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“Ruby” Becomes 4th Most Popular Girl’s Name in the UK

By Peter Cooper / December 25, 2006


Christmas Day deserves a frivolous story! How about the incredibly rapidly growing popularity of the name "Ruby" in the UK? Reasonably popular until the mid 1930s, the name dropped off the charts until around 2000. Since 2002 the name has leaped from the 70th most popular girl's name up to 4th!

Unfortunately, however, the surge in popularity is not likely to be linked to the Ruby programming language's prowess, but more to the surge in popularity of 'old names' and the character of Ruby Allen in the nation's favorite soap, EastEnders, with the Office for National Statistics even attributing the rise in popularity to the character.

Have any Ruby developers or evangelists named their daughter Ruby in celebration of the language? If you're bored with your turkey already, do drop a comment. Regular programming resumes on December 27.


  1. Jason Perry says:

    No, but I probably _will_ name my first daughter Ruby, or Charlotte (after my grandmother)--and in keeping with the resurgence of "old names"

  2. Dan Kubb says:

    I don't know if this counts, but I named my puppy Ruby. That picture was taken in the summer and since then she's developed a nice dark reddish-brown coat like her parents. The name fits her perfectly, not only is she red, but she's smart enough that I can teach her new tricks with only a few minutes of training.

  3. Oli Young says:

    My daughter's name is Amelie Ruby, and she was born on the 4th August '06, which in Euro/Aus phrasing is 4/8/6 talk about your inherited geek birth-right ..

  4. Damien says:

    While its not Ruby, we named our first child Aidan in 2003 only to since then discover that the name has seen a huge surge due to a character in "Sex and the City". Stupid TV.

  5. Neil Wilson says:

    My second daughter is due in April, and Ruby was on the list. However it is now most definitely off.

    Firstly I want to avoid insanely popular names and secondly somebody at my other daughter's playgroup has named their new baby "Ruby-boo".Seriously!

    I'm now thinking of calling her 'Fred' in honour of the most popular name for test applications... :-)

  6. Peter Cooper says:

    I guess there's still David and Why for names ;-)

  7. Nick Sieger says:

    My second daughter is named Ruby (born in 2002), although Ruby-the-language was not a primary influence at the time. I knew of Ruby-the-language, but did not learn it until 2005.

  8. Brandon Zylstra says:

    Nope, but my daughter's middle name is Perl--er, I mean--Pearl. This is after my mom, whose middle name is Pearl, and my wife, whose middle name is Margaret (which, I'm told, means Pearl in some other language). Larry Wall didn't actually play a role. (As much as I love that nut.)

    And as much as I love Ruby (which I actually use, unlike Perl) I don't think I'll be naming my next daughter after it. (And don't tell my wife I'm thinking about there *being* a next daughter!)

  9. Andy says:

    I feel sorry for anyone's son who gets called 'Python'

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