Did you name your baby boy Oliver, William or Jack? Or your baby girl Charlotte, Olivia or Ava? If so, then you’re not alone – they are the top three ‘Most Popular Baby Names in Australia’ for their respective gender.
One in 10 Aussie bubs were given a name that falls in 2013’s ‘Top Ten’; 2,082 little Olivers and 1,969 little Charlottes are now starting eat, teethe and walk. Yes – the 2014 100 Most Popular Baby Names in Australia has been released#, and we think there’s a lot to talk about!
But popular isn’t necessarily popular, if that makes sense…
More and more Aussie parents are in fact moving away from traditionally popular names and instead looking beyond the classic naming horizon. Boys however, are more likely to be receive a common name than are females.
Back to the future
Recently we’ve seen a return to names that were common some 100 years ago (and conversely a move away from names that were peaking just a few decades ago). Ruby, William, Jack and George are all moving up the trending poll and are a nod to some of the most common names at the turn of the last century.
We love a royal influence
If we can’t grow up, turn into a princess and marry a prince, then we can give our child a royal name instead! No surprises that back in 2001 William was in our Top 10, and has continued to grow in popularity. It hit an all-time high the year of the prince’s wedding to Catherine, taking poll position until 2012. Like father like son, it appears, as we fast-forward to the present day to see George move from 71st position to 60th.
Stars in our eyes
Kourtney Kardashian’s children Mason and Penelope can be thanked for seeing these names fall into the Top 20 list. Harper Beckham (of parents David and Victoria), Willow Smith (of parent’s Will and Jada, but also the name of singer Pink’s daughter), Noah Buble (no doubt getting some quality lullabies from dad Michael), Elijah (the second son of Elton John), Lincoln (Kristen Bell’s baby boy) and Olive Barrymore (daughter of Drew but also the name of Sacha and Isla Fisher’s child) are all ranking in the current Top 100.
Not only on the look-out for fresh and original names, Aussie parents have started to turn to apostrophes, hyphens and phonetic spellings in an effort to give baby names a bespoke twist. Sure it makes for a creative start to life, but is it truly in the child’s best interests? Who wants to constantly correct teachers or administrators, or have to spell their name out several times over the phone, or deal with questions like “why did your parents choose that name?” And let’s not even think about the incessant spell-checks the computer will call for… Hhhhmm…
Turning to religion
The Bible remains a source of inspiration for baby names, and 2013 has not been an exception. Noah, James, Thomas, Ethan, Joshua, Alexander, Isaac, Levi, Elijah, Michael, Joseph, Jesse and John are all ranking.
We’re now starting to see Arabic names enter the Top 100 – Layla is now at 30 and Ali is at 97, whilst Zahra is only eight places from making the 100 threshold.
So – what’s in a name?
There might be nothing in a name… But what if there is? What if a name is the first stone cast in your life, and remains a regular influence in the paths you take, or the paths destined for you? Too much to ponder for us right at this minute, but it did prompt a fun idea… We decided to take a look at some of Australia’s key industries to see whether or not there were any stand-out themes in names. Consider it early pedestrian research into what our children might do when they grow up!
When I grow up, I want to be a ….
It looks like traditional rules the roost here. Gail (Gail Kelly from Westpac), Clive (Clive Palmer from Resourcehouse et al), Mike (Mike Smith from ANZ), Stephen and Peter (Lowy brothers from Westfield) and Grant (Grant O’Brien from Woolworths) are just some of the no-nonsense names that pepper the list of our high-earning corporate CEOs.
There’s a bit of choice here. You could opt for a familiar name like Michael (Clarke), Sally (Pearson), Cameron (Smith), Anna (Meares) and Gary (Ablett), or you could dice things up and head down a more unusual path, like Cadel (Evans), Giaan (Rooney) or Torah (Bright).
Well, surprise, surprise, it looks like traditional names are called for in this industry. Julie, Julia, Karen, Sharon, Bronwyn, Anthony, Joseph, Jonathon, William, Robert and Malcolm all appear on the roll call here. In fact after scouring the list, the only name even close to standing out for being a little left of centre (pardon the pun) was Barnaby.
Things start to get a little interesting, here. Sure there are the safe-bets like John, Kylie, Nick, Anthony. But we enter that area of hyphenating (Ricki-Lee) and different spelling (Danii) as well as the more original Delta or Gotye (real name Wouter).
If your bub is on the way and you’re still deciding names, check out this year’s Top 100 for some inspiration, some eye-brow raising and some further pondering!