Top UK babies' names from the 1980s

Woman holding a baby boy c1980
Woman holding a baby boy c1980 Image by Michelle Hofstrand licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 Attribution-No Derivs 2.0 Generic
Rank Girls' names Boys' names
1 Sarah (1) Christopher (6)
2 Laura (54) James (7)
3 Gemma (-) David (3)
4 Emma (4) Daniel (16)
5 Rebecca (16) Michael (9)
6 Claire (2) Matthew (10)
7 Victoria (18) Andrew (4)
8 Samantha (9) Richard (5)
9 Rachel (12) Paul (1)
10 Amy (-) Mark (2)

In the list of girls' names Sarah was also number one in the 1970s. Emma, Claire and Samantha were also popular in the 1970s. Laura, Gemma and Amy were much more popular in the 1980s than in the 1970s.

The boys' names were more stable. Only Daniel was a new entry in the top ten. Daniel was 16 in 1974. The boys' names did change places within the top ten. Christopher and James moved to the top and Paul and Mark to the bottom of the list.

First names of children announced in The Times

As a comparison, these are the top first names given to children which were published in The Times in 1984. The list was compiled by Margaret and Thomas Brown.

Rank Girls' names Boys' names
1 Sarah (1) James (1)
2 Lucy (2) Thomas (2)
3 Charlotte (8) Edward (7)
4 Emily (7) William (6)
5 Sophie (5) Alexander (5)
6 Victoria (10) Nicholas (4)
7 Katherine (4) Charles (3)
8 Elizabeth (-) Christopher (-)
9 Alexandra (-) Oliver (6)
10 Laura (-) (10=) David (-) Richard (2=)

Source:'Christian names in 1984', published in The Times 3 January 1985 page 11. Figures in brackets are where the name appears on the 1974 top ten compiled by Margaret Brown.

Both the boys' names and the girls' names have very little in common between the two lists. The girls' names common to both lists are: Sarah, Laura and Victoria. On the boys' names only James, David and Richard are on both lists.

This shows a clear distinction between names chosen by most people and those chosen by the better off. However, even well connected people are subject to the whims of fashion. Laura was a new entry on both lists.

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