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Category: Girl Names

The Long and the Short of Girl Names

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Do you prefer your girls’ names short and simple, or long and elaborate?

There’s no right answer, and plenty of parents shortlist Rose and Isabella, Blair and Ellington.

From just one syllable to seven or eight, this week’s high profile birth announcements proved that parents can choose a long, stylish name – or a short one that packs just as much punch.

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Some movie characters have a long afterlife, remembered way beyond their release dates, their names firmly attached to the actor who inhabited the role. In our collective memory, for instance, Judy Garland will always be Dorothy and Diane Keaton forever Annie Hall. Here’s a look at just a few of these iconic characters—and whether or not their names had any impact on naming.  Might one be right for your new baby girl?

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As we celebrate Independence Day, it’s important to look beyond the generals who led the battles and the men who signed the Declaration, and also pay tribute to the women who contributed to the history of the period—whether by actually sneaking onto the battlefield or by playing a role behind the scenes, or influencing the cultural life of the times.

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What makes a name a name?

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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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medieval

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Names from the Middle Ages are fascinating. They’re often quite similar to those parents love today, but tend to be almost entirely overlooked.

Nameberry has long had the Coolator. I would call this the Medievalizer, except that sounds like a torture device.

Instead, this is a list of the 2013 US Top Ten for girls, with suggestions for parents looking for something just a little different – or maybe something that would be right at home in the eleventh century.

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