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abby-khaleesix

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Take a few minutes and try to list all the girls you know named Sophia – or Sophie or Sofia.  How about Isabella?  Zoe, Ava, Madison?

Now list the names that are one of one.

I only know a single girl called Ida, and just one named Arcadia.  My son built sand castles with a little Maxine on a long-ago beach vacation, and I’ve never forgotten her name.  Cordelia and Monica, Zinnia and Murielle, Helen and Claudia – they all stand out, associated with just a single child.

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abby--4-7-14a

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Thank you, Zanna Roberts!

Just when it seemed like no one was having babies this week, the fashion stylist welcomed twin daughters.  You might have caught Zanna talking fashion as a correspondent on The Today Show, or as a judge on Project Runway.  She’s also senior fashion editor at Marie Claire, so no surprise that she and her husband, Milk Studios founder Mazdak Rassi, have chosen stunningly stylish names for their girls.

But the new arrivals’ names aren’t just stylish – they’re downright quirky.

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abby--3-26-14

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Confession: I’ve watched Kid President’s latest YouTube video more than a dozen times.  It’s called “Letter to a Person on Their First Day Here,” and even though little Robby Novak (a.k.a. Kid President) never mentions names, it reminds me of the happiest part of talking all things onomastic.

Around 360,000 babies are born every day.  That’s 4.2 newborns every second.  Even if we limited it to arrivals in the English-speaking world, it would take a lot of berry brainpower to help find names for all of those lovely new people.

It’s worth looking for the right name, isn’t it?  All of these new people are going to do some amazing things.  At their best, the names we bestow on our children honor that potential.

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b3

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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abby2-16-14

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Not so long ago, globe-trotting was the exception.  Immigrants quickly adopted the language of their new homes, and we tended to marry and raise children with partners from similar religious and cultural backgrounds.

Now, in our globally-connected world, many families are faced with naming across cultures.  The high-profile parents in this week’s round-up can claim roots in Colombia, Cuba, France, Sweden, as well as the US, UK, and Australia.  The baby names they chose reflect this diversity.

Some names seem like an attempt to bridge several cultures, like the Monegasque arrival.  Others, like one of Michael Jordan’s new daughters, or Melissa George’s son, seem to celebrate one parent’s roots.

The trend isn’t just limited to celebrities and royals.  Plenty of us are trying to solve naming riddles: combining Irish roots with Polynesian heritage, or finding Japanese names that work well in English.

If we’re all the jet-set, is it any wonder that our children’s names are so rich with influences from French and Spanish, from history recent and far past?  There’s a healthy splash of creativity and daring, too, which seems fitting in a world filled with so much possibility

On to the nine most newsworthy baby names this week:

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