Name game: Jack's popularity 'due to Titanic'

Last updated 02:19 08/01/2009

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A woman who has tracked trends in children's names for more than 20 years credits the movie Titanic for the enduring popularity of Jack, which has again topped the boys' list.

Eleanor Burkin, of Tauranga, began scanning published birth notices each day in 1985, when she found she had five girls called Tracey in her class and wondered why.

The retired teacher also notes possible reasons for them, such as a proliferation of William after the birth of Prince William.

"Jack came up after the Titanic movie."

Jack was the main character in the epic 1997 movie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

"I saw waves of names come through. It's a weird interest, but I just decided to do it because no one else was," she said yesterday.

Mrs Burkin's prediction that Jack and Sophie would be the most common babies' names last year has been confirmed by the Department of Internal Affairs' office of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Its list shows Jack is the most popular boy's name for the fourth year in a row, while Sophie is the new No1 name for girls, with 2007's top choice, Ella, dropping to third.

Only one new name entered the top 30 girls list Isla, which has shot up from 2007's placing at 50.

Maia stepped up from 25th to 18th and Isabella from 10th up to fourth. Nevaeh dropped in popularity from 38th to 59th.

For boys, Joshua has finally lost a space in the top three after many years. James stays at No2, the spot it held in 2007.

Riley has made one of the biggest jumps, moving from 17th to sixth.

Logan dropped out of the top 30 names for boys, falling from 27 to 34.

George, however, resurfaced in the top 30, knocking Joseph out of the last spot.

 TOP BOYS' NAMES: Jack, James, William, Samuel, Joshua, Riley, Liam, Oliver, Benjamin, Daniel. 

TOP GIRLS' NAMES: Sophie, Olivia, Ella, Isabella, Charlotte, Lily, Emma, Emily, Jessica, Grace.

- with NZPA

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- The Dominion Post

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