Marlie-Mae, Gracie-Mae, Mila-Mae… you may have noticed the trend.
Aussie celebs are giving their baby girls hyphenated names with a sweet, old-fashioned sound. The Bachelor’s Matty J and Laura Byrne went for Marlie-Mae, Bachelor In Paradise’s Simone Ormesher and partner Matt Thorne chose Gracie-Mae, while Married at First Sight’s Davina Rankin and boyfriend Jaxon Manuel decided on Mila-Mae.
So where did this all come from?
Although these names might sound American – think Elly May Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies – this is actually a huge British trend that seems to be just taking off in Australia.
In 2015, The Telegraph revealed there had been an “explosion” in hyphenated names, especially for girls, in the UK. In fact, one in six baby girls was being given a hyphenated name. Hyphenated names ending in Rose were the most popular, but Mae was close behind.
Side note… these are the baby names we’re falling out of love with. Post continues after video.
A look at the UK’s top 1000 girls’ names from 2017 shows Amelia-Rose, Isla-Rose, Ella-Rose and Lily-Rose all in the top 300, while Lily-Mae, Gracie-Mae and Ellie-Mae all make the top 500.
The trend is even bigger among young mums. For babies born to women under 25, both Amelia-Rose and Ava-Rose make the top 100 names.
What’s the appeal? Peter York, a commentator on British class trends, told The Telegraph that hyphenated names sounded “mock-posh” to him.
“Anything with involving a dash I think people think of as being sort of posh,” he explained.
UK names expert Dr Jane Pilcher has a different theory. She thinks that parents are trying to make their children uniquely identifiable without giving them “really wacky” first names.
“Having a combination of two fairly standard names might be a way of people making their child more of an individual,” she told The Telegraph.
This theory has the ring of truth to it. A lot of parents love old-fashioned names, but there are only a limited number of really good ones to choose from (no, we’re not quite ready to revive Gladys just yet). So if there are dozens of Avas and Lilys around, at least your daughter can be Ava-Rose or Lily-Mae.