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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Lately when I hear a birth announcement, I’ll sometimes find myself thinking: “Oh, what a nice, normal name.”

This is madness, of course.  Because there’s no such thing as a normal name.

There are stalwart classics, like Elizabeth and James.  There are well-established mainstream choices, like Jacob and Ava.

Trends have been with us forever.  And there have always been kids with outlandish names, the Bunny and Princess, or Rebel, Rocket, and Rogue of their generations.

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girl names

The Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

If last week’s baby name news was all about modern classic picks for boys, this week goes to the girls.

From Laiyah to Lucy, a number of birth announcements were brought to us by the letter L. L continues to be the marker of many a popular name, from Ella to Lily to Annabelle.

It wasn’t all about L, though – popular choices from Israel and Brazil, and unusual possibilities from the wider world round out a list of names that range from the mainstream to the out-there.

When I look at the list, I think this: we talk about names. We discuss their history and associations, their meanings and use.

But do we really fall in love with sounds? I’m drawn to the lilting l and the vibrant long a, the sharp v and the cool oo.

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