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12 literary girls

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Novels and plays are filled with wonderful character names that provide great naming inspiration–recently we’ve seen that reflected in the newfound popularity of Holden from Catcher in the RyeAtticus and Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, Scarlett from Gone with the Wind.

Today we’re looking at some of the more unique girls’ names that haven’t gained that kind of popularity–some of them perhaps not likely to. It was hard to make a choice, but here are a dozen that made the cut.  We’ll be doing the same thing for boys soon.

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state names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

When it comes to picking a place name for your child, you could consider a continent like Asia, a country like India, a city like Vienna or Verona…or one of the select group of U.S. states that lend themselves to babies’ birth certificates. Here are the Nameberry picks of the best state names and how they came to be—with their mix of Native American, British and French origins.

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hidingg

This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel looks  at the sometimes hidden meaning of names –the associations that often go beneath and  beyond their literal meanings.

It’s easy to look up the meaning of a name.

Sure, they can be subject to debate.  Do Libby and Betsy really retain Elizabeth’s meaning?  But meanings are right there, a few keystrokes away for anyone with internet access.

It is much tougher to nail down associations.  The name Cecilia means blind, but my first thought is the Simon & Garfunkel song.  Caleb means dog, but all of the Calebs I’ve known have been cute little boys.

If meanings rarely change, associations are always shifting.  We forget a book or a movie, or a song falls out of fashion.  Bridget was once a generic term for a maid, but today it is a perfectly acceptable name for a daughter.

This week’s nine most newsworthy baby names all have strong positive associations, though none of them are in the US Top Ten – yet.

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