Nature is waking up again! Let’s celebrate by checking out which nature names are the most popular for baby girls right now. Ironically the top 50 list below includes all the seasons except for “Spring,” but it does feature lots of springtime things: flowers, birds, trees…
For this list I stuck to names that are also correctly spelled English words. This means that I skipped names that are non-English words (like Stella and Luna) and alternative spellings of words (like Brooke and Briar). I should also mention that several of the above (including Rowan, Robin, and Clementine) do have more than one etymology to choose from.
The most popular baby names in Northern Ireland were announced a little while ago.
According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, the #1 names were Jack for boys and Sophie for girls.
Here are Northern Ireland’s provisional top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2012:
Baby Girl Names
Baby Boy Names
1. Sophie 2. Emily 3. Grace 4. Amelia 5. Jessica 6. Lucy 7. Sophia 8. Katie 9. Eva 10. Aoife 11. Chloe 12. Lily 13. Ella 14. Mia 15. Ellie 16. Anna [tie] 16. Emma [tie] 16. Olivia [tie] 19. Erin 20. Sarah
1. Jack 2. James 3. Daniel 4. Harry 5. Charlie 6. Ethan 7. Matthew 8. Ryan 9. Riley 10. Noah 11. Adam 12. Joshua 13. Jacob 14. Thomas 15. Conor 16. Jake [tie] 16. Oliver [tie] 18. Dylan 19. Alfie 20. Mason
The highest climbers within the top 20 lists were Aoife (15th to 10th) and Riley (18th to 9th).
Other high climbers were Bobby (124th to 59th), Blake (111th to 71st) and Olly (131st to 93rd) for boy names, and Miley (135th to 79th) and Layla (135th to 83rd) for girl names.
[Very curious about Bobby! Can anybody explain that one?]
Names that decreased in popularity include Calum (down 93 spots), Padraig (-49) and Conan (-28) on the boys’ list, and Ciara (-53), Victoria (-49) and Julia (-48) on the girls’ list.
Finally, here are some of the more unusual names registered in 2012:
I didn’t know that Anzac Day existed until a few days ago, when I read about people named Anzac at the blog Waltzing More Than Matilda.
Anzac Day is celebrated in both Australia and New Zealand every April 25.
ANZAC stands for “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps” — the group of soldiers Australia and New Zealand sent to fight in WWI’s Gallipoli Campaign, which began on April 25, 1915.
The campaign failed, but the efforts of these soldiers gave the two fledgling nations a much-needed sense of identity, and pride.
As a baby name, “Anzac” has been used more often as a middle name than as a first name, and it’s given more often to boys than to girls.
Here are some specifics on the usage of Anzac (and Gallipoli, and Dardanelles) courtesy of the National Library of Australia:
In Victoria for instance, in 1915, seven children were given the name Anzac, one with the name Gallipoli and 24 with Dardanelles or a variation. However, 1916 was the boom year with 153 children named ‘Anzac’ before a rapid drop to just five in 1917, three in 1918, four in 1919 and four in 1920.
All other states also recorded the births of Anzacs with South Australia having 95 named children between 30 May 1915 and 25 April 1928. 24 registrations were made in 1915. This nearly doubled to 46 in 1916 but dropped to just two in 1917, eight in 1918, five in 1919 and a trickle of others to just one born on Anzac Day in 1928. In addition one child in South Australia in each of the years 1915, 1916 and 1918 was named Gallipoli whereas the name Dardanella or similar was given to 19, 43, 10 and four in each of the years 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918 respectively.
Across the ditch in New Zealand there was a similar trend. In 1915 there were nine children named Anzac with two as first names, four with the name of Gallipoli (one as first name) and 38 with the name of Dardanelles, Dardanella or similar. The following year again saw a relative spike in numbers with 97 children now named Anzac (six as first name), four with the name Gallipoli (one as first) and 32 with the name of Dardanelles or a variation.
Here are some WWI-era examples of given names that include “Anzac” (stolen from the WaltzingMore Than Matilda post, with some details added by me):
So…is “Anzac” still an appropriate name for a baby, now that we’re in the 21st century?
Some people don’t think so.
In 2004, Melbourne couple Reimana Pirika and Gaylene George (of New Zealand and Australia, respectively) decided to name their newborn son Anzac. This angered veterans, who saw it as improper use of the acronym.
Australian politician Danna Vale’s opinion was pretty interesting:
She said that after World War I some children were named Anzac in the “spirit of the times”.
“Over the passage of time views have changed, and I, too, encourage the family to consider the concerns of the ex-service community on the use of Anzac as a child’s name.”
Ms. Vale said she would speak to the RSL about action that could be taken to stop Anzac being used as a name.
Are certain baby names only appropriate in the “spirit of the times”? Do they become inappropriate after too many years/generations have elapsed? What do you think?