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Most unique baby names this year

When Jessica Simpson gave birth in early May, we were eagerly awaiting the name announcement — and when she revealed that her bouncing baby girl was to be named “Maxwell Drew,” many were perplexed. It’s a girl, right? So why has she been given a boy’s name? Simpson is just the latest in a raft of celebrities to have given their little one a unique name, and now everyday folks are jumping in on the trend, too. Here’s a recap of 2012’s most unique baby names so far.

Guy SebastianGuy Sebastian

The Australian Idol star was so nervous about handling his new bundle of joy that he couldn’t even put a nappy on a baby doll correctly when tasked with the challenge on Sydney radio! We’re sure that since the arrival of his little boy, Hudson James, on March 3, he’s quickly learnt the ropes. Guy says his inspiration for the name came from New York, one of his most treasured haunts. “It was our favourite time living there, we were right by the Hudson River,” he tells Kyle and Jackie O. “I think the actual meaning is ‘son of hooded man’ which doesn’t mean that much!”

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Saarsguard

They selected an unusual name for their first born daughter five years ago, when they named her Ramona after the literary icon, Ramona Quimby. On April 19 Maggie and Peter welcomed their second little girl in New York, naming her Gloria Ray. No word yet on their inspiration for the name, but considering Gyllenhaal’s strong feminist views, there’s talk amongst the blogosphere that perhaps Gloria Steinhem was part of her motivation.

BeyonceBeyonce Knowles and Jay Z

Fans were stumped when Beyonce went into labour just after ringing in the new year, as Twitter lit up with the news that she’d given birth to a baby girl called Ivy Blue. Gal pal Gwenyth Paltrow — herself prone to unusual baby names, having chosen Apple and Moses for her kids — quickly clarified that Beyonce’s baby, born Jan. 8, was actually Blue Ivy, not the other way around. Unusual baby name? Yes. Surprising baby name? Not really. With parents like Beyonce and Jay Z, it was unlikely that they would call their first baby something simple!

Non-celebrity names

Mark McCrindle from McCrindle research tells that patriotic Australian names, such as Acacia, Matilda and Tasman, are increasing in popularity. But, it’s the preference towards using nicknames as first names that is really taking off.

In days gone by, parents would have listed Benjamin or Nathaniel on their child’s birth certificate, and they would be known to friends and relatives as Ben or Nate. Now, the middleman has been cut out and the more formal first name has been ditched in favour of short, snappy monikers.

“There is a trend toward creating the nickname rather than allowing it to be created. So these are names like Jack, which was a nickname for John, Charlie (for girls as well), Will, Jake, Nate, Alex, Ben, Jamie, Sam, Zac, Jay and Max,” Mark says. “We see it more in boys’ names than girls’ names, though there is Eliza, Katie, Evie and Lily (not Lilian).”

Images: WENN

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