Country Life Today: The most popular dogs’ names of 2019 have been revealed

A poll of two million pet owners has revealed the most popular dog names in Britain, plus we take a look at the Mary Celeste and a magical combine harvester.

The most popular names for dogs

Considering that surveys of 1,000 or so people are what most general election polls are based on, the idea that 2 million people have been canvassed to find out the nation’s most popular dog names seems almost ludicrous. And yet, that’s what claims to have done to draw up the list of the most popular dogs’ names in the country.

We’re thoroughly delighted to see disappearing human names — such as Gertrude, Malcolm and Clive — apparently finding new uses in the canine world. Those three are up 300%, 150% and 100% respectively, while Lassie (400%) and Spot (up 50%) are also on the rise.

It’s not all good, however. In news that we find slightly depressing without really knowing why, the ‘Love Island’ effect is blamed for the popularity of the names Anna and Anton — up 450% and 200% respectively. Equally worrying is that the use of ‘Prosecco’ as a name is up 200%

None of those names crack the top 10 for either male or female names, however — here are the lists:

Rank Male Female
1. Alfie Bella
2. Max Poppy
3. Charlie Lola
4. Teddy Luna
5. Buddy Molly
6. Milo Daisy
7. Oscar Ruby
8. Bailey Coco
9. Archie Rosie
10. Barney Millie

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You can see the entire top 100 at — a fascinating read, not least for the fact that the present author sees his own name nestling in at number 12. The Famous Five books have a lot to answer for.

Top 100 dog names (

The great elm tree could return to the British countryside – with some help

English Elm tree

Once a familiar sight many a British country skyline, the mighty elm population was severely damaged by Dutch elm disease in the 1960s and 70s, which took over 20 million of its trees.

In the wake of the disease, the elm became largely forgotten, except by a group of enthusiasts intent on breeding a variety resistant to the disease. Using hundred year old specimens which mysteriously survived the epidemic, new seedlings have been bred which appear to be resistant, too.

The author of the report by the Future Trees Trust charity, Karen Russell, is hopeful of the elm’s comeback.  ‘With the right people in the right place and the funding we can put elm back in the landscape.’

Read more (BBC News)

On This Day… in 1872

The Mary Celeste is discovered adrift in the Atlantic Ocean, with no crew, in almost perfect condition and with plenty of provisions — yet not a soul aboard.

Theories abound, but the mystery of what took place to prompt its abandonment 10 days beforehand has never been solved. Indeed, the very name of the ship itself (often inaccurately referred to as ‘Marie Celeste’) has become a byword for an unexplained mystery.

Read more (Smithsonian)

Festive drinking is on the rise, paired unfortunately with festive driving

It turns out all is not so merry and bright when it comes to drink-driving around the festive period. Drink-driving offences increased by 16% last year according to police figures, with a staggering 154 caught at the wheel over the limit every day.

Research shows that a worryingly large number of drivers (36%, to be exact) didn’t understand the legal limits while even more (42%) admitted to driving while knowing they were over those limits.

While we know that it’s the season of Christmas parties, the risk of injuring yourself and others when driving a heavy piece of machinery intoxicated is too great to not be a serious issue. Please do not drink and drive this Christmas.

The current drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood or 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath. In Scotland, it is 50mg/100ml blood or 22mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. Know your limits and drink responsibly. 

Read more (iNews)

And finally…

They’ve got a brand new combine harvester: