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Baby Name Trendspotting: Hello, Dolly!

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name trendspotting

By Eleanor Nickerson, British Baby Names

Even though they didn’t make the top 20 list of names which had moved up the most in 2013, one thing I particularly noticed about the recent England and Wales data release was the number of “Dol” names that had shot onto the scene.

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Bad Girls with Good Names

bad girl names

Why is it that so many bad girls, from the biblical temptress to the modern Bond girl, usually have such pretty and beguiling names? Does that touch of evil give the name some added zing or does it taint it forever.…or does it have no effect at all? Here are some prime examples that span across that spectrum.

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The Nameberry 9: Back to Basics?

abby 8-13a

Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel wonders if maybe we’re overthinking the naming process, and in this week’s The Nameberry 9 she gives some examples of celebs who have gone back to basics.

Has it really become harder to name a child?

It seems to be the theme in recent days.  Over at Offbeat Mama, Caitlin wrote about her struggles to name – and eventually rename – her youngest child.  The New Zealand Herald reported the same thing, noting a 12% increase in parents filing to legally change a child’s name prior to his or her second birthday.

My maternal grandparents named their first three children in accordance with family and cultural custom.  My dad’s mom, undecided, pulled his middle name out of a hat.  As for my parents, they felt no obligation to honor anyone, and chose short, peppy, upbeat names for their three daughters – until along came a son, and suddenly, family names mattered.  If any child ever went nameless for months, or if aunts were divided over accusations of name theft, I’ve never heard the tale.

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abbygeorgia

For this week’s baby name news, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel picks the nine newsiest names, but looks at why it’s a plus to pick a popular name ahead of the curve, what the hottest new nickname is, and when some names have run their course.

Let’s say you named your daughter Stella back in 1999.  Your Stella is now in her teens, but somehow every friend-of-a-friend is using your name for their new daughter, and it isn’t just your imagination.  Stella barely registered in the US Top 1000 back in 1999, but today, it is a Top 100 pick – and rising.  You find yourself thinking unkind thoughts about Tori Spelling, and wondering why other parents can’t be just as creative as you were, back in the day.

While parents might find it irritating, I suspect that the kids who grow up with ahead-of-the-curve names probably like it just fine.  I know a 30-something Mackenzie, a 20-something Hannah, and a recent conversation about a teenaged Sophia made me think: is the happiest of occurrences to receive a fashionable name early in its rise?

It is a tricky feat to pull off, but if you’re lucky enough to be the parent of a 6 year-old Harper or a tweenaged Lucy, congratulations.  Your child will probably grow up sharing her name with attractive fictional characters, as well as the kids she babysits.

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