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Category: Guest Bloggers

abby-khaleesix

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Take a few minutes and try to list all the girls you know named Sophia – or Sophie or Sofia.  How about Isabella?  Zoe, Ava, Madison?

Now list the names that are one of one.

I only know a single girl called Ida, and just one named Arcadia.  My son built sand castles with a little Maxine on a long-ago beach vacation, and I’ve never forgotten her name.  Cordelia and Monica, Zinnia and Murielle, Helen and Claudia – they all stand out, associated with just a single child.

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abby--4-7-14a

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Thank you, Zanna Roberts!

Just when it seemed like no one was having babies this week, the fashion stylist welcomed twin daughters.  You might have caught Zanna talking fashion as a correspondent on The Today Show, or as a judge on Project Runway.  She’s also senior fashion editor at Marie Claire, so no surprise that she and her husband, Milk Studios founder Mazdak Rassi, have chosen stunningly stylish names for their girls.

But the new arrivals’ names aren’t just stylish – they’re downright quirky.

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The Many Faces of Kate

girl name Kate

The strong, straightforward Kate (along with her variations) is the most popular nickname for the perennial classic Katherine today, often standing on its own. Some of the world’s most famous women bear the name Kate, which is popular in the US, England, and Ireland. The nickname even has Shakespearean antecedents, in The Taming of the Shrew – “You lie, in faith; for you are call’d plain Kate, And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst.” How do you get Kate from Katherine, a Greek name meaning pure? One theory is that it’s derived from Hecate, the goddess of magic. The name Kate, ranked in the U.S. Top 200, seems to work magic of its own. Take a look at some of the most famous Kates.

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april14

By Denise K. Potter

The fourth month of the year is a pretty busy one. For starters, it’s Autism Awareness Month and National Poetry Month. All in just 30 days, April yields the observances of Passover and Easter, Arbor Day, baseball’s opening day, Earth Day, and we can’t forget April Fool’s Day. April 2nd is even National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. So before you chalk this month up as just a whole lot of rain, take a look at these twelve baby names inspired by the notable figures and historical happenings of April—some could even make a perfect choice for a springtime baby.

April – Still the most popular month name, up against sister spring months May and June, April is said to be derived from the Latin word Aprilis, from the verb apertus, meaning “to open.” An alternate derivation comes from the goddess Aphrodite, whose festival begins the month.

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abbie--3-31-14c

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

The other night a friend asked me what happens to kids with really strange names.  Not made up names, or names with crazy spellings, he clarified.  Names like Apple.  Or Bartholomew.  Names that make you do a double take when you spot them on the birth announcement.  Names that make you say “Really?” when you should be saying “Congratulations!”

My reply?

Nothing.  Nothing happens.

Actually, everything happens – the kids grow up and have the same kinds of adventures and heartaches and triumphs and debacles that we all have from cradle to grave.  Their name is part of their story, but even if their name is Clove or Cashel or Cordelia, it is only a part.

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