Wacky Australian Baby Name Trends
Names with a spelling twist, royal babies, unisex names and other baby name trends coming to a nursery near you!
Practical Parenting Parenting Reviews Editor / April 05 2023
I just know I’m going to get a heap of hate mail after this story, so I’m declaring a few things upfront before we get to the coveted wacky baby names list I know you’re all desperate to see.
I just know I’m going to get a heap of angry emails from parents whose baby name appears in this story, so I’m declaring a few things upfront before we get to the coveted wacky baby names list I know you’re all desperate to see.
- It’s absolutely true that my own name (Franki with an ‘i’ and no ‘e’) has been declared wacky numerous times by many people over the years. It’s also true that I have had multiple arguments with people who insist my name is short for Francesca or Francis or something other than my actual name despite me arguing contrary.
- It’s also absolutely true that I named my son Louis (French spelling, phonetically pronounced Loo-eee), and I also continually correct people who call him Lewis. And yes, all my friends asked me … ‘why would you spell it the French way?’ Short answer: Because I wanted to, OK?! P.S He was born before Prince William and Kate had their little Prince Louis.
- But waiit, there's more... Just to prove how experienced I am in wacky names - my eldest son, Maxwell, has a Scottish surname that is pronounced ‘Mingus’, but spelt Menzies. I’m sure you can imagine the issues we have with that and random strangers telling us we – the parents - have pronounced his surname incorrectly!
- And, because I’m on a roll… obviously what I deem ‘wacky’ may not be described as ‘wacky’ by the parents who named their child said name. And when I say “may not”, that’s a very BIG “MAY NOT!”
Now that the housekeeping’s out of the way, may I present…
Wacky Australian Baby Name Trends
All for your scrutiny, judgement and amusement.
1. Names with a spelling twist
Yes, this is moi (Remember me - Franki with an ‘i’ and no ‘e’?). But, alas, it turns out I’m in good company, with fellow name Sahers:
- Tayla, Taylah and Taylor
- Mikayla and Makayla
- Maddison and Madison
- Jackson and Jaxon
- Lilly and Lily
- Sophia, Sofia and Sophie
- Mohamed, Mohammed, Mohammad, Mohamad, Mohammad and Muhammed
According to the Registrar of NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages (BDM), “Parents may opt for an alternative spelling of a name for cultural reasons, due to a family history attached to the name or because they want their child to stand out from the crowd. It’s important to choose wisely as your child will probably carry their name for life.”
2. Right royal names
Don’t even think of naming your baby with a Royal title such as Majesty, Prince, Princess, Queen or King … these right royal titles are all prohibited under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (the Act).
That said, there’s nothing stopping the oodles of parents who named their offspring after Royal siblings and their family. According to NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages (BDM), William is the second most popular boy’s name for the fourth year in a row (latest available statistics 2017). Harry jumped from 27 to 21 in the 2017 most popular baby charts – and that was before he met Meghan, got engaged, walked down the aisle and toured Down Under. ‘Harry’, me thinks, is about the skyrocket. Little Prince Louis, the third baby for Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and William, born April 23, 2018, is also likely to soar up the 2018 charts, according to NSW BDM. His big sister, Princess Charlotte, ranks #1 (NSW BDM 2017).
3. Anything but our parents name…
I find it odd that none of the current baby-making generation are naming their children after their parents. Or am I the odd one? Both my boys have my father’s given and middle name as their middles names. However, if you compare this list of Most Popular 1959 Versus Most Popular Names 2017, there’s not a Tom, Dick or Harry that appear on both.
4. Unisex names
OK it’s not wacky, but it is a bit of an unusual trend, don’t you think? I can say that because, in case you missed my previous three announcements, my name is Franki. And, having grown up in classrooms filled with Nicole’s, Melissa’s, and Amanda’s, all I wished for as a youngster was a feminine name – and long blonde hair that I could flick over my shoulders (as opposed to a poo brown curly mop). I guess it didn’t help that I looked like a boy, and hung around with boys playing British Bulldogs at every opportunity. Hmmm. The real question is, did my unisex name determine my androgynous youth or was it a pure coincidence…? I’d be interested to hear from other’s with a unisex name.
Anyway, as an adult, I find it wacky, liberating and comforting to discover a load of unisex names hitting the Most Popular Names Charts.
Western Australia knows the score, with Charlie (50), Billie (49), Peyton (46), Frankie (45) and Mackenzie (41) making the top 50 list for 2017.
Got a wacky, unique or interesting baby name story to share?
Tell us in the comments section below. We love a wacky or wonderful names story!