Popular baby names in New Zealand, 2010

Flag of New Zealand
Flag of New Zealand

The 100 most popular baby boy and baby girl names in New Zealand have been released. The winners for 2010 were Sophie (again) and Liam (beating previous #1 Jack).

Here are the top 10 lists…

Girl Names

  1. Sophie, 377 baby girls
  2. Olivia, 335
  3. Ruby, 322
  4. Charlotte, 305
  5. Isabella, 286
  6. Lily, 281
  7. Ella, 277
  8. Chloe, 262
  9. Emily, 232
  10. Emma, 228

Boy Names

  • Liam, 374 baby boys
  • James, 333
  • Oliver, 327
  • Jack, 325
  • William, 320
  • Joshua, 298
  • Benjamin, 286
  • Jacob, 285
  • Samuel, 282
  • Lucas, 271

I’m glad no Mongrel Mob names made the lists.

Two interesting names I did notice in the top 100 were Sione and Pippa:

  • Sione, ranked 92nd for boys, seems to be a Tongan name. (There’s no s-sound in Maori.) In the trailer for the film Sione’s Wedding (2006) [vid], you can hear Sione at 0:07, 0:28 and 1:52. Sounds like see-O-nay or see-O-nee, or something in between.
  • Pippa, ranked 95th for girls, is a contraction/diminutive of Philippa. The popularity of this one might be attributable to New Zealand television personality Pippa Wetzell.

Just for reference, New Zealand has roughly 4.3 million residents. So, population-wise, it’s about the same size as Kentucky.

Source: The Department of Internal Affairs – New Zealand Government

Image: Adapted from Flag of New Zealand (public domain)

5 thoughts on “Popular baby names in New Zealand, 2010

  1. Incidentally, Sione is the Tongan form of the name John – in the Tongan Bible, you will find the Gospel according to ‘Sione’. According to the Tongan people I know, it’s pronounced something like SHON-ay.

  2. Thanks Bella. Interesting–I watched a bunch of YouTube videos to hear how the name was pronounced, but I didn’t hear anyone pronounce it with an sh-sound. Maybe there are different dialects of Tongan…?

  3. I have noticed that many of my Tongan friends pronounce ‘s’ more like ‘sh’ anyway…not sure if this is a widespread Tongan pronunciation or just dialectic.

  4. In the film and also from people I know in real life, the name is pronounced See-oh-nay not See-oh-nee.

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