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Category: Names from the Arts & Pop Culture

Naming Baby Number Two

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Let’s face it : the blank slate of naming your first child can be intimidating.

Will you stick with the classics?  Or would you be happier with a Cricket instead of a Charlotte, a Wylie rather than a William?  You’ve always liked your mother’s maiden name, Davis, and then there’s his fabulous Great Aunt Marguerite – but do you want to hand down family names, or is it better to start fresh?  Is Wyatt too trendy?  Is Cordelia too obscure?

It’s a riddle, but despite dire warnings of name regret, most parents seem to choose a perfectly suitable name for their firstborn.

Welcoming a second child means that you’ve got a crib and car seat already, but when it comes to names, you’re back at the beginning.

Or are you?  Because not only will you revisit many of the questions from the first round, you’ll also have to consider whether baby #2’s name matches, clashes – or matches too much – with the big brother or sister-to-be.

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boy name Luke

Last week we looked at the ladies, and now we cross over to the other side of the gender divide—for some of the immortal male movie characters whose names have endured. It was really tough winnowing down this list and saying goodbye to some worthy examples with too-common names (Andy Hardy, George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, Bogart’s Rick in Casablanca, Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry); plus over-the-top baddies like Travis Bickle, Norman Bates and Hannibal Lector– and a goofball namesake like Austin Powers. But here are a dozen great names of great characters.

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

Of course we all want our kids to be winners. So how about giving him or her a leg up by starting life with an achievement-award name? If you want to look at it aspirationally, a great variety of bases are covered here—from science to sports to literature to film to cartooning and even to blogging. (We’ve skipped the almost-too-obvious Oscar, Tony and Emmy.) Some very usable award names, and you might find one that relates to your own field of interest.

Agatha Award—a mystery fiction award named for Agatha Christie and given to crime writers in her “traditional” genre—in other words no explicit sex or excessive gore. .

Angus Book Award is for UK authors of teenage fiction, presented by the Angus Council of Scotland.

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The Long and the Short of Girl Names

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Do you prefer your girls’ names short and simple, or long and elaborate?

There’s no right answer, and plenty of parents shortlist Rose and Isabella, Blair and Ellington.

From just one syllable to seven or eight, this week’s high profile birth announcements proved that parents can choose a long, stylish name – or a short one that packs just as much punch.

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Some movie characters have a long afterlife, remembered way beyond their release dates, their names firmly attached to the actor who inhabited the role. In our collective memory, for instance, Judy Garland will always be Dorothy and Diane Keaton forever Annie Hall. Here’s a look at just a few of these iconic characters—and whether or not their names had any impact on naming.  Might one be right for your new baby girl?

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