Popular Names in Scotland

I’ve been playing around with the name data from Scotland a lot recently, and there’s been a few surprising finds for me in terms of what names are in Scotland’s Top 100, here’s a quick overview of the six names I was pleasantly surprised to see making an appearance:


1. Fraser

He ranks at an impressive #53, and is a Scottish surname turned popular first name. The origins of the name remain unclear, although many relate it to the French fraise, hence taking the name to mean strawberry. However, this meaning remains disputed.

2. Hamish

Ranking at #98 he just sneaks in to the Top 100, the name derives from the name Seumas which is the Scottish version of James. The name therefore means supplanter. This name often frequents the London Telegraph Birth Announcements.

3. Angus

Our last male name ranked at #73, and he derives from Aonghus which possibly means strength. Perhaps the most famous Angus from Scotland will be the Aberdeen Angus, which are a breed of cattle popularly used in beef production. British actress Celia Imrie has a son born circa 1994 named Angus.


1. Iona

A surprise for me, Ben Fogle has two children named Ludo and Iona. The name derives from Old Norse and simply means island, so you could consider her as an alternative to the more popular elsewhere name Isla. Then name ranked at #67 in 2011.

2. Eilidh

She comes as a diminuative from Eilionoir, which is the Scottish version of Eleanor. This name is sometimes taken as the Gaelic form of Helen, a name which means torch. She’s the highest ranking of the three at #26.

3. Mirren

Ranking at #95, this is the name of actress Dame Helen Mirren, albeit a stage name for her real name Helen Lydia Mironoff. I asked on Formspring a few moons ago whether one preferred Mirren or Merrin and the tally currently stands at 4 1/2 for Merrin and 5 1/2 for Mirren so they seem pretty evenly split.

To those inspired to know more, here’s a complete list of all the names in the Scottish Top 100 [2011] which do not rank in the US Top 1000:

Beth #71 Mirren #95
Eilidh #26 Neve #83
Freya #16 Niamh #41
Imogen #73 Orla #52
Iona #67 Poppy #46
Lucie #88 Robyn #83
Maisie #38 Rosie #73
Alfie #24 Finlay #21
Angus #73 Fraser #53
Archie #41 Hamish #98
Arran #67 Harris #49
Blair* #87 Murray #72
Calum #64 Ollie #81
Ciaran #100 Robbie #65
Euan #62 Ruaridh #85
Ewan #79 Zak #95
Categories: Scottish Names | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Popular Names in Scotland

  1. Pingback: Popular Names in Scotland « Mer de Noms | Names, Naughty to Nice | Scoop.it

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