Monday 22 January 2018

15 baby names climbing in Irish popularity - and the celebrity inspiration that could be behind them

Irish parents have been influenced by Game of Thrones and Model Pippa O'Connor
Irish parents have been influenced by Game of Thrones and Model Pippa O'Connor
Georgia Penna
Actor Jack Black and his son Samuel Jason Black
Heidi Montag appeared in Celebrity Big Brother in 2013 and 2017
Lucas is currently the most popular name in Sweden
Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali stands over Sonny Liston and taunts him to get up during their title fight. Ali knocked Liston out in one minute in the first round during their bout at the Central Maine Youth Center in Lewiston, Maine.
Actress Michelle Williams and her daughter Matilda Ledger
Harper Seven Beckham and David Beckham leave the 'Balthazar' restaurant on February 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
Zoe Sugg aka Zoella
Arya Stark
Olly Murs
Daisy Lowe
Pink and Willow
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

When it comes to naming their babies, Irish parents have become more adventurous than ever before.

While parents of newborn baby boys are more likely to stick to traditional monikers, new statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have shown a number of more unusual female baby names have entered the popularity list for the first time in 2016.

Matilda and Willow are the names climbing the list the fastest, each of them having jumped an astonishing 49 places between 2015 and 2016. Pippa O'Connor's influence on the parents of Ireland could be suggested as the name Louis jumped 27 places in 2016, the same year the model christened her second son.

Also apparent is the nation's love of Game of Thrones, as Aria entered the popularity stakes, perhaps influenced by the HBO show's prominent character Arya Stark.

The statistics also show that A-listers continue to influence Irish parents as the name 'Harper', also the name of the the youngest of the Beckham clan, jumped 37 places in one year.

Male names Lucas, Ollie, Finn, and Jason also experienced a spike in popularity this year, according to the figures.

 

The names rapidly climbing in popularity

Matilda

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Actress Michelle Williams and her daughter Matilda Ledger

2016 ranking: 97

2015 ranking: 147

Jumped: 49 places

Matilda, mostly associated with Roald Dahl's genius heroine, was common in many branches of European royalty in the Middle Ages. Derived from the Germanic name Mahthildis, Matilda means "strength in battle".

Famous Matildas : The daughter of Michelle Williams and the late Heath Ledger is named Matilda Rose and was born in 2005.

 

Willow

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Pink and Willow

2016 ranking: 72

2015 ranking: 121

Jumped: 49 places

Tied with Matilda, Willow is Ireland's fastest growing baby name in terms of popularity. The willow tree is often represented in fiction and theatre as 'magical' and represents grace and wisdom.

Famous Willows: The daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith is named Willow. The daughter of singer Pink! is named Willow. A character named Willow was also introduced to Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1997.

 

Harper

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Harper Seven Beckham and David Beckham leave the 'Balthazar' restaurant on February 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)

2016 ranking: 65

2015 ranking: 102

Jumped: 37 places

In the middle ages, musicians who played the harp were dubbed Harpers

Famous Harpers: Harper has been steadily become more popular internationally since the birth of Victoria and David Beckham's daughter in 2011. The daughter of Neil Patrick Harris is also named Harper.

 

Muhammad

baby names (5).jpg
Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali stands over Sonny Liston and taunts him to get up during their title fight. Ali knocked Liston out in one minute in the first round during their bout at the Central Maine Youth Center in Lewiston, Maine.

2016 ranking: 83

2015 ranking: 119

Jumped: 36 places

This Arabic baby name was the fastest growing baby name in Ireland in 2016. The name is the most common given name in the world, and it is estimated that more than 150m men and boys on Earth bear the name Muhammad, or its variations.

Famous Muhammads: Boxer Muhammad Ali changed his name after converting to Islam in the 1960s

 

Heidi

baby names (8).jpg
Heidi Montag appeared in Celebrity Big Brother in 2013 and 2017

2016 ranking: 82

2015 ranking: 109

Jumped: 27 places

Meaning 'noble and kind', the name Heidi became extremely popular in America in the 1970s, when the classic book by Johanna Spyri was made into a TV series.

