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Baby names – it’s a big call

There are about three opinion pieces you will see published each year without fail, in no particular order they are: Bird of the Year, baby names that were declined by the government, and the most popular baby names of the previous year. I will now present you with my opinion on the latter.

The Department of Internal Affairs said yesterday that after being second place in 2021, Isla was back at the top for most popular girl name in New Zealand for 2022.

It said Isla had been in the top three every year since 2016.

Oliver remained at the top for most popular boy name for the 10th year in a row.

It would be almost on the nose to point out that popular baby names are significantly more boring than the ones that were declined. However, they are.

In a world of opportunity where you could try and fail to name your child Ford Falcon, why would you even bother settling for Oliver?

Harper and Sophie have pushed their way into the top-0 girl names, replacing Isabella and Ella, who haven’t made the cut.

Hudson has joined the top-10 boys’ names, coming in at 9th place. Hudson has replaced Lucas.

The Hudson River is a 315-mile [506km] river that flows from north to south, primarily through eastern New York.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency said for 30 years ending in the late 1970s, the General Electric Company discharged as much as 1.3 million pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs] into the Hudson River from its capacitor manufacturing plants in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, New York.

The PCBs remain in the river sediment.

Additionally, the New York Health Department said people should not swim, boat or recreate in areas of the river because of safety concerns from boat traffic and operating equipment.

“PCB levels in the river water might also be higher when dredging and debris removal equipment are operating in these areas.”

Times Union reported that Hudson city was planning a major modernisation of its sewer system to cut down on leaks, sinkholes, and the millions of gallons of raw sewage the system ejects into the Hudson River each year.

From a quick search, the name Hudson does not quite equate to pristine.

“At least it’s not Huntley,” reporter Helen Holt said over a desk divider.

Despite the connection to the name Hudson, at least the name isn’t Speights Gold Medal Ale Smith. In Hudson’s defence, his name sounds lovely.

Mary remains the most popular female baby name since records began in 1848, and Grace comes in at 28.

For boy’s names, John still takes the top spot with 108,533 babies given the name since 1848.

No matter how basic your name is, it must be good if it’s popular.

With popular names, Karen is the 13th of all time in New Zealand. Although the name has been given a negative connotation of women screaming racial slurs in a takeaway shop, the name Karen should be defended in honour of all other Karens.

Although it’s not reported, I’d like to see a trend shift away from human-named animals. Having a horse called Andy has caused great confusion for many people overhearing my conversations.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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