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Australian Baby Names: Digging Up Names From Down Under

Australian Baby Names: Digging Up Names From Down Under

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 GoolagongKARRIE WebbKEL NagleKIEREN PerkinsLIESEL JonesLIONEL RoseLLEYTON HewittLUC Longley

And nameworthy names from the show biz arena:

ANGUS YoungBON ScottBAZ LuhrmannCATE BlanchettELLE MacphersonGUY PearceHEATH LedgerHUGH JackmanISLA FisherJACINDA BarrettKAHAHLKYLIE MinogueLOUISA BrammallNAOMI WattsNATALIE ImbrogliaNELLIE MelbaNICOLE KidmanOLIVIA Newton-JohnPORTIA De RossiROLF HarrisRUSSELL CroweTONI Collette

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

ADELAIDERachel GriffithsALEXANDERNaomi WattsANGELICAGeoffrey RushAVAHugh JackmanBANJORachel GriffithsBINDI — Steve IrwinCHARLOTTEJudy DavisCHLOEOlivia Newton-JohnCHRISTIANMel GibsonDASHIELLCate BlanchettFLYNNElle MacphersonIGNATIUSCate BlanchettKLAUSEric BanaLILLIANBaz LuhrmannLOUISMel GibsonMATILDABryan Brown, Heath LedgerMILOMel GibsonOLIVEIsla FisherOSCARHugh JackmanROMANCate BlanchettROSIEBryan BrownSAGEToni ColletteSAMUELNaomi WattsSATINEJacinda BarrettSOPHIAEric BanaSUNDAYNicole KidmanTENNYSONRussell Crowe

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

ALBANYALLORAARARATAUGUSTABENALLABENDIGOBOTANYBURNIEDARWINELANORAESPERANCEGALLAHGRAFTONGRIFFITHHOBARTISAJANNALIKALLIKARRATHAKILLARALINCOLNLOGANMACKAYMACQUARIEMAITLANDMILDURAORANGEPERTHRYDEVICTORIA

_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.”**_

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.