Obviously American names?

Many British people have names that are not very common in North America, especially the United States: Rupert, Desmond, Nigel, and Ian come to mind. There are probably many other - and I can’t really think of any female names now too. Only I imageine British parents still are more conservative with names…Beth and Susan instead of Brittney, Shawna and so on.

But I am thinking, there must be first names that are dead giveaways that the person is an American. Off the top of my head, I don’t think any British parents would call their son “Randy” or their daughter “Fannie”.
Also good ol’ boy names like “Billy Ray” are probably not common in the old country too.
But are their any others?

Dakota, Tyler, Hunter, Montana, Reagan and their ilk. Names from soap operas, many of the unique names arising from Southern and Southwestern African-American culture.



(although of course as soon as somebody pops up in the public spotlight with an exclusively American name, it will inevitably get applied to a significant proportion of newborns over here)

Fannie (or Fanny) is a British name, but not so popular nowadays, probably for exactly the reasons you guessed.

Chuck, Bud, Chet, Billy Bob, and, er, let me think of some more.

Wildest Bill. :slight_smile:

Is it only Americans who make up names for their children? You get African-Americans making up African sounding names, or using a word in an African language, you get both Caucausians and African-Americans making up Native Americn sounding names, or using a word in a Native language, or using tribe names (Cheyenne, Dakota), and you get people who just decide to come up with a sound that isn’t any kind of word or name, so their kids will not have a common name.

Actually, I’ve known of quite a few Cubans with names that appear “made up” from African or other sources. (Livan, Senen, Ojani, and so on). In Brazil, English sounding names are popular, so surnames like “Edison”, “Wilson”, “Wellington” get used as first names as much as Portuguese names. And I think names that are sort of “establishment” sounding don’t appeal to a lot of people any more - especially people and cultures who see themselves as different.

But I was thinking of more common names. I mean like “Brad”, “Jason”, “Clint” and so on that just seem to say “American” - as opposed to British or Australian.

This is more of an MPSIMS than a GQ, so I’ll move it.

moderator GQ

Not sure about Jason, in Oz… certainly hit it often enough in NZ not to consider it 'Merican.

How about… Herb?

As an Australian, I don’t know how common these names (and nicknames) are in England, but when I hear them I associate them with the US:


In Australia, “Bubba” would probably be called Slim. :slight_smile:

I have a brother-in-law called Brad, and I went to school with a boy named Jason. Both names are on the top 100 boys names since 1929 list. I wouldn’t say those names are uncommon here. Meanwhile, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone named Bruce.

Well I don’t think any one would name their child Randy in the UK, Australia of NZ. It would be the equivilant of naming our child “Horney” or any other slang term you can think of for sexually aroused.


Shane springs to mind.