Jack and Zoe are tops for 2012

POP culture and royalty seem to have influenced south-west parents when naming their children in 2012 with William, Harry and Pippa all faring well in the region's most popular list.

A survey of birth notices in The Standard classifieds found Zoe was the most popular girls' name and Jack number one for boys in the past 12 months.

Zoe, which came in fourth in 2011, was closely followed by Leila, which was new to the list this year (and possibly inspired by one of television's Big Brother contestants) while Pippa was the name chosen for four litte princesses - no doubt in honour of Pippa Middleton, the sister and bridesmaid of Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. 

For the boys, ever-popular Jack topped the table with nine, closely followed by Oscar, a new addition to the list and chosen by six sets of delighted south-west parents, as was Jackson.

Warrnambool couple Jacinta and Glenn Skilbeck chose the name Jack for their second-born child after having it on their shortlist four years earlier when their daughter Emma was born. 

The Skilbecks said it was a strong traditional name and one they both liked . Other traditional monikers included Paddy/Patrick (5), Harrison/Harry (5) and Sam/Samuel (6). Lawson and Lincoln were new to the list this year, but may be ones to watch in 2013.

Harry appeared in the birth notices nine times in 2011 and five times wasin 2012, while William and Cooper were among 11 boys' names selected five times in the region last year.

In 2011 there were 12 variations of Isabelle, but it slipped down the 2012 list with only four, including Bella, Isabelle and Isabella. Thomas was the fourth most popular boys' name in 2011 but was chosen only twice in 2012 . The top names of 2010 were Archie and Sophie and both continue to be a favourite with parents . 

One family named their daughter Archina, shortened to Archie, proving it could be a name for either sex. Though not as common as a first name as in 2011, Thomas was a popular second/middle name, as were James, May, Jane and Grace.

mmcneil@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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