Find out which names have come out on top and which unusual monikers are on the horizon.

Author Rick Riordan said it best when he penned the line ‘names have power’ in his bestselling book The Lightning Thief, and boy was he not exaggerating.

Our name is our calling card, it’s the first thing people learn about us and often it wanders off unaccompanied into the world to introduce itself. Your name makes its way to future employers when your resume lands on their desk long before you’ve had a chance to dazzle them in person.Name-File

The importance we place on names has us constantly checking birth announcements, pouring over lists and eagerly awaiting the news of celebrity star babies who will be bestowed with weird and wonderful monikers. Well, maybe not everybody takes such a vast, some would say obsessive, interest in names. But the name nerd community certainly does and we are a strong force.

I can’t remember exactly when my facination with names began, but I think it all started when I first discovered the magic of books and would obsessively turn the pages looking for the next crop of character names. This was also around the time I started hating the name Laura, in all its boring non-glamorous glory.  As a little girl I berated my mother for not being more imaginative and wished she’d called me Kelly or Dianna. When I was a little older (older than I’m able to admit and still preserve my dignity) I tried to coerce my teachers into calling me Paige or Audrey.

I knew I’d pushed the naming issue too hard when I caused my mother to say  “fine, pick another name. Because I choose that lovely name for a nice little girl and that’s not you.” So, that was the end of that. Name salvation came when I fell in love with Little House on the Prairie and the enchanting words of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’ve been ok with my name ever since,

This haunting story of name hatred and acceptance should propel expectant parents to think carefully about what names they bestow upon their offspring. I have yet to name an actual child (although I hbaby_nameave a very handsomely named cactus, Alejandro, sitting on my desk) but it sounds like a daunting task. Kind of like picking one dress you’ll have to wear for the rest of your life, one wrong move and you’ll be uncomfortable and regretful for the rest of your days.

This fear of putting a foot wrong is probably why, when McCrindle Research released the 2014 most popular name list, classic names once again came out on top with just a few surprises thrown in. For the first time in Australia’s history, Oliver became the nation’s most popular boy’s name, overtaking William who had been at the top of the ranks for the last several years.Charlotte continues to be the favored name among girls, remaining strong in first place and the choice for 1,969 girls in Australia.

Click through the gallery above to see the top Queensland names and some other quirky choices. 

What did you name your children and how did you come up with their names?