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celebrity baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Need fresh inspiration for your baby’s name? Take a cue from celebrity parents, and look to the sky.

This week, actress Leonor Varela and her producer husband Lucas Akoskin welcomed daughter Luna Mae Akoskin. Luna joins big brother Matteo. Reality television’s Yandy Smith, of Love & Hip Hop fame, and Mendeecees Harris announced their daughter’s name, too: Skylar Smith Harris, a little sister for Omere.

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9 Ways to Choose an Unusual Baby Name

unusual baby names

By Abby Sandel

There’s more than one way to choose an unusual name.

Classics like William and Elizabeth are evergreen. And who doesn’t love Ava and Mason?

But if you think you’d like something different – maybe even dramatically different – for your child’s name, it can be tough to know where to start.

Here’s a road map with nine different paths to choose an unusual baby name. Celebrities are fond of each one of these strategies, but they’re not exclusive to Hollywood. Anyone can use these same approaches.

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new baby names

Here’s the beautiful thing about baby names: the well never runs dry.

No matter how many names cycle through Top Ten lists, no matter how many celebrities choose truly outlandish names for their children, there are always more names. Neglected gems from years gone by, novel words never before considered names, imports from abroad.

Need proof? Look no further than the overwhelming response to last week’s Invent a Name Challenge.

Or just read the baby name blogs, high profile birth announcements, and Nameberry message boards any day of the week. Plenty of parents, from Hollywood A-listers to the family next door, are choosing inventive, daring names for their children. The boldest might surprise us with their first name choices, while others play it safe with firsts but choose sparky, unexpected middles.

There are no guarantees, of course. An obscurity you choose in 2015 could hover just outside the US Top 100 by the time your kiddo heads off to kindergarten. But that just opens the door for another group of parents to innovate with the names of their children.

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short baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Do you prefer Olivia, or the spare Liv? Nathaniel, or just Nate?

If you’re drawn to Liv and Nate, you’re not alone.

Short names have come and gone over the years. Classics like John and Grace can be found throughout the centuries. Once-novel choices like Dawn and Jill, Todd and Scott, are now mom and dad names.

Today there’s a whole new crop of single syllable baby names, from surnames like Sloane and Grey to nature names like Skye and innovations like Jax and Jace.

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familiar baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Would you pay tens of thousands of dollars to have a crack team of experts develop a one-of-a-kind name for your baby?

If you’ve got the cash, a Swiss firm has assembled the creative linguists prepared to do just that.  It isn’t clear just how many bespoke baby names the firm has created.

Here’s my guess: the number is small.

Because while many parents crave meaning, and want their child’s name to stand out, we don’t hear a lot of truly unique names that seem pulled from thin air, even in Hollywood.

Well … maybe Suri Cruise.

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