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Where to Find Inspiration for the Perfect Baby Name

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.

Top 10 Baby Names in Australia of 2016

Top 10 Baby Names in Australia of 2016 per state

Baby name popular australia 2016

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.

How to choose your baby's name

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.

3. Internet

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.

5. Bible

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

  • Jacob
  • Ethan
  • Noah
  • Michael
  • Daniel
  • Matthew
  • Elijah 
  • James
  • Benjamin 
  • Joshua
  • Andrew
  • David

Popular 12 Girl Bible Names

  • Elizabeth
  • Mary
  • Sarah
  • Rebecca
  • Rachel
  • Hannah
  • Bethany 
  • Leah
  • Abigail
  • Deborah
  • Martha
  • Naomi

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.

8. Novels

Novels are a great place to find beautiful names, from classic literature to modern fiction. Here’s a list of literary names for girls and literary names for boys.

9. Baby Name Book

Turns out, people still do use a baby name book to browse for names. You can also get specific books for hipster names, unusual baby names or an epic book of over 20,000 names.

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:

  • Adam 
  • Benjamin 
  • Caleb 
  • Daniel 
  • Ephraim 
  • Frank (for Frankincense) 
  • Gideon 

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers cast

11. Places

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.

12. Poets

Baby names can be inspired by classically famed poets in history.  Cafe Mom has a list of 20 lovely poet-inspired baby names. 

13. Authors

Barnes & Nobel have a list of favourite names inspired by Authors which you can read here

14. Surnames

Some surnames are becoming popular for given names, for example:

For Boys

  • Beckett
  • Brady
  • Carter
  • Cooper
  • Davis
  • Dixon
  • Finley
  • Griffin
  • Lincoln
  • Nash
  • Piper
  • Sullivan
  • Walker

For Girls

  • Adair
  • Addison
  • Ashley
  • Avery
  • Bailey
  • Cameron
  • Delaney
  • Everley
  • Harper
  • Quinn
  • Riley
  • Taylor
  • McKenna

15. Saints

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. 

18. Celebrities

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. 

19. Royals

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.

20. Historical

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.

21. Origin

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.

Where to find inspiration for the perfect baby name

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Ellie Davis
    September 12, 2019 at 1:46 am

    It’s interesting to know that in many cultures, the meaning has a large significance in choosing a baby name. My sister is pregnant, and we are looking for advice to choose her baby’s name. I will let her know that choosing a baby name with meaning could be a great idea.

  • Reply
    Bianca
    November 14, 2019 at 10:52 am

    These are really lovely names.

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