These are the UK’s most popular Christmassy baby names

Published on: November 3, 2021

Are you due an extra special Christmas present in December this year and looking to mark the birth of your bundle of joy with a Christmassy name? Well, we have done some analysis of the ONS’s recently released baby name data to reveal the most popular baby names that scream festive spirit.

Top Christmas Inspired Names For Girls

Topping the list is the name Ivy with 2,166 babies being given the name in 2020, ranking 6th out of all girl names in the UK. Although Ivy isn’t just a Christmas plant it’s featured in the Christmas Carol “The Holly and the Ivy” by Andrew Peterson giving it Christmas vibes. The name is derived from an Old English word and represents fidelity and symbolises eternity. Ivy exploded in 2012 as a popular name choice after pop royalty Beyonce and Jay-Z used the name as their daughter Blue’s middle name in that year, in fact before this, Holly was ahead of Ivy in popularity.

In second place, and quite a way behind number one, is Bella with 792 baby girls being given this name in 2020, ranking 63rd overall. The name started to gain popularity after the release of the 2008 movie adaptation of the book Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, in which the main female protagonist is called Bella. The name is traditionally the short form of Isabella, which is the Italian form of Isabel. Also from the Italian word for bella, meaning “beautiful”. Bella (and Belle which is number six in the list) inspire the image of Christmas bells.

In third place is the Christmas carol’s other subject matter and the “crown” Holly, 646 baby girls were given this name in 2020, ranking 81st out of all girl names in the UK. Holly has been a key christmas addition for centuries, in fact prior to Victorian times the term ‘Christmas tree’ actually referred to holly. Famous Holly’s include Holly Golightly who is the main character in the book “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, by Truman Capote, a character later played by Audrey Hepburn in the film adaptation. Holly is also one of the birth flowers of December, making it a fitting name for a December baby.

The Top 20 Christmassy Girls names in 2020, ranked

Rank Name Count What makes it Christmassy
1 Ivy 2,166 One of the two plants mentioned in the Christmas carol, the Holly and the Ivy.
2 Bella 792 Bella is a nod to Christmas bells.
3 Holly 646 Holly was the original Christmas tree before the pine was introduced. It is also dubbed ‘The Crown’ in the Christmas carol, the Holly and the Ivy.
4 Gabriella 340 The feminine form of the name Gabriel, the name of the angel sent to tell Mary she was pregnant with the son of Christ.
5 Eve 258 Such as Christmas eve, it also has a wintery feel due to evenings being longer throughout winter.
6 Belle 186 Another nod to Christmas bells.
7 Mary 160 The name of the mother of Christ.
8 Gloria 67 From “Gloria in excelsis Deo” (Latin for “Glory to God in the highest”) which a Christian hymn often sung at Christmas.
9 Angelina 49 A diminutive of the name Angela, meaning ‘Messenger of God’.
10 Noelle 32 Feminine form of  Noel or Noël meaning “of or born on Christmas.”
11 Star 29 The wise men followed the North Star to reach the birthplace of Jesus.
12 Snow 12 Without snow there would be no White Christmas, this unique name is perfect for someone that wants something a little different for their winter baby.
13 Heavenly 9 Heavenly is a word name which means “of the heavens” or “divine”. The word features in several Christmas films and carols, “heavenly hosts of angels”.
14 Jovie 9 The name of Buddy’s love interest in the 2003 film Elf, played by Zooey Dechannel.
15 Dove 7 Turtle doves feature in the 12 days of Christmas song and the image of a dove is used on Christmas cards and decorations throughout the festive season.
16 Merry 6 The word merry is synonymous with Christmas. We Wish you a Merry Christmas!
17 Donna 6 A tribute to one of Santa’s reindeer, Donner.
18 Angelique 4 The name of the castle decorator in Beauty and the Beast: Enchanted Christmas and is of French origin meaning “angelic”.
19 Berry 4 Berries on mistletoe and holly make up Christmas imagery and decoration.
20 Emmanuelle 4 Feminine form of Emmanuel, which means God is with us.

 

Top Christmas Inspired Names in 2020 For Boys

First on the list for boys in Jack with 2,900 baby boys being called Jack in 2020, it was also the 10th most popular boys name in the UK in 2020. Although the name doesn’t appear particularly Christmassy, it is the name of key Christmas characters such as Jack Frost and Jack Skellington (The Nightmare Before Christmas). Jack means God is gracious.

In second place a key figure in the nativity, Joseph with 1,437 baby boys carrying the name in 2020. Joseph was of course Mary’s (the mother of Jesus) husband. The name derives from the Hebrew Yosef meaning “God will give” via the Greek Losephos and the Latin Losephus.

