Despite there being over 730,000 Roberts in the UK today, it seems the name is on its way to becoming extinct. Only 511 were born last year – the second lowest number since 1926.
“There are many famous Roberts flying the flag for their namesakes all over the world – such as British actors Carlyle, Coltrane and Pattinson, their US counterparts Redford, Downey Jnr and De Niro, musicians Williams, Plant and Palmer. Not forgetting Polish footballer Robert Lewandowski and reality and Strictly star Rinder,” said Roberts bakery’s Megan Harrison.
The bakery is now on the look-out for all other Roberts out there who, like them, are doing truly remarkable things. Are you – or do you know – one of them? Share your story, or tag a Robert who is, on one of the bakery’s social media channels – Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – using the hashtag #RemarkablyRoberts.
In the 1940s, Robert was firmly within the top five boys’ names in England and Wales before dropping into the top 20 where it stayed until the early nineties. Even in 1996, there were over 2600 babies born with the name, but since then its popularity has dwindled – down as low as 115 in the popularity charts.
Baby name expert SJ Strum, from Channelmum.com, commented: “The name Robert means Bright Fame so surely that is worth saving from extinction! It’s true that the original has certainly dropped out of favour, but nicknames derived from it have not, so modern parents have honoured Robert as recently as 2019 with Bobby for a boy and Bobbie for a girl – both soaring up the charts to 68 and 73 respectively.”
And all is not lost, it seems, for the traditional Robert according to Strum. “It is making a quiet comeback online with mentions picking up on baby name forums, some even saying it has ‘sex appeal’. And there is no doubt TikTok star Robert Georges has certainly given it plenty of teen swagger.”
In the end, Covid-19 might be its unexpected saviour. “Parents are using traditional names for new babies in tribute to much missed meets with older family members during mass lockdown,” said Strum. So, Robert might regain its 1940s ‘grandad-cool’. It’s certainly time to celebrate connections.”