According to the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs and the Maori Language Commission (Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori), the country’s most popular Maori names during the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015 were Maia and Nikau.
Here are the top 10 Maori girl names and boy names of 2014/2015:
One confusing difference is the absence of Aria and Ariana. Were they reclassified as non-Maori? Otherwise, Aria and Ariana should have come in first and third on this list, given how popular they’ve been in New Zealand overall lately.
Also confusing is the fact that the rankings don’t refer to corresponding periods of time. The 2013 list covers April 2012 to March 2013, whereas the 2015 list covers July 2014 to June 2015.
Norwegian couple Tor-Eric and Eirin Iversen, big fans of Liverpool F.C. (the English soccer team), welcomed a baby girl back in 2010 and named her Karoline Ynwa.
The middle name Ynwa is an acronym that stands for “You’ll Never Walk Alone” — the song that was adopted as Liverpool’s anthem in the 1960s. It originally comes from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel (1945).
Tor-Eric and Eirin weren’t sure about the name Ynwa (which they pronounce “yee-nwa”) at first, but it grew on them over time. Before Ynwa they’d considered the name Gerrard (for Steven Gerrard) but decided that Gerrard wouldn’t work well for a girl.
Pål Christian Møller, head of Liverpool FC Supporters Club Norway, says the Liverpool-inspired baby name he sees most often is simply “Liverpool.” (He said if he could give himself another name, he’d add Oliver and become “O Liverpål.”) Another acronym-based Liverpool name he’s seen is Tia, which stands for “this is Anfield.” Anfield is the stadium at which Liverpool F.C. has been playing since the 1890s.
Now that news of a child named Ynwa has surfaced, do you think Liverpool fans in England will start using the name? And, if so, do you think Ynwa will ever reach the minimum usage requirement of 3 babies per year to be included on a future England and Wales baby name list?
This is the second-ever official list of popular Maori names, and it’s very different from the first list (2012). Notably, half of the girl names and nearly half of the boy names above are brand new. Two of the newbie boy names, Ari and Niko, now rank 2nd and 4th respectively.
A conversation with commenter elbowin a couple of weeks ago prompted me to do a bit of research on Maori names. And what did I stumble upon while doing that research? An official list of the top Maori baby names of 2012:
14. Te Ariki
16. Te Koha
The list was created using data from the Births, Deaths and Marriages registry of NZ’s Department of Internal Affairs. How?
The results are for the first name given to nineteen thousand Maori babies (by descent) registered in 2012. The analysis found that Maori girls are more likely to be given Maori names.
So, they tallied up and ranked all the Maori names given to babies of Maori descent. (In case you’re wondering, 61,178 babies were born in New Zealand in 2012 and 33% of these babies were of Maori descent.)
I do wish the press release had included some raw numbers, or at least mentioned what percentage of Maori babies got Maori names in 2012. Because, without this information, there’s no way to know what sort of influence (if any) Maori babies getting Maori names had on the overall 2012 list.
For instance, the top two Maori girl names, Maia and Aria — which aren’t exclusively Maori in origin — ranked 30th and 38th nation-wide. Would they have ranked as well if they hadn’t been so popular among the Maori specifically?
Anyway…it’s a cool list, regardless. Thanks, elbowin, for all the thoughtful comments. :)
The most popular baby names in England and Wales were announced last week.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the region’s top names were Harry for boys and Amelia for girls.
Here are the top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2012:
Top Girl Names
Top Boy Names
The England-only top 20 included all of the above except for Archie (not Leo) on the boys’ side.
The Wales-only top 20 included Dylan, Mason, Logan, Tyler and Isaac (not Samuel, Daniel, Oscar, Max or Muhammad) for boys and Seren, Megan, Ffion and Layla (not Isla, Chloe, Freya or Charlotte) for girls.
Newbies to the England and Wales top 100 are…
Hugo, Sonny, Seth, Elliott, Theodore, Rory and Ellis for boys. (Out are Joel, Hayden, John, Ashton, Jackson, Ben and Reece.)
Mollie, Ivy, Darcey, Tilly, Sara and Violet for girls. (Out are Lexie, Lauren, Rebecca, Tia, Nicola and Kayla.)
Here’s a selection of names from the other end of the list (each given to 10 babies or fewer):