Baby names come and go. But there is just one baby girl name that continues to stay on trend year after year, decade after decade, proving just how timeless it really is.
And the name in question: Elizabeth.
Charlotte is proving to be the most popular baby name for our next generation of little ladies while Olivia comes in a close second. Sophia is considered the world’s most popular baby girl name but it’s Elizabeth that Aussie parents continue to love. In fact, it’s the only name that has remained on the Top 100 Baby Name list since 1900.
(Nearly) 120 years of Elizabeth
In 1900 Elizabeth ranked 13th overall in Australian baby girl names behind vintage favourites like Mary, Dorothy, Doris, Eileen, Elsie, Kathleen, Edna, and Gladys. While some of these names have made a comeback, most have gone out of style.
In 1910 Elizabeth climbed into eighth position with the likes of Helen, Ruth, and Mildred. Then in 1930, Elizabeth headed down to the 10th position behind gems like Margaret, Patricia, Joan, and Shirley. And while all of these additional baby girl names are traditionally reserved for your nana, Elizabeth still remains a youthful and trendy option for the newest hatch of baby girls.
In 1940 Elizabeth sat at 12th with Judith and Lynette ahead of her. In 1950 Elizabeth returned to the 10th position behind Jennifer, Susan, Christine, and Julie. Then in the 60s, we got Karen, Michelle, Sharon, and Leanne but Elizabeth was still there – back in the 12th spot.
In 1970 we welcomed heaps of Nicoles, Lisas, Kylies, and Rebeccas. Elizabeth, for the first time in 70 years, headed below the 20th position at number 21. The 80s introduced us to Sarah, Jessica, Emma, and Kate but Elizabeth stayed strong in her 21st spot. And as we said goodbye to the 90s, Elizabeth headed down to the 34th position to make way for names like Georgia, Chloe, Stephanie, Rachel, and Hannah.
The 2000s gave us Emily, Isabella, Sophie, Hayley, and Emma. But Elizabeth continued to stay strong at number 33. In 2010 names like Ruby, Mia and Lily ruled the charts but Elizabeth remained in the 47th position.
Now, here we are. 2019. Nearly 120 years later. And after we go past the most popular baby girl names – the Charlottes, Olivias, Avas, Amelias, Mias and Islas, we find Elizabeth. At #53. She’s lost a bit of star power. But, hey she’s still there.
Why Elizabeth continues to be popular
Elizabeth, which is actually a biblical name, means “my God is bountiful.” But we’re not so sure this meaning really explains why the name continues to rule the popularity charts. Here are the reasons why we think we Aussies adore Elizabeth.
It’s classic – It’s a beautiful, strong and sweet sounding name.
It’s pretty to pass on – Naming baby after Nana is always easier when Nana’s name is something pretty like Elizabeth. Sorry, Nana Ruth. Your name doesn’t quite have that same timeless ring to it.
It’s regal – After all, it’s the name of the Queen!
There are heaps of cute nicknames to go with it – Liz, Lizzie, Beth, Betty, Lizabeth, Eliza, Iza, Liza, Ellie…. the list goes on and on!
It’s associated with plenty of positive females – Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth Hurley, Elizabeth Banks, Elizabeth Gilbert, St Elizabeth of Hungary (yes, this was a person), to name just a few…
Clearly, Elizabeth is a huge winner for our Aussie parents. So far this year 565 parents have selected the moniker for their new baby girl. And some of Elizabeth’s nicknames are also proving popular with the next gen – Ellie came in at number 40 and Eliza at 87.
Looking for more baby name facts and figures? Check out the top trends in baby names.