Famous Heidis : Model Heidi Klum and reality TV star Heidi Montag, who appeared on Irish screens in Celebrity Big Brother in 2013 and 2017.

 

 

Louis

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Pippa O'Connor with her sons Ollie and Louis. Image: Instagram

2015 ranking: 105

Jumped: 27 places

A name with royal associations, perhaps the most notable being King Louis XIV of France. The name is the second fasted growing baby name in Ireland.

2016 ranking: 7

Famous Louis': Irish influencer Pippa O'Connor and husband Brian Ormond welcomed a son named Louis, born in 2016. Louis is also the son of Oscar award winning actress Sandra Bullock.

 

Daisy

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Daisy Lowe

2016 ranking: 87

2015 ranking: 113

Jumped: 26 places

Traditionally a nickname for Margaret, the name Daisy is growing in popularity in Ireland.

Famous Daisys: English fashion model Daisy Lowe

 

Zoey

baby names (3).jpg
Zoe Sugg aka Zoella

2016 ranking: 97

2015 ranking: 123

Jumped: 26 places

A variant of the name Zoe, the name has Greek origins and means 'life'.

Famous Zoeys: Modern parents may have been inspired by Youtube star Zoella (real name Zoe Sugg) who reached 11m subscribers in 2016. Actress Zooey Dechanel of New Girl, voiced Bridget in Trolls in 2016.

 

Lucas

baby names (7).jpg
Lucas is currently the most popular name in Sweden

2016 ranking: 63

2015 ranking: 82

Jumped: 19 place

Lucas is currently the most popular name in Sweden, and the fourth most popular in the Netherlands. Lucas is the Latin form of Luke.

Famous Lucas': Lucas has long been a favourite of script writers. Lucas Scott was the lead character in Noughties drama One Tree Hill, played by Chad Michael Murray.

 

 

Aria

baby names (2).jpg
Arya Stark

2016 ranking: 97

2015 ranking: 113

Jumped: 16 places

Aria is an adoption of the Italian word 'aria' meaning air. Aria also can be linked to ancient Persia, in which case it means 'noble, excellent and honourable'.

Famous Arias: Irish parents may have been influenced by American programme Pretty Little Liars, which features a character named Aria. Game of Thrones fans will recognise that a variation of the name 'Arya', is also the moniker of one of the shows most loved characters Arya Stark.

 

Jason

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Actor Jack Black and his son Samuel Jason Black

2016 ranking: 98

2015 ranking: 113

Jumped: 15 places

The name Jason re-entered the top 100 list of most popular baby boy's names in 2016. 'Jason' is of Hebrew and Greek origin/ It is a variant of Joshua.

Famous Jasons: Hollywood director Jason Bateman and singer Jason Derulo. Actor Jack Black named his son Samuel Jason Black in 2006

 

Ailbhe

baby (2).jpg
Potential IVF blunder investigated

2016 ranking: 91

2015 ranking: 106

Jumped: 15 places

Irish baby name Ailbhe has seen a rise throughout the past year.

Famous Ailbhes: In Irish legend, Ailbhe was a warrior of the Fianna

 

Ollie

baby names (10).jpg
Olly Murs

2016 ranking: 53

2015 ranking: 66

Jumped: 13 places

Ollie is a derivation of the French name Olivier, or Oliver. It is considered to take origin from the old Frendh olivier, meaning olive tree.

Famous Ollies: British singer Olly Murs released his fifth album '24 Hrs' in 2016. Influencer Pippa O'Connor eldest son is also called Ollie.

 

Georgia

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Georgia Penna

2016 ranking: 87

2015 ranking: 100

Jumped: 13 places

The female form of the male name 'George' has experienced a burst in popularity in Ireland this year.

Famous Georgias: Ireland's own Georgia Penna hit the headlines in 2016 after welcoming twin boys with her husband Joe.

 

 

Finn

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The name Finn is rising in popularity

2016 ranking: 20

2015 ranking: 30

Jumped: 10 places

Finn is the older Irish spelling of the name 'Fionn'. Finn was a mythical leader of the Fianna.

The name Finn is also popular in the US, where it placed 43rd on the list of most popular baby names in 2014.

 

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