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Category: Spellings, Sounds and Initials

baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Popular names are popular for a reason: They’re attractive, fresh, feel right for the times.

Their only problem is that they’re, well, popular.

If you like a name that you’re starting to hear a bit too often, we’ve come up with more original substitutes that may strike the right chord.  Here are ten popular girls’ names and ten boys’ names and ideas for more unusual substitutes.

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M Baby Names: Initial of the future?

M baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Let’s forget about the vowel-starting baby names that have dominated the current era.

When it comes to consonants, the J names of the 80s — Jennifer and Jason, Jessica and Joshua — were followed by the K names of the 90s were followed by the L names that are both popular and stylish today: Lila and Liam, Lucia and Laszlo.

So what might be coming up but names that start with M?  Sure, we’ve had dominant M names — think Mary and Michael — in the past, but the next wave of M names are more unusual examples.

And after the lovely, lilting L names, we are ready for M’s fuzzy warmth.  There are so many marvelous, miraculous M-starting names that are already being discovered by stylish parents: Mila and Milo, Maisie and Maxwell.

But today we’d like to focus on the M names of the future, those waiting in the wings for revival.  Some of our favorites:

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confused baby

Basil.

Elisabeth.

Giles.

Those are a few that perennially befuddle us. Even when we know how to pronounce them, we forget, or we encounter someone who pronounces them the other way.

Which name pronunciations are you unsure of? Either because the spellings are confusing, or because they’re pronounced different ways by different people, or because the pronunciations are counterintuitive, or you’re not familiar with their native cultures…..or, whyever.

We’ll try to help identify the correct pronunciations, and if we’re not sure, we can help each other!

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Unusual Baby Names: The Other A Names

baby names that start with A

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Everybody loves the letter A.

A is the most common first initial for baby names today.  Many of the most popular baby names start with A, including Ava, Abigail, and Amelia for girls, and Alexander, Andrew, and the Aiden constellation for boys.  And then there are all the fast-rising names that begin with A, from the Game of Thrones-inspired Arya to the biblical Asher to the hot celebrity names Anson and Azalea.

Why is A so favored?  The fact that it’s first may have something to do with giving it an image of primacy and importance.  And then there are the studies that say people whose names begin with A are more likely to earn As in school and may even live longer.

That makes a lot of good reasons to want to choose an A name for your baby.  But what are the best A names that are not overused or on their way to becoming too popular?

We combed the nearly 3500 unusual baby names that start with A on Nameberry to find the best choices below the Top 1000.  Here, our 100 favorites:

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Baby Name Trendspotting: Hello, Dolly!

posted by: Elea View all posts by this author
name trendspotting

By Eleanor Nickerson, British Baby Names

Even though they didn’t make the top 20 list of names which had moved up the most in 2013, one thing I particularly noticed about the recent England and Wales data release was the number of “Dol” names that had shot onto the scene.

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