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Sweet Spot Names: Lincoln, Clara, and Callie

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Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Names like Katniss and Rainbow grab headlines.  Will anyone really name their daughter after the Hunger Games heroine?  Will Holly Madison’s little girl grow up loving her colorful name, or will she legally change it to Rachel when she turns eighteen?

Their opposites are the proven classics.  Dependable names, rich with history, like Katherine and Elizabeth, William and James.

Most of us choose something in between.  It’s the baby naming sweet spot: not as unconventional as Pilot or North, but not as limited as, say, Will and Kate’s shortlist for naming a future king.

This week’s baby name news was all about sweet spot names.  They can’t be dismissed as trendy.  The names would have been familiar one hundred years ago.  Odds are strong that they’ll still be in use in another century or two.

And even though they feature in high profile birth announcements or pop culture references, there’s no reason these names wouldn’t wear perfectly well on a child.

This week’s baby names in the news are:

Charley ElizabethDays of our Lives alum Martha Madison and her restaurateur husband AJ Gilbert welcomed a daughter earlier this month.  Their daughter’s name is the boyish Charley.  Yes, Charley is conventionally masculine.  But Charley and Charlie have a long history of use for girls, too, presumably as a feminine form of Charles.  Plus, her informal first name is anchored with a true classic in the middle spot.  Charley Elizabeth makes for a very wearable combination.

Louis Augustus –  Louis might be the most traditional pick on this list.  Regal, saintly Louis was the choice for David Walton and Majandra Delfino’s new son, a little brother for Cecilia DelphineAugustus is a grand name, too.  But Louis also feels jazzy, thanks to Louis Armstrong, and Augustus fits right in with other ancient names for boys, like Atticus and Julius.

Antonio AndresDevious Maids star Paula Garces and husband Antonio Hernandez handed down dad’s first name to their son.  Garces is Colombian, but Antonio doesn’t have to be a heritage choice or a family name.  With boys answering to Luca and Matteo, vowel-ending, romance language possibilities like Antonio feel mainstream.

Lincoln MarshallTeen Mom 2 cast member Kailyn Lowry named her first son Isaac Elliott after a Hanson brother.  Now she and new husband Javi Marroquin have welcomed their first child together, Lincoln Marshall.  According to Twitter, the middle name was inspired by rapper Eminem – real name Marshall Mathers.  Cue the snarky comments.  Except that Marshall is a solid citizen of a name, and Lincoln Marshall is a great combination – current, but not fleeting.

Ruby Lane – Personal trainer Chris Powell of Extreme Weight Loss and wife Heidi welcomed a daughter, Ruby LaneRuby joins Cash, Marley, and Matix.  The entire family features in ABC.com web series Meet the Powell Pack.  While the other kids’ names are of more recent coinage, Ruby is a vintage choice, a nineteenth century revival poised just outside the US Top 100.

Nora Kara – The newest member of the Kennedy clan is Nora Kara Kennedy, a daughter for former Congressman Patrick Kennedy and wife Amy, a granddaughter for the late Senator Ted Kennedy.  The family also includes son Owen Patrick, and Amy’s daughter, Harper.  The middle name honors Patrick’s late sister, filmmaker Kara Kennedy Allen.  Like Ruby, Nora is a name making a comeback in recent years.

Sosie – This one isn’t from a recent celebrity birth announcement.  Sosie Ruth Bacon is the daughter of actors Kyra Sedgewick and Kevin Bacon – born back in 1992.  Sosie made headlines this week when she was named Miss Golden Globe by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.  As Miss Golden Globe, she’ll assist at the January 2014 ceremony.  Sosie has lots of possible origins – Moliere used it for a character back in 1668, and she’s sometimes short for Susan, too.  Take the popularity of Sophia, add in a dash of Sadie, and Sosie is a name that could catch on.

Callie – Disney princesses have boosted given names from Jasmine to Belle.  Now actress Mandy Moore is originating a new character for an animated Disney Junior series: a feline sheriff called CallieSheriff Callie’s Wild West will make an early 2014 debut.  If Kaylee is a fading trend, Callie feels more like a vintage revival.  Dressing her in cowgirl boots could make Callie a sister name for Wyatt or Cash.

Clara – British sci fi series Doctor Who is celebrating its fifty-year anniversary.  Even if you’ve never seen a single episode, odds are you know a little something about the time-traveling hero.  We’ve never learned the given name of the good Doctor, but other characters have answered to some memorable monikers.  His current companion – a sort of assistant – is Clara Oswin Oswald, who turns out to have quite a story of her own.  As a name, Clara feels unstoppable – a successor to Hannah and Amelia, currently just outside the Top 100 in the US.

Do you think these names hit the sweet spot between classic and out-there?  Are there any that you would consider using for a child?

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