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A new study on how parents choose their children’s names is being undertaken by Dr Deb Dempsey from Swinburne University of Technology and Associate Professor Jo Lindsay from Monash University.

“Naming decisions may be guided by culture and tradition. They may also be shaped by our sense of connection or belonging to family history, other identity issues, personal taste and fashion,” Dr Dempsey said.

The Preliminary Results:

50% just like the sound of the name

20% base their decision on cultural significance

15% choose a name that suits their surname

11% name their children after a celebrity or book character

4% are inspired to use the name of someone they admire

How These Children Received Their Names:

Charles: A traditional name that can be modernised to give more options. Also, a short name to match a very long surname.

Kiera: A variation of the Irish name Ciara, to reflect her Irish mother’s heritage.

Milla: A Slavic name to recognise her Croatian grandfather’s background.

Ezie (Milla’s brother): Mother saw the name on another child, and liked it.

Omer: Chosen for her father’s Israeli background.

Brooke: Her mother always liked the name.

Henry: Chosen to reflect his father’s English heritage.

More participants are needed, and Australians may participate by taking the survey here.

There aren’t many Australian studies done on baby names, so I am happy to publicise this one. I have done the survey myself, and it only takes about 10-15 minutes, and does give you the opportunity to share your own “name story” – it’s not just ticking boxes. I hope any Australian parent reading this will take part.

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