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By Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

Styles change.

In hemlines and hairdos, in music and cuisine and baby names, too.

Once upon a time, Mildred was a Top Ten name in the US.  Clarence, Connie, Randy, Dawn, Eugene, Norman, Norma, Crystal, Dustin, Myrtle, and Elmer have all ranked in the Top 50 names at one point or another.

It can take years for a name to transition from emerging trend to solidly established choice.  But this week’s baby name news highlights many of the changes happening now.

Change is constant, but some of the outcomes are fresh and new, and it is too soon to say which names will catch on.  Will Americans embrace truly gender neutral names?  Are noun names mainstream?  Should you double-check the spelling on every single name, no matter what?

Read on for nine baby names in the news, and what they might signal for the next generation of children.

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moon-dreams

When we think of names related to the moon our first thoughts would probably be Luna, or the Zappa-esque Moon, or one of the ancient goddesses of the moon—Phoebe, Artemis, Diana, or Selene.

But what about the names of actual moons, of some of the many satellites rotating around the planets?  Luckily for us namebodies, many of their names were taken from ancient Greek mythological figures (several after lovers of Zeus)–particularly those around Jupiter and Saturn– while the names of Uranus’s twenty-seven moons have a decidedly Shakespearean bent.

Here, the Nameberry Picks of the best lunar names:

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Golden Names: 24-karat names

G

Of course, we all hope our kids will be good as gold, follow the Golden Rule, find the Golden Mean in life, win lots of gold medals and gold stars, and all that other good golden stuff.  So why not give them a leg up by bestowing on them one of these golden names?

The most obvious are those with the word front and center.  Goldie is an old showgirl name legitimized by and long associated with Goldie Hawn, who was named after a great aunt.  The fact that the name Goldie was recently chosen for her baby by Ione Sky sends out signals that it could make a return à la Sadie and MabelGolda is one step removed, not heard much since the demise of American-raised Israeli Premier Golda Meir, who was in fact born GoldieGilda is sleeker and slimmer, linked forever to the sexy image of Rita Hayworth in the eponymous film classic, then lightened by beloved original SNL cast member Gilda Radner.

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Unusual Baby Names

Here, our latest collection of names that have been overlooked and are deserving of  greater consideration:

girls

ALOISA. Aloisa has several things going for it: It starts with A, which is nearly a guarantee of appeal these days; it’s superfeminine; it’s a grownup name ready to face the tough times ahead; and it’s also a distinctive spin on such up-and-coming choices as Louisa and Eloise.

AMITY. Virtue names like Hope, Faith and Grace have been on the rise for several years as parents look back to the righteous values of an earlier time in history; then Jessica Alba stepped out of the box with the less used Honor. Amity, taking it a step further, succeeds in combining virtue with an attractive feminine sound and a warm, friendly meaning.

CRESSIDA. Mythological and Shakespeare name that would be the perfect stand-in for the now overused Jessica.

POSY. Flower names have been well-used over the past decade or two, with such garden variety specimens as Lily, Rose, Violet and Daisy blossoming (sorry, can’t help it) everywhere and parents now looking to somewhat rarer blossoms like Aster, Lilac, Lotus, Poppy and Amaryllis. Our nominee for cutest underused flower name: Posy.

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