The most popular boys’ names of the 1940s were John, Peter, Robert, and David, but what were the least popular names? Here are ten names which were only chosen once in any year between 1944 and 1949 in South Australia, making them unique names for their time and place. Still rare, some feel surprisingly contemporary, while one or two have perhaps had their day.
Category: Australian baby names
Some vocabulary names are popular, like Poppy and Summer, while others are familiar, like Faith and Melody. Then there are the vocabulary names that are more unexpected. These are ten names I have seen (on Australians) this year – but only once. They are all real names, but comparative rarities.
These are names which rose the fastest in Australia in 2014, calculated not only by overall national position, but by the number of states in which the name had significant gains. It also compares their progress in Australia with that in the US, UK, and New Zealand.
Hazel just joined the national Top 100 as its fastest-rising name, going up 63 places to #88: the last time it was a Top 100 name was in the 1940s. The catalyst for Hazel’s entry to the Top 100 is last year’s teenage tearjerker, The Fault in Our Stars, based on the novel by John Green, and with Shailene Woodley in the role of Hazel. A fashionable retro name with a cool Z sound, chosen by several celebrities, Hazel was due for popularity. Just outside the US Top 100, it’s already Top 50 in New Zealand, but only in the 300s in England/Wales.
The Australian birth data is generally released by each state and territory between New Year and Easter, culminating in the national Top 100. Below are the names which rose the most in 2013, and some possible reasons why they might be doing so well at present. People from other countries may be interested to compare this to their own fastest-rising names, when all the data is in. I have also written an article on my site on those Top 100 names that rose significantly in several states, which has slightly different information.
When the British colonized Australia in the 18th century, they were almost immediately fascinated by the Aboriginal languages they encountered. The first known Europeans to choose an Aboriginal name for their child were the chaplain and his wife from the First Fleet, whose daughter was baptized Milbah, a local name which had delighted them.
At the time of first European settlement, there were as many as 700 different Aboriginal languages and dialects. Today there are less than 150 in daily use, and all but 20 are in danger of disappearing. By using Aboriginal words and phrases as names, whether on people, businesses, fictional characters, houses, streets, towns, and even pets, those languages remain in use at least to an extent.
I know people are still interested in Australian Aboriginal names, because my posts on the subject are the most popular on my blog. I’m not in any way an expert on Aboriginal language and culture, and have only chosen names which are already in use, or which Indigenous people have been willing to share, or which come from extinct languages.