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Animal Instincts: Baby Names From the Wild

animal baby names

By Abby Sandel

If you’re having trouble signing into Nameberry or accessing your lists lately, don’t worry: It’s not you, it’s us.  We’re making a major upgrade to the technical end of the site, which will ultimately make everything work better and allow us to add new features more quickly.  Your lists and all other functions will be back to normal shortly.  Now on to this week’s Nameberry 9:

Zooey Deschanel made us wait to learn the name of her firstborn. The indie darling turned sitcom star and producer husband Jacob Pechenik welcomed a daughter named back in July. We expected something quirky-cool from Zooey, and she didn’t disappoint – though she didn’t share the name Elsie Otter until last week.

Zooey also made it clear that Otter referred to the playful animal, calling them “wonderful” and noting that she and Jacob just plain love ‘em. I half expected Otter to be his grandmother’s maiden name, or maybe borrowed from some obscure novel.

But why not Otter? Plenty of birth announcements feature creatures.

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baby name Dylan

Which famous figures have the largest influence on baby names right now?The most important baby name influencers are a fascinating mix of actors, writers, sports stars, musicians, and historical figures. What they all share: A charismatic and sometimes heroic image that can inspire parents….and their young namesakes.

Here, based on their names’ standings in the current US list of most popular names, are the biggest baby name influencers of our time.
Pamela Redmond Satran

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Give Atticus’ Parents A Break

baby name Atticus

By Meghan Daum

Normally I’m all for making fun of parents who, by dint of ZIP Code or number of tattoos, fall into the hipster category and assert their nonconformity by giving their kids names that, once upon a time, were considered best suited for pets. Hang around a playground in Silver Lake or Brooklyn‘s Park Slope and you’ll hear enough calls of “Roscoe!” and “Lulu!” to think you’ve accidentally wandered into the dog park.

Still, I say we stop piling on parents who named their kids Atticus.

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Avoiding Names Your Teenager Will Hate

Teen Name shame

By Nicole Aube

Sometimes parents can’t help but love names that could prove difficult for a child to wear later in life. Of course, it isn’t easy to find a name that absolutely no one will have a problem with. But don’t give up! Even names that aren’t generally recommended have alternatives you might find to be not only suitable, but lovable!

Here is a list (selected from the past blog post 50+ Names Sure To Make Your Teenager Hate You) of some problematic names along with their more well-behaved relatives.

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Eccentric British Baby Names

British baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Every few months, we love to peruse the birth announcements in the London Telegraph in search of new trends in British baby names.  The most recent listings included a bumper crop of unique, eccentric choices.  Does this mean that parents in England, like those in the US, are becoming more attracted to unusual names?  Though the British birth announcements still include plenty of expected names like Amelia and Beatrice, Henry and Alexander, we’re also seeing more distinctive, even edgy names.

In English style, this usually means names that have traditional roots and are not invented or drawn from places or things the way they might be in the US.  But we are also seeing more baby names drawn from far-flung cultures, cross-gender choices, and revivals of long-dormant names. In the middle, there are more surname names along with animal names such as Bunny and Bear.

Here, 50+ real baby names from the recent British birth announcements that evidence the new heightened taste for the unique….or is it just traditional English eccentricity?

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