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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

The other night a friend asked me what happens to kids with really strange names.  Not made up names, or names with crazy spellings, he clarified.  Names like Apple.  Or Bartholomew.  Names that make you do a double take when you spot them on the birth announcement.  Names that make you say “Really?” when you should be saying “Congratulations!”

My reply?

Nothing.  Nothing happens.

Actually, everything happens – the kids grow up and have the same kinds of adventures and heartaches and triumphs and debacles that we all have from cradle to grave.  Their name is part of their story, but even if their name is Clove or Cashel or Cordelia, it is only a part.

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marchlionlamb

By Denise Potter

The third month of the year holds more than the promise of spring. The thirty-one days of March encompass a little bit of everything—from the birthdates of famous artists, sportsman, war heroes, inventors, musicians, and writers, to the observance of women’s history innovators, and of course, the luck of old Saint Patrick himself. Before you get to finally set your clocks forward for that extra hour of sunlight thanks to Daylight Saving Time, check out these 11 baby names inspired by marvelous March.

Beryl – One of the birthstones for March is the aquamarine, the blue or turquoise variety of a mineral called beryl. The crystal is naturally small and colorless, though often tinted bluish-green by impurities. The dated British favorite Beryl is scarcely used in the US—a distant runner-up to the green gem of choice, Jade

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kidsbkblog

For many name lovers, that passion was sparked by a name that jumped out from the pages of an early-encountered children’s storybook. It might have been as simple as Alice or Anne, Jo, Beth, Amy or Meg, as fanciful as Pollyanna or Amelia Bedelia, as memorable as Eloise or Fern, Madeline or Matilda– or even have been an attractive animal’s name like Celeste the elephant or rabbits Cecily or Jemima. It’s hard to pick a dozen best from all the possible choices, but here are our top 12 most adventurous:

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memdayblg

Though its current associations might run more to barbecues, picnics and parades, Memorial Day conjures up a load of historic references dating back to its post-Civil War origins, as well as some more contemporary traditions.

There are several blogs-worth of noteworthy Civil War generals’ names alone—Alpheus, Americus, Cassius, Gustavus, Lafayette, Napoleon, Pleasant, Romeyn, for starters– but for now we’ve included just a few of the most intriguing, as well as some less obvious Memorial Day names associated with the holiday.

BLUE and GREYThe colors of the  uniforms of the Union and Confederate soldiers fighting the Civil War (the Confederate soldiers sometimes referred to the Yankees disparagingly as ‘bluebellies’),  Blue and Gray are the current coolest of the unisex color names. Blue Ivy is the much-discussed name picked by Beyoncé and Jay-Z for their daughter; actress Jenna von Oy recently named her daughter Gray.

CATHAYCathay Williams—aka William Cathay—was one of many women who passed as men to serve as Civil War soldiers.  A former slave, she was the first African-American woman to enlist. Cathay is an evocative old term for China used by Marco Polo that could make an interesting choice—if it weren’t in danger of being constantly confused with Cathy.

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