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Category: baby name isabel

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This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel considers the impact of baby name popularity–does it sway our choices more than it should?

Lately I’m wondering: is all this talk about baby names changing the names we use?

A century ago, parents could draw inspiration from the newspaper, the Bible, literature, music, and anything on the family tree.  There was room for creativity, but actual data gathering would have been difficult.

Today a few keystrokes will tell you how many girls were named Isabella last year, or whether hundreds of random strangers think that Ethan Alexander is a good name for your son.  No wonder an expectant mom actually grimaced when I asked her if they’d chosen a name yet.

With all of this information, could it be that trends will accelerate?  Will we talk ourselves out of using great names?  I’ve heard of dozens of parents deciding against their top choice for fear that Stella is the next Ava. Or maybe they’re desperately searching for a name just like Logan, but much less popular, without actually being too unusual.

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Name Spellings: Right and Wright?

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The idea for this blog arose, as so many good things do, from the nameberry forums, in this case one on name spellings. In particular, the focus was on names that had more than one legitimate spelling, and asked visitors to pick their favorite of the two (or more).

With so much talk these days about yooneek spellings of names – variations invented to make a name more “special” – it’s interesting to explore those names that have more than one bona fide spelling.

Of course, there may be some controversy over what constitutes bona fide name spellings. On the forum, some people took issue with spelling variations springing from different origins of a name: Isabelle as the French version and Isabel the Spanish, for instance, and so not really pure spelling variations in the way that Katherine and Kathryn are. Others argued over spelling variations that might more accurately be differences in a name’s gender or pronunciation.

There are obviously a lot of ways to split this hair.  And we’ve made a lot of judgment calls some of you may disagree with.  Sure, Debra might be a modern variation of the Biblical Deborah, but it was so widely used in mid-century America it’s now legitimate, or at least that’s the way we see it.

Here are some girls’ names with more than one spelling that we consider legitimate.

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