OLIVER BEATS MUHAMMED – It’s always fun checking out those end-of-the-year lists of most popular baby names. While the top tens for both boys and girls are generally quite respectable, the lower reaches of the charts remind you which movies and TV shows were popular in the past twelve months and which celebrity new parents proved influential over unimaginative bogans.

In an over-cooked twist of Cromwellian proportions (boom boom boom), Oliver has unseated Muhammed as the number one boy’s name this year in the United Kingdom:


Oliver (+1 place)

Muhammed (-1 place)

Noah (+1 place)

Harry (+2 places)

Jack (- 2 places)

Charlie (+1 place)

Jacob (-2 places)

George (+ 4 places)

Ethan (- 1 places)

Henry (+8 places)

In that regard, boys have merely caught up with girls:


Olivia (non -mover)

Lily (+ 1 place)

Sophia (- 1 place)

Emily (non-mover)

Amelia (non – mover)

Ava (new entry +5 places)

Isla (new entry +5 places)

Isabella (+ 2 places)

Isabelle (- 2 places)

Sophie (-2 places)

The supremacy of Muhammed (and its many spelling variants) as a man’s name in Islamic culture is quite something to behold. Of course, it’s an honour to be named after the Prophet of your religion. The closest to that you can get in Christian culture is the occasional Jesus or Jesus-Maria in Latin America. While Muhammed clearly trumps all the other Alis, Abduls and Hamids, there is no equally prominent female equivalent; Fatima and Aisha don’t crack the top 10.