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The Long and the Short of Girl Names

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Do you prefer your girls’ names short and simple, or long and elaborate?

There’s no right answer, and plenty of parents shortlist Rose and Isabella, Blair and Ellington.

From just one syllable to seven or eight, this week’s high profile birth announcements proved that parents can choose a long, stylish name – or a short one that packs just as much punch.

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Best of Our Best Baby Names

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We’re heading into the home stretch for taking advantage of our pay-what-you-want offer to access our big, juicy, comprehensive compendium of names for girls and boys, The Nameberry Guide to the Very Best Baby Names for a price you set yourself. Here are just a few examples of the varied kinds of names you’ll find among the 1200+ we’ve picked as the best on our site, from classic to the current.

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posted by: lawsonhaley View all posts by this author
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By Haley Sedgwick

I’ve always loved reading classic books. By the time I was twelve, I’d read a few Shakespearean plays, Pride & Prejudice, and Sense & Sensibility. Shakespeare was great of course; however, Jane Austen gave me even more. With her novels, I got the charming, delightful gentlemen I’d always dreamt of (and still do dream of!), the romance, the passion, and, a new range and style of names. After reading Pride & Prejudice (and falling in love with the thought of finding my own Mr. Darcy), I fell in love with the Georgian style of naming.

A time of great elegance, the Georgian era – named for the four British King Georges who ruled over it — lasted over 115 years, from 1714 to 1830.  Along with Eliza Bennet and Mr. Darcy, the Georgian era often conjures images of powdered wigs and stately architecture. Many of the buildings and styles of the Georgian era are still extant today – including the Georgian taste in names.

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This week for her Nameberry 9, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel proves that baby names can come from anywhere .

No, it’s your politics.

This week’s baby name news was packed with explanations for why we choose the names we do.

Some of the research rings true.  We know that the parents’ age matters. So does where they live, their educational level, and lots of other demographic data.  And hey, it’s more interesting to read all that analysis than, say, another essay dismissing unusual baby names as silly and self-indulgent.

The names in this week’s baby name news were all over the place, from the sweetly vintage to the thoroughly modern. 

Call me crazy, but I think that great names can be chosen by any one, regardless of their background.  The community of the name obsessed is diverse, incredibly welcoming, and forever surprising.

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This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel looks at the “quiet” classic baby names  and measures how they stand in the new popularity ratings. 

 There were dozens of stories in the baby name news last week, but they all shared a common theme: the Social Security Administration’s release of the 2012 baby name data

We talked about Titan and Briggs, Landry and Geraldine.  About how Jacob remained number one, but only if you didn’t tally up the many spellings of Aiden, Jackson, and Jayden.  Television’s influence was clear – Arya and Aria, Litzy, Major, and Jase.  Movies, sports, and music shaped our choices, too, as did faith.  Nevaeh’s little brother might just be called Messiah.

But what about the quiet classics, the names that rise and fall, but still appear in nearly every generation?  Hemlines change.  We graduated from the party line to the iPhone, the horse to the Prius.  And yet these names remain, worn by men and women, boys and girls of every age.

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