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Stories in the papers on the most popular names often have a look at the other end, and tell us which names were least common in 2013. Some of them included:

BOYS: Clinchy, Jetta, Kayos, Magick, Rampage, Shanakee, Xenophon

GIRLS: Asterix, Blendin, Bonniebell, Euphemia, Lingo, Passion, Shiny, Tiger Lily, Vogue, Zipporah

A story from Ballarat focused on mothers who had “bonus babies” long after they thought their families were complete. One of the mums was named Peace, which I thought was a lovely serene virtue name. Another was parenting author Pinky McKay, who has a very colourful name (her hair matches).

‘Tis the Season

The first baby born in Wollongong Hospital on Christmas Day was Fenix Cooper Brudenell. Fenix has a very pop culture name: his first name is after Marcus Fenix from the Gears of War video games, while his second is after Sheldon Cooper, from The Big Bang Theory. Fenix’s siblings are Megan and Austin.

Jonathan Butler and Tahani Curtis, from the Tweed Heads region of New South Wales, were expecting a child on Christmas Day, and seriously considered calling him Jesus if they had a boy. Is this the ultimate Christmas name? They had a girl instead, and named her Matilda.

Saint James the Great church in Melbourne invited people to bring their pets to celebrate Christmas Mass, because baby Jesus was born in a stable amongst animals. Nick Haines and Michelle Nichol brought their three poodles, because as Nick says, “these are our children”. The poodles are named George, Poppy and Lilly – surely some are giving their “fur babies” the names they would have given human children, as this sounds like an adorable sibset … er, pupset.

Fighting Fit Families

Bec Hyatt from Brisbane took up cage fighting in order to lose 80 kg of baby weight. She is now set to become the first Australian woman in the UFC, earning more than $100 000 per fight. Bec’s two sons are Enson and Zake – Enson may be named after American MMA champ Enson Inoue, while Zake is a variant of the Arabic name Zaki, meaning “pure”. It sounds like a cousin of Jake, Zac and Zeke.

Still on the subject of competitive fighting: the children of the Metcalf family from Sutherland Shire are all boxers. Raised by a single dad, and with their trainer as a second father, three of them have fought their way to champion status, with the youngest a promising up-and-comer. Their names are Marizza, aged 18, Axx, aged 16, Lolli, aged 14, and Electra-Shenika, aged 11. If you’ve ever wondered what a sibset that can beat your kids up would sound like, this is it.

Expat Americana

Adam Preston lived in New York City for seven years, with his first apartment over a hot dog joint called Crif Dogs in the East Village [pictured], which calls itself “NYC’s  #1 Weiner”. When he married his Canadian wife Jessica two years ago, they eloped to New York, which has so many memories for Adam. Of course he took her to Crif Dogs, and when they had a baby boy soon after, they named him Crif Benjamin Klaver Preston. The name Crif Dogs came about when owner Brian Shebairo tried to say Chris, his former business partner’s name, while chewing a hot dog. Crif sounds more up-to-date as a baby name than Chris, and even a hot dog place can evoke sentimental memories to be commemorated as a baby name.

Yvette Aubusson-Foley, a former journalist from Dubbo, has been living in the US for more than 18 months, and uneasily watching her three children adapt to local conditions in Tucson, Arizona. They dress up as little pilgrims, develop a slight American accent, and (to Yvette’s horror) happily recite the Pledge of Allegiance – although one defiantly wears an Australian flag for Spirit of America Day. Yvette’s children are daughter Jett, and her sons Phoenix and Dash; names which somehow seem ready to assimilate. Would an Indi, Banjo and Taj remain more stubbornly Aussie, I wonder?

Television

Have you ever watched an episode of Australian reality television show Real Housewives of Melbourne? It tends to get people a little excitable, mostly because the women taking part in the show aren’t actually housewives, don’t have much left of themselves that’s real, and only live in a very limited part of Melbourne. One of the women, Andrea, who runs a plastic surgery clinic and is originally from New York, has three children named Budd, Kiff and Buster (who somehow require five nannies). Their names have caused predictable Internet outrage – especially Kiff, with many demanding to know “what culture” Kiff is from: it’s a short form of Christopher, and therefore a linguistic relation to Crif.

Children’s quiz show Pyramid featured a team consisting of two girls named Eugenie and Prudence. Isn’t that a fantastic pairing of gal-pal names?

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