15 May 2024

What's in a baby name? Just don't ask Psalm, Apple or Epponnee-Rae

| Sally Hopman
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Cute names aside, the only word that you really need to use when it comes to your baby is love. Photo: File.

The top baby names for the year are out. If your child is called Oliver, rest easy, it’s still up there. But if his name is Noah, might need to take him away somewhere, with a bunch of his favourite animals in tow, two by two.

Isla is the favourite girls’ name. Sorry Charlotte, you’ve dropped a few spots, but with your background, odds on you won’t end up too badly. Charlotte, Olivia and Amelia have been the only names to hold number one since Chloe in 2011.

Ten new names entered the top 100 for the girls with Amara, Maisie, Margot, Lucia, Lottie, Cleo, Kaia, Callie, Kiara and Zahra all joining the list, while the boys saw eight new names with Miles, Isaiah, Darcy, Tommy, Spencer, Parker, Mateo and Marcus.

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So what names fell out of favour? Bella, Maddison, Riley, Gabriella, Harlow, Claire, Anastasia, Leah, Charlie, Elodie, Jasmine, Quinn, Ali, Logan, Christian, Nicholas, Hamish, Vincent, Connor, Ashton, Dylan and Julian.

Thank you to the NSW Government for collating all this, but do we really care which baby’s names top the popularity list? It could prove tricky if everyone in kinder was called, say, Isla, especially when someone asked her a question.

But you have to feel sorry for children of people who are famous for being famous – and/or for having a big bottom. Kardashians seem to not want to call their children anyone else’s names. One of them is called North West, what if she ventures in another direction? Another is called Truth or Justice or the American Way … or something like that? What happens if that one turns out to not want to live in the United States. There’s also a Stormi – that, too, might be hard to weather in later life.

Donald Trump’s decision to call his son Baron sadly needs no explanation, another Kardashian called her offspring Psalm – what should we read into that? Meanwhile, that Goopy woman called hers Apple. At least it has bite.

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But when you’re so rich you no longer have to count, it doesn’t matter if just X marks the spot were a name should be.

Elon Musk, and his partner called Grimes, yes Grimes, called their child Techno Mechanicus, or, thankfully, “Tau” for short. Their other kids include Exa Dark Sideræl, whom they call “Y,” and son, X Æ A-Xii (formerly X Æ A-12), who sensibly, goes by “X”.

Our favourites, though, are those kids who changed their silly names into something way more sensible, once they realised what their parents had done to them – and that they were old enough to sue.

David Bowie apparently called his son Zowie. Zowie Bowie. Seriously? He’s now known, way more excitingly, as Duncan Jones. Frank Zappa tried to register his son’s name as Dweezil, but authorities wouldn’t accept it. So he called him Ian. Years later Ian changed it back to Dweezil, as you do.

But we kept the best for last. Remember that episode of Kath and Kim when they were trying to think up names for the little treasure who was to become Epponnee-Raelene Kathlene Darlene Charlene Craig (Epponnee-Rae for short)?

It was a close call. Our money was on Enema for a girl and Lupus for a boy.

Noice, different, unusual.

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Before naming your baby, listen to the Johnny Cash song, A Boy Named Sue

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