Baby names – boy and girl –Â the top 100 New Zealand names, top Maori names and other names,Â as well as things to consider when choosing baby names.
Are you searching for ideas for baby names? Below, check out a list of International favourites and a list of NZ favourites.
When considering baby names there are a few things to consider – trends and traditions, nicknames and meanings. Baby names can be quite complex.
Choosing a name for your baby is not something parents often do at the last minute. Most parents start thinking about names from the moment they know theyâre pregnant and some even have names picked out before they conceive. At the very least, thereâs usually a short list of favourites to choose from once baby is born.
All sorts of reasons lead to parents choosing a particular name, and often the hardest part is finding a name that both parents agree on. Some parents look for names which are purposefully unique and distinctive, while others prefer more classic or traditional titles. A new spelling of an old name is one way to get a compromise.
Usually the meaning or origin of a name is also considered, but more often as an afterthought once the name has already been âshort listedâ. Family tradition or remembering a loved one also has a part to play, particularly for middle names. Old-fashioned names are sometimes modernised so that parents can respect tradition, without landing their child with a name theyâll be embarrassed by.
Things to consider when choosing baby names
Just like everything else, there are definite trends in naming your baby. These trends are often influenced by celebrities and major shifts happen every 5-6 years. Whether itâs a celebrityâs baby or the celebrity themselves, donât worry too much about the namesake. Chances are the celebrity will be well and truly forgotten by the time your baby hits their teens and your child will share their name with ordinary people across the world.
Some parents like names which are particularly distinct, and search out names they have never come across amongst their own community. Sometimes these names are chosen for their meanings, but often simply because of the way they sound. Some parents even create names or combine traditional names together to create something truly unique.
Giving your child a unique or distinctive name is a nice way to celebrate their identity, but be aware that as your child grows up, they may not be as grateful as you had hoped. If other children (and adults for that matter) struggle to pronounce your childâs name, then nicknames and teasing can often result.
Some families have a name or names that have been carried down for generations. If you like the name and both you and your partner are happy to use it, by all means do so. If however the name or the tradition makes you gasp, there are ways you can keep everyone happy. Find a derivative of the traditional name that you actually like. Margaret for example could be carried on as Margo or Mariah, and James could become Jaman or Jamie.
If you really dislike the name, but would like to carry on some form of family tradition, have a look through the family tree (after naming my daughter Courtney, I discovered both sides of the family had a Courtney several generations back).
Spelling of Names
Giving a traditional name a unique spelling is a nice way to carve out your childâs identity, but be prepared for people to misspell their name their entire life (even if they are copying it from the correctly spelled version!)
Granted, itâs not necessarily the end of the world, but if you are choosing a unique spelling so that your child can have a distinctive name, then you may want to think again. Jazmin will be called Jasmine, Jhorgia will be called Georgia, and Leigham will still be called Liam. If however you are choosing a unique spelling because you prefer the way it looks, then you should go for it. You child will get used to saying thatâs with 2 râs and an i. Trust me.
Like it or not kids can be cruel, and thereâs little to battle with it except self confidence and resilience. Even with a perfectly plain name, thereâs bound to be something else your child will be teased about (but donât panic about it just yet!).
When choosing a name you might want consider how it can be twisted in the playground, but donât even try to get in the head of an 8 year old â youâll never win. Stay away from obvious teasing taunts like initials that spell rude words, or names that rhyme with less than pleasant words, but other than that youâre better spending your energy on building self confidence and a resilient nature.
Nicknames are a bit of a two-edged sword. Some people believe nicknames are a term of affection, whereas others feel itâs a slur on their identity. If you donât want your childâs name to be shortened, then you need to be directive with your friends and family. As your child grows older, you should be prepared to let them make their own decisions regarding a nickname.
Choosing a short name (or one thatâs hard to shorten) can sometimes help deter nicknames, but not always. I chose my daughter’s names with the âno nicknameâ theory, but already at ages 8 and 10 their nicknames are well and truly ingrained. Courtney has been shortened to Courts, and Eden to Eeds. Go figure?
Meaning or Origin of Baby Names
The meaning or origin of a name can make it extra special, but it doesnât have to be your first consideration. Once youâve short-listed some favourites, you may like to check out the meanings just for curiosity’s sake. Finding that one of your short-list means âweak willedâ or âunfortunate lessonâ, may help you with your final decision.
Follow your Heart
Without a doubt, the most important thing to consider when choosing a name for your baby is ‘what feels right to you’? Logic, tradition, trends and meanings all play a part, but when it comes to the crunch you need to follow your heart.
What are the favourite baby names?
Traditional names are making a definite come-back in New Zealand.Â Look at the latest releases from Births Deaths & Marriages NZ:Â Charlotte, Emily, Ruby, Sophie, Olivia, Isla, Amelia, Ava, Isabella and Ella for girls and for boys Oliver, Jack, James, William, Mason, Liam, Samuel, Lucas, Noah and Thomas all make the respective TOP 10.
Finding just the right name is important, so weâve tried to make it easy for you by gathering some favourite (and not so favourite) names in a whole range of categories.
Top 20 Maori Names*
8 Te Ariki
* The figures were collected from registrations of birth in New Zealand in the 2012-2013 financial year and did not include children born overseas.
Top 100 Popular Names
In recent order ofÂ popularity according to Births Deaths & Marriages,Â a division of the Department of Internal Affairs.
Other Popular Baby Names
Other categories that might get you thinking include Shakespeare, animals, plants and flowers, colours, celebrity names, cars, and emotions. If youâve exhausted every name book and website, start reading the dictionary …. or you may need to resort to “Eeeny, meeny, miney, moâŠâŠ”!biblical NZ meaning meanings origin middle choosing nicknamesÂ
There are several other good name sites on the internet, so if you donât find anything you like here, check out:
Popular website, includes extensive search engine, meanings and origins.