For a long time I’ve been aware that many Australian parents, as in other countries, are hoping to find a baby name which is little used, yet isn’t considered weird or bizarre either. I wondered how I could help parents find such names – what information might prove useful to them?
It was easy to know what names are unusual in Australia: I could look through the data and find names that have never ranked here. A much harder task was to decide which of these names were not weird, and still usable.
Eventually, it occurred to me that if a name that was rare here was familiar or popular in other countries, it simply couldn’t be said to be a “bizarre” name. So I began searching for names which ranked overseas, but had never charted in Australia.
I added another “safety measure” to my list: they had to be names I had seen recently used for Australian babies. The only names I would accept were those I had personally seen in Australian use for babies born within the past five years.
No names I had heard of from friends or acquaintances; no names of elderly relatives or people I’d been to school with. They were names I had seen on babies and toddlers in real life, in birth notices, and in newspaper and magazine stories.
It was meant to be a blog entry, and as the list grew I thought it could be an entire blog series. By the end, I realised I’d written a short book.
There are 200 names, and each name has its own entry for meaning, history, famous namesakes, fictional namesakes and celebrity baby names, with an emphasis on Australian examples. Each entry also gives overseas rankings for the name.
I’m making it available as a PDF document for sale at $1.99 through PayPal. Feel like buying it right now? Press this button! It will be sent to the e-mail address associated with your PayPal account.
I’ve also found that writing baby name books is quite addictive, and I’m currently working on something slightly more ambitious. Stay tuned!