Jack makes popularity comeback

By gerald.ford@age.co.nz, Gerald Ford

When Masterton baby Jack Newton's father, Robbie, came to name his son, he thought he'd chosen something strong and classic.

But Jack is as contemporary as ever - topping the chart of 2012's most popular boys' names.

Details released by the Department of Internal Affairs showed Jack reclaiming the number one spot from last year's winner, Liam.

Jack dropped as low as tenth last year, down from fourth in 2010, after a run as the most popular boy's name that lasted from 2004 to 2009.

Jack Robbie Newton was born at Wairarapa Hospital on March 7, 2012, to parents Robbie and Celia.

Now 10 months old, he was one of 374 boys born last year to have been given the name.

"Years ago, it was a very popular boy's name," Mr Newton said.

"I was very surprised when I saw the list."

Jack's elder brother, Oliver, now 12, has the second-most popular name in 2012.

Mr and Mrs Newton have the name Jack in their family histories, but Mr Newton said it was personal preference that made his choice.

"It's quite a strong name," Mr Newton said.

"There's Jack Nicklaus the golfer, but I'd always liked the name.

"My father's John and Jack is also short for John."

Mrs Newton said if the baby had been a girl, she was worried that so many strong girls' names had already been taken by her large extended family.

"You can't have the same name as your cousin."

With a boy on the way, however, there were more options available and Mrs Newton was happy to leave naming rights to Dad.

Jack himself has a taste for the tried and true, with his favourite toy being a 20-year-old bus that had belonged to one of his older cousins.

Mr Newton is an accounts manager for Cable Price and runs the lower North Island contract for Isuzu.

Jack has also finally got the hang of a full night's sleep, much to the relief of his parents. Mr Newton says: "It took 10 months but he got there."


Nation's top 10

Top 10 Boys' Names for 2012 (2011 place in brackets):

  1. Jack (10)

  2. Oliver (3)

  3. William (5)

  4. Liam (1)

  5. Mason (15)

  6. Samuel (7)

  7. Jacob (11)

  8. Lucas (4)

  9. Ethan (16)

  10. Noah (6)

Top 10 Girls' Names for 2012 (2011 place in brackets):

  1. Olivia (2)

  2. Sophie (3)

  3. Emily (9)

  4. Charlotte (5)

  5. Ruby (1)

  6. Isabella (4)

  7. Ella (7)

  8. Amelia (10)

  9. Sophia (15)

  10. Ava (12)


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