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297602-baby-namesThe first baby born in Wollongong for 2013 was Rumi Vassilakoglou; he is named after the medieval mystical Persian poet, whose moniker means “from Rome” (this name for him is not used in Muslim countries, by the way). Rumi’s mum is named Leila, and his younger sibling is Mahli.

Your baby disappearing is every parent’s worst nightmare, but little Minowa Worthington’s story ended happily. Minowa is the name of a Japanese town, and a Japanese surname, but baby name books tell me it also Native American for “one with a moving voice”. They don’t say which language it is from, but I have seen Native Americans online with Minowa as their surname.

A Gold Coast baby born in the Queensland floods was named Sabre Smith. Although his name can be after the sword, putting it in the same genre as Blade or Steel, a sabre is also a class of racing boats – which seems apt for a baby born surrounded by water.

Another water baby is Dwight Anderson, who was born in the bath. I was a tiny bit surprised to see such an old-fashioned name in use … much more surprised to see that Dwight is a girl. Dwight’s sister is named Billie-Jo.

Allegra Bluebelle from Canberra, born in the city’s centenary year, has a middle name after its floral emblem, the royal bluebell. A little girl born on the city’s birthday seven years ago has the same initials as the Australian Capital Territory – Aisha Caitlyn Truselsen. A fisherman has a daughter named Makaira Indica, which is the scientific name for the black marlin (this isn’t connected to Canberra, so not sure why they mentioned it, but there you go).

The Hallett family changed their name by deed poll to Holden, in honour of the make of car. Not content with that, they have given their children Holden-related names too. Their son is named Toree, after the Torana, and his little sister is named Elcee – after the LC generation of Toranas.

An article about “unique” names quoted brothers named Mac and Fonzii. I have no idea why Mac is supposed to be unique, but Fonzii does seem slightly out of the ordinary. He’s not named about Fonzie from Happy Days, which reminds me of the baby named Tinkabell not named after the fairy. Other unusual names of real babies mentioned were Dragon, Justus, Porch, Ever, Notorious, Cash, Lychee and Bandit.

Another article on the same subject, with much the same information, featured a baby boy named Ace Bear Johnson, which strikes me as both cute and sporty (Ace’s sister is named Esmee). There was also a baby girl named Annecy Belle Easton [pictured], named after a French town that her parents fell in love with after they stayed there. She is called Annie for short, and Annecy’s mum also has the name of a French town – Nancy. Article also mentions real babies named Batman, Blaze and Charisma.

Darwin schoolteacher Wendy Green named her racehorse Rogan Josh, after the Indian spice mix, which she saw at the supermarket. She claims that in Tennant Creek, she was asked to baptise a baby, which she did using champagne, and named the baby Rogan Josh as well. You may take this story with as many grains of salt as you wish – but Rogan Josh really isn’t too bad a name. It literally means “boiling oil” in Persian.

Friday’s birth notices included a new baby named Passion Brinessa Ajayla Quinatee Martin, who is the 12th child in her family. The rest of the family are Samantha Jayne (18), twins Shantelle Victoria and Stephanie Catherine (15), Jenaya Lee (11), Shania Kay (10), Brandon Bradley (7), Brandi Shyla Molly Robyn (6), Cruz Richard (5), Clayton Adam Logan (4) and Diammond Sparckle Zedekeyah Lilly Ann (3). Mum is named Brinessa, which is a variety of rose, and quite an unusual name too. She admits she did find it difficult to come up with original names, and turned to an iPhone application for inspiration.

Names of Adults

Lyra Benbow is a primary schoolteacher in the Melbourne suburb of Digger’s Rest who is just about to spend her Easter break doing volunteer work in Uganda. Is anyone else just loving her name? It sounds like something out of a fantasy novel.

Another awesome name from the papers: Eugenie Pepper, who runs a children’s fashion business named Plum. I feel like ringing her number to hear if she answers, “Hello, this is Pepper of Plum”.

Last year, Cressida Moneypenny attended the Anzac Day commemorations in Turkey. Originally from the Gold Coast, Ms Moneypenny was drawn to her name’s spiritual home, and moved to London. Ian Fleming never gave his Miss Moneypenny a name, but I feel sure it should have been Cressida …

The Melbourne Comedy Festival will feature eight comedians named Dave. Why so many funny guys named Dave? Dave O’Neil was a David until he started in comedy – then he became Dave, which seemed more man of the people. Dave Hughes also began as a David, but said he couldn’t make it stick – people just expect a comedian of a certain age to be a Dave, apparently. All the Daves agreed they had been stuck with an uncool name – while a David can be hip or sexy, a Dave is always daggy.

Names From Real Life

A pair of sisters named Ilse and Matine, which I thought went together really well without being in the least matchy. Ilse is a German nickname for Elizabeth, while Matine is based on the French word for “morning”.

Another cute sibset, this time a little hippyish – Lotus, Jewel and Sunny (two girls and a boy). They are names which just make you smile.

Someone I know told me they have a new niece named Berrilee, which is the name of a suburb of Sydney (and one I missed!). It is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning perhaps “mouth” or “food”, and far from being a modern innovation, baby Berrilee is named after an ancestor.

A name I saw on a class list at the start of the school year – Phonique. It’s French for “phonic”, as pertaining to sound, and is used by a (male) DJ in Europe. To me it almost seems like a portmanteau of phony and unique …. and quite technological.

In spring it was Aryan … here’s another name I saw some people find controversial – Gypsy. This is a name more common in Australia than it is in the UK and other European countries, which have significant populations of Romanis or Travellers (who sometimes refer to themselves as gypsies). Romanis are not in fact from Egypt, which is what Gypsy literally means – their origins are from the Indian subcontinent.

Names of Babies Born to People I Know or Know Of:

Girls: Florence, Harriet, Lola, Marina

Boys: Arlo, Gus, Huxley

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