Choosing baby names

Tradition rules when it comes to giving monikers.

By Donna Fleming

It seems when it comes to naming our babies, we like to stick to conventional titles.

The most popular baby names in New Zealand last year were Charlotte and Oliver, according to the Department of Internal Affairs, and other names in the top 10 for both sexes included those that date back many generations and have been on the list for years, such as Olivia, Sophie, Ruby and Ella for girls, and Jack, William, Liam and Samuel for boys.

Isla was among the top 10 girls’ names for the first time, while Harper came in at 19.

Less common names to appear in lists of most popular 100 names included Arlo, Roman, Beau, Archie, Braxton and Levi for boys. Meanwhile Aria, Aurora, Piper and Willow were among the more unusual names for girls, while there were 53 Nevaehs born last year.

It also appears we’re not swayed by what the royals call their offspring – despite the new heir to the throne being named George, the name actually slipped down the list from number 26 in 2012 to number 35 in 2013.

And of other royal names, the most popular for boys were William (number 4), Harry (40) and Charles (59), while for girls the list included Sophie (4), Zara (32), Elizabeth (38) and Kate (81). Pippa came in at 44.

Our most popular baby names lists are very similar to those in other English-speaking countries. In the UK the top girls’ names were Amelia, Olivia, Emily, Ava, Poppy, Jessica, Isla, Sophie, Mia and Ruby, while for boys it was Jack, Oliver, Harry, Charlie, Jacob, Alfie, Oscar, James, Thomas and Noah.

In the US Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Ava, Isabella, Mia, Emily, Charlotte, Amelia and Ella topped the girls’ list, while Liam, Noah, Ethan, Mason, Jacob, Jack, Lucas, Jackson, Logan and Aiden made up the boys’ list.

Top 10 baby names in New Zealand for 2013:

Girls Boys**

1. Charlotte 1. Oliver

2. Emily 2. Jack

3. Ruby 3. James

4. Sophie 4. William

5. Olivia 5. Mason

6. Isla 6. Liam

7. Amelia 7. Samuel

8. Ava 8. Lucas

9. Isabella 9. Noah

10. Ella 10. Thomas

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