Is it better to have a popular name or a unique name? Did our parents consult books and graphs like so many people do now?
The importance of a name — one no one else in the classroom has — depends on your perspective (or if you're a celebrity who can get away with calling your child something outlandish). And each year organizations and governments release their data on the most common names and reveal just how many children were given them.
The 2022 baby name data indicates that the most popular names weren't too out there, though many feel like returning to classic literature.
Baby Centre announced the most popular names from around the world for 2022 and while it didn't have a specific category for Canada, it did mention that Nora is in the top 10 just for Canada, same with Hannah; meanwhile, Luca or Lucas was in the top 10 across the world.
One can assume the U.S. list isn't far off the mark for popularity in Canada.
The top three names for boys were Liam, Noah and Oliver while the top three for girls were Olivia, Emma and Amelia.
Comparing these rankings to the B.C. data for 2021 (2022 isn't available yet), it's pretty consistent with a few notable exceptions. Liam and Noah were the most common boy names in B.C. last year but Jack was the third most common. Oliver was sixth on the list, behind Theodore and Benjamin.
For girls, it's much the same. Olivia and Emma were indeed the top two names in B.C. last year but Charlotte was the third most popular. Amelia was also sixth on the list with Ava and Isla taking spots four and five.
Incidentally, Isla doesn't even rank in the top 10 most popular names in the U.S. for 2022 but it is on the U.K. list. The same goes for Jack and the shortened version of Theodore: Theo.
Benjamin doesn't appear on either. A graph tracking the name's popularity shows a major drop after 2017 and then a slight bump between 2020 and 2021.
It's important to note, however, that the rankings don't account for spelling. For instance, Theodore with an "e" is fourth but Theodor without the "e" is one of the lowest-ranking names.
What were the least popular names? The jury's still out.
In B.C. in 2021, the least popular names were given to less than six children. Unpopular girl names included Esmé, Elowny, Jovie, Berkley, Lennyn and Aveera.
As for unpopular boy names, Freddie, Daxon, Kesler, Koda, Eren and Bodin were all at the bottom of the list.