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Australian Names: Aussie Favorites

Australian 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 girl names that are used around the world include Adelaide, Kiara, Sydney, Talia, and Victoria. Australian boy names also popular in other countries include Darwin, Lachlan, and Miles.

Unique Australian baby names that are uncommon names in the US but have the potential to become American hits include Acacia, Lowan, Lucinda, and Walken.

Many popular Aussie boy and girl names are similar to those names widely-used in other English-speaking lands. The current list of Popular Names in Australia 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

KoaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "warrior"
  • Description:

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

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".

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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".

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.

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.