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The Super Bowl of Football Names

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Super bowl baby names

By Nick Turner

Back before the World Series in October, I did a post on the elements of a classic baseball name. The upshot: The sport favors colorful nicknames (Scooter, Bullet, Coco Crisp), and players frequently go by their initials (there were eight AJs on active Major League rosters last year). Casey also was disproportionately popular.

With the Super Bowl coming in a few days, it seems fitting that I now turn my attention to football.

What makes for a quintessential NFL name?

To start, that playfulness you see in baseball doesn’t exist as much in football. It’s a tough sport and perhaps that requires a serious moniker. Players rarely go by cute nicknames. And though initials aren’t unusual, they’re not nearly as prevalent as in baseball.

That said, the names still have swagger — just with more of a straight face.

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A Sad Farewell to The Nook of Names

farewell nook of names

It is with great sadness that we report the death of one of our most treasured contributors, K. M. Sheard.  Kay ran the delightful website, Nook of Names, and was the author of a giant, encyclopedic compendium of name information, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Nameswhich we have found to be an invaluable resource.

In tribute to the memory of Kay, here again is one of her characteristic Nameberry blogs–with its unique mix of scholarship and humor, first published in 2013.

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deja vu names

By Abby Sandel, AppellationMountain

I know that Hollywood isn’t one great big playdate, with A-list moms and reality starlets alike pushing their designer strollers through the park together. There’s no reason to think that Blue Ivy Carter and Tennessee Toth will attend the same preschool, or that Tori Spelling and Angelina Jolie are trading tips on managing big families.

Which is a long way of saying that of course sometimes one set of high-profile parents will choose the same name that some other headline-worthy couple chose.

To spectators, those repeats can seem significant. Tabloids accuse Blake Lively of stealing a Garner-Affleck baby name. We declare names The Next Big Thing if it pops up on lots of celeb birth announcements.

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TV names from Girls

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The HBO show Girls is back, and whether you love it, hate it, or couldn’t care less, you’ve got to admit that it has probably the most interesting, eccentric, original roster of character and cast member names ever seen on TV.

First of all there are the four main characters, who each just happen to have a strikingly alliterative name: Hannah Helene Horvath, Jessa Johansson, Marnie Marie Michaels, and Shoshanna Shapiro, played by actresses named Lena, Jemima, Allison and Zosia. And guys named Adam and Ray and Elijah played by Adam and Alex and Andrew.

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brave new world names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

The way we name boys is changing, and that’s a good thing.

For years, parents played it safe when naming their sons.  We were more likely to pass down family names, and less likely to choose something really different or novel.

Why? Maybe we worried that boys were more likely to be teased for a different name.  Or maybe we applied the Supreme Court Justice test more strictly to our boys than our girls.

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