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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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novel names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

I’m a sucker for tradition.

My personal shortlist is packed with moldy oldies: Caradoc and Marguerite, Edith and Asa.  If forced to choose Jaxon or James, Eden or Elizabeth, I’d go with James and Elizabeth, no question.

And yet there’s something appealing about the idea of choosing a completely novel name for your new arrival.  This week’s high profile birth announcements were all about the modern and the new.

It’s fitting for children who are going to grow up in a new world, one where tablets have always been digital, instead of stone.

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oscars

By Linda Rosenkrantz

A couple of weeks ago we covered the Golden Globe nominee names, and now, as predicted and promised, we have a wider field to pick from with the new Oscar nominations, which include a wide range of behind-the-scenes people.  Not surprisingly, as a reflection of the gender imbalance in the industry, there are a lot more boys’ than girls’ names.

So here are some of the best names that were not included on the Golden Globes slate, with several interesting international choices in the mix.

GIRLS

Adruitha –(Adruitha Lee, Makeup and Hairstyling, Dallas Buyers Club) A completely unique name—Adruitha Lee is reputedly the only Adruitha listed in any U.S. phone book.

Celestine—(French Animated Feature title, Ernest and Celestine) In this charming French animated film, Celestine is a mouse—but one who is an artist and a dreamer. Celestine is a pretty, crystalline diminutive of Celeste, commonly heard on its native soil.

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abby--8-31-13

By Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

It’s been a great week for welcoming boys!

Eric Christian Olsen, Kate Levering, Fergie and Josh Duhamel have all brought home new sons.  The parents have something in common besides making headlines.  Their naming style might be called modern classic.

On Friday, Angela wrote about some appealing and underused choices, like Patrick, Lawrence, and Lewis.

This category is different.  These are names that would have been considered unusual – maybe even strange – just a few decades back.  But today, they’re mainstream, go-to appellations.

Call them Goldilocks names.  There are buttoned-down classics like James and George, and daring never-heard-before ones like Pilot and Zuma.  Goldilocks choices are at neither extreme.  They’re just right, falling into the wide middle: very wearable, but probably not your grandpa’s name.  Sure, they might be this generation’s Larry and Jerry, Ronald and Keith.  But they make for great choices in 2013.

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abby news-round-up

Today, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel looks back over the 459 names she’s chosen in her weekly Nameberry 9’s this year and picks out her top favorites.

Nine names per week over 51 weeks equals 459 names.  They’re classic, they’re quirky, and sometimes they’re downright strange.  But when I sat down to review a year’s worth of Nameberry posts, I realized that most of them are actually pretty wearable.

Very few of them repeat – something that surprised me, as it so often seems that a name is suddenly everywhere all at once.  Some garnered lots of positive comments while others went completely unnoticed.

My favorite comment?  “No, don’t mention THAT name.  It’s the top of our list!”  As I scrolled through the posts, there were more than a few groans of disappointment.

The best names, though, aren’t necessarily the ones that will be racing up the popularity charts.  I’m most attracted to the ones that seem novel – unlikely to catch on, but probably part of a bigger change in how we think about names.

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