Last year, the Canadian province of Alberta welcomed roughly 50,000 babies — almost 26,000 boys and over 24,000 girls.
What were the most popular names among these 2021 babies? Olivia and Noah.
Here are the top-10 lists by gender:
- Olivia, 210 baby girls
- Charlotte, 166
- Ava, 165
- Emma, 163
- Amelia, 160
- Sophia, 137
- Isla, 135
- Abigail, 120
- Evelyn and Chloe, 119 each (tie)
- Aria, 112
- Noah, 274 baby boys
- Jack, 219
- Oliver, 208
- Liam, 197
- Theodore, 191
- William, 174
- Ethan, 162
- Levi, 148
- Benjamin, 147
- Henry, 146
In the girls’ top 10, Evelyn, Chloe and Aria replaced Emily and Lily. (Three replace two because of the tie for 9th place.)
In the boys’ top 10, Ethan and Henry replaced Lucas and Owen. (Maverick, which has been rising steadily over the last few years, reached 13th in 2021 and could potentially enter the top 10 in 2022.)
Rare baby names that were bestowed just once in Alberta last year include…
|Unique Girl Names||Unique Boy Names|
|Anangokaa, Arendelle, Bluejay, Chickadee, Chokecherry, Dafflin, Eberle, Finvola, Guillemette, Hemley, Izna, Jisu, Khizra, Lunafreya, Maximina, Nicêhis, Oromia, Pernilla, Queniva, Roux-Zelle, Shimmer, Skadi, Thylane, Ulyana, Valhalla, Winlinna, Xyrille, Yuzuki, Zitra||Atrium, Brome, Calvince, Donlathee, Eberle, Fidelcastro, Gambit, Heimdallr, Itthipat, Jaiku, Kihêw, Kikinaw, Lefty, Makisig, Malësor, Nashford, Orca, Peanut, Qamber, Raistlin, Strive, Te-Ahumairangi, Totem, Universe, Valvatorez, Waseskwan, Xef, Yosiah, Zevry|
Some explanations and/or potential influences for a few of the above:
- Anangokaa means “there are (many) stars” in Ojibwe.
- Arendelle is the name of a kingdom in the movie Frozen.
- Brome refers to various types of grass in the genus Bromus.
- Eberle — given to one girl and one boy last year — could refer to hockey player Jordan Eberle, who played with the Edmonton Oilers during the 2010s.
- Fidel Castro was the revolutionary/statesman who led the island nation of Cuba for nearly five decades.
- Gambit (besides being a word) is an X-Men character.
- Heimdallr (besides being a Norse god) is a Marvel character.
- Kikinaw means “our house/home” in Cree.
- Kihêw means “eagle” in Cree.
- Lunafreya is a character from the video game Final Fantasy XV.
- Makisig means “elegant” or “gallant” in Tagalog.
- Malësor means “highlander” in Albanian.
- Nicêhis means “my little heart” or “my dear heart” in Cree.
- Raistlin is a Dragonlance character.
- Skadi (besides being a giantess in Norse mythology) is a character in the TV series Vikings.
- Te Ahumairangi is the name of a hill in Wellington, New Zealand.
- Valvatorez is a character from the video game Disgaea 4.
- Waseskwan means “the sky is clearing (after a storm)” in Cree.
One other name that stood out to me is Bauer, given to 7 baby boys and 1 baby girl in 2021. I was paying close attention to the hockey playoffs this year, and I couldn’t help but notice “Bauer” everywhere — on sticks, on gloves, on helmets, etc. It makes me wonder how many of the baby Bauers out there (both in Canada and in the U.S.) have been named — either intentionally or inadvertently — after the ice hockey equipment brand.
Finally, here are the 2020 rankings for Alberta, if you’d like to compare.
Sources: Alberta’s Top Baby Names, Olivia and Noah most popular baby names in 2021, Olivia, Noah continue reign as most popular Alberta baby names, The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary, Online Cree Dictionary, Wiktionary