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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Brian is your brother-in-law, Bill’s your uncle, and Barbara is your mom.  But could B be the new letter to watch for baby names?

Up until recently we were all mad for Aiden and Ava, Amelia and AlexanderA was the most popular letter for girls’ names, the second most popular for boys, and a resounding #1 overall.

Of course, B hasn’t been in the shadows.  You probably know kids called Benjamin and Brayden, Brooklyn, Brianna and Bella.  They’re all Top 100 choices. Up-and-comers like Beatrix and Beckett are on the favorites list of many a future parent.

Still, it was a surprise to hear four great B choices in the news this week, all of which could catch on.  They were mixed in with lots of intriguing names: a vintage romantic, a pair of Hollywood glam surnames, and a handsome Greek god.

Here are the baby names in this week’s news, brought to you by the letter B and beyond:

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celebrity names

We’ve talked a lot about the Glamour Girl celebrity names of Hollywood’s Golden Age, but how about their Gorgeous Guy counterparts? With the ladies, it’s mostly their first names, like Ava and Audrey, that have been picked up on by baby namers, plus just a couple of surnames, as in Harlow and Monroe. For the boys, we’re focusing on last names only—some of which are already being used for babies, others that would make fresh, creative choices.

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celebharlow

When the name Mason jumped ten places to become the 2011 second most popular boy’s name in the country, it wasn’t just because more parents were noticing this pleasant occupational surname. No, anyone who had kept up with the Kardashians would know that cute little Mason Disick, featured on the E! Entertainment channel roughly a thousand times a week, had a lot to do with it.

For decades now, the names celebrities give their kids have had a tremendous effect on baby naming, one that has increased exponentially. From Ava to Willow, Maddox to Kingston, the proof is in the numbers.

So what are the latest starbaby influencers right now? We compared the fastest climbers on the Social Security list with the most popular baby names so far this year on Nameberry to pinpoint the most influential celebrity baby names today. They are:

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Today’s guest blogger, Aussie Anna Otto, tells us what she sees ahead for Australian baby names in 2012.

Baby Name Trends from Australia for 2012

Nameberry has brought us the Jack City

Jack has been Top 100 since the 1980s, and solidly Top 10 since the 1990s. Attempts to replace him with cutesy short forms such as Archie are going well, but nothing beats the blunt one-syllable nickname that sounds like a man rather than a boy. Hence we have names like Bill, Joe, Bob, Sid, Frank and Dan turning up in birth announcements, and spotted on celebrity babies too. They’ve got Depression-era chic – perfect for the current mood of global economic gloom. Can any of them become the new Jack though?

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