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Name Trend Predictions for 2016
Social researcher Mark McCrindle, whose company collates the national Top 100 each year, has made his annual predictions on what name trends we will witness for next year.

1. Currently popular names will lose popularity
McCrindle says that names have about “a decade of popularity”. I’m guessing he’s referring to the Top 10 as “popular”, because it’s not uncommon for names to spend half a century or more in the Top 100. As such, Charlotte and Emily are slated to go down in popularity (these seem like VERY safe bets, as Charlotte has already gone down, while Emily has been decreasing in popularity since the late 2000s). Likewise, it’s bye-bye to Noah and Cooper.

2. Short names
Long names are generally declining, while short names are holding steady. He’s predicting more Eve, Gia, and Ivy for the girls, while Ash, Ed, and Max seem like reasonable bets for the boys.

3. The 1950s are back in style
Our grandparents names are now starting to seem a lot cooler, while still having that reassuring feel of familiarity. Why not Judith, Robyn, and Heather for girls, and Bernard, Stephen, and Andrew for boys?

4. Names with staying power
The babies being born now are predicted to have longer lifespans and continue working for longer than ever before. Solid names that sound equally good on a baby and an elderly person are advised for this generation. He thinks Audrey, Olivia, and Violet fit the bill for girls, while Daniel, Edward, and William are names for boys that will withstand the test of time.

5. Uncommon names will become more common
The number of babies with a Top 10 name shrinks each year, which means we’re selecting from an ever-wider pool of names. He suggests Olive and Sage for girls, Orson and Sawyer for boys (Olive is already in the Top 100, so not actually all that uncommon – could the pool be smaller than reported?). Also it looks like it’s nature names for girls, surname names for boys.

Predictions for 2016 from the Northern Territory
A rather confusingly-written article from the Northern Territory News says that it has a list of 60 “predictions” for next year’s popular baby names in the Territory. Where this list comes from they do not say – it may be a list of names actually registered this year, or perhaps a psychic vision from a local swami able to penetrate the birth registry through the Veil of Illusion with their Third Eye.

Some of the names on the list are Aspen, Cairo, Cleo, Darwin, Devon, Herbert, Khaleesi, Lawson, Miller, Monroe, Niles, Presley, Virginia, and Ziggy. Rather depressingly, the Arabic name Safiyaa is considered to be “made up”.

In any case, these sixty names will not all be on the popular list for next year, as the Northern Territory only has a Top 20.

Grandparents Naming Rights – Should They Have Any?
Seniors website Starts at Sixty discusses a naming trend they read about in the New York Times – rich people bribing their children with hefty financial incentives for the right to name their grandchildren. One reason for the trend is said to be the shift away from traditional naming practices towards choosing something more unusual.

The SAS writers have a bob each way by both condemning the practice, and saying that if their children were going to pick something outlandish like Apple, they’d be reaching for the chequebook quick smart. They suggest a compromise: grandparents can’t choose a name, but they get free right of veto.

Well sorry grandparents but I don’t even support a free veto, and if you read this article, you will see why! Some people would veto even common names.

I’m happy to say that most of the seniors who commented said that it was the parents’ right to name their own children, and reminded the website that they had already got to choose their own childrens’ names.

They also reminded us that this is hardly a new trend – one had a grandmother whose mother paid her to name her son Owen. Grandparent disapproval is nothing new either, as others reported that their own choice of baby name was greeted coldly by their parents. Others did report some success at suggesting baby names without resorting to bribery, so no need for grandparents to give up in despair either.

Banned Baby Names
There’s a list of banned baby names in Australia doing the rounds, copied from Scoopla. Supposedly these names were all banned in 2015, which is nonsense – I have seen these names before on lists going back for years. Some of them may be urban myths, as there is no source given for this (mis)information, while others may be simply hypothetical examples given by birth registries, and not actual names submitted for registration.

Read for fun, but with so many grains of salt that you will need to drink copious amounts of water for the rest of the day.

POLL RESULTS
People’s favourite baby name trend trend for 2016 was names that sound equally good on babies and the elderly, gaining 43% of the vote. Their least favourite was 1950s names, which 11% of people voted for.

Most people (62%) thought that grandparents should be free to make baby name suggestions, but with no expectation that they would be followed. However, a significant minority (36%) felt that they should stay out of the baby naming process altogether. 1% thought that grandparents should be allowed to veto a name they hated if it was very strange, and one person thought that if grandparents wanted to choose the baby name, they could pay for the privilege. Nobody was in favour of grandparents being allowed significant input into the baby naming process otherwise.

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