Hands up.  Do you have friends who carefully chose unique baby names only to find that their choice turned up on the Most Popular Baby Names list? In some households this can happen more than once, despite the parents’ best efforts.  Isn’t it fascinating how a couple can choose a name because they like it, or it’s a family name, and it turns out to be a popular name when the child enters school. Olivia the cartoon pig had to contend with the shocking news that there will be  a second Olivia in her class.  Then there are the names that don’t appear on the top 100 – think Emmett and Wesley – until, without warning, they appear in the hot and rising name category.

It’s a funny business – choosing a baby name – but it’s also lots of fun.  Of course there’s also the cross-over possibilities for when you search names to use for your pet.  It’s always useful to have a list of favourite names on hand.

Here are the popular names for 2012, so far:

Girls: Alice, Charlotte, Frances, Hazel, Leonie, Penelope, Ruby and Wren.   Also popular: Fleur, Iris, Ivy, Juniper, Magnolia, Hazel, Ruby and Scarlet

Boys: Elliot, James, Kingston, Silas and Walter. Also popular: Gideon, Isaac, James, Jude, Hezekiah.

Nameberry.com hot names on the rise. Girls:  Blythe, Estelle, Aria, Ivy and Adelle Boys: Emmett,  Everett, Weston, Wesley, West, Grayson, Gray, Cyrus and Cato

What are your favourite names? Do you know if they’ve been popular over the years?

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This chart shows trends in the use of a name (in the UK) since 1996.

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