Top 50 most beautiful sounding baby names in the UK revealed, as confirmed by science

These are the most beautiful sounding baby names according to science.

Naming a baby is no easy task, especially for parents who want the best name possible for their newborn. While we all have our own preferences for names that we think are ‘beautiful’, there is actually a scientific basis for it.

Recent research by an expert at the University of Birmingham shows that some words and, by extension, names, sound better than others. This is based on theories of language like "iconicity" and "sound symbolism." Even though there is a lot of evidence that people in all languages around the world have similar meanings for names, this is not always the case.

The study, which was carried out by Baby gift brand My 1st Years and Dr Bodo Winter, Associate Professor of Cognitive Linguistics at the University of Birmingham, has now analysed hundreds of popular baby names  that have the most beautiful sounding in both the UK and the US. So which of the world’s most popular baby names sound the most beautiful when spoken aloud?

In the UK, Zayn was voted the most beautiful sounding boy’s name. The name became popular more than a decade ago, thanks to One Direction singer Zayn Malik. When it comes to popular girl’s names, Sophia topped the list as the most beautiful sounding. Zayn is an Arabic name that means ‘beauty’ and ‘grace’, whereas Sophia is a Greek name that means ‘wisdom.’

Popular boy’s names like Jesse and Charlie were close behind to round out the top three while Zoe, and Rosie were the second and third most lovely sounding for a girl. Other names ending in ‘ee,’ such as Sophie, Ivy, and Phoebe, ranked fourth through sixth.

The research also found that the names of male royal family members are among the most attractive in the world, with Louie, William, and George all rating in the top 10, in positions four, five, and seven, respectively. Harry is the 17th most beautiful sounding boys’ name in the UK, just making it into the top 20.

Celebrity-inspired names

Celebrity children appear to be a solid source of inspiration as well, with names like Ivy (identical to Beyonce’s child Blue Ivy) and Willow (the same name as Will Smith’s daughter) ranking in the top ten. Hannah, which is not only gorgeous according to linguistic criteria, but also a palindrome, and Ellie round out the top ten best sounding girls baby names in the country.

The list may come as a surprise to many as the names on the list are so different from this year’s most popular baby names. Only one name, George, made it into the top 10 of both lists for boys. Sophia, which was voted the most beautiful name, is currently the 12th most popular baby name in the UK, while Zayn, which was voted the most beautiful boy’s name, doesn’t even make the top 100 most popular choices for 2022.

Top 50 most beautiful sounding baby names in the UK revealed, as confirmed by science

Other girls’ names that were well-liked and pleasing to the ear were Zoe, Everly, Sophie, and Ivy. Ellie, Emily, Evelyn, Eva, and Elena, which ranked in positions nine to thirteen, are names that seem very good to people in the US. The names with a shrubbery theme also performed well, with Ivy, Lily, and Violet all ranking in the top 25.

Science behind beautiful names explained

Dr Bodo Winter said there are a lot of things that affect name choice, and several of these have been explored in research by Stepanie Shih, showing that parents try to avoid choosing first names that would clash with their family names.

He said: “If your family name starts with ‘S’, such as Scott, Smith, Saunders, or Sullivan, it may be advisable not to have a first name that ends in ‘s’, such as Marcus, Charles, or Nicolas – because the two ‘s’ sounds will blend into each other. Shih’s research has used data from Facebook account names to show that there is indeed a small tendency for parents to prefer names without ‘s’ when their last name starts with ‘s’.”

In the UK, In the UK, Zayn was voted the most beautiful sounding boy's name.Zayn was voted the most beautiful sounding boy’s name.

Dr Winter continues: “In another recent paper, Berger and colleagues (2012) found a surprising result using more than 100 years of first-names data. They found that when there are major hurricanes in the US, the next generation of babies will be more likely to feature sounds that occur in the name of the hurricane, such as Katie after Hurricane Katrina. This seems surprising at first: nobody would want to name their child after a devastating natural disaster, of course! But when a particularly dangerous hurricane wreaks havoc over a country, the name of the hurricane will be mentioned again and again in the media.”

“This means that we are exposed more to the same sounds, and it is known from psychological research that things that are more familiar to us are generally liked more, a phenomenon known as the “mere exposure effect.” As a result, the speech sounds contained in hurricane names are actually more likely to crop up in names of the next generation – though importantly not the full name of the hurricanes. It should be said, however, that amidst all of these factors, it is easy to overthink naming one’s child and ultimately parents have to choose the name that feels right for them.”

Most beautiful baby names for girls

  1. Sophia
  2. Zoe
  3. Rosie
  4. Sophie
  5. Ivy
  6. Phoebe
  7. Violet
  8. Willow
  9. Hannah
  10. Ellie
  11. Emily
  12. Evelyn
  13. Rose
  14. Eliza
  15. Eva
  16. Chloe
  17. Penelope
  18. Lucy
  19. Ruby
  20. Lily
  21. Olivia
  22. Emma
  23. Eleanor
  24. Bella
  25. Luna
  26. Ella
  27. Thea
  28. Nancy
  29. Isabella
  30. Maya
  31. Amber
  32. Daisy
  33. Amelia
  34. Anna
  35. Georgia
  36. Charlotte
  37. Elizabeth
  38. Maria
  39. Iris
  40. Aurora
  41. Jasmine
  42. Alice
  43. Eden
  44. Jessica
  45. Aria
  46. Harper
  47. Sienna
  48. Grace
  49. Ada
  50. Erin

Most beautiful baby names for boys

  • 1. Zayn
  • 2. Jesse
  • 3. Charlie
  • 4. Louie
  • 5. William
  • 6. Freddie
  • 7. George
  • 8. Ali
  • 9. Daniel
  • 10. Riley
  • 11. Omar
  • 12. Arthur
  • 13. Rowan
  • 14. Leo
  • 15. Joseph
  • 16. Theo
  • 17. Harry
  • 18. Noah
  • 19. Toby
  • 20. Jude
  • 21. Isaac
  • 22. Teddy
  • 23. Samuel
  • 24. James
  • 25. Elijah
  • 26. Luke
  • 27. Edward
  • 28. Logan
  • 29. Riley
  • 30. Max
  • 31. Liam
  • 32. Roman
  • 33. Ryan
  • 34. Jack
  • 35. Benjamin
  • 36. Lucas
  • 37. Henry
  • 38. Finn
  • 39. Jacob
  • 40. Mason
  • 41. Nathan
  • 42. Alex
  • 43. Alexander
  • 44. Theodore
  • 45. Adam
  • 46. David
  • 47. Hunter
  • 48. Muhammad
  • 49. Sebastian
  • 50. Dylan