James regains crown as king of the boys with Emily as top girl
James regained his crown as the most popular boy’s name in the birth columns of The Irish Times last year while Emily was the clear winner among parents of girls.
James had been the most popular name in 2010 but Daniel toppled him from his perch in 2011. Chloe was the surprise top choice in 2011 but she failed to make an impact last year.
The births of more than 500 babies were announced in the Saturday column last year, including 10 sets of twins and one set of triplets.
There was no mention of Blue Ivy, the choice of Beyoncé and rapper Jay-Z when their baby was born last January but there were several Rorys, perhaps inspired by world No 1 golfer Rory McIlroy.
Unusual names for girls included Afrah, Neala, Vita, Anouk, Élodie, Venus and Maurethe, or Maurie for short. Parents of boys chose more traditionally but unusual names included Torin, Jago and Sárán.
The fall in popularity of traditional names such as Mary was bemoaned by Irish Times columnist Jennifer O’Connell this week and, bearing that out, Mary appears just once in the 528 announcements.
Similarly, there were just two Patricks and two Johns. There were no Seáns or Josephs.
However, the more traditional names were often chosen as a middle name.
Other parents opted for eclectic middle names such as Fryst, Munro and Fulton for boys and Thulasi, Avital, Daubney and Blossom for girls.
Many births were announced from places such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, New York and Boston, perhaps a sign of the increase in emigration in recent years.
Some announcements hint at the chaos brought by the newly born, such as one from the parents of a January-born baby who placed this notice in November: “Had you learned how to sleep through the night, we would have woken out of our perpetual slumber and put this notice in the paper months ago.”
The Central Statistics Office has not yet released the most popular baby names in the State for 2012 but in 2011 Jack and Emily topped the list.