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Naming the Names in an Alphabet Book

Alphabetabum

By Chris Raschka

The power we wield when we name a child is terrible. And unavoidable. Oh, the sleepless nights! What will this name confer on our beloved baby? Only good things, we fervently hope. This name is exciting, but is it too exciting? This one is solid, but is it boring? “How about, Joseph?” you say. “No,” says your wife, “I knew a terrible Joseph!”

Happily, I suffered none of this angst when I named the children in the book my friend Vladimir Radunsky and I have put together called Alphabetabum. It was this way. I was in Rome visiting Vladimir there and just about to walk out for a happy afternoon of sight-seeing when Vladimir began to lay out on his work table one marvelous, small, antique photographic child’s portrait after another. He grabbed my arm, and said, “Look at these masterpieces! Every one holds the story of a precious forgotten soul inside of it! We must do something with them.”

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Baby Name Trends 2015: The 15 hottest!

2015 trends

Baby name trends for 2015 signal an increasingly adventurous spirit in baby naming, with more meaningful and colorful words becoming names, new gender twists and the tapping of fresh international and pop-culture sources. Here, our predictions for the 15 hottest trends for 2015.

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Biggest big picture trend: Defining Names

Why give your child a mere name when you can call him something that creates a clear and powerful identity? Our major forward-looking trend for 2015 is word names that make big statements. These may be grand names such as Titan or Royal, both recent choices of celebrities. They might be new virtue names such as Saint or Noble or badass names such as Breaker and Rowdy and Rogue. Defining names can also be nature names such as the stylish River or Sage, or cool kid names like Buzz or Lazer. These names define your child to the world -- or at least tell the world how you’d like them to be defined.

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posted by: NameFreak! View all posts by this author
elizabeth nicknames

By Kelli Brady, Name Freak!

Elizabeth is the only girl name that has been in the Top 100 every year since 1880. It’s no wonder though, as it is a classic name with an abundance of nicknames to create some uniqueness to each special girl. But what about the girls who have the nickname on their birth certificate? They are related to the name by custom alone and may have to explain to people that their name is not actually Elizabeth. These girls have parents who simply loved the diminutive more than the full name. And the popularity of these nicknames-as-given-names is pretty grand.

I consulted with my name sums database (all given names since 1880 totaled) and picked out the names that are well known nicknames for Elizabeth. I did not include all possible spellings of each nickname, such as Elleigh or Alyzah.

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November babyberries

By Linda Rosenkrantz

There was a wide variety in the babyberry choices of the past month, from classics like Arthur and Alfred and Louisa to the adventurous Sequoia, Arrow and Jubilee. And there were some especially captivating name stories, such as those behind Scout (another shout-out to To Kill a Mockingbird),  Arthur Genki, and Fawn, as well as the many cool first and middle combos and sibsets we’ve come to expect.

The one repeated name this month is the lovely Cornish appellation Elowen—as in Elowen Claire and Elowen Pearl.

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An International Adoption Name Challenge

middle names

By Angie Bahng

Like many other adoptive parents, my husband and I thought long and hard about how to incorporate HJ’s Korean name into her legal name when we brought her home from Korea. We had her American name picked out and we were set on that as her first name. Her Korean name was given to her by my grandfather. The Korean name he picked for her means “wise and righteous and affectionate.”

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