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Category: Baby Names Popularity

celebrity baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

The stars, they’re just like us.  They shop for groceries.  Run out for coffee.  And celebrity parents love names with vibrant, exciting letters like V, X, and Z – just like the rest of the world.

Names featuring V, X, and Z aren’t novel.  One hundred years ago, parents were naming their daughters Evelyn and Virginia.  Melvin, Marvin, Vernon, and Alvin were all up-and-comers circa 1914.  Max, Felix, and Hazel have had good runs before, and rarities like Zenobia and Zola aren’t quite as rare as you might guess.

Even Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II – there’s that letter ‘z’ again – has a granddaughter named Zara, born all the way back in 1981.

But those letters feel almost epidemic nowadays, from favorites like Zoe and Xavier to nouveau names like Zayden and Everly.

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The New Popularity of Storybook Names

baby name Eloise

What’s the connection between Lena Dunham’s tattoos and several of today’s most fashionable baby names? Dunham famously has Eloise of the storybook Plaza tattooed on her shoulder, and Eloise also happens to be one of today’s fastest-rising baby names, leaping up nearly 600 places since it reentered the Top 1000 list in 2009.  And the link is not just coincidence and is not limited to the charming Eloise: Many parents today are turning to their favorite childhood storybook characters for inspiration of both the baby name and tattoo variety.

Our focus today is on fictional characters in children’s books, though some older characters’ names in stories beloved by teens are finding favor too: Holden in Catcher in the Rye, for example, and Juliet in Romeo & Juliet.

The charming characters inspiring the names of an increasing number of babies include:

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posted by: Aimee Tafreshi View all posts by this author
unusual girls' names

By Aimee Reneau Tafreshi

Every year baby name enthusiasts and interested parents eagerly await the release of the Social Security Administration’s popular baby names list, which provides data on the top 1000 baby names for boys and girls. In addition to the most used names, the agency also provides statistics on names that did not rank in the top 1000 for the year.

I decided to check out the names that flew below the radar this past year to discover naming possibilities for parents seeking a unique name that is not too far out there. I began my analysis with the girls’ names. A foray into the name data can be comical at times and involves wading through misspelled names (Deisy, Serinity), made-up monikers (Lakelyn, Naveah), and “kreatif-lee” spelled baby names (Avarie, Kynnedi), in addition to luxury goods (Chanel, Lexus, anyone?). Beyond these types of choices, many names in the lower rankings are brimming with possibility.

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posted by: Nick View all posts by this author
names getting longer

By Nick Turner

Baby-name fads have come and gone over the decades, but one trend has held true: Names are getting longer.

A hundred years ago, boys’ names were typically less than two syllables. John, James, George and Frank were all popular picks, and there were no three-syllable names anywhere in the top 20.

In recent decades, that changed. Three- and four-syllable choices like Alexander, Nicholas, Joshua and Christopher surged in popularity, turning America‘s baby names into more of a mouthful.

By the 2000s, the average syllable count for a top 20 boys’ name had climbed to 2.25 — up from 1.8 in the 1880s.

Girls’ names, meanwhile, have gotten even longer. A Top 20 female name had an average syllable count of 2.75 last year. That compares with 2.05 in the 1880s.

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A peek inside the Nameberry bubble

nameberry bubble

By Josie aka Whirligig

I have a theory that Nameberry has its own naming fashions, like our own microclimates. We follow the lead of the rest of the world but also have our own periods of sunny weather and rainstorms. This might be quite an obvious assumption but I wanted to delve deeper into Berry activity to get some supporting data on first and middle name combos.

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