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Category: Spellings, Sounds and Initials

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Brian is your brother-in-law, Bill’s your uncle, and Barbara is your mom.  But could B be the new letter to watch for baby names?

Up until recently we were all mad for Aiden and Ava, Amelia and AlexanderA was the most popular letter for girls’ names, the second most popular for boys, and a resounding #1 overall.

Of course, B hasn’t been in the shadows.  You probably know kids called Benjamin and Brayden, Brooklyn, Brianna and Bella.  They’re all Top 100 choices. Up-and-comers like Beatrix and Beckett are on the favorites list of many a future parent.

Still, it was a surprise to hear four great B choices in the news this week, all of which could catch on.  They were mixed in with lots of intriguing names: a vintage romantic, a pair of Hollywood glam surnames, and a handsome Greek god.

Here are the baby names in this week’s news, brought to you by the letter B and beyond:

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posted by: NameFreak! View all posts by this author
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By Kelli Brady of NameFreak!

When people ask me what letter I would use if I had to name ten children with the same letter, my answer is S. But I also clarify that it is S and not Sh! To me, since they are different sounds they are different “letters” with which to begin a name. As my mind ran with this thought, I wondered how have the two sounds differed in terms of popularity?

To do this research, I used the S and Sh names with percentage of use above 0.01% since 1938*. This cutoff was chosen because the Top 1000 in 2012 include names with a percentage higher than 0.0131% for girls. Because the S and Sh sounds are not exclusive to the letters S and Sh, I also added the names that begin with the letters C and Ch that have the S and Sh sounds. This can be subjective as some of the names can be pronounced with either the S/Sh sound or the hard C/Ch sound, but I went with what I thought would be the mostly likely sound heard. 

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

For some time now we’ve been seeing a profusion of soft El-starting names, from Ella to Eleanor, Eloise, Elliot, Ellery, Elodie, et al.  And now we’ve begun to notice some of her stronger, sharper, Ev-starting cousins coming into the picture, ranging from the ancient Eve to the nouveau Everest.

EveThe simple, strong, Biblical Eve is clearly the mother of this family of names, with remarkable vigor for a three-letter name.  It derives from the Hebrew word for “living” and was named by Adam ‘because she was the mother of all living,” and is now ranking at 558.  Clive Owen is among the parents of an Eve.

EvaEva, the Latin form of Eve, is now a Top 100 name, perhaps gaining from some Ava-overflow from Ava, and influenced by the popularity of Eva Longoria and a few other sexy stars. It’s a true international favorite—Number 7 in the Netherlands, 13 in Scotland and 25 in England, and is pronounced as, yes, Ava in several cultures. One Ev-name that isn’t getting much love is Eva’s pet form, Evita, which hasn’t shaken its string connection to the longtime Argentine First Lady, Eva/Evita Peron.

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By Mark van Vugt, VU University Amsterdam

What do first names tell us about their owners? According to Shakespeare’s heroine Juliet (in Romeo and Juliet) not much: “What’s in a name” Juliet says “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

It would seem that choosing a first name for your baby girl or boy is an entirely personal matter for the parents and beyond any serious scientific scrutiny. Well it is not! First, some first names just happen to more popular than others in any given period. In the 2012 US boy names top 100 appear names such as Jacob, Mason, and Cameron which are way more popular than others (such as Kennan or Alexei). This is also true for girl’s names. Sophia, Lily, and Isabella are among the more popular current girl names in the US. This effectively means that parents are culturally influenced in naming their children.

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Baby Names 2014: Our 14 newest choices

baby names 2014

New year, new names.  Let’s usher in Baby Names 2014 with the 14 newest names on Nameberry, drawn from ancient places and fresh words-turned-names, new-fangled spellings and refashioned surnames.

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