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Creative Baby Names: The Nameberry 9–Jubilee, Clover and Ralph

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This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel draws nine inventive names from the ever-widening and deepening pool of baby names.

Did our great-grandparents struggle to choose baby names?

Berries know that inventive baby naming has a surprisingly long history. Earlier generations may have had access to fewer resources – no baby name books, no internet, no nameberry.com – but our family trees are proof that parents still managed to come up with more creative baby names than just Mary and John.

As I look at baby name news every week, it is often overwhelming. Fictional characters, famous figures, obscure names featured on websites, newsworthy places and words that would just plain make great names – there are acres of great ideas, with new ones every week. Coupled with a greater awareness of the most popular names, no wonder we hear so many parents wondering if Sophia is too common, Seraphina too Hollywood, Sariah too hard to spell.

It truly is daunting to narrow down all of the possibilities and come up with just one name, and yet I’m constantly impressed by how we all manage to find just the right name for our children.

Here are the best baby names in the news the news from last week:

Clover Clementyne – Back in 1965 Natalie Wood starred in a movie called Inside Daisy Clover. The flick was a box office flop, but gained a cult following in later years. Now Natalie’s daughter, Natasha, has welcomed a daughter of her own. Clover Clementyne’s name was inspired by her grandmother’s character.

Margo and RupertDo you read Marginamia? She recently ran a name consultation for parents expecting a set of twins, a little sister and brother for William Sorrel Vermont, Stella Primrose Plum, Phoebe Ottoline Nell, and Lowe Ivy Moonstone.  The twins are here, and their names are splendid: Margo Helmi Swan and Rupert Järvi Spruce. While the children all have fairly mainstream given names, their middles are a surprising mix of nature names and vintage picks.

SookieTrue Blood returned last weekend, back for season five. In Name Only covered some of the appellations the series has put in the spotlight over the past several years, from Ginger to Alcide. Despite all the buzz, Sookie really isn’t gaining traction as a given name. A grand total of six girls were called Sookie in 2011. There were also six girls named Smith, and another six named Starlette.

Jubilee – Thanks to C in DC for this addition. Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee earlier this month. It’s a joyful, celebratory word, one that fits right in with word names like Trinity and Destiny. Between the London Olympics and the marriage of William and Kate, the royal family has been very much in the spotlight. It isn’t out of the question that the upbeat Jubilee could catch on.

Rafael – While we’re visiting the UK, Guy Ritchie’s youngest son was born last fall, but we only learned his name this month: Rafael. Guy also two older sons with his ex, Madonna. They’re called Rocco and David. Rafael splits the difference between his older brothers’ names, and word is that Rocco is the one who made the suggestion.

Violante – Speaking of suggestions, Isadora wrote about Violante a few days ago and she’s really stuck with me. Another purple, flower name for a daughter, she’s been worn by medieval aristocrats and other figures, as well as a modern-day Italian actress. More dramatic than Violet, she’d make an amazing middle for parents seeking the unexpected.

Sedona – I’m always curious to learn the names of new television babies. On the Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie, the fictional Duncan family is expecting baby #5, to join sisters Teddy and Charlie and brothers PJ and Gabe. The parents are called Amy and Bob. Wired’s Geek Mom brought this little fact to my attention: Bob is played by Eric Allan Kramer, the original television Thor from a television movie in the 1980s. Kramer has three daughters of his own: Sedona, Leianesse, and Amity. I’ve always wondered why we don’t hear Sedona more often – a pleasing alternative to Sierra and Sienna.

Lottie – Another why-aren’t-we-hearing-this-one name comes via Angela at Upswing Baby Names. Despite the popularity of Charlotte, I’ve yet to meet a girl answering to Lottie. Like Hattie and Sadie, she has a history of independent use, too – just not in the last few decades.

Ralph – While parents may hesitate to embrace a name invented for a movie, movies can change our perceptions of names. Could Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, due out later this year, finally help reclaim this classic?

Did you find it tough to settle on just the right name? Was it hard to stop adding new names to your lists of possible choices?

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