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Australian Baby Names: What’s up down under

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Today’s guest blogger, Aussie Anna Otto, tells us what she sees ahead for Australian baby names in 2012.

Baby Name Trends from Australia for 2012

Nameberry has brought us the Jack City

Jack has been Top 100 since the 1980s, and solidly Top 10 since the 1990s. Attempts to replace him with cutesy short forms such as Archie are going well, but nothing beats the blunt one-syllable nickname that sounds like a man rather than a boy. Hence we have names like Bill, Joe, Bob, Sid, Frank and Dan turning up in birth announcements, and spotted on celebrity babies too. They’ve got Depression-era chic – perfect for the current mood of global economic gloom. Can any of them become the new Jack though?

Names with Ever-Increasing Variant Spellings – Aaliyah and Allira

It’s hard to get solid data on these names, because with so many variant spellings, their true popularity remains a bit of a mystery. But just going by personal experience, these popular girls names have a dizzying range of spellings. Alia, Aleah, Aleaha, Aalia, Aaliya, Arlia and Arleya seem to blend in with Alira, Aleera, Alyra, Allara, Alirah and Allyrah until it is hard to know which original name was the inspiration. One name is Arabic and the other Ausralian Aboriginal, but they have managed to influence each other to an astounding degree.

Most Popular Unisex Name – Charlie

Charlie is rising for both boys and girls, and chances are that Charlie will be in the Top 100 for both genders next year. Will this lead to Charlie becoming less popular for boys? I hope not, as I like the thought of Charlie Mae and Charlie Matthew feeling equally confident, and happy with their names.

Groovy Grandma Middle Name – Joan

Joan used to seem dumpy and frumpy, but Mad Men vixen Joan Holloway, played by voluptuous Christina Hendricks, has given this name a far sexier image. It now sounds bold, sassy, and like a strong smart career woman who isn’t afraid to add femme fatale to her résumé. I haven’t seen anyone daring enough use it as a first name yet, but it’s replacing Jane and Jean as the go-to middle name for girls.

Celebrity Baby Name Most Likely – Flynn

Model Miranda Kerr and her husband, actor Orlando Bloom, welcomed their first child at the start of the year, calling him Flynn Christopher Blanchard Copeland Bloom. Flynn not only satisfies the Australian love of Irish names, but also references dashing Hollywood star Errol Flynn, born in Tasmania. As a result, it has done well during the past year, and Flynns pop up in birth notices on a regular basis. It became a celebrity baby name again when Mark Knowles from the national men’s hockey team called his son Flynn William in November. I’m tipping this to move up the rankings.

The Big O

This year saw celebrity babies called Oliver, Olivia, Oscar, Otis and Owen, and Arlo, Cleo, Halo, Indigo, Jago and Marlowe. You may also notice Bowie, Josephine, Kody, Lola, Poet, Roman and Zoe. Whether the O sound is at the beginning, the end, or in the middle, O names were obvious and notable, by jingo. These omens show us that we can expect to see O names more often in this locale.

Anna Otto runs Waltzing More Than Matilda, a blog dedicated to Australian names.

 

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