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Category: baby name Chloe

What makes a name a name?

Kid portrait

By Abby Sandel, AppellationMountain

What makes a name real?

To think bigger, what makes a word real?  That’s the question raised by English professor and language historian Anne Curzan in her TED talk.

They’re long-standing questions, but the speed of our modern age means that change happens fast.  Imagine a name like Nevaeh catching on before MTV, or Jayceon before YouTube.

Curzan points out that dictionaries are written by people, people who are listening very carefully to how the general public uses words.  So tweet and defriend make the cut.

The same thing happens with baby name books and websites.  Nevaeh wouldn’t have appeared in the 1980s, but she’s firmly installed today.  And while Jayceon might be too new to appear in print, the fast-rising variant can be found on most of the major baby name sites.

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loversguinevere-and-lancelot_e

Many of the world’s great lovers in myth, legend and history have highly romantic names—or so they have come to seem as the result of their provenance. From ancient Greek mythology to Anglo-Saxon, Irish, Persian and Italian lore, we find some intriguing names that– despite the often tragic fates of their bearers—continue to celebrate the power of love.

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French Baby Names: What’s next in Nice

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In the past few weeks, you’ve seen our predictions for the rising names in the US, and Eleanor Nickerson’s forecast of what will be 2013’s most popular in the UK; today we look to France’s upcoming stars.

To check out the latest trends in French baby names, we turn once again to our go-to expert, Stéphanie Rapoport, creator of the popular site meilleursprénoms.com and author of L’Officiel des Prénoms .  For anyone conversant in French, the site is filled with interesting lists, charts and analysis on French baby names. But for those whose high school French is as shaky as mine, we asked Stéphanie to give us a recap en anglais.

When it comes to trends, one outstanding factor is that French baby names have never been shorter in length than they are today.  In 2013, I see few names having more than five letters and a profusion of names containing only three, such as Léa and Léo, Zoé and Tom.

Sounds are another major component of French naming style. Girl’s names ending in “a,” not surprisingly, dominate the scene, with nine of them holding the top twenty ranks. More interestingly, the “éo” sound is bouncing back for boys, thanks to Léo and the newcomer Timéo.

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springbabe

If poets and songwriters can draw inspiration from springtime, why not baby namers?  The fresh, green, uplifting season offers plenty of ideas for spring names.  So here, once again, is the Nameberry spring names blog–our annual tribute to the names of the season itself and its months.

For starters:

SPRING – The mid-century actress Spring Byington, who played the grandma on a television show of my youth, was one of my early influences in the world of baby naming.  I’d never heard of anybody named Spring, but the whole idea was intriguing.  If you could name a baby Spring, why not….well, just about anything else?  Still an unusual, sprightly choice, and a lot more acceptable now than it was in the 1960s.

MARCH, APRIL, and MAYMay (or Mae, or Mai for that matter) is definitely the most fashionable of these choices, lovely as a first name or a middle.  March is the only one of the three that might work for boys, and makes an adventurous first or middle for girls.  April (or Avril or Abril) feels a bit tired.

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Will Maisie Be the Next Daisy?

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We’ve seen it happen again and again.  A name–say Emily–becomes mega-popular.  Parents like the sound of it, but fear there are too many Emilys, so pick something similar but a little different: Emma.  When Emma gets to #1, they turn to Ella–and then perhaps to Ellie, Elle, Emme, Emery, Embry or Emerson.

In the recent past we’ve seen a number of examples of this phenomenon–some rhyming names, some similar in sound or feel–for instance Cody leading to Brody, Brian to Ryan, Kevin to Evan, Jason to Mason to Greyson, Madison to Addison, Brandon to Landon, Kayla to Layla, Kaylee to Bailey, Kylee to Riley, and of course Aidan to its 999 offshoots.

What’s next?

Here are some possible successors to current names, including some unstylish vintage ones (as Ava and Ada were not so long ago) that might be coaxed back, plus a few that are already showing signs of success:

GIRLS

Will ADELAIDE follow ADELINE?

Will ALMA follow ALYSSA?

Will ISADORA follow ISABELLA?

Will AVIS follow AVA?

Will CHARLIE follow CARLY?

Will CLEO follow CHLOE?

Will DORA follow CORA and LAURA?

Will DELLA follow ELLA, BELLA and STELLA?

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