Aurora joined the Top 100 in 2015 and was the fastest-rising girl’s name in the country, going up at least 23 places to make #78. Aurora was also new to the Top 100 in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, and among the top-rising names in those states. Princess Aurora is the name of the Sleeping Beauty in the animated 1959 Disney film, and the name received fresh attention after the 2014 live-action film Maleficent, a revisionist re-telling; Princess Aurora was played by Elle Fanning. A golden name associated with true love’s kiss, Aurora shares a similar sound with popular Aria. Already popular and rising in New Zealand, the US, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and Norway, Aurora is rising in the UK.
Billie was another Top 100 debut last year, gaining at least 19 places to make #82, and joined the Top 100 in New South Wales. It was the fastest rising girl’s name in Victoria, where it was already a Top 100 name. Billie first charted in the 1930s and ’40s, and rejoined the charts in the 1970s. It has been zooming up the charts since 2010, when the hit TV drama series Offspring first screened, with Kat Stewart as straight-talking big sister Billie Proudman. This retro name is only a success story in Australia, so has genuine local appeal.
Penelope was one of the fastest-rising names of 2013 when it rejoined the Top 100 that year, and in 2015 it rose 17 places to #62. It was also the fastest-rising girl’s name in Queensland, and among the top rising names in New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania. Chosen by a number of celebrities for their babies, this is a name with star power. Also popular in New Zealand and the US, it is rising in Europe and only just outside the Top 100 in the UK.
Piper has been solidly on the Top 100 since 2008, rising after the witchy TV series Charmed, with Holly-Marie Combs as sensible sis Piper Halliwell. Last year it rose 17 places to #49, joining the Top 50, and was one of the fastest-rising girl’s names in New South Wales. The name was boosted by women’s prison drama Orange is the New Black, starring Taylor Schilling as upmarket drug smuggler Piper Chapman. Already popular and rising in the US and New Zealand, Piper is also rising in the UK.
Eve was last on the Top 100 in 2013, and after a year away returned in 2015, rising at least 14 places to #87. It rejoined the Top 100 in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, and was one of the top rising girl’s names in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. In 2014 Evelyn was one of the fastest rising names, and it is no surprise that clean, stripped-back Eve has taken its place. Fitting in with short V-sound names like Ava and Ivy, Eve is a natural choice for someone wanting the nickname Evie. Apart from Australia, Eve is only popular in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland – it’s used to Anglicise the Irish name Aoife, giving it another layer of meaning.
Harvey debuted in the Top 100 last year, and was one of the top rising names of 2014. In 2015 it did even better, becoming the fastest rising boy’s name in the country, rising 31 places to reach #53, and was one of the fastest rising boy’s names in New South Wales, Queensland, and Tasmania. Harvey benefits both from the fashionable V sound, as in Oliver, and the AR sound found in names such as Archer and Darcy. Harvey also joined the Top 100 in New Zealand last year, and has been popular in the UK for many years.
Theodore was another Top 100 debut of 2014, and last year made significant gains, rising 30 places to #66. It was the fastest rising boy’s name in New South Wales, and among the top rising names in Victoria and Tasmania. Among its many attractions are the nicknames Theo and Ted, already gaining in popularity as independent names – Teddy cannot be far behind, and even Bear is a possible nickname. Theodore is also popular and rising in New Zealand, the US, and UK.
Nathaniel debuted in the Top 100 of 2013, and was one of that year’s fastest rising names. While it fell significantly the following year, Nathaniel has bounced back, rising 20 places to #80, and was one of the top rising boy’s names in new South Wales. This name provides a way to get to popular Nate. A busy namesake for the year was the singer Nathaniel, who released his first album, with the single going platinum and a cover song being chosen as the theme for I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! Nathaniel has been popular in the US since the 1970s, and we seem to be catching up just as they prepare to let go of it.
Beau has been in the Top 100 since the 1980s, so is an old favourite, although it has never become very popular. Nonetheless it had a surprise jump in 2015, going up 19 places to #61, and was the fastest rising boy’s name in Victoria. I had a request to cover the name Beau last year, and I’m impressed by how quickly blog readers tune in to name zeitgeist – Penelope had a huge leap after I was asked to cover it, and now even reliable old Beau has made significant gains. Blog readers know! Beau is only popular in Australia and New Zealand, but is rising in the US.
Carter debuted in the Top 100 in 2014, and last year went up to 19 places to #79; it was also the fastest rising boy’s name in New South Wales for 2015. Surnames are on trend (and not just for boys – hello Piper!), and Carter has that fashionable AR sound shared with Harvey. Carter is already popular in New Zealand, the US, and Northern Ireland, and rising fast in the UK.
The public’s favourite fastest-rising names of 2015 were Eve and Theodore, and their least favourites were Piper and Carter.