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Category: baby name Baron

abby--3-25a

Out-of-the-box word  baby names are highlighted in the Nameberry 9 this week, unearthed as always, by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain.

It’s been another big week for noun names.  They were all over Hollywood gossip blogs, and appeared in plenty of workaday birth announcements, too.

There’s no doubt that this is a rich category.  Flower names make us consider trees – meet my daughter, Lily, and my son, Cedar.  Weather and birds feel like inexhaustible sources of inspiration.  There are the old school, Puritan-era virtue names, but also more recent innovations, rich with meaning.

Sometimes the influence is more subtle.  Surname Brooks is preppier than River, but both bring to mind the great outdoors.  Clementine and Olive have been used for so long we consider them names, but they’re both on the upswing today, lifted by the trend.

May, June, and August are mainstream, but I’m not so sure about January, and it is always surprising to hear September, October, or NovemberApril is definitely a noun name, but Avril is cooler.  And if Avril is an option, how about Janvier?

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noble

There was a time when the titles of nobility seemed to be reserved strictly for the canine world, as in “Here Prince!” “Here, Duke!” But that seems to be changing.

When Guiliana and Bill Rancic recently named their son Edward Duke, the Edward was for family members on both sides, but they always intended to call him by his middle name, because, said Guiliana, Duke is such a strong name.  And she’s not the first celebrity to think so. Diane Keaton bestowed it on her son in 2001, and Justine Bateman followed suit the following year.

In fact, several of these blue-blood titles have been a lot more popular than you might imagine.

Earl is the one name in this category that came to be accepted as a name apart from its noble heritage—but has anything but a lofty image—especially since My Name is Earl.  But Earl didn’t fall off the list until 2006—before that it was a Top 50 name until 1939 and then stayed in the Top 100 through 1954, attached to such distinguished figures as Chief Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, banjo player Earl Scruggs and jazzman Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines, as well as basketball star Vernon Monroe known as “Earl the Pearl.”  Perry Mason-creator E. Stanley Gardner spelled his first name Erle.  Is it possible that Earl could follow sister Pearl back into favor?

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