Top 20 Australian Baby Names That Have Nothing To Do With Kangaroos, Koalas, Or Vegemite
Australia is known for its laid-back vibe, unique wildlife and unusual slang (who remembers the old "throw the shrimp on the barbie" line?), but when it comes to naming their children, they're surprisingly traditional. In fact, one in 10 babies born in the Land Down Under last year were given one of the top 10 names in Australia. It's more of a straightforward list than you might have imagined from the country that gave us Vegemite, koalas, and Chris Hemsworth.
Looking at the front-runners reported by McCrindle Research, a sizable number are identical to the top baby names in England, according to the BBC. Predictably, British parents were more likely than Aussie moms and dads to name their sons George and Harry, no doubt after the two popular royals. The list also echoes the American list of popular baby names of this decade, per the Social Security Administration. Only when you go farther down the Australian list do you find less predictable choices; for girls, floral names (Holly, Daisy, Violet, Poppy, Lily) are in, as are vintage picks like Imogen, Harriet, Millie and Matilda (as in "Waltzing"?). The boys' roster has culture-specific names like Angus, Lachlan, Muhammad, and Bodhi, along with a batch of Biblical choices (Benjamin, Matthew, Isaac, Elijah) and a handful of wild cards like Arlo, Lincoln, Kai, and Sonny.
What about Sheila? Any true Oz resident will tell you that this was never a trendy girls' name. As explained by Australian National University's School of Literature, Languages, and Linguistics, a "sheila" refers to any girl or woman, a term that dates back to the early 1800s.
Let those Yanks keep their Blue Ivys, Birdies, Aces, Apples, and Psalms. If you're looking for a fair dinkum (true) Aussie name for your nipper (child), you'll go with one of these classic and not-too-trendy options. Have a gander at these, mate:
Aussie parents have chosen this female version of Charles for their baby girls more than any other name since 2015. (Over here, it's #10 on our favorites list.) And why not? Whether you associate it with a literary spider, an adorable young princess, or just like the sound of the name, it's a winner.
This Latin name meaning "olive tree" (and its association with peace) has been a top pick in Australia and the UK for ages, according to Nameberry, which calls Oliver an "energetic and good-natured" name.
The feminine form of Oliver ranks second on the list for Aussie girls, just ahead of us (in the US, Olivia is the third-most popular name).
Once a common nickname for John, according to Baby Name Wizard, Jack has taken on a life of its own as a stand-alone name. With its friendly vibe and its associations with everyone from Jack Black to Jack Skellington, it's no wonder it's popular halfway around the globe. (Over here, it ranks at #41.)
This charming German name meaning "work" is a top-10 pick in England, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, and Scotland, according to Nameberry; over here, it falls just short of that coveted ranking, at #12.
Guess we know where loyalties lie in Oz. Although the name of the second in line to the throne is also the third-most popular name in Australia, the name Harry trails way behind at #21. But now that the younger prince is a brand-new dad, maybe more parents-to-be will be inspired to honor him when naming their sons.
Also a top-10 choice for us Yanks, Ava (which may mean either "life" or "bird," said The Bump, depending on the possible origin) has a silver-screen sound that befits the little diva in your house. But it's possible that Australians have made the name so popular because their fellow countryman Hugh Jackman has a daughter named Ava, confirmed Heavy.
This Hebrew name meaning "rest; wandering" (per Nameberry) is also the #1 boys' name in the U.S. Between the two countries, that's a whole lot of two-by-two animal nurseries.
Short and sweet, this name means "mine" in Spanish and Italian, but "beloved" in Swedish, according to The Bump. We love our Mias, too; it takes the #6 U.S. ranking.
It stands to reason that a country with ties to the crown would be fond of a name that's associated with so many English kings (nine in all). The name itself means "estate ruler," which gives a dignity even to the messiest toddler.
Pronounced "EYE-la," this pretty name hasn't caught on as quickly in the States, where it ranks a mere 152nd. Isla is far more trendy in Australia, as well as England, Canada, and New Zealand, explained The Bump. It's derived from the Isla River in Scotland.
An ancient Aramaic name meaning "twin," per Nameberry, Thomas is another timeless name that sounds just as good on a teen or twentysomething as it does on a newborn. It stands at a respectable #51 spot on the American SSA list.
A top-20 pick over here as well as in most British territories, Grace is also the second most-popular girls' middle name in Australia, according to BabyCenter Australia.
This regally leonine name is especially popular in the state of South Australia, according to Essential Baby Australia. In 2017, it slipped out of the top-10 standings in New South Wales.
Americans are almost equally as enchanted as Aussies with this name meaning "all" or "fairy maiden," according to Nameberry. But over here, Isabella is still a more popular choice than Ella, while the opposite is true on the other side of the world.
Derived from the Latin for "light," according to Ancestry.com, Lucas has gained ground in both Australia and the U.S., surpassing the once-trendy Luke by a comfortable margin in both countries.
Aussie parents pick this Greek-derived name meaning "blooming" or "young green shoot" (per Baby Name Wizard) just slightly more often than American families; it ranks #13 here. But over here, the alternate spelling of Khloe (as in Kardashian) also ranks among the top 100 girl names; not so for the Australian list.
Originating from the name Jacob, or "supplanter," James is actually a slightly hotter name in the U.S. than in Australia, but not by much. Back in the '80s and '90s, Jamie was a mega-trendy name for girls, but that fad went out with oxygen bars and fanny packs.
This English name meaning "harp player" has been a top-10 American girls' name since 2015, according to Nameberry. Similarly, it didn't even crack the Australian top 100 baby name list until 2010, according to Essential Baby. Some trend-spotters think the Harper hoopla may have begun with Victoria Beckham, who named her daughter Harper in 2011, according to HuffPo.
Snappier and friendlier-sounding than its origin name William (which is German for "resolute protection"), Liam is the #2 most popular boys' name in the U.S. and has been trendy for some time, perhaps influenced by the popularity of actor Liam Neeson.