What’s in a baby name?

Brexit, celebrity culture and our Grandparents are three of the biggest influences on baby names for the year ahead, predicts leading parent blog Milk Drunk Diary. Along with traditional names, such as Harry, Alice and Edgar – the blog expects Bowie, Ariana and Lula to be some of the less obvious names we’ll be hearing more of in 2017.


The ‘Brexit Effect’ is said to be one reason why traditional British names are ‘remaining in’ – with Ellie, Jack and Harry still going strong in the top ten names of 2016 to date (

baby names

Golden Oldies

Another trend is for ‘grandparent names’ hailing from a bygone ere, such as; Edgar, Camilla, Edith and George. Already we are seeing this with Russell Brand calling his newborn daughter Mabel and actor Eddie Redmayne was ahead of the curve naming his daughter Iris earlier this year. Similarly, rock star Ronnie Wood and wife Sally opted for classic names Gracie and Alice for their twins in 2016.

Celebrity Culture

Celebrity culture again influences the mainstream, with a surge in baby Bowie’s in tribute to the rockstar – including Take That’s Howard Donald and model Tess Holliday. Other names in this category include the female name Ariana – from both the musician and Huffington Post, as well as Elsa from the it movie Frozen.

And who knows – now that we’re set for President Trump, could it be that a new generation of baby ‘Donnies’ will emerge!?

Milk Drunk Diary’s Top 10 names for 2017 are:


1. Bowie – in tribute to the late David Bowieboos
2. Neo – so popular in USA, it has risen by 127% (Nameberry)
3. Edgar – a classic name not yet overused for a new generation
4. Roman – one of the few ‘international’ names growing in popularity year on year (
5. Bodhi – making waves in USA, the UK is sure to follow


1. Ariana – influenced by the popstar Ms Grande

2. Sadie – another bygone name making a comeback

3. Thea – a modern twist on Theodora – the name of Robbie William’s daughter

4. Lula – an adaption of Lola or Lulu, a classic name with a modern twist
5. Felicity – bringing back Grandma chic, Paddy McGuinness was on trend by giving this name to his daughter this year

Re-working classic names, to give them a ‘millennial’ twist is another emerging trend. These include Thea, Leonidas, Flynn and Lula – a name chosen by Liv Tyler for her baby daughter at the start of the year.

Sophia, editor of Milk Drunk Diary, said:

“With Brexit causing some unrest, we’ve noticed a return to classic British names – some with a ‘millennial twist’ to make them relevant to a new audience, like Thea and Lexi. There’s also been a surge in baby Bowie’s following the untimely death of the legendary musician.

“When it comes to baby naming, parents tend to fall in to one of three categories – traditionalists, non-conformists and experimentalists. The former tends to prefer classic British names like Olivia and Oliver. Non-conformists opt for names that aren’t’ widely used, but aren’t too controversial, such as Flynn, Lula and Bhodie. And then you have experimentalists – the Jamie Oliver’s of the world who dare to be different with names such as ‘Honey’ and ‘River’!”

top-baby-names-graphicNames to look out for

Celebrity parents expecting to give birth at the end of this year and in 2017, include actresses Marion Cotillard and Natalie Portman.There’s a new baby spice in town with Geri Horner due next year, and Mick Jagger will be a Dad again at 70 with girlfriend Melanie Hamrick. First-time Mum’s Alex Jones, Paloma Faith and Janet Jackson are also due in the coming months. And if you’ve been keeping up with the Kardashians, Blac Chyna and Rob are expecting their first child together soon too.

Some of the more unusual celebrity baby names this year have been ‘Onyx’ by Alanis Morisette, ‘Journey’ by Megan Fox and ‘Buddy’ by Tom and Giovanni Fletcher.

In a recent poll on Milk Drunk Diary’s Twitter page, Bowie was voted the most popular name (40%) for 2017.

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