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September 10, 2009

Jack, Oliver, Mohammed

Mohammed is now the third most popular British boys' name. For some reason (racism!), the British government does not want you to know.

This week, the Office of National Statistics published a list of the most popular boys' names in Britain: Jack, Oliver, Thomas, Harry, Joshua, Alfie, Charlie, Daniel. They reflect a cultural tradition as old as the nation's history, and would provoke approving nods from Jack the Ripper, Oliver Cromwell, Thomas Becket and Harry Hotspur.

There is just one small problem: the list is deceitful. In reality, the third most popular choice for boy children born last year in England and Wales was not Thomas, but Mohammed. The ONS explains blithely that it had no intent to deceive. Its normal practice is to catalogue different spellings separately, as in Mohammed, Muhammed and so on.

Because British parents are eager to name their sons after Jack the Ripper, apparently. So that's a woman hating serial killer, a theocratic tyrant and a couple guys named Jack and Oliver for the top three.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 10, 2009 07:04 AM


The second one is actually spelled "Oliver!"

Posted by: harrison [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2009 10:14 PM