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Australian Baby Names: Aussie Favorites

Australian Baby Names: Aussie Favorites
In a multicultural nation like Australia, how do you define Australian names? Here we've listed Aussie names that stem from Indigenous Australian languages, place names or names that have become indelibly linked with the land Down Under through literature or popular culture, such as Matilda and Kylie.

Along with Matilda and Kylie, other Australian names in the US Top 1000 include Adelaide, Darwin, Lachlan, Kiara, Miles, Sydney, Talia, and Victoria. Aussie baby names that are less common in the US but have the potential to become American hits include Acacia, Lowan, Lucinda, and Walken.

Many popular Australian boy and girl names are similar to those names widely-used in other English-speaking lands. The current current Australian names popularity list features Charlotte and Oliver in the Number 1 spots, with widely-popular names such as Olivia and Ava, William and Jack ranking in the Top 10.

Australian baby name trends include vowel-ending names such as Ari and Leo for boys, and nature names like Willow, Violet, and Hazel for girls. And Australians, like many Anglophone parents, love the names of the British royal family, such as Charlotte and Archie. Names starting with or featuring the letter L are also rising through the charts: Leonardo, Luka, Lennox, and Lewis for boys, Hallie, Billie, and Delilah for girls.

The list that follows, though, is not of popular Australian names with European roots but of native Australian names or other names that, for whatever reason, are used predominantly in Australia.
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MatildaHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "battle-mighty"
  • Description:

    The comeback of this sweet vintage name, one of the most stylish girls' names starting with M, has been prompted by a boomlet of starbaby Matildas, beginning with chef Gordon Ramsey's in 2002 and Moon Unit Zappa's two years later. But the renaissance of this name of the charming Roald Dahl heroine was assured when Michelle Williams and the late Heath Ledger chose Matilda for their daughter.

AdelaideHeart

  • Origin:

    Variant of Adelheidis, German
  • Meaning:

    "noble, nobility"
  • Description:

    Adelaide is now heading straight uphill on the coattails of such newly popular sisters as Ava, Ada, and Audrey, and in the company of Adeline and Amelia. It was chosen by actress Katherine Heigl for the name of her second daughter.

BodhiHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "awakening, enlightenment"
  • Description:

    Bodhi is a Sanskrit name translated as "enlightenment" or "awakening" which relates to a Buddhist concept, wherein Bodhi is synonymous with the state of nirvana, being freed from hate, greed and ego. The Bodhi tree is a large fig tree under which the founder of Buddhism received enlightenment. Spelling variations include Bodie and Bode.

AylaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, or Turkish
  • Meaning:

    "oak tree, or halo, moonlight"
  • Description:

    Tired of Ava and Isla? Consider Ayla, a more offbeat choice and a lovely name that means light as well as tree. Its literary reference is the independent and feisty heroine of Jean Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear.

LachlanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "from the fjord-land"
  • Description:

    Lachlan is as Scottish as haggis and tartan plaid kilts—a favorite used throughout England, Scotland, Australia, and New Zealand—and just beginning to be noticed in the US: it reached the Top 1000 for the first time in 2013. An ancient name, Lachlan was originally used to describe the Viking invaders of Scotland, those from the land of the lochs.
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TaliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew; Australian Aboriginal
  • Meaning:

    "gentle dew from heaven; by the water"
  • Description:

    Talia is derived from the Hebrew elements tal, meaning “dew,” and yah, in reference to God. In the mythology of one ancient sect, Talia was one of ten angels who attended the sun on its daily course. The occasionally homophonous name Thalia has unrelated Greek origins.

VictoriaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "victory"
  • Description:

    Victoria is the Latin word for “victory” and a feminine form of Victor. It is the name of the ancient Roman goddess of victory, the equivalent of the Greek Nike, and also a popular third century saint. Queen Victoria, for whom the Victorian Era is named, ruled over England for over sixty-three years.

KiaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of the Italian Chiara or the Irish Ciara or Aboriginal Australian, Korean
  • Meaning:

    "light, clear; little dark one; cockatoo; first ray of sun"
  • Description:

    Kiara can be considered a variation of both the Italian name Chiara and the Irish name Ciara. Chiara is the Italian form of Clara, meaning "bright" or "clear," while Ciara is the feminine form of male given name Ciar, derived from the old Irish cíar, meaning "dark." Kiara is also an Australian name derived from an Aboriginal word for the white cockatoo, and has roots as a Korean name meaning "first ray of sun".

KoaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "warrior"
  • Description:

    With Noah taking the Number 1 spot in 2013, Koa is attracting more attention than ever.

FletcherHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "arrow-maker"
  • Description:

    Fletcher is a common surname with a touch of quirkiness; it definitely fits into the So Far Out It's In category--and moving further in all the time along with other occupational names from Parker to Forester.
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JettHeart

  • Origin:

    Mineral name
  • Description:

    Aviation enthusiast John Travolta put this fast-paced name in the lexicon when he used it for his late son, and George Lucas followed suit.

HamishHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of James
  • Meaning:

    "supplanter"
  • Description:

    Just as Seamus/Seumus is Irish for James, Hamish is the Scottish form — one that's not often used here, but still redolent of Olde Scotland. If you're ready to go further than Duncan and Malcolm, out to Laird and Ewan territory, this may be worth consideration. It also sounds just like the Yiddish word for homey.

JaxHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Jax is the Dex-Jex-Pax type of x-ending cool -- possibly too cool -- variation of Jack or nickname for Jaxon or Jackson.

SydneyHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "Saint Denis"
  • Description:

    A couple of decades ago, nerdy boy Sidney morphed into a polished, poised, creative, elegant girl Sydney. Sydney's been on the rise since the nineties -- it was in the Top 25 from 1999 to 2003 -- but has recently dropped out of the Top 200.

AcaciaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "thorny"
  • Description:

    Acacia is an attractive, rarely used Greek flower name enhanced by its popular beginning-and-ending-with 'a'-construct, and is gradually beginning to catch on as a new member of the stylish girl names starting with A.
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HeathHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "the heathland dweller"
  • Description:

    Actor Heath Ledger's tragic death has cast a pall over this otherwise pleasant and distinctive name. Nonetheless, it remains in the Top 1000.

LuellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Louella
  • Description:

    Luella is a sleeker version of the girls' name Louella that at this point is more popular than the original. Well-used in the 19th century, Luella fell off the Top 1000 in the 1950s, but has had a resurgence in recent years. Its use as a first or middle name by several edgy celebrities elevates Luella from crusty to cool, and it's stylish double-L sound and -ella ending make it a nicely revived vintage name for girls.

AnikaHeart

  • Origin:

    Nordic diminutive of Anne or African, Hausa
  • Meaning:

    "sweetness of face"
  • Description:

    Anike is an attractive name with ties to several cultures, both African and Scandinavian. The African pronunciation emphasizes the second syllable while the Nordic one emphasizes the first. While there will be inevitable confusion over pronunciation, either form is "correct".

BronteHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "thunder"
  • Description:

    This lovely surname of the three novel-writing sisters, now used as a baby name, makes a fitting tribute for lovers of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. While the original name took an umlaut over the e, modern English speakers may find that more trouble than it's worth. Trivia note: The Anglo-Irish clergyman who was the father of Charlotte, Emily and Anne changed his name from the original Brunty. According to scholars, the family pronounced the name brun-tee, though in the 21st century world it's commonly pronounced bron-tay. In Australia, the name is more likely to take inspiration from Bronte Beach in Sydney. It was named after Lord Nelson, the 1st Duke of Bronté. He got his title from a town in Sicily, itself named after a mythological Cyclops.

LucindaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Lucia
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Lucinda, an elaboration of Lucia created by Cervantes for his 1605 novel Don Quixote, is a pleasingly pretty alternative to Lucy. It was subsequently used by Moliere in his play The Doctor in Spite of Himself' (1666). More in tune with the times than Linda, Belinda and Melinda, it could be used to honor someone with one of those dated names.
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TajHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "crown"
  • Description:

    Taj is a cool-sounding name reflecting the magnificence of the seventeenth-century Indian Taj Mahal, chosen by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler for his son.

KylieHeart

  • Origin:

    Aboriginal
  • Meaning:

    "a boomerang"
  • Description:

    Popular pop name, inspired by Australian singer Kylie Minogue. Youngest sister of the Kardashians, Kylie Jenner, is undoubtedly keeping its style going.

DarwinHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "dear friend"
  • Description:

    Enough parents have found naturalist Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution, a worthy hero to keep Darwin consistently in the Top 1000—though some might just like its trendy two-syllable sound. It has a lovely meaning too—"dear friend."

BindiHeart

  • Origin:

    Australian Aboriginal
  • Meaning:

    "butterfly"
  • Description:

    In the Noongar language of Western Australia, Bindi means butterfly. Bindi is usually seen as a girls' name, as seen in Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Steve Irwin.

SydneyHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Sidney, French
  • Meaning:

    "Saint Denis"
  • Description:

    The Sydney spelling most popular for girls: it's in the Top 50 on the female side. Cool for a girl, still nerdy for a guy.
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IndiHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Indie, English
  • Meaning:

    "independent"
  • Description:

    A true maverick of a girls' name — even more so with this spelling, the least common between Indie, Indy, and Indi.

BanjoHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    When actress Rachel Griffiths chose this highly unusual name for her son, many assumed it was a bizarre invention. But a noted Australian poet (Griffiths is an Aussie) is known by this name.

MilesHeart

  • Description:

    Although usually seen as a masculine name, Miles is sometimes seen as a feminine name in Australia, due to its literary association with female author Stella "Miles" Franklin.

AraluenHeart

  • Origin:

    Aboriginal Australian, 'water lilies' or 'place of the water lilies'
  • Description:

    Araluen is a beautiful Aboriginal Australian place name, used in several sites, always connected to the dainty water lily.

