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Category: Baby Name News

What makes a name a name?

Kid portrait

By Abby Sandel, AppellationMountain

What makes a name real?

To think bigger, what makes a word real?  That’s the question raised by English professor and language historian Anne Curzan in her TED talk.

They’re long-standing questions, but the speed of our modern age means that change happens fast.  Imagine a name like Nevaeh catching on before MTV, or Jayceon before YouTube.

Curzan points out that dictionaries are written by people, people who are listening very carefully to how the general public uses words.  So tweet and defriend make the cut.

The same thing happens with baby name books and websites.  Nevaeh wouldn’t have appeared in the 1980s, but she’s firmly installed today.  And while Jayceon might be too new to appear in print, the fast-rising variant can be found on most of the major baby name sites.

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infl-camden

This year, more than ever, pop culture has been the driving force behind the most steeply climbing baby names. Those that saw the greatest upswings in popularity were inspired by rappers, reality and scripted TV, by sports stars and by starbabies. And they also reflected some broad general trends, such as exotic flower names, boys’ names for girls, ancient boy and vintage girl names, and geographic place names. Here are some of the most striking examples.

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baby name Reign

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

From Grammy Award-winning rapper LilKim to a previously anonymous mom in Alaska, some parents are thinking big when it comes to baby names.

Not every parent, of course.  Casual choices like Charlie and Molly, Mia and Jack have been popular in recent years.  And I’ve always thought that George Alexander Louis was a pretty low-key pick for a future king.

But whether the name is an outlandish borrowing from the dictionary or one worn by an accomplished historical figure, it’s worth asking: When is a name too much to live up to?

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world cup

By Maya Reyes-Solano

The World Cup has officially started in Brazil, which means the majority of the world will spend the next month glued to their TV screens, filled with patriotic pride- even in countries like the US, where soccer is slowly building a fan base. I highly suggest everyone watch because it’s a fairly simple sport to understand, fun to watch and the players, well, they aren’t terrible to look at. The favorites to win, in case you were wondering, are Germany and host country Brazil.

World Cup promotion aside, football/soccer is the world’s sport and with 32 countries from all corners of the earth involved in the finals, so interesting names are just waiting to be discovered.  The full rosters, with both first and surnames included can be found on Fifa’s website, but some of the best are listed below. And you’ll find that some of the most popular naming trends in the U.S. are reflected on the rosters of several countries: Italian variations of our Top 100, Roman names, place names, and other trends can all be found on footballers.  

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fb14--vernon

In the year between last Father’s Day and this one, some interestingly named starbabies were born to some high-profile Hollywood Dads. But a caveat–if you’re looking for Hazel Krasinski or Bodhi Ransom Green, Apollo Bowie Flynn Rossdale or Otis Alexander Sudeikis–they were already snatched by their equally famous moms onto our Mother’s Day blog.

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