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How the #MeToo movement has been influencing baby names in 2018

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Susan Devaney
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One of the biggest news stories of the year, the #MeToo movement, has had a significant impact on baby names this year. 

The popularity of names rises and falls with every passing decade, which is why picking a baby name is no easy task. Do you aim for a unique option? Or do you pay respect to a family member by naming your child after them?

Thank goodness then for BabyCentre’s recent study on the names that are making the cut in 2018 so far, based on the name definition pages that are getting the most clicks.

It might only be July, but experts have waded in on the names that are trending, and the ones that are on their way out before the year is through.

Topping the girl’s chart, Olivia has kept hold of the coveted number one spot for the fourth year running, followed by Sophia.

Meanwhile, Muhammed remains at the top for boys, followed by Oliver.

But, if there’s one trend that is the most surprising it’s the influence coming from the biggest news stories of the year: the #MeToo movement. Researchers found that the popularity of the name Harvey has dropped by 30%, thanks to disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein.

As for the women who have come forward to share their stories: Alyssa (influenced by actress Alyssa Milano), Ashley (Ashley Judd), Rose (Rose McGowan), Gwyneth (Gwyneth Paltrow), Jennifer (Jennifer Lawrence) and Asia (Asia Argento) have all risen in being registered this year so far.

Reflecting on the results, Lorna Marsh, BabyCentre associate editor, said: “The #MeToo movement has been one of the biggest news stories of 2018 so far, so it’s no surprise that its influence has reached as far as the names BabyCentre parents are choosing for their newborns.

“Harvey has fallen 24 places to number 83. We’ll have to wait for the end of year top 100 to see if it falls out of the chart altogether. Meanwhile we could witness names of some of the women behind the movement break into the coveted top spots.”

Unsurprisingly, Royal Wedding fever has also taken hold of new parents when naming their little one. Victoria, Zara and Charlotte all continued to climb in the popularity stakes. Interestingly, Princess made its way into the top 100 for the first time.

Charlie and George also continued to climb, but royal historic names, such as Arthur and Henry, were favoured most as they made the top 20.

Find some inspiration in the full lists below.

Top 10 girls’ names 

1) Olivia

2) Sophia

3) Amelia

4) Lily

5) Emily

6) Ava

7) Isla

8) Aria

9) Mia

10) Isabella 

Top 10 boys’ names

1) Muhammad

2) Oliver

3) Noah

4) George

5) Harry

6) Leo

7) Charlie

8) Jack

9) Freddie

10) Alfie

Images: Unsplash 

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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for Stylist.co.uk, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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