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names that start with D and E

The Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

From Alexander to Alivia, the letter A has dominated baby names in recent years.

This past week was different.  Could we be ushering in a new era of D and E names?  Or is it just coincidence that three celeb birth announcements for baby boys started with the letter D this week?

With favorites like Ella and Emma, it comes as no surprise that the letter E is currently the fifth most popular letter for girls’ given names in the US.  For boys, D ranked #5 last year (behind J, A, C, and M) while E came in at #8.

What does that mean for expectant parents?  If you’re after a truly stand-out name, it might be worth considering a lesser-used initial, like H, T, O, or F.  Alternately, a really unusual name, like Avalon or Arden, isn’t so strange when lots of little girls are answering to Ava and Allison.

D and E names could hit that sweet spot – familiar, but not overused.  Or they could be catching on, ready to eclipse A in the next few years.

Now, on to those great D and E baby names in news:

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This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel looks  at the sometimes hidden meaning of names –the associations that often go beneath and  beyond their literal meanings.

It’s easy to look up the meaning of a name.

Sure, they can be subject to debate.  Do Libby and Betsy really retain Elizabeth’s meaning?  But meanings are right there, a few keystrokes away for anyone with internet access.

It is much tougher to nail down associations.  The name Cecilia means blind, but my first thought is the Simon & Garfunkel song.  Caleb means dog, but all of the Calebs I’ve known have been cute little boys.

If meanings rarely change, associations are always shifting.  We forget a book or a movie, or a song falls out of fashion.  Bridget was once a generic term for a maid, but today it is a perfectly acceptable name for a daughter.

This week’s nine most newsworthy baby names all have strong positive associations, though none of them are in the US Top Ten – yet.

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