Sherlock enters top baby name list

Now there’s a name to stitch into your PE kit! Five babies were registered with the name Sherlock in 2012

Sherlock has entered the list of top baby names for boys in England and Wales, after five families registered it in 2012, can reveal.


Yes, five. This isn’t the biggest rush on a baby name since time began but have you ever met someone called Sherlock? Exactly. 

Between 1996 and 2011 the detective’s name didn’t appear at all in the annual lists of top baby names for boys compiled by the Office For National Statistics.

But once a name has been registered more than twice, it makes the cut. For Sherlock, that year was 2012, when it ended up 3,416th on a list of 4,805 male names, in the company of Ulysses, Roland and Timofey, which (among many others) also racked up five registrations apiece.

To go all ‘Sherlocky’ on the whole situation, it seems reasonable to deduce that the increase in popularity is down to BBC1’s modern adaptation of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories which first aired in 2010, with the second series in 2012 correlating nicely with the naming of the five baby Sherlocks.

The Robert Downey Jr fronted Sherlock Holmes adaptations also hit the silver screen in 2009 and 2011, adding to the name’s social presence. 

Even Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch’s own first name has seen a small spike since the start of the show, rising from 2009’s haul of 83 to 2012’s tally of 114.

Dr John Watson (played by Martin Freeman) sits pretty with 618 registrations of the name John last year, placing it 104th on the list (although, sorry Martin, that’s actually down on its 2009 tally of 762).

And with the new series of Sherlock set to return on New Year’s Day, we could have a whole new generation of Sherlocks (and probably one or two Johns) on our hands by late 2014…