Parents are increasingly turning to names of old for inspiration in naming the next generation.
Today The Courier publishes its annual Big Steps Little Feet feature with the photographs and names of the more than 1900 prep students who have started their years of formal education.
Among the strong trends to come out of the names chosen five and six years ago for Ballarat's newest little learners are surnames as first names, older names that were popular in generations long past, and the continuing popularity of botanical names for girls.
Pearl, Opal, Margot, Clara/Klara, Ida, Elsie, Mabel, Eadie, Florence and Henrietta were among the new-old names for girls while Percy, Ernie, Alan, Arthur, Derrick, Keith, Bertie and Frank were on the roll of boys starting school this year.
For boys Jackson, Jaxon and Jaxson had a strong showing with Levi, Nixon and Cody/Kody among the most common names alongside the evergreen Oliver, William, Jack, Noah and James which according to demographers McCrindle Media were the five most popular boys names of 2016.
For girls, Matilda, and its derivative Tilly, is being heard in large numbers in the playground along with Quinn and Isla.
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There are also plenty of girls named Charlotte, Olivia, Mia, Ava and Amelia among Ballarat's new pupils - in line with those being the most popular names in the country when they were born.
Botanic themes continue to strongly influenced girls names with Lily, Ivy, Willow, Violet, Jasmine, Poppy, Rose, Daisy and Olive in the top 100 names, and popular among the parents of Ballarat's young students.
Monikers used for bubs of either sex, including Quinn, Miller/Milla, Charlie, Billy/Billie, River and Frankie feature strongly among the 2021 prep rolls.
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