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Caro
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Caro

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PostSubject: First names popularity   First names popularity EmptyWed 01 Jan 2020, 00:31

Names popularity come up regularly at this time of year and this is a great interest of mine. This article was on our Radio New Zealand site today; they say they have tracked the names since 1900, but then talk about the popularity of names for the last 100 years. Unusual for RNZ (as they call themselves now) to make this mistake. And they say none of the names are now currently popular then mention Sarah in both lists. (I may have misunderstood what they meant here.) 

I have kept a list of the names in the newspapers till this year, but so few people now put them in that I am discontinuing this. But my first thought was these names were, as expected, all British. My second thought was they must have come with the Norman Conquest, but lots of these are Biblical, though I expect in Hebrew they were very different, then changed to Greek and Latin before taking on their English form. The top names in NZ over the past few years have been Oliver, Charlotte and Olivia. 

We do have rules on what names can't be used: anything suggesting titles, eg King, Royal, Royalty, Queen or anything resembling these or including them. There was a bit of an online fuss when Lucifer was not allowed; likewise God or Allah would not be allowed but prophets like Jesus and Mohammed would be not that Jesus is used to any extent in NZ. Of course children coming into the country with these names would not have to change them and there is nothing stopping parents from informally calling their kids what they like. 

On a slightly different note for the first time Singh was the most popular surname in the last year for children born, knocking out Smith, and the Khan was third. I feel that I have heard Mohammed is the most popular name for newborn babies in Britain.


They said: The Department of Internal Affairs has compiled a 'Top Baby Names of All Time' list, tracking the trend in baby names between 1900 to 2019.
The most popular name used between 1919 and 2019 is John, which saw its peak in 1947, with more than 1600 boys receiving this name.
While the number of boys and girls born is about the same, the variety of boys names has traditionally been narrower, so the top name for boys has many more than the top name for girls.
James, William, Thomas and Elizabeth have been the most consistently popular over the past 100 years, with most other names having a clear peak.
Most of the top 20 girls' names peaked before the 21st century, with Emma, Sarah and Jessica the most recent to peak in popularity.
The current top names do not feature in this list of the most popular names ever.
Top 10 Boys Names:
John, David, William, James, Michael, Robert, Peter, Thomas, Andrew, Paul.
Top 10 Girls Names:
Margaret, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Patricia, Susan, Helen, Jennifer, Christine, Karen.
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LadyinRetirement
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LadyinRetirement

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PostSubject: Re: First names popularity   First names popularity EmptyWed 01 Jan 2020, 16:22

Caro, I don't want to "spoil" the ending of a show in case anybody ever watches it but it's no secret that a lot of watchers of Game of Thrones didn't like the ending.  There were some jokes about some people having called their children after one of the characters and there being a possibly negative connotation with the name now.

There does indeed seem to be something of a coming and going of popularity in names.  I was quite surprised to learn not so long ago that at one time "Marion" was not unknown as a boys' name as well as a girls' name (star of westerns from my childhood John Wayne was brought up as Marion Morrison I believe).  My mother had three christian or forenames - one was after her grandmother; apparently in those days it was the done thing to call a girl after one or both of her grandmothers.  My mother was never known familiarly by her grandmother's name (Agnes) though but by what would be I suppose her third forename.  Without doxing myself my real life name made the top 10 in the list you give for New Zealand.  There were a couple of other girls with the same name in my class at senior school.  I've noticed in the UK (or my part of the UK) that over the last couple of decades some names which had become considered old-fashioned have made something of a resurgence.  Poppy, Lily etc are not uncommon.  Some former neighbours of mine had (well still have but she's grown up now and they've relocated) a daughter called Hayley - though their daughter was born in the 1990s some time after Hayley Mills's time as a child actor (though I don't think HM stopped acting - she just wasn't so much of a household name).  I've also noticed that there has been a tendency for children to be given names that were once short-forms such as the names "Alfie" or "Jake" rather than Alfred or Jacob going on the birth certificate.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: First names popularity   First names popularity EmptyTue 14 Jan 2020, 18:15

I've mentioned on another thread that I'd been doing a bit of family history over the quiet Christmas/New Year period. Having been trawling through numerous eighteenth century parish records, I was reminded of how families, then, kept to the same very limited number of different christian names. Having followed four generations of  the same family, boys were nearly always called George, John, William, Joseph, James or Henry, while girls were almost invariably named Ann, Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, Eleanor or Sarah. As most of these families had around a dozen children each, in many cases there might well be two siblings with the same name, and in one case three, albeit not all alive at the same time as the second William and the third William were likely named after the first William who had died in infancy, and who in turn was clearly named after William his grandfather (his father's father). It must have got very complicated - it certainly has been for me in trying to work them all out. 

