The latest baby name trend? Give your child a name that belongs in a retirement home.


Esmerelda. Rose. Vida. Olive. Everly. Scarlett.

This isn’t the admissions list for a nursing home.

This is a list of the latest celebrity offspring.  Yes, these are the names of children who have just been born.

Eva Mendes, 40, and Ryan Gosling, 33, are the latest celebrity couple to name their daughter one of the oldest names in the book.

When their daughter was born just under two weeks ago, Gosling and Mendes have her the name ‘Esmerelda’.

Do you think they’ll shorten Esmerelda’s name to ‘Esme’ instead?

When I think of Esme I have thoughts of ‘A Country Practice’. Thoughts of a dear old lady wearing an apron, Dame Edna glasses, a husband called Frank and a pet wombat called Fatso.


The name is endearing, nurturing and huggy. And heavenly.

So what is with the trip down memory lane?

I, too, have succumbed to the old-fashioned name loving. My children have pretty old-school names. I swoon when I hear of little babes going by Elsa, Florence, Gwen and Fred.

And so with that in mind, I thought I would break the reason why so many parents are doing away with trendy names with odd spellings and going back to the names that served their grandparents well.

Is everything old new again? 

Yep. It’s called the ‘Hundred-Year Return’ when many of the top names of today are the top names from a century ago.

McCrindle Research has found, “many of today’s most common baby names were popular in the early 20th century and have seen a significant resurgence in the early 21st century”. Names like Ruby are a classic example. It was wildly popular, went off the boil for about 100 years and then boomed in the 1990’s.


Who started it?

The Royals.

A few years ago, my son’s pre-school teacher told me, “it sounds like I’m talking to a room full of Kings and the Bronte sisters”.

Between John, Charles, George, Henry, Edward and William sat Charlotte and Emily.

Here’s looking at you, George.

And ye olde trend kicked off from there …

Does this mean ‘Jennifer’ and ‘Craig’ are going to be trendy in 100 years? 

Pretty much.

It’s highly likely your darling baby is going to announce to you, “mum, we’re calling him Stephen”.

Already the names of most of Australia’s 12 year-olds are dropping off the popular lists.

Names like Dylan, Hayden, Tahlia and Kayla aren’t nearly as popular as they once were.

So, what names are rising to the top? 

Names like Louis, Christopher, Penelope, Harriet, Daisy and Elsie are seeing a resurgence. And aren’t they just the cutest?

Take a look through some of the most popular baby names this year:

Last year, I had a baby girl. My husband and I named her Nancy Rose. You could not convince me of a more romantic and beautiful name. I adore it.

For me and so many of my friends who have named their children after the latest nursing home attendees, they’ll be the first one’s to tell you – it’s an ode to the era. The romance, strength and simplicity of the 1900s.

Snaps to you, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes..

What are your favourite names? Are you looking forward to the end of old-fashioned baby names?