British Baby Names: Choices With Charm and Class

09/27/2010 07:26 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Every few months, about as often as I allow myself to relish a hot caramel sundae and with about the same amount of delicious anticipation, I dip into the London Telegraph birth announcements to see what the upper-crusty British baby namers are up to.

And as with that sundae, the results rarely disappoint. There are always plenty of eccentric three-name combinations, lots of charming sibsets, and a collection of names not often heard in my neighborhood of New Jersey.

One trend asserting itself in this collection: R names, with a raft of children (far beyond those mentioned here) called Rory, Rufus, Rupert, Rex, and Rowley, and on the girls' side, Ruby, Rose, Rosemary, Rosalind (and Rosalyn) and Romilly. R is a letter that's seemed dowdy for quite some time -- blame all those Baby Boom Roberts and Richards -- and is due for a resurgence.

The best of the recent British baby names are, for girls:

  • Clementine Annabel Emily, sister for Rupert
  • Daphne Olga Amelie, sister for Henry and Beatrice
  • Eliza Miranda Rosemary, sister for William
  • Ella Persephone, sister for Charlie and Evie
  • Freya Audrey Barbara, sister for Hugh
  • Grais Bridget, sister for Liam
  • Harper Rose Bluebell, sister for Arnold and Madame Cholet
  • Henrietta Daphne Mabel, sister for Harry, Digby, and Rowley
  • Hermine Halcyon Margaret Isabel
  • Isabella Allegra Jessica and Jemima Alice India (twins)
  • Loveday Celestine Primrose Kennedy
  • Luella Helen Willa
  • Marie-Sixtine Alice Verity, sister for Max
  • Matilda Daisy Margery, sister for Charlie
  • Natsumi Emilia Kashima, sister for Jolyon
  • Orla Eleanor Veronica
  • Ottilie Ruby, sister for twins Lettice and Edith
  • Poppy Angela, sister for Martha, Molly, and AgathAgatha
  • Rosalyn Mairead, sister for Fintan

And for boys:

  • Alasdair Lorne Leonardo
  • Albert Thomas Harry, brother to Anna and Fred
  • Algernon Frederick Hanson
  • Augustus George Barden, brother for Hugo
  • Ezra Martin, brother for Dolly, Albertine, and Lilac
  • Hugo Rupert William, brother for Francesca
  • Ignatius Mungo, brother for Atticus Monty, Octavius Kit, and Ptolemy Ned
  • John Innes Archie
  • Leo Michaelis Brocas
  • Rex Patrick Wood
  • Rory Sinclair Willasey
  • Rufus Alexander, brother for Daisy
  • Rupert Thor Hastings
  • St John Michael Nicholas
  • Tancred Thomas Granville (Ruskie), brother for Inca Skye, Inigo Somerset, and Francis Doune
  • Thomas Maximilian Neame, brother for Flora
  • Wilfred Rocky Otto