Lucy and Thomas top ‘Irish Times’ baby names chart

Trend towards more traditional names but still some eclectic choices

Thomas The Tank Engine: Thomas narrowly pipped Conor and Matthew to the post for the number one  boy’s name in The Irish Times’ birth announcements column last year. Photograph: PA

Thomas The Tank Engine: Thomas narrowly pipped Conor and Matthew to the post for the number one boy’s name in The Irish Times’ birth announcements column last year. Photograph: PA

Thu, Jan 2, 2014, 14:11

He shares his name with a popular train while she is immortalised in a Beatles’ song and together, Thomas and Lucy were the most popular names in The Irish Times’ birth announcements column last year.

Thomas narrowly pipped Conor and Matthew to the post for the number one spot while Sophia was the second most popular girl’s name chosen by parents. Charlotte, Eva, Emma and Ella were other popular girl’s names while Harry, Max and William were among the top 10 names chosen for boys by parents who announced their babies’ arrivals in the Saturday column. The births of more than 400 babies were announced in the newspaper last year, including more than 10 sets of twins.

James has been consistently popular choice in recent years but it appeared to have fallen out of favour last year. It was the most popular boy’s name in the birth columns of 2012 while Emily was the top girl’s name.

The Central Statistics Office has not yet released the most popular baby names in the State for last year but in 2012 and 2011 Jack and Emily topped the list.

Last year’s list of names from the births column show a trend towards names that wouldn’t be out of place in a school roll of 50 years ago. Traditional names such as Nora, Nuala, Margaret, Paddy and Joseph all featured. Mary, John and Seán also made an appearance and the more flamboyant name choices of previous years seemed to be taking a back seat. William was a popular choice for parents last year, particularly in April when three Williams made their appearance in the column. The media focus on the impending birth of Prince William’s baby may have put the name in some parents’ heads but there wasn’t a rush to name baby boys after the Prince’s son, George. There was one George on the list while parents of two babies opted for George as a middle name.

Among the more unusual girl’s names in last year’s list were Persephone, Cuisle and Eulalia, the latter being chosen as a middle name, while parents of baby boys opted for Tuan, Eden and Jarun.

But eclectic choices are here to stay if the names picked by British parents are anything to go by. Last year’ names included Peppa, Pinky, Puppy, Pepsi and Boden. And in August, a judge in Tennessee ordered that a seven-month-old boy’s name be changed from Messiah to Martin, saying the religious name was earned by Jesus alone. The parents later won their appeal against the ruling and the judge was cited by a court panel for an inappropriate religious bias.

Top baby names

Boys

1. Thomas

2.Conor, Matthew

3. Harry, Max, William

4. Charlie, Hugo, Oisin, Oscar

5. Hugh, James

Girls

1. Lucy

2. Sophia

3. Charlotte, Ella, Emma, Eva

4. Ava, Chloe, Emily, Hannah, Juliet, Lara, Rachel

* Source: The Irish Times birth announcements column, January to December 2013.