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new celebrity names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Welcome to a bumper crop of nicely-named starbabies!

This week’s celebrity baby names news proves that there’s more than one way to choose a great name, whether you’re welcoming your first child or your fourth.

Two place names, at least three family names, a vintage gem, a Biblical boy, some daring middles, and a bunch of modern favorites all made headlines last week. There’s creativity but also a sense of tradition in these names. It’s a balance that many parents try to find.

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posted by: waltzingmorethanmatilda View all posts by this author
international baby names

By Anna Otto, Waltzing More Than Matilda

There’s a lot to be said for having a name that is familiar in many countries. It makes travel and working overseas just that little bit easier, and if you have a particular cultural background, it’s nice to know that relatives in your country of origin will easily be able to spell and pronounce your child’s name. Even if your child never leaves their native shores, we live in a global village, and they will most likely meet, study, and work with people from other countries.

To me, a name with high international recognition needed to be popular in as many regions as possible, so that as a mimimum, it needed to be Top 100 in the English-speaking countries of Australia, New Zealand, England/Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Canada, and the USA. It also needed to be popular in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia.

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

The connection to the haunting voice of a well known jazz or blues singer definitely adds an element of –well—rhythm and blues—to a name’s image, an extra infusion of richness and pizzazz. Boyish Billie takes on new depth when listening to Lady Day, Etta goes from fusty to soulful via the “At Last” singer James.  Here then,  the Nameberry Picks of the jazziest ‘girl’ jazz singer names.


Billie Holiday, one of the greatest and most tragic jazz singers of all time, was born with the name Eleanora and took her professional name from an actress she admired called Billie Dove—who was originally Bertha.  Billie is a tomboyish nickname name that was in the Top 100 from 1928 to 1935, and now seems to be making a return—Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane have a young daughter named Billie Beatrice.

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Looking Beyond Emma and Ella: Who’s next?


It’s pretty obvious that some popular names start a daisy chain of cousins that become equally popular, as was seen most recently in the progression of a group of top girls’ names beginning with E.  First there was Emily, which was the Number 1 name from 1996 to 2007.  One year after that, Emma reached the top spot, only to be trailed by Ella, who has now been in the Top 20 since 2008.

Yet as recently as the 1980s, Ella wasn’t even in the Top 1000, seen as a rather frumpy has-been, stuck in appellation limbo.  Which leads us to wonder who will be next?  Which two-syllable E-name will escape from the lower depths to follow in this progression?

The leading contenders:

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Cool Baby Names: Jazzy names for Junior


There’s something undeniably cool and, well, jazzy, about many of the distinctive names of jazz musicians.  Take the ultimate example, the personification of cool –Miles Davis– who imparted an eternally silky, seductive veneer to his name, as did Quincy Jones.

The inimitable Ella Fitzgerald gave her name a jazzy edge long before Ella was anywhere near the top of the pop lists.  Names like Ray and Roy, Cecil and Percy and Dexter all take on an appealing funkiness and rise to another level when looked at in the context of jazz.

And then there are the great unique specimens—Bix, Django, Eubie, Thelonius—all exceptionally cool baby names–that might appeal to the intrepid jazz aficionado.

The surnames of jazz immortals can be considered as well, just as they have by a few celebs—model Helena Christensen’s Mingus, and Woody Allen’s Bechet, for example.  The middle name of Wynton Marsalis’s son Jasper is Armstrong; Cynthia Nixon’s boy Max has Ellington as a middle.


ABBEY Lincoln



BILLIE Holiday





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