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nnangie6

By Angela Mastrodonato of Upswing Baby Names

The Victorian nickname trend that’s hot in the U.K. is getting attention in the U.S.—for girls.

The Brits have embraced this genre on both sexes. Alfie and Charlie are in the U.K. top 10. Archie, Freddie, and Harvey round out their top 50.

Believe it or not, these names have potential on modern American boys.

Charlie is an example of a nickname-style name that is steadily becoming more popular in the U.S, although it has yet to capture the success it enjoys across the pond, where it ranked at #4 last year.

In the U.S. Charlie is a comeback name that was fashionable in the late 19th century when it consistently ranked in or near the top 30. Through most of the 20th century, Charlie gradually declined to its lowest rank in the 90’s when it ranked in the 400s. This past decade, Charlie has rebounded. Last year it reached #233.

Here are some other nicknames that share the same boyish charm as Charlie. Many were once popular in the U.S. and have comeback potential.

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limboys

Last week we took a look at the ladies in limbo, the girls’ names not old enough to fall under the Hundred Year Rule, but were most popular from the 1920s to the 1960s, to question whether any of them were eligible for resuscitation.

And now, as promised we perform the same operation on the boys’ list.

We find several differences between the genders.  For one thing, the popularity of the boys’ names tend to stretch over longer periods of time (122 years for Howard, for instance), and clearer syllabic and sound patterns tend to emerge.  In the 1920s and 1930s, for example, we see a preponderance of two-syllable names ending in the letters n and d.  By the fifties and sixties, there are lots of four and five-letter single syllable favorites—the Todds and Troys, Deans and Dales—those surfer dudes we’ve labeled ‘Beach Boys’ in our books.

Not many of these names, except for a few in the pre-1920 list, have shown significant signs of revival—once again, because they’re the names of our grandpas and great-uncles and fathers-in law—the older men in our lives, the men still smoking pipes on Father’s Day cards.

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abby-zaia

 This week, Abby Sandel, of Appellation Mountain, gathers interesting but not outré names from sources ranging from the Old Testament to Cirque de Soleil.

The end of the year is fast approaching, and with it comes year-end lists.  Are Isabella and Jacob top of the tops, or does that distinction belong to Sophia and AidenHow about Liam and Charlotte?

It is an interesting debate, but for parents seeking inspiration, it isn’t necessarily helpful.  Often we read lists of the most popular names as a collection of those to avoid, lest our little Charlotte complain that she’s one of three in her kindergarten.

And yet, few of us are daring enough to consider a completely unique name.  Yes, celebrities are embracing Bear and Spike and Bing, but they’re rather bold choices outside ofHollywood.

Surely there’s middle ground between Skylark and Emma, Gitano and Noah.

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