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maya2

By Erin Waldron

This past week, America said a sad goodbye to one of the most beautiful and influential voices of our time when poet, author, educator, actress, director, and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou passed away on May 28. While we mourn her loss and reflect on her countless accomplishments and the extraordinary life she lived, here are just a few ideas for those who may consider honoring Dr. Angelou‘s legacy for a 2014 baby. If you are expecting a new addition this year, would you choose any of the following for your child’s first or middle name spot? I would love to hear more of your suggestions in the comments.

Marguerite: This is Maya Angelou‘s birth name, which was shortened to “Maya” as a nickname from her older brother. Marguerite, the French form of Margaret, has been off the charts since 1970, but is on the verge of a comeback, currently at Number 406 in Nameberry.

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By Abby Sandel, Appelation Mountain

Between Kendra and Ciara, it was a busy week in the world of out-there celebrity baby names.

Both new arrivals names’ are definitely distinctive, and at first glance, it might seem that they wouldn’t have much impact on what the rest of us name our children.

But high profile birth announcements – even the most extreme examples – do change the way that we think about possible names, often for the better.

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Thank you, Zanna Roberts!

Just when it seemed like no one was having babies this week, the fashion stylist welcomed twin daughters.  You might have caught Zanna talking fashion as a correspondent on The Today Show, or as a judge on Project Runway.  She’s also senior fashion editor at Marie Claire, so no surprise that she and her husband, Milk Studios founder Mazdak Rassi, have chosen stunningly stylish names for their girls.

But the new arrivals’ names aren’t just stylish – they’re downright quirky.

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posted by: upswingbabynames View all posts by this author
americano

By Angela Mastrodonato of upswingbabynames

Often an inspiration for artwork and music, classic Americana is an untapped resource for baby names rich in history and culture.

These names have American roots. These names have an American image, but (with some exceptions) most aren’t even popular in America. But they have styles appealing to many American parents.

Girls

America Admittedly this is not a surprising pick. What is surprising is how long America has been around as a given name. America first came into use as a given name in America in the 19th century. The name first made the Social Security top 1000 list back in 1880, the earliest year for name rankings.

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sweet baby

There’s no sweeter pleasure than serenading your baby with a lullaby, which can even be nicer if the song’s title references the sweetness of your daughter’s (or son’s) name.  An amazing number of songs fit this bill, dating from the early days of the republic to the Golden Age of jazz and swing, right through to contemporary rock— from the barbershop quartet harmonies of Sweet Adeline to the Rolling Stones’ rendition of Sweet Virginia. Most of these songs have lyrics you can actually croon, while just a few are instrumentals you can set your own words to.

Here they are:

ADELINESweet Adeline is an old standard that was a favorite of barbershop quartets.  JFK’s grandfather John F. Fitzgerald, mayor of Boston, made it his theme song, and Mickey Mouse serenaded Minnie with it in a 1929 cartoon.  Sweet name Adeline reappeared on the pop list in 1999, and is now Number 288.

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