These successive generations of the same extended family were all rural folk from a few small villages in East Sussex and Kent, but I've seen much the same conservatism in naming children from another branch of ancestors living in the urban development of North Tyneside, from Newcastle through Byker and out to North Shields. Unlike my southern English ancestors, my northern kin not only stuck to the same limited choice of names but seem to have generally used them according to a rule:

The first son was named after the father's father.
The second son after the mother's father.
The third son after the father.
The first daughter after the mother's mother.
The second daughter after the father's mother.
The third daughter after the mother.

This I think was a fairly common naming fashion in Scotland at the time (mid 18th to mid 19th century) and the family were indeed originally from Fifeshire.

Returning to my southern kin, amongst all these repeated christian names, there is one that stood out as different: the fourth daughter of George and his wife Elizabeth, was named "Nanny-Norman". I wonder what suddenly prompted this unusual name? Other than this lass, and two occasions of girls being baptised Mary-Ann, a second christian or forename does not really make an appearance, at least in my family, until the 1860s. Two forenames initially occurs as combination of regular names, eg George Edward, William John etc; and then from the 1870s onwards increasingly with more original combinations; such as Frederick Thomas, Beatrice May, Albert Eli, and even some with three forenames. However none of my lot had more than three forenames and certainly nothing like the well-know TV cook, Clarissa Dickson-Wright who was baptised: Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmerelda Dickson-Wright. (Note to Temp, Trilby is a good name for a cat, I think).

Seriously though, when did second and third forenames become normal?
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: First names popularity   First names popularity EmptyTue 14 Jan 2020, 21:27

Yes, I have read of the rules for naming in Scotland, though I don't remember what they were. I do remember going to my family's main graveyard and seeing Andrew, son of John, son of Andrew, constantly. My grandmother and grandfather who were both Scottish but married in NZ after courting for 10 years by correspondence (I typed up my grandmother's letters once long ago and was quite chuffed to find them in the Dunedin library recently, though only available by asking). They were called Andrew and Barbara (nee Hamilton) but only had four sons, the eldest Andrew Loudon (always called Loudon), the second one my father John Hamilton which I think was my grandmother's father's name, the third one William Watson (called Watson) and maybe named after a friend of the family though my grandmother had a brother Bill and the next one Arthur Bryce (called Bryce) and I have no idea where his name came from. I have the last two round the wrong way. Uncle Watson was the youngest. 
I had another uncle who was Robert Bryce and was always known as Bryce. I used to sometimes think my sister and I were probably the only people in NZ with two Uncle Bryces (though Bryce has become surprising popular in recent years). 

To answer your last question, my grandmother had a second name (though it was a surname, Thomson) but my grandfather didn't, which has proved a difficulty in finding out what ship he came to NZ on.
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LadyinRetirement
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LadyinRetirement

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PostSubject: Re: First names popularity   First names popularity EmptyThu 16 Jan 2020, 11:30

"Kylie" went through a phase of popularity and there are now some adult Kylies.  The name probably became popular after the emergence of the actress/singer Kylie Minogue on the Neighbours Australian TV show in the 1980s.  I'm not sure where Ms Minogue's parents drew the inspiration to call her thus but I read that the Australian writer, Kylie Tennant, was actually named Kathleen but couldn't pronounce her name properly as a young child - it came out as "Kylie" and Kylie stuck.  I knew of something like that happening in real life.  A lady I know had a sister "Patricia" shortened to "Trish" and as a child the lady said "Trees" (with a soft 's' not as in "trees" with an arboreal connotation) and her sister still gets "Trees" sometimes (not always) now.

Edited: a 'not' too many - and I don't think I can blame that error on autocorrect.


Last edited by LadyinRetirement on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 15:33; edited 1 time in total
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: First names popularity   First names popularity EmptyMon 20 Jan 2020, 15:32

A lady I know has a daughter called Teagan and I always assumed that it was after the character in Dr Who before the Doctor was resurrected for the 21st century.  Teagan in Dr Who was an Australian air hostess.  However I've found out the name is much older and has an Irish provenance meaning 'Little Poet' - and is a variant of Tadgh!!
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