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abby-dash

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

There are dozens of ways to slice and dice baby names.  Classic or hipster, modern or vintage.

But here’s a divide that cuts across style categories: is the name on the birth certificate the name intended for daily use?  Or is it more of a jumping off point, the source of a nickname that will actually be what you call your kiddo 99% of the time?

The first group are WYSIWYG baby names: What You See (on the birth certificate) is What You Get (in real life).  Jack is called Jack, Sadie is Sadie, and how could Ellie answer to anything else?

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Naming Baby Number Two

Love

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Let’s face it : the blank slate of naming your first child can be intimidating.

Will you stick with the classics?  Or would you be happier with a Cricket instead of a Charlotte, a Wylie rather than a William?  You’ve always liked your mother’s maiden name, Davis, and then there’s his fabulous Great Aunt Marguerite – but do you want to hand down family names, or is it better to start fresh?  Is Wyatt too trendy?  Is Cordelia too obscure?

It’s a riddle, but despite dire warnings of name regret, most parents seem to choose a perfectly suitable name for their firstborn.

Welcoming a second child means that you’ve got a crib and car seat already, but when it comes to names, you’re back at the beginning.

Or are you?  Because not only will you revisit many of the questions from the first round, you’ll also have to consider whether baby #2’s name matches, clashes – or matches too much – with the big brother or sister-to-be.

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abby--double

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Good things came in twos this week, as the baby name news was dominated by interesting sets of twins, and two new ends-with-R names for boys.

Let’s start with the letter R.

This past spring, the mainstream media picked up on a phenomenon we name nerds have long recognized: two-syllable, ends-with-N names for boys are big.  Whether we’re talking chart toppers like Aiden and Mason, or new inventions like Zennon and Dreyson, N has been the go-to letter for ending boys’ names in recent years.

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Brother and Sister Names in the News

abby--sib--6-14

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

If naming your first child is a challenge, naming baby number two – and maybe three and four – can start to feel like a puzzle.  Should you repeat first initials?  Should everyone share the same first initial?  If your son’s name is a Top 20 standard, is it okay to give your daughter a name that’s never cracked the Top 1000?  How about honor names?  If your daughter is named after your grandmother, will his grandmother expect to be next?

There’s no right answer, but there is a right choice for every family.  This week, sibsets were in the baby name news – and on my mind.

Blame it on a trip to the zoo.  We’re lucky enough to live in the Land of Bao Bao, also known as Washington DC, home to the Smithsonian National Zoo.  As we crowded into the panda habitat the other morning, parents called their kids’ names.  Mostly Sophia, with Noah, Aiden, and Hayden tossed in for good measure.

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image

By Abby Sandel, Appelation Mountain

Between Kendra and Ciara, it was a busy week in the world of out-there celebrity baby names.

Both new arrivals names’ are definitely distinctive, and at first glance, it might seem that they wouldn’t have much impact on what the rest of us name our children.

But high profile birth announcements – even the most extreme examples – do change the way that we think about possible names, often for the better.

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