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Category: Choosing the Right Baby Name

baby name decisions

We were intrigued by the question posed on the forums by jackal, who loves the name Ingimar, well-known in her native Iceland, but wonders whether she should give her son-to-be a name that travels more easily, like Robert or Matthias.

Jackal’s question came down to head vs. heart: Which is the best way, the right way to choose a baby name?

Of course, if your heart and head align in your name decision, that’s the ideal.  But often the name we love, the name we want in our gut has some issue: it’s hard to pronounce or it doesn’t work with our surname or our partner doesn’t like it or we fell in love with it long ago but it’s since gotten too popular.

And then our head steps in, proposing the name that flows better, or the name that is immune from teasing, or the name that honors your beloved grandpa even though, ouch, Floyd

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brother names

One of our favorite fantasies here on Nameberry is to name imaginary families.  Today’s challenge: Tell us what names you’d choose for two brothers.

A classic pair like Henry and William?  Or a stylish duo such as Sebastian and Jasper?

Two boys’ names with matching initials?  Traditional family names, or maybe a modern androgynous pair?

And how do your feelings about raising boys and boy name trends today factor into your decision?

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Baby Names with Strong Meanings

baby names that mean strong

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Many parents today like the meaning of their child’s name to announce itself: True, Justice, Pax.

Or they might favor a place-name or word name or family name whose meaning is more personal than literal: London as a nod to their honeymoon city or Leonie for its fierce animal reference or Lowell after grandma’s maiden name.

If the ancient meaning of a name has less, well, meaning than it used to, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter at all. (Sounds like a tongue twister, doesn’t it?)

In fact, knowing the meaning of the name you choose or even choosing a name for its meaning may be a way to add depth and dimension to your baby name choice. The name you pick may be fashionable or feminine or flow well with your last name, but it also resonates for you (and eventually will for your child) because of the power of its meaning.

Today we’re looking at names that mean strong. That may convey a quality you wish to confer on your baby for the future or even the present. And what child, female or male, strapping or struggling, couldn’t use an extra measure of strength, whether physical or spiritual?

The wide range of baby names that mean strong (or strength or power or powerful) include:

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Boys’ Baby Names: 9 Ways to Name a Son

boys' names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Naming a boy has always been a little bit different.

It isn’t harder, necessarily.  For some parents, settling on a son’s name is a picnic compared to naming a daughter.

But there are definitely some differences in the way we think about boys’ names.

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popular baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

When the 2013 US Popular Baby Names list came out back in May, we ran Kelli Brady aka The Name Freak‘s wonderful Playground Analysis blog, with her count of the REAL Top 50 baby names. Kelli tallies all spelling variations of the top names to arrive at their actual rankings, which puts Aiden et al instead of Noah at Number 1 for boys, for instance, and bumps Jackson (and Jaxen, Jaxon, and Jaxson) up to Number 2.

Our focus is usually on which names are MORE popular than you’d think when you add in all their spelling variations.  The idea is that parents want to be forewarned when they’re likely to hear their favorite baby names far more often than they’d guess based on the official rankings.  Zoe and Aubrey, counting all spellings, are actually in the Top 10 for girls, for example, while Kayden and his many near-identical twins rank not at Number 93 but at Number 9.

But what about those baby names that are LESS popular than they seem judging by the official statistics?  Parents may veer away from some names, both classic and modern, that are actually somewhat more distinctive than they appear.  I’m not talking about names that are a couple of rungs further down the ladder, based on Kelli‘s analysis, but those that are significantly softer by our own subjective measure.

The point is: If you’re shying away from these baby names because you believe they’re too popular, maybe you owe them a second look.  They are:

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