I had my first baby before the internet was a big thing. I remember meticulously flicking through a pocket book of baby names when I was expecting, hunting for the perfect name both my husband and I agreed on. If I was pregnant today (and I’m not!), I would turn to the internet before a book.
Name popularity over the years is fascinating, and a report of 2016’s most popular names has been released. You can read the full 11 page report by McCrindle here, with page 10 and 11 listing the top 100 names. Below are the top 10 baby names for 2016 and also a break down of names between Australian states.
Choosing your baby’s name is exciting; I asked on the Be A Fun Mum Facebook page where the inspiration for baby names came from. The variety of inspiration sources was surprising, from the common (googling) to the unusual (movie credits). Below is a list of ways to find baby names you like.
1. Family Names
Adopting family names is always going to be a special option. I love the idea of carrying names on through generations. I have done this myself with my son’s middle name. You can even look back a bit further into unknown ancestry history for name inspiration. Ask family members or start your own family history with an online program like MyHeritage.
2. By Meaning
This is actually something I wish I had thought more about. In many cultures, the meaning has a large significance in choosing a baby name. I think this can build on a child’s identity later in life. Behind the Name has interesting links, facts and stats behind names, Meaning of Names you can search under meaning categories or most baby name finder website will have name meanings too.
There are loads and loads of websites that help you find baby names. It can be a good place to start. Below are a few options.
4. Word of Mouth
Some people choose names they had overheard in their every day travels. A good tip is to say the name aloud a few times to see if you like it.
Bible names are a popular choice for name inspiration. You’ll find the names have a very strong and deliberate meaning too. Below is a list of popular Bible names for boys and girls. I found an alphabetical list of Bible Names here.
Popular 12 Boy Bible Names
Popular 12 Girl Bible Names
6. Movies & TV Shows
Movie and TV shows often fuel baby name popularity. Mom Junction has a list of 73 names and the program they were inspired form.
7. Favourite Things
These are a few of my favourite things. Food, beverages, places, and other items have been used as baby name inspiration.
9. Baby Name Book
10. First Letter
I know some families who named their children with the same first letter, or letters in alphabetical sequence. For example, like the brothers in the musical classic, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers:
- Frank (for Frankincense)
Sydney, Brooklyn, Albany, Kent, Florence – there are many names inspired by geography. If you want to browse names by place, head over and use this tool.
Baby names can be inspired by classically famed poets in history. Cafe Mom has a list of 20 lovely poet-inspired baby names.
Barnes & Nobel have a list of favourite names inspired by Authors which you can read here.
Some surnames are becoming popular for given names, for example:
I looked this up, and there are through to be over 10,000 Catholic saints, which is a lot of names to look through. Click here for a list of Catholic saints from A – Z.
16. Credits of Movies
I thought this such an interesting way to look for a variety of names. Next time the movie credits come up, don’t just press the stop button, have a look at what names you can find.
17. Family Name Combinations
This trend is becoming more popular with families: create your own name with a combination of different names.
Celebrities undoubtedly have an impact on popular culture, and baby names are no exception. The Hollywood Reporter lists names inspired by Hollywood, including singers, models, actors and popular characters.
Royal lines can extend for many generations, and if you’re looking for something regal, do some digging down the lines. You can find a list of monarchs in the world by country here.
Antique names Eleanor, Audrey, Sybil, Alice, Arthur, Edward and Isaiah have come back in style over recent years. If you want to see other historical names by year or period, check out this Historical Names article from NameBerry.
A person’s ancestry, cultural or ethnic background can be used to find baby name inspiration. For example, many beautiful and largely uncommon (in certain western countries) names can be found by tracing cultural backgrounds.