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Category: Name Image

posted by: upswingbabynames View all posts by this author
new names

by Angela Mastrodonato, Upswing Baby Names

Determining what makes a name contemporary vs. what makes a name established can be tough.

For example, if a name was first used by one notable person (real or fictional) in the 17th century, but hadn’t become widespread or familiar until within the past decade, does that qualify the name as established or modern?

There may be some debate, but to me, any name that hadn’t been widely familiar or used until within the past 20-30 years is a modern name. That isn’t to say that sometimes modern names can’t have historic origins. Modern names with historic origins are new names that sound… well… old.

Here are some examples:

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gender-benders

Can celebrities have an impact on the gender ID of their names?  You betcha.  First there were some earlier actresses with predominantly male names like Glenn Close, Sean Young, Michael Learned and Darryl Hannah, and then, more recently, Bryce Dallas Howard, Elisha Cuthbert, Tierney Sutton, Jules Asner and Mischa Barton, who have opened the door to the gender-bending of their names.

Here are some who have had a perceivable influence in making their lad names more acceptable for ladies.

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unisex names

A lot of people complain about unisex names.

Names like Riley and Rory, they say — never mind Maxwell or James — should never be used for girls.  Those are boys’ names, and should stay on the boys’ side of the fence.

And then there are those people who campaign for names such as Ashley and Evelyn to be repossessed by the boys from the girls.

Other says that word names and place names such as Halcyon and Havana have no intrinsic gender and so are equally appropriate for girls and boys.

We’d like to spin this controversy to a more positive place and ask which names you think truly work best for both genders.  Please name names and let us know why you think  your choices go both ways with the most grace.

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posted by: bluejuniper View all posts by this author
spiritual names

By Brooke Cussans, Baby Name Pondering

In times when some parents are attracted to bold, energetic names like Dash and Blaze; or weaponry associated names like Colt and Cannon, it makes sense that others would be drawn to names with peaceful, spiritual meanings and connections.

Such names can create a great first impression – they can set others at ease, making their wearer seem friendly, relaxed and approachable. Less overt than traditional virtue names, they still hint at an attitude that the wearer can aspire to.

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Double First Names: Mary Ann and Peggy Sue

double names

By Elisabeth Waugaman

The term ‘double names’ refers to the use of two separate first names as one, such as Billie Jean or Mary Jane or Billy Bob .

The practice developed for a variety of reasons. As populations grew, names necessarily became more complex in order to distinguish individuals from each other. Physical descriptions, occupations and locations of specific individuals became last names, as in John by the tower (John Tower), John the short, (John Short), John the Baker (John Baker).

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