which climbed 28 places from 44th to 16th, according to the survey from Bounty parenting club. Ava also leapt 15 places to 19th. Other girl's names seeing a revival are those made famous by Hollywood stars or movies such as Sofia, Julia, Darcy and Amelie. The more traditional Rose, Connie and Heidi are also back in the top 100.

For boys, the name Theo, perhaps inspired by England's teen football hero Theo Walcott, is among the biggest climbers in the boys list rising from 70th to 58th.The number of Rileys being born is also on the increase, along with boys called Ewan and Leon. Zac and Jude are also new entries in the Top 100 names.

Names that vanished completely from the Bounty top 100 are Hollie, Tegan, Patrick, Dominic and Gabriel. The singer Amy Winehouse may be having some influence on the popularity of the first name, with Amy dropping three places to 23rd, although the name Blake – the first name of Winehouse's husband, Blake Fielder-Civil – appeared in the top 100 for the first time.

Holly dropped six places to 25th, while Callum also slipped significantly – from 13th to 22nd. Rebecca is also on the wane, falling from 32nd to 48th place, as is Courtney which fell 16 places to 88th. The study showed younger mums are more likely to give their babies names such as Jayden, Tyler, Lewis, Ryan and Dylan while mums over 40 go for more traditional names such as William, Thomas, Joshua and Harry.

Faye Mingo of www.bounty.com said: "Despite the economic downturn, parents are continuing to be creative and inspirational about the names they choose for their children. Some parents want a name that's totally unique, and names such as Zebedee, Selim and Zenon are emerging and growing in popularity. Others are simply breaking with convention and becoming bolder in their choice of names. It's fair to say that while Barack may be growing in popularity in America, British politicians certainly don't influence our choice of names here in the UK, yet royal names continue to reign in the boys Top 100 in respect of the more traditional name choices.

"However, in the girls' Top 100, only Victoria and Elizabeth take their influence from royalty."