UK and US first names

A while ago, I wrote a story about a woman named Jamie. One of my UK early readers pointed out to me that in the UK, this name is predominantly a boy’s name. Given the first-person perspective of this story, it was easier just to change her name than add clarifying details.

So now I’m curious. There are a handful of names that I think of as distinctly British–they’re rare on this side of the pond. Nigel and Basil come to mind. Ian used to be uncommon, but it’s grown hugely popular over here–possibly thanks to Ian McKellen.

I think Geoff is more common in the UK, while Jeff is preferred in the US, though I’m not sure about that.  Is Harry a common name in the UK? I suspect it’s become one after Harry Potter, but was it a common name before?

US readers–what names do you consider mostly British–ones that aren’t used very frequently here, but are more common there?

UK readers–what names do you consider mostly American? Names that when you hear them, your first guess is that the person will be American?

Non US/UK readers can answer too. 🙂

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