IT might be stretching it to suggest the secularisation of Scottish society has had a bearing on the choice of babies’ names over the past 12 months.
But when the most popular names for 2015 were published last week, it was noticeable that the influence of Christianity on Christian names seems to have diminished.
Jack – a name more commonly associated with beanstalks than the Bible – and Emily were again the most popular names for baby boys and girls.
But when it came to names derived from the Good Book, Noah (as in the ark) had slipped from its high water mark of seventh most popular last year to a more lowly 14th in the top 20 most common Scottish names.
Similarly, Daniel (as in the Lions’ Den) had fallen four places to tenth most popular Christian name.
Aaron (as in the son of Moses) and Adam (as in the Garden of Eden) were locked together at 18th equal – a fall of one and two places respectively.
Bucking the trend in this Old Testament inspired chart was Jacob, a name which ascended nine places (like an angel up a ladder) to tenth equal.
When it came to the New Testament, James (as in the apostle) was popular, but fell one place to third. And John (as in the Gospel according to) has witnessed a steady decline. From a high of 2nd in 1974, the moniker fell to 59th most popular this year.
Climbers on the list compiled by the National Records of Scotland were: Leo, Brodie, and Harrison for the boys and Georgie and Rosie for girls.
Leo climbed 11 places in the boys’ list to 13th, Brodie moved up 12 to 31st, and Harrison was up 13 to 35th. Among girls, Georgia climbed 12 places to 27th, and Rosie was up 15 to 35th.
The births of 25,970 boys and 24,490 girls were registered in the period covered by the figures.
This year, the number of unique names chosen by parents was “well above” the levels of ten, 20 or 40 years ago. According to NRS. 1,977 boys and 2,714 girls were given first forenames that were unique.