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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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literary baby names

By Joanna Walker

Geoffrey Chaucer has been described as the father of English literature, so who better to turn to for name inspiration?

Chaucer was writing in the Middle Ages, between 1343 and 1400, and the Greek myths he alludes to are far older. Jacqueline de Weever has created a dictionary of the names in Chaucer’s works, found at: http://www.columbia.edu/dlc/garland/deweever/menu.htm. Some of the names are clearly too awkward for modern use. For instance, teaching 4-year-old Cresseyde to spell her name would be an extremely daunting task, Ceyx and Dictys could give rise to rather risqué pronunciations and although Cutberd or Huberd would make awesome pirate names, they could cause sniggers in the classroom. Many of Chaucer’s names are still in current usage and, for those that are not, we have selected eight names worthy of resurgence.

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posted by: Abby View all posts by this author
reclaimed boys names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Girls have been borrowing from boys’ names for generations. Shirley and Ashley were once more common for men. Ditto Madison, Avery, and Harper.

It’s easy to fume about name theft. After all, conventional wisdom is that once a name is widely used for our daughters, it cannot be given to our sons.

The truth is messier. Consider:

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popular baby names

By Lauren Johnson

My pregnant friend had settled on a name—Olive. And then she saw a baby announcement two weeks ago: “Meet Olive Louise,” it read. The announcement came from Facebook, and from a “friend” she has only seen once in 14 years, but she’s decided against the name for fear it will be too common, and is back to searching the Social Security lists for the year’s top baby names, and scouring the name blogs.

The web has opened our eyes to world-wide naming trends, and my generation of Jennifers, Laurens and Ashleys, who were disappointed to be one of five in our classrooms, feel a new sort of power: Our children will not suffer the same fate. I watch my friends register their children’s twitter handles and create their Gmail accounts before they’re born, and part of the naming process is considering whether the name’s domain is still available on GoDaddy.

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Mormon Baby Names: Traditions and trends

Mormon baby names

by Hildie Westenhaver

Maybe it’s because we’re kind of different to begin with that Mormons love oddball baby names. We’re taught from day one to be “in the world but not of the world” and that apparently applies to the way we name our kids as well. While this holds true to Mormons all over the U.S, you’ll find the most outlandish baby names in the intermountain West: Utah and southern Idaho in particular. I have met children named Wrangler, Smokey, Mersadie, Corporate (for a girl), Maverix, Jenedy, Silver, Xacian, Versailles, Rafter, and—I kid you not—R2.

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Nicknames: Waltzing with Tilda and Tilly

posted by: bluejuniper View all posts by this author
MAtilda nicknames

By Brooke Cussans, at baby name pondering

Tilda and Tilly. Many would see these names and think they are only nicknames for Matilda, but both make for adorable names in their own right. Whether you are debating which nickname to use for your little Matilda, or simply which to give your daughter, it could be helpful to look at them side by side.

Origin, Meaning, Associations & Impressions

These are so intertwined that it’s helpful to consider them together. Both Tilda and Tilly are considered to have originated as nicknames for Matilda. Matilda is an Old German name meaning ‘mighty in battle’, and hence this is also the accepted meaning for both Tilda and Tilly.

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