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Category: Australian names

posted by: waltzingmorethanmatilda View all posts by this author
banjopaterson

By Anna Otto of Waltzing More Than Matilda

February 17th is the birthdate of Andrew Barton Paterson, affectionately known as “BanjoPaterson.  He was named Andrew after his Scottish-born father, and his middle name Barton was a family name from his mother’s side; he was related to Edmund Barton, who would later become Australia’s first prime minister. Because he and his dad had the same name, Paterson went by his middle name, and was always known as Barty to his friends and family.

Paterson lived with his grandmother while he was attending the prestigious Sydney Grammar School, and she encouraged in him a love of poetry. He was 21 when he first began submitting poems to The Bulletin, under the pseudonym of “The Banjo” (sometimes shortened to a simple “B”).  Full of fierce nationalism and a desire for a fairer society, he had some aspirations to write fiery polemic, and had even written a political pamphlet.  However, The Bulletin had other ideas.

In the late nineteenth century, there was a movement towards the British colonies of Australia becoming one country, a feeling that Australia should be a united nation, and Australians a united people. In the effort to provide Australia with a unifying mythology that would instill nationalistic pride, it seemed that the Australian bush and outback would be the symbol to draw everyone together.

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Aussie Names: Big there, not here

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In her guest blog, Anna Otto, of the popular site Waltzing More Than Matilda, introduces names particular to the land of Oz, explains their origins  and tells us why we might consider importing them.

Australia and the United States share many popular names and name trends, but here are some examples familiar to us that have never made the US Top 1000. A few are popular in Australia, several are fashionable, rising in popularity, or well-used, and a couple are notable for becoming the choice of hip parents. But can any of these names make it in America?  Some might just need a bit more exposure, while others are probably not as usable. Which do you feel strangely drawn to, and which simply bewilder you? 

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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?

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australia

Even though Australian baby names are a lot like British names, they do also have their own distinctive flavor.  The blend of cultures Down Under and the strong presence of several enduring indigenous languages and groups have a powerful influence on Australian baby names (the complex Aboriginal naming traditions definitely deserve a future blog of their own).  Last year, for example, though Australia’s most popular list included Jack and Ella, Joshua, Ethan, Emily, Chloe and Mia, also high up on their list were Matilda, Isla, Lachlan (the name of Oz newspaper mogol Rupert Murdoch’s high-profile son), the Scottish-influenced Angus, and the nickname-name Archie.

Aussie heroes–from outlaws like Ned Kelly to poets like Banjo Paterson to politicians such as Prime Minister Geogh Whitlam–provide some interesting and adoptable namesakes.

Here are some from the world of sports:

EVONNE Goolagong
KARRIE Webb
KEL Nagle
KIEREN Perkins
LIESEL Jones
LIONEL Rose
LLEYTON Hewitt
LUC Longley

And nameworthy names from the show biz arena:

ANGUS Young
BON Scott
BAZ Luhrmann
CATE Blanchett
ELLE Macpherson
GUY Pearce
HEATH Ledger
HUGH Jackman
ISLA Fisher
JACINDA Barrett
KAHAHL
KYLIE Minogue
LOUISA Brammall
NAOMI Watts
NATALIE Imbroglia
NELLIE Melba
NICOLE Kidman
OLIVIA Newton-John
PORTIA De Rossi
ROLF Harris
RUSSELL Crowe
TONI Collette

And what names do these Aussie celebs choose for their own their kids? Austarbabies include:

ADELAIDERachel Griffiths
ALEXANDERNaomi Watts
ANGELICAGeoffrey Rush
AVAHugh Jackman
BANJORachel Griffiths
BINDI — Steve Irwin
CHARLOTTEJudy Davis
CHLOEOlivia Newton-John
CHRISTIANMel Gibson
DASHIELLCate Blanchett
FLYNNElle Macpherson
IGNATIUSCate Blanchett
KLAUSEric Bana
LILLIANBaz Luhrmann
LOUISMel Gibson
MATILDABryan Brown, Heath Ledger
MILOMel Gibson
OLIVEIsla Fisher
OSCARHugh Jackman
ROMANCate Blanchett
ROSIEBryan Brown
SAGEToni Collette
SAMUELNaomi Watts
SATINEJacinda Barrett
SOPHIAEric Bana
SUNDAYNicole Kidman
TENNYSONRussell Crowe

And there’s a whole lot more to Australian place names than South Australia capital city Adelaide. Here’s a selection:

ALBANY
ALLORA
ARARAT
AUGUSTA
BENALLA
BENDIGO
BOTANY
BURNIE
DARWIN
ELANORA
ESPERANCE
GALLAH
GRAFTON
GRIFFITH
HOBART
ISA
JANNALI
KALLI
KARRATHA
KILLARA
LINCOLN
LOGAN
MACKAY
MACQUARIE
MAITLAND
MILDURA
ORANGE
PERTH
RYDE
VICTORIA

We’d like to thank and acknowledge the imput of our Australian correspondent Alicia Polman, who alerted us to some interesting names and their backstories, and to the fact that “there’s more to Australian-esque baby names than Matilda and Jack.”

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