Parents in the UK tend to pick more traditional middle names for their children than first names, according to new research.
It was recently reported that Amelia, Olivia, Emily, Isla, and Ava were the most popular first names given to girls in England and Wales in 2015. However, none of these names appear in a new list of popular girls' middle names compiled by Ancestry UK.
According to their survey, the most popular girls' middle names in the UK are Louise, Rose, Grace, Jane, and Elizabeth. The most popular boys' middle names are equally classic-sounding; James, John, William, Thomas, and David comprise the top five.
The survey also found that middle names have become much more popular over the last 100 years or so. While just 37% of children were given middle names in 1911, this figure has now risen to 80% - and there's a good reason for this. "It seems that middle names are a relatively new phenomenon... driven by the desire to commemorate well-loved ancestors," Ancestry UK's Miriam Silverman says.
She explains: "This will have become particularly prominent in society following the two World Wars. These wars affected the entire country and resulted in millions of Britons commemorating their lost loved ones as new babies were born in the years following the conflicts. As a result, middle names are less likely to follow popular culture and more likely reflect age-old traditions or names that were popular in our parents’ or grandparents’ generation — hence the very traditional makeup of today’s top ten middle names."
Check out the top ten middle names according to Ancestry UK below.