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There have been some colorful baby names–if not wacky ones–in the Nameberry 9 this week, as reported by Appellation Mountain’s Abby Sandel.

It has been a great week for gutsy, even wacky girls’ names, led by Girl Next Door alum, Holly Madison.

Before we get to her new daughter’s colorful moniker, let’s pause and consider the other issue Madison raised:  to share or not to share your baby’s name in advance?

Madison split the difference.

She hinted throughout her pregnancy that she was going to choose something different, even comparing it to that much-maligned celeb kid choice, Apple.

And then, just a few weeks before giving birth, she tweeted a snapshot of Rainbow Brite’s Colour Buggy with a one-word caption – need.

I’d been pouring over her Twitter feed looking for clues to her baby’s name, and completely missed that one.

So the choices for expectant parents in 2013 are: tell the world your name before the arrival, keep mum until you’ve already made it official, or use social media to drop broad hints to all of your faithful followers.

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This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel investigates some of the factors affecting the shifts in names’ popularity.

Last week we wanted to write about babies named Mitt Romney and Sandy, and as it happened, the world gave us both.  Name nerds and regular folk alike respond to the idea that dramatic, world-changing events have an impact on what we name our children.

But while everyone else is confidently predicting an uptick in little girls called Sandra, berries know that the picture is far more complicated.  Besides, wouldn’t Sandrine or Alessandra be the more stylish option?

The truth is that the real shifts in names are rarely caused by a headline-grabbing event.  While it was easy to be distracted by tales of Kenyan twin brothers given the names Barack and Mitt, last week was also rich with stories that show longer-term change in how we think about the names we give our children.

Last week’s nine biggest names in baby name news were:

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