Ellie tops the baby names

ELLIE is now the word of the day when it comes to naming baby girls in our region, and for boys it's still Jack. Features editor TRACEY SPARLING looks at the most popular - and the more unusual - baby names.

By Tracey Sparling

ELLIE is now the word of the day when it comes to naming baby girls in our region, and for boys it's still Jack. Features editor TRACEY SPARLING looks at the most popular - and the more unusual - baby names.

WHERE do you turn to for inspiration when you're choosing your baby's name?

Do you look for something traditional that has stood the test of time, or an unusual name that stands out from the rest?

Do you go with a family name passed down through the generations? Or perhaps you have been inspired by the name of a favourite film star, singer, sporting idol or celebrity?

Each year, the hundreds of new arrivals in the area are heralded in The Evening Star birth announcements columns, and our annual Bonny Babies picture supplement and competition. Without fail, these notices give an insight into the latest trends for babies' names.

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So I took the latest Bonny Babies and checked out all the names for babies born in 2006.

Topping the list for baby girls born this year was Ellie, which came up far more often than the next most popular - which was Keira which may be a reflection of the film star Keira Knightley .

Chloe and Mackenzie were also popular, then Paige, Madison, Jade and India all with various spellings. Parents seem to strive for individuality and self-expression in naming girls, with fewer choosing the same name.

Names from nature have been favoured, with the babies including Poppy, Skye Lily and Jasmine.

As with previous years, great inventiveness and spelling freedom are evident in the girls' list, and some rather unusual names have put in an appearance. Among them are Angel, Ellesse and Amazzone.

There was a seven-month-old little girl called Chantelle and two six-month old Prestons, which got me wondering about a Big Brother influence.

The rest of the boys' names, however, seem to take a much more traditional course with Jack topping the boys' charts.

Ben, James, Charlie, Alfie and George were the next most popular.

Although parents seem to have been less inventive in their choice of names for boys, a few unusual monikers have cropped up, including Myron, Orrin and Sammylee.

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Did you choose an unusual name for your baby? Write and tell us why. To Star Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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Look out for the chance to have your child photographed to star in the next Bonny Babies, later this year.

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