Tiger, meet Moo ... last year's crop of names in the US was more original than ever.

Tiger, meet Moo ... last year's crop of names in the US was more original than ever.

Kdynce. Peniel. Brees. Mylz.

No, it’s not a Scrabble game gone horribly wrong; these are the names of a few babies born in the US last year.

While Jacob and Sophia were the most popular names in 2011, there was seemingly no end to the creativity of other parents 

The American Social Security names register of 2011 has just been released, also revealing a handful of baby Tomorrows, Swayzes, Psalms and Tequilas.

Names with a link to Australia, such as Matilda, Banjo and Adelaide, are becoming more popular. Names that were popular during the Depression in Australia are also in vogue - think variations of solid, traditional-sounding names, such as Don, Jack, Alf, Ruth, Edith and Joan. Click for more photos

Baby names 2012: Our forecast

Names with a link to Australia, such as Matilda, Banjo and Adelaide, are becoming more popular. Names that were popular during the Depression in Australia are also in vogue - think variations of solid, traditional-sounding names, such as Don, Jack, Alf, Ruth, Edith and Joan.

  • Names with a link to Australia, such as Matilda, Banjo and Adelaide, are becoming more popular. Names that were popular during the Depression in Australia are also in vogue - think variations of solid, traditional-sounding names, such as Don, Jack, Alf, Ruth, Edith and Joan.
  • Parents seem to be finding inspiration in the Old Testament, with names such as Noah, Benjamin, Levi, Caleb, Hannah, Eve and Ada – and their variations – rising in popularity.
  • Perhaps in a nod to their ancestors (or maybe they just like the sound of them!), parents are choosing more surnames as first names or middle names. Jackson, Hunter, Porter, Campbell, Madison, Morgan, Greer and Wilson are a few examples of this name shuffle.
  • We're continuing to see altered spellings of traditional names. The kindergarten classes of 2017 could have kids called Mikaila, Jaxon, Izabelle, Darcie, Hanah, Haiden, Alleah, Ayden  ... the only limit is their parents' imaginations!
  • At its peak, <i>Twilight</i>-mania saw parents around Australia calling their children Isabella, Jacob and Edward, while the <i>Harry Potter</i> series saw a rise in Harrys. But will the latest reading craze, <i>Fifty Shades of Grey</i>, cause a tide of Christians and Anastasias/Anas? Other bookish names that are rising in popularity include those from <i>The Hunger Games</i> (Rue, Primrose), and the classic Scout, Holden, Scarlett and Flynn.
  • What do London, Victoria, India, Dakota, Memphis, Georgia and Phoenix have in common? They're all place names that are also often given to children. Celebs have been fans of this trend for decades, as seen in <a href="http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/photogallery/pregnancy/prepare-for-baby/celebrity-baby-names-inspired-by-places-20120607-1zyc4.html" target="_blank">our gallery</a>, and it seems there's no end to this practice in sight.
  • While the US is seeing a rise in 'A' names, Australia is in having a run of 'O' monikers. Whether the O sound is at the start (Oliver, Olivia, Oscar, Owen, Ophelia), the end (Cleo, Indigo, Hugo, Marlowe) or the middle (Zoe, Lola, Noel, Joseph), this is the vowel that's in vogue right now.
  • Jessica Simpson may have taken it to the extreme by calling her daughter Maxwell, but unisex names are rising in popularity. Charlie is the most common gender-neutral name, but parents are also choosing Addison, Cameron, Drew, Harper, Reese, Riley, Scout and Sklyar.
  • When the name Mason jumped 10 spots to become the second most popular name in the US in 2012, it was believed the leap could be put down to the 'Kardashian effect'; that is, after Kourtney Kardashian gave that name to her son in 2009, other parents started to follow suit. Other celeb-inspired popular names include Sienna, Harper and Briella (from US reality show <i>Jerseylicious</i>); also expect to see more Kates following Kate Middleton's wedding to Prince William.

While Jacob and Mason were the most popular boys’ names in 2011, and Sophia and Isabella reigned among the girls, there was seemingly no end to other parents' creativity.

There were adapted spellings of more traditional names (six boys named Benjerman) and words (five girls named Aunisty), the re-appropriation of other nouns (seven boys named Audi), animal sounds (five girls named Moo) and flat-out imaginative uses of the alphabet (six girls named Dearria, and seven named Eh).

Here are some of the more unusual names for 2011, as found by KidCrave. (The M or F at the start of each line shows if the name was given to males or females, while the number in brackets is the number of babies that were given that name.) 

Law-makers and breakers
M: Capone (5), Corleone (6), Governor (5), Innocent (5), Juvenal (12), Law (6), Notorious (5)

Headed for greatness?
F: Princessa (5)
M: Kingdom (10), Kingsolomon (5), Princemichael (10), Princewilliam (5), Royalty (11), Sircharles (9), Supreme (10)

Positive thinking
F: Beautiful (7), Prosperity (5), Rejoice (5)
M: Brilliant (6), Comfort (5), Courage (7), Famous (7), Marvellous (6), Mystery (5), Treasure (6)

Animal house
F: Tiger (6)
M: Bronco (7), Cougar (6), Moo (5)

People and places
F: Graceland (7), Island (6), Jerzey (7),
M: Fenway (5), Mattingly (6), Prinston (5), Swayze (5), Tupac (5), Woody (7)

Timely reminders
F: Evening (5), Future (5), Tomorrow (6),

Boozy babies
F: Abeer (12), Chardonnay (9), Henessy (14), Tequila (5)
M: Patron (5)

Variations on a theme
F: Trulee (15), Truly (5); M: Trew (5)
F: Promiss (7), Promize (5), Promyse (17), Promyss (5)
F: Symphani (5), Symphanie (11), Symphany (19), Symphoni (9)
F: Aunisty (5), Honestii (5), Onesty (6)

And the head-scratchers …
F: Eh (7), Dearria (6), Peniel (5), Brees (5), Kdynce (5), Journy (5), Psalms (5)
M: Mylz (8), Godswill (7), Tron (7), Asser (6), Atta (5)

Looking for ideas for your own baby's name? Check out the EB Baby Names section for inspiration and articles, or discuss your options on the baby names forum.