Where do you go for inspiration when naming your new child? Yellow Pages? Classic literature? Radio Times TV schedules?
That last one might not be as weird as it sounds. We’ve been checking out the Office of National Statistics’ annual list of the 100 most popular names for boys and girls in England and Wales, and have noticed that a certain sci-fi drama keeps popping up.
Unless we’re very much mistaken, Doctor Who has inspired an awful lot of new parents this year.
Let’s look at the evidence.
Amelia – the dearly departed Amelia Pond of course – is the most popular girls’ name in England and Wales for 2015. Even more significantly, Clara entered the top 100 for the very first time in 2015 – the same year as Clara Oswald’s final moments in the Tardis.
Rose (Tyler), Martha (Jones), Sarah (Jane), Victoria (Waterfield – an assistant to the second Doctor) and Grace (Holloway – pal to the eighth Doctor) all feature in the top 100 names for girls.
In fact, according to our calculations, 3 per cent of all girls born in 2015 were named after Doctor Who companions.
And the boys? Well, Rory (Williams) and Michael (‘Mickey’ Smith) both have a place in the top 100. Jack (Captain Harkness) meanwhile, is the second most popular name for boys in 2015.
So-called ‘statisticians’ may claim all this is just a coincidence, that no single show could have such a profound impact on the naming of the next generation. But they didn’t see Clara Face the Raven; didn’t notice how neatly the letters weaved together on Amelia’s headstone; didn’t understand that a Rose by any name somehow wouldn’t smell as sweet.
Here’s the truth: we’ve named our children after these characters because we’re a nation of Whovians, a land where the most controversial issue of 2016 (barring Donald Trump and Britain’s exit of the European Union) was the lack of Doctor Who.
That’s why we Brits have named our newborns this way. That is the only possible explanation.