RosellaHeart

  • Description:

    Rosella can be seen as a nature name (a rosella is the name of a variety of beautiful Australian cockatoos and an Australian flower) or a diminutive version of Rose.
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AliraHeart

  • Origin:

    Aboriginal Australian
  • Meaning:

    "quartz stone"
  • Description:

    This Australian name can have other spellings such as Allira, Alirah and Aleara. We prefer this spelling which keeps confusion and mispronunciation to a minimum.

PippiHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse variation of Philippa
  • Meaning:

    "lover of horses"
  • Description:

    Pippi may be cute but isn't very practical. In addition to being forever Pippi Longstocking, there is that variant pee-pee spelling to consider. Try Pippa instead.

SaxonHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "people of the dagger"
  • Description:

    An unusual word name that nevertheless feels right on trend, with that two-syllable, n-ending shape and sharp middle X.

LowanHeart

  • Origin:

    Indigenous Australian
  • Meaning:

    "malleefowl"
  • Description:

    Half-way between Logan and Rowan, Lowan could be an interesting pick for parents looking for an off-the-beaten-track nature name.

NarelleHeart

  • Origin:

    Australian Aboriginal
  • Meaning:

    "little river"
  • Description:

    The Narellan is the name of a river in New South Wales. From this name comes this quasi-French girls' name, which is quite common in Australia.
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MirriHeart

  • Origin:

    Australian Aboriginal
  • Meaning:

    "the sun"
  • Description:

    This cute as a button name stems from the Goonayandi word for the sun and can be used as a unisex name.

JockHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Jack
  • Description:

    This is a Scottish pet form of John, the equivalent of Jack in England. Has long been used as a generic name for a Scotsman, here it's a generic name for a--well--jock.

IlukaHeart

  • Origin:

    Australian Aboriginal
  • Meaning:

    "by the sea"
  • Description:

    This Yaygir Aboriginal name is the name of two towns in Australia and is also occasionally spotted as a name. Meaning "by the sea" the name is perfect for beach-going families.

HuonHeart

  • Origin:

    Tasmanian tree name
  • Meaning:

    "huon river pine"
  • Description:

    A name gaining recognition in Australia, based on the huon pine tree which grows in Tasmania. Boatbuilders especially love this rare wood, which floats well, is resistant to rot, and has a strong pine-y scent.

JarrahHeart

  • Origin:

    botanical name
  • Description:

    Jarrah is the name of a beautiful Australian tree famous for its richly-colored red timber and lovely scent. Jarrah may be used for both girls and boys.
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DimityHeart

  • Origin:

    Type of cotton cloth
  • Description:

    Dimity is fairly common in Australia, but unheard of outside of it, which is surprising given its similarity to names like Amity, Verity, and Cassidy.

JeddaHeart

  • Origin:

    Australian Aboriginal
  • Meaning:

    "wren"
  • Description:

    Love the name wren but need something not quite so trendy? Consider Jedda. Jedda is derived from the word 'djida' meaning "wren" in the language of the Noongar people of Western Australia. Jedda was also the name of the eponymous heroine of the film "Jedda", which was one of the first Australian films to be shot in color and was the first to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival (it was nominated for the Palme d'Or). The perfect name for nature enthusiasts and film buffs alike.

WalkenHeart

  • Origin:

    Australian Aboriginal
  • Meaning:

    "rainbow"
  • Description:

    One of the few rainbow names that is masculine, Walken is a Noongar Aboriginal word.

TaleiHeart

  • Origin:

    Torres Strait Islander
  • Meaning:

    "precious one"
  • Description:

    This name from the exotic Torres Strait region is a gorgeous choice for parents looking for a name that describes just how precious your little one is.
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TasmanHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch, unknown
  • Description:

    When Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman became one of the first Europeans to find Australia, he gave his name to a sea and to an island. in turn some parents have chosen to honor their homeland by choosing this name for their child. Tasma is the feminine version.

AlintaHeart

  • Origin:

    Australian Aboriginal
  • Meaning:

    "fire, flame"
  • Description:

    This Noongar girls’ name has a dainty sound that belies its fierce fire meaning and could easily cross over into the American or European context.

EvonneHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Yvonne
  • Description:

    A variation made famous by Australian Aboriginal tennis champ Evonne Goolagong.

EurekaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "I have found [it]"
  • Description:

    For most, Eureka will be tied up with the bathtub myth of Archimedes' discovery of volumetric displacement, making it linked to the idea of invention, discovery and innovation. Some Australians might more closely link it to the Eureka stockade, a 19th Century rebellion of miners and workers against the colonial British government. Either way, if you are going to use it, consider using the far more harmonious modern Greek pronunciation EVreeka.

VossHeart

  • Origin:

    Germanic
  • Meaning:

    "fox"
  • Description:

    Voss is a German name, that is seen in Norway and Australia (in the former it is associated with a region, in the latter it is associated with the protagonist of Patrick White's novel by the same name). Voss is an interesting alternative to Fox.
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