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The Many Faces of Kate

girl name Kate

The strong, straightforward Kate (along with her variations) is the most popular nickname for the perennial classic Katherine today, often standing on its own. Some of the world’s most famous women bear the name Kate, which is popular in the US, England, and Ireland. The nickname even has Shakespearean antecedents, in The Taming of the Shrew – “You lie, in faith; for you are call’d plain Kate, And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst.” How do you get Kate from Katherine, a Greek name meaning pure? One theory is that it’s derived from Hecate, the goddess of magic. The name Kate, ranked in the U.S. Top 200, seems to work magic of its own. Take a look at some of the most famous Kates.

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april14

By Denise K. Potter

The fourth month of the year is a pretty busy one. For starters, it’s Autism Awareness Month and National Poetry Month. All in just 30 days, April yields the observances of Passover and Easter, Arbor Day, baseball’s opening day, Earth Day, and we can’t forget April Fool’s Day. April 2nd is even National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. So before you chalk this month up as just a whole lot of rain, take a look at these twelve baby names inspired by the notable figures and historical happenings of April—some could even make a perfect choice for a springtime baby.

April – Still the most popular month name, up against sister spring months May and June, April is said to be derived from the Latin word Aprilis, from the verb apertus, meaning “to open.” An alternate derivation comes from the goddess Aphrodite, whose festival begins the month.

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girl-boy

One thing we’re finding really mesmerizing about our gorgeous new Top 1000 U.S. names page is how easy it is to read across each line and compare the names of each gender that have the same rank.  Some of the pairs seems perfectly matched — Sarah and Henry at Number 43, for instance, or Cadence and Skyler at Number 290 — whereas other equally-ranked pairs feel discordant.

We can’t help thinking, as we survey the list, which pair we’d pick if we had a baby girl and a baby boy and had to choose their names from the same line.

Annabella and Lorenzo sound pretty great together, we think.   Or maybe Lilah and Beau, or Camilla and Zachariah.

But we’re really more interested in finding out which pair you’d pick, if you had to choose names for your only daughter and only son from the same popularity rank?  And why?  Do you really like both names equally, or do you simply think they make the most balanced set?

Here’s the link again to the new Top 1000 page: http://nameberry.com/search/popular_names

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birth-march14

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The month of March has brought a real bonanza of beauteous Berrybaby names—including two sets of twins, some gorgeous sibsets, and several highly creative middles.  And we’re lucky enough to be able to share the stories behind many of the choices. (Remember: these were babies announced on the Forums in March, even if they were born earlier.) Congrats to everyone!

There was one set of girl twins and one of boys:

Florence Abigail and Georgiana Kathleen, sisters of Oswald John

Keegan Nathaniel and Sebastian Miller, brothers of Weston Christopher

Only two names were used more than once: the boy classics Jack and Peter

The first-initial E definitely seems to be pulling ahead of the long-running A, for both girls and boys

Interesting gender-bender of the month: Gable Juliette

Most distinctive first—Escher; most unusual middle: Tesla

And here’s the full list: 

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abbie--3-31-14c

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

The other night a friend asked me what happens to kids with really strange names.  Not made up names, or names with crazy spellings, he clarified.  Names like Apple.  Or Bartholomew.  Names that make you do a double take when you spot them on the birth announcement.  Names that make you say “Really?” when you should be saying “Congratulations!”

My reply?

Nothing.  Nothing happens.

Actually, everything happens – the kids grow up and have the same kinds of adventures and heartaches and triumphs and debacles that we all have from cradle to grave.  Their name is part of their story, but even if their name is Clove or Cashel or Cordelia, it is only a part.

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