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posted by: omnimom View all posts by this author
omnix

By Lauren Apfel, aka omnimom

In 1642, Oliver Cromwell led a contingent of parliamentarians against King Charles I, defeating him in what became known as the English Civil War and giving rise to the only occasion in modern British history where the monarchy has not held power. Three and a half centuries later, he became my husband’s hero for it, my husband who is a constitutional lawyer and a committed republican (small ‘r’).  In the years before the arrival of our first child, we lived in Oxford, both of us affiliated with the University there. Amidst its hallowed halls and Gothic spires, people would talk in hushed tones about their ‘periods’ of expertise. My husband’s period was the seventeenth century. Cromwell was his guy.

Unsurprisingly, Oliver was always his first choice for a boy’s name.  It became mine too. We said we weren’t having children, though, so we bestowed instead the name Cromwell upon our future dog, a brown and white beagle. Things changed and we didn’t get the dog.  But we did welcome a son who was, of course, called Oliver.  My husband wanted it because it was traditional and historically grounded. I wanted it because it was sparky and unconventional. It is both of those things, depending on where you come from: this is what has made the Venn diagram effect of our name selection so successful.  The year Oliver was born it was the fifth most popular baby name in the UK. In the US, it hadn’t even broken the top 100.

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quarter

Time again for one of my absolute favorite activities—rounding up the names that Berries have chosen over the past three-month period.  These are the winning picks after all the options were weighed– so often the result of enlightened discussions with and suggestions from fellowberries.

Today’s Quarterly Report includes an even more than usual range of fabulous choices, for both singletons and multiples–and we often get to see the sibsets these newbies fit into.

We also have some multiples of our own: three Spring babyberries each named Ivy and Miles, and two each called Charlotte, Cora, Eloise, Jasper, Leo, Oliver and Samuel.  Plus the similar but differently spelled Alice and Alys, Eleanor and Elinore, Mathilde and Matilda, Vivien and Vivienne, and Edmond and Edmund.

Some of the more intriguingly unusual choices: girls named Bennett , Connelly and Greyson, boys named Hawthorne and Jones, and distinctive middle names Sherlock, Capri, Dover, Huckleberry, and Adventure.

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abby-zaia

 This week, Abby Sandel, of Appellation Mountain, gathers interesting but not outré names from sources ranging from the Old Testament to Cirque de Soleil.

The end of the year is fast approaching, and with it comes year-end lists.  Are Isabella and Jacob top of the tops, or does that distinction belong to Sophia and AidenHow about Liam and Charlotte?

It is an interesting debate, but for parents seeking inspiration, it isn’t necessarily helpful.  Often we read lists of the most popular names as a collection of those to avoid, lest our little Charlotte complain that she’s one of three in her kindergarten.

And yet, few of us are daring enough to consider a completely unique name.  Yes, celebrities are embracing Bear and Spike and Bing, but they’re rather bold choices outside ofHollywood.

Surely there’s middle ground between Skylark and Emma, Gitano and Noah.

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