Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mohammed now second most popular boys' name in Britain

For the last 13 years Jack has been the most popular boys' name in the land.

But in multicultural Britain children named after the Muslim prophet Mohammed come a close second.

In a reflection of the increasing influence of Islam, figures released yesterday showed the most popular spelling of the name - Mohammed - had climbed five places to 17th in the annual list of top baby names.

However, when the seven other spellings of the name are taken into account, the total comes to 6,347 babies, making it the second most popular name of the year - up from 5,936 last year.

Although Jack topped the list with 6,772 babies, that figure fell 156 on last year, meaning if the trends were repeated next year, Mohammed and its variant spellings would be the most popular choice in England and Wales.

Census takers were quick to point out that while many people have also tried to name a pet Mohammed, animal licensing bureaus have refused to sanction it as a legal name for any non-human creature, so Jack remains as the title of choice for dogs and cats as well.

"Not like we really gots the right to be tellin' blokes what they can name their woofs and pussies," a national statistics spokesman said, "but crikey, the bollix that would cause is too dread to even think about mate."

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