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short baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Do you prefer Olivia, or the spare Liv? Nathaniel, or just Nate?

If you’re drawn to Liv and Nate, you’re not alone.

Short names have come and gone over the years. Classics like John and Grace can be found throughout the centuries. Once-novel choices like Dawn and Jill, Todd and Scott, are now mom and dad names.

Today there’s a whole new crop of single syllable baby names, from surnames like Sloane and Grey to nature names like Skye and innovations like Jax and Jace.

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familiar baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Would you pay tens of thousands of dollars to have a crack team of experts develop a one-of-a-kind name for your baby?

If you’ve got the cash, a Swiss firm has assembled the creative linguists prepared to do just that.  It isn’t clear just how many bespoke baby names the firm has created.

Here’s my guess: the number is small.

Because while many parents crave meaning, and want their child’s name to stand out, we don’t hear a lot of truly unique names that seem pulled from thin air, even in Hollywood.

Well … maybe Suri Cruise.

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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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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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celebrity baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Imagine you’re famous.

And expecting.

Whether you’re an Oscar-nominated actress or a reality show contestant who was voted out after a few episodes, you have two choices to make when it comes to your child’s name: the name itself, of course, and how to share it with the world.

Or make that if you’ll share it with the world.  Plenty of celebrities Tweet or Instagram their good news, or announce it through a publicist.  But then there are those who just don’t share.

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