Donald isn’t a popular name in Scotland – some blame Donald Trump

About 20 Scottish Donalds were christened each year from 2000 to 2015. After that, the name suddenly plummeted in popularity

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 March, 2017, 3:22pm
UPDATED : Monday, 27 March, 2017, 9:12am

Only seven boys born in Scotland were named Donald last year, the fewest on record and a likely slap at America’s new president despite his Scottish roots, birth records out this month show. 

Babies named Donald were down two-thirds since 2014, according to the National Records of Scotland.

While the trend reflects a decreasing preference for traditional names, “Trump has accelerated the decline,” Carole Hough, an expert on the history and origin of names at the University of Glasgow, told The Scotsman newspaper.

Trump helped “suppress” a name already out of fashion, agreed Cleveland Evans of Bellevue University in Nebraska and author of The Great Big Book of Baby Names.

About 20 Scottish Donalds were christened each year from 2000 to 2015. After that, the name suddenly plummeted in popularity, the data shows. In 2016, Donald ranked 442nd, along with Che, Eden and Lomond.

In the United States, the Social Security Administration’s annual report on popular baby names for 2016 has not yet been released. But in 2015, Donald ranked 441st, down from 418 the previous year.

Scotland has had three kings named Donald. One was the ninth-century ruler Donald II, known as “the Madman”.

Trump’s mother was born on the Isle of Lewis in western Scotland. She emigrated to New York in 1930 — 14 years before the future US president was born. Trump, who still has several cousins in Scotland, plays up his Scottish heritage and has built golf courses and hotels there. He also has become embroiled in business disputes in Scotland that have not helped his popularity.

In September, construction begins on 11 wind turbines off the coast of Aberdeen after Trump lost a court challenge to halt a project that he claimed was too close to one of his golf developments. Trump has spent lavishly on his resorts in Scotland and threatened to force residents to sell their homes to make way for his luxury golf clubs.

Politically, Scotland diverges significantly with Trump on many issues. Its centre-left government supports the European Union, favours immigration and wants to maintain strong international ties and treaties. Scotland’s leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has called for Trump’s planned state visit to Britain sometime this year to be cancelled over his court-blocked temporary travel ban targeting six majority-Muslim nations.

“I suspect Donald will be a lot less popular in years to come because of Trump,” namesake Donald Anderson, former leader of the Edinburgh city council, told The Scotsman.

“We need a character called Donald on Game of Thrones to make it popular again.”