A RANK outsider has soared to the top of the name charts for baby girls on the Border this year.
Zoe didn’t appear once as a selection in the 2011 birth notices in The Border Mail and only twice in 2010.
This year it hit the front, with parents choosing the name for 11 daughters in the notices published up until today.
A variation of the name, Zoey, was selected by the parents of one little girl.
Zoe, which means “life” in Greek, has been in use as an English name since the 19th century and has regularly appeared among the top 20 baby names for girls in Australia-wide listings.
Charlotte, a perennial favourite with Border parents for the past decade, retained its second place among the girls’ names for the second year running, with nine selections.
Last year’s leading girl’s name, Grace, slipped to fifth place with five selections, alongside Emily, Sophie and newcomer Evie.
Patrick pipped another decade-long favourite, Jack, as the Border’s most popular boys’ name, with nine selections.
From the Latin name Patricius, which meant “nobleman”, the name was adopted in the fifth century by Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and during the Middle Ages in England and elsewhere in Europe it was used in his honour.
Patrick rose from sixth place in the names stakes in 2011, with Jack remaining in second place with eight selections, followed by top five newcomers Archie and Henry joining Oliver in third place, each with six selections.
Last year’s leading boy’s name, Charlie, fell to fourth place alongside Ethan and more traditional choices, James, Thomas and William.
Joe and Karen Knight of Albury had chosen Patrick early as the name for their first child, if he was a boy.
Patrick was born on Australia Day, January 26, this year.
“We both liked Patrick and his second name is Joseph, obviously after me,” Mr Knight said.
“It’s a good name, a good Catholic name.
“We had argued over a girl’s name a fair bit but we had Patrick picked from the word go.”
Vanessa Hancock of Jindera said she and her husband Leon, a harness racing driver, had chosen the name Zoe for their first child, now aged 4½ months, well before her arrival in August.
“We both liked it immediately,” she said.
“We were rattling off names and we liked it straight away, and we never changed our minds.
“Zoe means ‘life’ and I liked that meaning.”
Among 618 birth notices in The Border Mail to date this year, there have been 300 boys and 318 girls, including 12 sets of twins.
The heaviest girl was born in February, weighing 9lb 14oz (4478 grams).
The heaviest boy was also born in February, weighing 11lb 12oz (5330 grams).