With the festive season once again upon us, many will soon be settling down to watch their go-to fave Christmas films. Whether their love lives this winter are more Bridget Jones’ Diary or Ghost of Girlfriends Past, Lovehoney has analysed hundreds of Christmas films and romantic books and films to discover the names that feature the most.
Although Kate holds position four for all types of romantic films, it’s the number one woman’s name chosen for Christmas movies specifically Four Christmases (2008), Holiday in the Wild (2019), Last Christmas (2019), and The Family Man (2000) all feature a main character named Kate. For male characters, it’s Jake – Christmas Inheritance (2017) and Falling for Christmas (2022), the movie responsible for Lindsay Lohan’s triumphant return to the rom-com world, are two films with leads named Jake.
The table below shows the top three most romantic names, as per popular Christmas films.
Main character name (female)
Main character name (male)
Mary and Jack are the most common names of characters in romance novels and films.
For male lead characters, Jack ranks number one having been chosen by the world’s leading romance writers as the lead character’s name in nine books and films. Titanic’s Jack Dawson (1997) and Brokeback Mountain’s Jack Twist (2005) are probably who sprang to mind first.
Other names that feature at the top include Nick and James, who are the names of the main characters in the films Crazy Rich Asians (2018) and Sliding Doors (1998), respectively.
Mary tops the list of the most romantic women’s names, though it’s more popular with film writers than novelists. The name features in a number of films, including the classic There’s Something About Mary (1998), About Time (2013), and Ammonite (2020).
Rachel ranks second, appearing across a number of popular romantic media including blockbusters Crazy Rich Asians (2018) and The Bodyguard (1992). Julia, Eva and Kate also rank second, the latter being the name of Reese Witherspoon’s character in the 2008 festive romcom Four Christmases.
Most romantic names – female
- Mary Jack
- Rachel Nick
- Kate James
- Julia Ben
- Eva Peter
Most romantic names – male
For boys, the most attractive names will contain vowel sounds made at the front of the mouth, such as “e” or “i” sounds. However, the opposite is true for girls.
A global study on flirting and online dating by Badoo found that using a shortened or diminutive version of your first name will make sure you attract more online approaches than if you were to use the full-length version of your name.
Jo Hemmings, a behavioural psychologist and dating coach who’s shortened her name from Joanna, said: “People with abbreviated names appear more approachable and friendlier; less intimidating. A diminutive name gives a sense of warmth and informality.”
Another study carried out by Amy Perfors, a cognitive scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds that for boys, the most attractive names will contain vowel sounds made at the front of the mouth, such as ‘e’ or “I” sounds, but names with fuller, rounder vowel sounds such as ‘u’ tend to be less attractive. However, the opposite is true for girls. Women with round-sounding names such as Laura tend to be considered more attractive than those with smaller vowel sounds.