Leo, Theo, Arlo, Hugo: Why all the cool kids are being given names ending in O.


The list of Australia’s top baby names for 2019 has just been released, and there’s one trend you can’t miss. Boys’ names ending in O are the hottest thing around right now.

According to the top 100 compiled by McCrindle, Leo has leapt up to fifth spot. Arlo has come from nowhere in recent years to reach number 35. Theo is at number 79, while Theodore has rocketed into the top 20 (we can assume that a lot of parents who name their son Theodore are actually planning to call him Theo). As for Hugo, the hipster favourite is riding high in the top 50.

Just a decade ago, hardly any baby boys born in Australia were being given names ending in O. You can go back generations without finding any popular ones. (No, Robbo, Dave-o and Wayne-o don’t count.)

Watch: Reddit reveals the worst baby names they’ve ever heard. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

There are reasons why each of these names is on the up. Leo, Theo and Hugo fit in with all the other popular vintage names, like Oliver and Jack. Arlo has that Americana appeal – think Arlo Givens in Justified and folk singer Arlo Guthrie – plus Toni Collette chose the name for her son. (There could also be another reason why Leo is so popular and Leonardo is starting to take off. Is it possible that the girls who watched Titanic over and over in their teens are having babies in their late 30s and are finally able to honour the significance of Leonardo DiCaprio in their lives?)


But there’s a bigger trend behind this all. Boys’ names ending in O are quirky and cool. They’re not quite as cutesy as Archie and Alfie, but they’re not tough and blokey like Jake and Blake either. They feel just right for right now.

Australia isn’t unique here. Brits have fallen in love with baby boy names ending in O too. Leo, Theo, Arlo and Hugo are all huge in the UK. Americans have been a bit slower to catch on, but names like Leo are now starting to take off.

So what’s next? What are the other names ending in O that are about to be massive? Going by UK statistics, Milo should be the next big thing… although for Aussie parents, that might feel like calling a kid Weet-Bix or Vegemite. If Milo isn’t to your taste, there’s Rocco, Otto, Jago, Orlando and Ivo.

Here are the top 20 Aussie baby names for 2019.


  1. Oliver
  2. Noah
  3. Jack
  4. William
  5. Leo
  6. Lucas
  7. Thomas
  8. Henry
  9. Charlie
  10. James
  11. Liam
  12. Alexander
  13. Elijah
  14. Ethan
  15. Harrison
  16. Hudson
  17. Oscar
  18. Mason
  19. Theodore
  20. Hunter


  1. Charlotte
  2. Olivia
  3. Amelia
  4. Isla
  5. Mia
  6. Ava
  7. Grace
  8. Willow
  9. Harper
  10. Chloe
  11. Ella
  12. Matilda
  13. Sophie
  14. Ruby
  15. Ivy
  16. Zoe
  17. Isabella
  18. Evie
  19. Evelyn
  20. Sophia

Source: McCrindle

Is your baby’s name on the list? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature Image: Getty.