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posted by: Nick View all posts by this author
Lynn and lee names

By Nick Turner

In my last post, I wrote about how baby names are getting longer — with choices like Isabella and Olivia (four syllables each) trumping old-fashioned picks such as Mary and Anne.

While I was sifting through the data for that piece, I noticed something interesting. Some of the short names that were common in the past (Lynn, Lee, Leigh) haven’t really gone away. They’re just hiding within longer names.

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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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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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