classic names, hyphenated names, name studies, popular names, popularity, punctuation in names, unique names, unisex names, variant spellings
John and Margaret – #1 in Australia Since Forever
News Ltd analysed all the name data in Australia since 1790, and have found that the most popular names in our history are John for boys, and Margaret for girls. Nearly 262 000 boy babies have been named John in the past 220 years, and 96 458 baby girls have received the name Margaret.
While John is oodles ahead of the #2 boy’s name, David, Margaret wasn’t far ahead of Sarah, Elizabeth and Mary.
Most Consistent Performers
William and Mary have appeared in the Top Ten for each year more often than any other names.
Top Ten Then, and Now
Only two names in history have managed to make the overall Top Ten and the Top Ten of 2011 – William and James. That shows how tough it is to choose a name which is truly “timeless”. And for a girl, apparently impossible.
Numbers of Names
112 689 different names have been used between 1790 and 2011 – 76 459 female, and 46 230 male. Much more variety in girl’s names, it seems (although I wonder how many of those are just variant spellings?)
51 293 females and 31 042 males have received unique names in our history (again, is this including variant spellings?)
The Gamut of Unique Names
Girls – Aab to Zyrkia-Lee
Boys – A to Zzak (aha, I knew it was just variant spellings!)
Differences Between States
South Australia: The most relaxed about gender, with a number of boys called Sharon, and girls named George, David, John, Stephen and Trevor. (Or else they just have more clerical errors than any other state).
Victoria: The most likely to abandon old-time names, with Basil, Cecil, Agnes and Eunice completely out of use since the late 1920s to early 1930s. (This seems rather selective).
Queensland: The most likely state to have hyphenated names and/or apostrophes in their names. Examples included Lospipeli-Fakamanatu-He-Lotu-Ka, Onyx-Z’Xyon, Zche-Ztev’n and Bendeicta-Malia-Eva-I-Loto-Mua.
Tasmania: The most fond of variant spellings for names (I can attest that this one is quite accurate).
Please note that Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory declined to share their name data, which must make the study incomplete.
Worst Names Ever, According to “Experts”
These names were voted the worst of all time, by a panel of un-named experts. (Probably just the journalists and a couple of their friends). See if you agree!
- Zzak (I think they just lazily went for the last name on the list)
- Aeneas (philistines)
- A, B, C, D etc (I think they lazily just went for the first name on the list)
- Niño (I think they’re daft to say this is a bad name)
- Ace (ridiculous that this makes the Top Ten of worst names!)
- Bacardee (plain snobbish to make this the #1 worst name in history)
- Kataraina-Heneti-Teowaena-Hune-Maera (cultural diversity – boo! hiss!)
- Tinkerbell (bit predictable to go after this one)
- Lotus-Moon (ditto)
- Dare (I fail to see the horror)
- Abbegaile (no WAY is this the worst variant spelling in history! I even know how it’s said!)
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I was entertained right up til the ‘worst’ lists. Then I just felt cross.
I also found it rather annoying.