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Baby names, pregnancy & parenting news and views

Berry Juice is a collection of the best blogs on baby names, pregnancy, and parenting from around the web, including everything from personal naming stories to the academic study of names, pregnancy information to tips on decorating the nursery.

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secret animal names

By John Kelly

The name Fox has cracked into the UK’s 1000 most popular names, while Kate Winslet and Alicia Silverstone are both raising children named Bear. But if you’re not quite up for naming your baby directly after an animal, consider the many names that have some majestic and inspiring animals hiding in their origins.

A Pack of Canines

The X-FilesFox Mulder sounds snappier than Todd Mulder, doesn’t it? And yet, the name Todd actually does mean “fox.” Todd began as a nickname, of obscure origin, in northern England dialect.

Caleb, 2015’s 37th most popular boy name, might literally mean “dog,” from the Hebrew keleb, with a sense of “devotion.”

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posted by: emilygc3 View all posts by this author
basque baby names

By Emily Cardoza, Nothing Like a Name

While scrolling through the 2015 names list (because what else would one do in their spare time?) a lovely name caught my eye – Arantxa. Also spelled Aranza or Arantzazu, it’s a Basque name meaning “thornbush”. I’ve never seen this name before, and a cursory glance around name sites showed it indeed to be a rarity.

As a matter of fact, Basque name imports from that area of northern Spain and southern France are few and far between. Here are some other choice international baby names picks for your consideration!

Most x’s are pronounced as “sh” in Basque. English (or other well-known) equivalent names are included in italics!

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Naming Book Characters: 3 Easy Steps

Naming characters

By Ellen Smith

I’m a name nerd.

True story: In college, I spent hours compiling data for a study on the attractiveness of male and female names. Amanda? Very attractive. Mildred? Not so much. Ken was more attractive than Keith, while Liam was about as attractive as Levi. By the end of the study, I had an Iliad-length research paper and a major caramel-macchiato addiction.

Ah, youth.

Believe it or not, even after all of that research, I still get excited to dream up the perfect names for the characters in my books. Finding just the right character name actually helps a story start to take shape in my mind. Since I have a tendency to get stuck on finding the perfect name (Maura or Mara? Lila or Lily?), I try to break the process down into just three steps.

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Influential Baby Names: Show biz ladies

posted by: NancyMan View all posts by this author
influential baby names

By Nancy Man, Nancy’s Baby Names

You can tell how much Americans are inspired by famous actresses by looking at the baby name charts! When a new leading lady hits the scene, it’s almost expected that her name will become an influential baby names choice for newborns – at least for a little while.

This effect is especially easy to see with actresses that have uncommon, never-charted names. When they first become celebrities, their names get a boost – often enough for those names to appear in the SSA’s baby name data for the very first time.

Here are a dozen historical actresses, most of whom caused at least one debut appearance on the charts, and the stories behind their distinctive names:

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13 Intriguing Island Baby Names for Girls

posted by: emilygc3 View all posts by this author
island baby names

By Emily Cardoza

Though summer vacation has just about ended, visions of white sand beaches and gentle waves endure – even if only as screensavers. Why not continue the summer holidays through an exploration of island-inspired baby names for girls?

Each of these names corresponds to one of the thousands of islands abiding worldwide – but they’re more than just place-names. Many islands were named for inspiring individuals, historical events, or geographical phenomena. Let’s travel through them!

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