The names topping 2012’s most popular baby names lists could look quite different to the previous few years, as parents are expected to shun traditional favourites for inspiring Olympic monikers.
And it wouldn’t be the first time. After both of Britain’s previous home Olympics, in 1908 and 1942, there was a surge in parents naming their children after athletes. According to findmypast.co.uk, in 1907 there were 12, 200 boys named William but after archer William Dodd won gold, the next year saw 114,000 little Williams registered.
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But it wasn’t just British stars that inspired UK baby names. Successful athletes from other countries also changed the names landscape in this country. In the 1948 post-war games, Hungarian Susan Halter, a holocaust escapee swam for her country and inspired an extra 62,000 couples to name their child after her.
“The legacy of our Olympic and Paralympic heroes can be traced through time and the memories of their achievements live on in those who were named after them,' said Debra Chatfield, a historian at findmypast.co.uk.
“Our archives show the popularity of naming children after medal winning Olympians and we would not be surprised if next year sees a huge rise in the number of children named after some of the Olympic greats including Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis, Ellie Simmonds and Bradley Wiggins.”
Are you planning to name your child a gold medal-winning name?