Babies’ names

Parents must register the name of their baby before the child is 2 months old. Each year, we learn the most popular names for girls and boys. Last year the most popular girls’ name was Ruby. This is quite an old name, popular in the time of our grand-parents or great grand-parents. These are the ten most popular girls’ names for 2011: Ruby, Olivia, Sophie, Isabella, Charlotte, Grace, Ella, Lily, Emily and Amelia.

The most popular boy’s name last year was Liam. This is an Irish name. Parents often choose names from other cultures but last year Maori names were not amongst the top 10. These are the 10 most popular boys’ names for 2011: Liam, Joshua, Oliver, Lucas, William, Noah, Samuel, James, Benjamin and Jack. From 2005 to 2009, Jack was the most popular boys’ name but last year it was down to number 10. The marriage of Prince William in April might be the reason that many parents chose William.

However, parents are not allowed to call their child Prince. Other names are not allowed like titles such as King, General or Bishop, letters of the alphabet like D, or numbers like Three. The reason that some names are not allowed is because children can become embarrassed when they are older if they have a strange name.


Note the definite article in “the most popular”.
Note the verb choose: past – chose, present participle – chosen; noun – choice


embarrassed – feel shy or ashamed – (a child can be embarrassed, a name can be embarrassing)


Who chose your name? Why was it chosen? Does it have a meaning? Is it a popular name in your culture?

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