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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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deja vu names

By Abby Sandel, AppellationMountain

I know that Hollywood isn’t one great big playdate, with A-list moms and reality starlets alike pushing their designer strollers through the park together. There’s no reason to think that Blue Ivy Carter and Tennessee Toth will attend the same preschool, or that Tori Spelling and Angelina Jolie are trading tips on managing big families.

Which is a long way of saying that of course sometimes one set of high-profile parents will choose the same name that some other headline-worthy couple chose.

To spectators, those repeats can seem significant. Tabloids accuse Blake Lively of stealing a Garner-Affleck baby name. We declare names The Next Big Thing if it pops up on lots of celeb birth announcements.

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royal baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Will and Kate are expecting a prince or princess in 2015, but there could be thousands of royal births in the coming year.


Nameberry’s 2015 trend report started with Defining Names – names that create a clear and powerful identity.

A great many of those identities are clad in purple and ermine – tiny royals, with names to declare they rule.

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On-trend names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Do you remember those fifteen trend predictions for 2015 posted about a month ago?  And the trend-spotting from the UK, courtesy of Elea?

It’s only been a few weeks, but it feels like high profile parents are following along.  Recent birth announcements all reflect the kinds of baby names we expect to hear throughout 2015.

Even if you aren’t crazy about the individual names, there’s some good news here.  Parents seem to be losing their fear of giving a “girl” name to a boy.  Is it possible that names like Kelly will once again be wearable for our sons?

The rise of short, simple names is another one that will please parents eager to avoid nicknames.  Welcome to the world, Tom-not-Thomas, Tess-not-Theresa, and this week’s celebrity entry in the category, Cy, not Cyrus or Cyril or Silas.

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