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heroic baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Poor Princess Kate.

Not only is she suffering from serious morning sickness with Baby #2, everyone from late night talk show hosts to gossip columnists worldwide is busy speculating on her due date, whether #2 will be a princess or a prince, and, of course, what they’ll name the newest royal.

Naming any boy – whether he’s coming home to a castle or a condo – can become a battle between tradition and fresh starts.

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

The good news about naming a girl: the options are limitless.

The bad news about naming a girl: the options?  Limitless!  How do you choose?

In the US, around two-thirds of all newborn girls are given a Top 1000 name.  We play it safe with our sons, with 79% – nearly four out of five – parents sticking with something in the Top 1000.  Sure, Cortez, Kamdyn, and Garrison are included in that Top 1000 definition of safe – but they’re not nearly as out-there as some of the rarities given to girls.

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abby--brees2

by Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Congratulations to the Brees family on their latest addition: daughter Rylen Judith.

With just two names, the NFL quarterback and wife Brittany (shown in illustration) managed to capture both extremes in modern baby naming.  The couple chose a first name that’s pure twenty-first century, and paired it with a middle that’s been around since the Old Testament.

Some parents consider names from both sides of the line – innovations like Maddox as well as standards like Robert or Stanley. Most of us probably have a definite preference. Yes to Eleanor, no to Madison. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

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word baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Every once in a while, two sets of high profile parents use the same name within weeks of each other.  Remember the Camden coincidence from 2011?

Usually it signals a name already on the rise.  That was certainly the case with Camden, a name that cracked the US Top 100 in 2013.

Could Saint be next?

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modern girls names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Is the way we name our daughters changing?

The way we name our sons in 2014 feels different.  For years we relied on Biblical favorites with a few hardy Germanic go-tos mixed in.  But since the 1990s, we’ve seen names like Tyler, Mason, and Jayden reach the US Top Ten.  Jackson is more popular than John, while former favorites like Richard and Steven are less and less common.

Girls’ names have always been more volatile.  And yet, our ideas about what makes an appropriately feminine name were once more set.  Sophia, Isabella and Charlotte might be today’s darlings, but they’re not so different from Amanda, Melissa, and Heather in the 1980s or Barbara, Cynthia, and Karen in the 1950s.

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