Ruby, Liam 2011's top baby names

NUMBER 1: Liam Phillips is one of 325 boys named Liam in 2011.
NUMBER 1: Liam Phillips is one of 325 boys named Liam in 2011.

Was it Dorothy's slippers, the Kaiser Chiefs song or simply a love of red shiny gems?

Whatever the inspiration, the name "Ruby" is top of the most popular list for 2011.

The pretty girls name, first used in the 1870s, shot from number three to number one for baby girls last year, with 335 born in total in New Zealand.

For boys, Liam topped the list for the second year running. There were 315 babies born with the name meaning "will, desire, helmet and protection" last year.

The annual baby-name list, released today from the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages by the Department of Internal Affairs shows a continued penchant for old-fashioned names for both sexes.

Joshua was the second most popular boys' name, with Oliver third. Lucas appeared in the top five names for boys for the first time.

The top five girls' names for 2011 were the same as 2010 - with only the order changed.

Sophie - which had held top spot since 2008 - last year slipped to third.

There is only one new entry in the top ten lists, with Noah debuting as the sixth most popular boys' name.

Top 10 Girls' Names (2010 place in brackets):

1. Ruby (3)

2. Olivia (2)

3. Sophie (1)

4. Isabella (5)

5. Charlotte (4)

6. Grace (15)

7. Ella (7)

8. Lily (6)

9. Emily (9)

10. Amelia (13)

Top 10 Boys' Names (2010 place in brackets):

1. Liam (1)

2. Joshua (6)

3. Oliver (3)

4. Lucas (10)

5. William (5)

6. Noah (13)

7. Samuel (9)

8. James (2)

9. Benjamin (7)

10. Jack (4)