In third another nativity staple, Gabriel, 888 little ‘angel’ boys were given the name last year. Gabriel is the name of the angel sent to tell Mary that she was pregnant with the son of God. The name Gabriel means “devoted to God,” “a hero of God,” or “God is my strength” in Hebrew.

18 Christmassy Boys names in 2020, ranked

Rank Name Count What makes it Christmassy
1 Jack 2,900 Jack Skellington and Jack Frost share the name.
2 Joseph 1,437 The husband of the virgin Mary, mother of Christ
3 Gabriel 888 The name of the angel sent to tell Mary she is pregnant with Christ.
4 Luke 544 The Gospel of Luke contains the birth of Christ and therefore Christmas.
5 Kevin 343 Lead character in the popular Christmas movie Home Alone.
6 Frank 305 Frank is a tribute to Frankincense, one of the gifts given by the Wise Men.
7 Nicholas 303 As a tribute to St Nicholas (Santa Claus).
8 Christian 208 Christian as Christmas is a Christian holiday.
9 Emmanuel 141 Emmanuel is one of the names of Jesus Christ in the Bible.
10 Timothy 110 The Character Tiny Tim plays a key part of Scrooge’s redemption in A Christmas Carol.
11 Buddy 86 The name of the protagonist in the 2003 Christmas film Elf.
12 Noel 69 Noel or Noël is derived from the Old French word, “nael,” meaning “of or born on Christmas.”
13 Clark 64 From the National Lampoon’s Christmas protagonist Clark Griswold.
14 Clement 15 Author of 1823 poem A Visit from St. Nicholas (commonly called The Night Before Christmas), Clement Clarke.
15 Clarence 10 The lead character in It’s a Wonderful Life shares the name.
16 Ebenezer 9 First name of the Christmas grump turned hero Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol.
17 Klaus 8 One of the four ways of saying Santa Claus’ name and the title of the 2019 Christmas film of the same title, Klaus.
18 Jesus 3 Christ-mas, it wouldn’t be Christmas without Jesus Christ, the son of God’s birthday is celebrated on Christmas day.

 

Non-binary/ Unisex/ Gender neutral Christmassy names

According to Google Trends searches for Unisex Names has increased by 70% over the past 12 months. Luckily there are some wonderful Christmassy unisex names to choose from.

The first is Marley, a combined total of 520 babies (male and female) were given this name in 2020. The name is Christmassy thanks to the character in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This unisex name was first used in the 12th century as a surname created from the Old English “marten” (an animal that lives in the forest) and “leah” (“wood clearing”). It’s also an update of the English name Marlee and the German Marlene. It became popular at the end of the 20th century, mostly as a girls’ name but boys are also given this name too.

The second is Robin, sometimes spelled Robyn, this name was given to 490 babies in 2020 and is befitting of a winter baby due to the bird’s appearance being prevalent in the colder months. Robin is a gender neutral name of German origin. Meaning “bright”, “shining”, and “famous”. Famous characters with this name include Batman’s sidekick and Robin Scherbatsky from the sitcom How I Met Your Mother.

In third is the name Faith with 308 babies given this name in 2020. As much of Christmas is centred around the birth of Jesus, Faith is relevant to the religious aspects of the holiday. Although no boys have been called Faith since 2014 there is nothing to say that those assigned male at birth couldn’t be given this name. The Pilgrims introduced this name to England in the 16th century and brought it to America, along with Grace, Hope and Charity.

7 Christmassy unisex names in 2020, ranked

Rank Name Count What makes it Christmassy
1 Marley 520 Surname of Scrooge’s old business partner Robert Marley who forwarns of the spirits visiting in A Christrmas Carol.
2 Robin 490 Robins, the birds, are often seen in the winter months and because of this have become associated with Christmas.
3 Faith 308 Christmas is a religious holiday and therefore faith is very relevant.
4 Winter 185 An obvious link but Christmas takes place in Winter.
5 Angel 131 An angel visited the virgin mother to tell her that she was pregnant with Christ, the son of God.
6 Joy 79 Epitomises everything that Christmas is about, Joy.
7 Heaven 15 Linked to angels and God which both hold relevance during the Christmas season.

 

Facts about December Babies

  • In 2020 there were 47,500 live births in the UK in the month of December. This accounted for just less than 8% of the total number of live births making December the month with the least amount of births.
  • The two rarest days to give birth are on December 24th and 25th.
  • Researchers found that babies born in December tend to have fewer tantrums throughout their childhoods and later lives than babies born during any other time of the year.
  • December babies’ horoscope sign is Sagittarius or Capricorn.
  • Holly and Narcissus are the December birth flowers.
  • According to a study published in the Journal of Ageing Research, having a birthday in December means you’re more likely to live beyond 100-years-old.

Know someone with a December birthday and want to get the perfect birthday card? Choose from our huge range of personalised cards to ensure you get one that suits the unique December baby that they are!