Parents in New South Wales are partial to members of the Royal family and famous authors when it comes to naming their children according to the latest information on the state’s most popular names for newborns.
The State Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages has confirmed in 2016 data that parents tend to stick with the orthodox and leave avant-garde names to the celebrities.
Assistant registrar Ben Finn said word-of-mouth also played a big part in the latest naming trends
“The majority of people don’t seem to be that imaginative,” he said.
“They’ll use names that are in vogue at the time and popular at the time.”
This time, Olivia has cracked the number one spot for newborn girls, alongside the boy’s title-holder since 2014, Oliver.
“We’ve kind of got almost the same name for boys and girls in the number one spot which I think is kind of interesting,” Mr Finn said.
“A lot of people like Ollie.”
Nod to author of To Kill A Mockingbird
There appears to be a resurgence in names that were popular in the early 20th century, Mr Finn said.
“When I was growing up [those names] seemed to be names for older people,” he said.
But names which were popular 10 or 20 years ago, such as Paul, Tracey, Kylie and Warren have disappeared from the top 100.
William and Charlotte were ranked second in their gender lists in a nod to the latest additions to the royal family.
Names Ava and Leo have also made an appearance in this year’s top 10, confirming our obsession with the vintage and dated.
But the hippest addition to the list is Harper — the namesake of To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee.
Regarded as a boy’s name in the 1800s, the popularity of Harper indicates a shift towards using surnames for given names, with Finn, Jackson, Mason and Harrison all making appearances in the top 50 boys names for 2016 (ranked 42nd, 39th, 21st and 16th respectively).
The report also revealed while parents were cherishing the classics, they also had a disposition for informality.
“Sonny and Archie are names that were never names themselves, always nicknames, and now they’ve become names in their own right,” Mr Finn said.
“Harry is 27th and Charlie is also quite popular at 23rd.”
English names top the list despite diverse backgrounds
While the list reflected a 21st-century fondness for nicknames, there is a mismatch when it comes to cultural minorities in Australia.
“Definitely the top 20 still reflect that those Western European or Anglo-Celtic names are still popular,” Mr Finn said.
He predicted seeing Mohammed in the top 20 in coming years but said for now, English names topped the list.
“And anecdotally from when I’ve registered births or had to issue certificates myself, these Anglo-Celtic names are still very popular even among parents of non Anglo-Celtic backgrounds.”
The list also affirmed not only are we carrying old-school names into the 21st century but also their traditional spellings.
“People can be quite creative in how they spell names — but definitely the majority are going for traditional spellings of names,” Mr Finn said.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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