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We’re happy to announce the birth of our third Nameberry Guide ebook, Best Baby Names for Girls! In it we’ve selected from the over 20,000 girls’ names on Nameberry the 650 choices we think most likely to succeed at containing the perfect choice for your baby daughter. Now we’re going even further. We’ve winnowed that 650 down to a single representative entry plus two runners-up in a dozen popular categories, with a taste of what’s said about each one in the book. Get your copy to see the full list today!

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Yes, June is busting out all over—the summer solstice month of long days, of bridal parties and Father’s Day tributes.  If you’re anticipating a June baby, why not consider one of the names that relate directly or slightly indirectly to the month of its birth?  Here, an update of our annual rundown of June names to ponder.

June—Too obvious for a June baby?  Perhaps.  Until recently, June was considered the quintessential fifties goody-goody girl name, as in June Cleaver– apronned mom of Beaver– and twinkly actress June Allyson (born Ella).  But as those images have faded to sepia, June is sounding less saccharine and more modern.  Balthazar Getty used it for his daughter in 2008, and Amanda Peet realized its middle-name potential when she named her daughter Molly June.

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This week for the Nameberry 9, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel takes a look at the shifting perceptions of boys’ baby names.

When we named our son Alexander in 2004, it was a no-brainer, a family name that my husband very much wanted to pass down.  Despite my baby name obsession, the choice was made without much thought.

I knew girls could answer to Alex as a tomboyish nickname for Alexandra.  Heck, it was the kind of name I’d craved as a child.  And I was fascinated by the medieval French Alix, the Italian Alessandra, the Russian Sasha.

The possibility of a girl Alex didn’t bother me a bit.

In fact, we proceeded to call our son the even more ambiguous Aly for his first six years on this Earth.

Then came first grade. Aly was a Girl Name, he announced.  From now on, he would be Alex.

The classmate who told him that his nickname was a gender bender?

His name is Delaney.

So what’s happening with boys’ names in 2013?  There’s pressure to choose a name that is clearly masculine, coupled with frustration that so many fresh possibilities for boys could easily be the next big thing for girls.  Parents will drop Elliot if they see it mentioned on a message board as a vague possibility for a girl.  Emerson has been ceded to Team Pink before she even cracks the Top 100 in the US.

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Nameberry Picks: The Best O Names

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We’ve always loved O Names, from our first book Beyond Jennifer & Jason when we declared names that ended (and sometimes also began) with the cheery letter O to be “So Far Out They’re In.” A quarter century later, they still are, with choices like Leo and Marlo officially stylish and a raft of other O names gaining much-deserved attention.

We’re still so fond of the O names that we find it difficult to narrow our favorites down to a dozen, but these to us feel both fresh and usable, contemporary and also deserving of respect. The only down side of the O names as a class is that there are more great choices for boys than for girls.

With photos that connect the letter O’s eternal circle with things relating to childhood, here are the best O names right now.

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Any minute now, June will be busting out all over—the summer solstice month of long days, of bridal parties and Father’s Day tributes.  If you’re anticipating a June baby, why not consider one of the names that relate directly or slightly indirectly to the month of its birth?  Here are some June names to ponder.

June—Too obvious for a June baby?  Perhaps.  Until recently, June was considered the quintessential fifties goody-goody girl name, as in June Cleaver– apronned mom of Beaver– and twinkly actress June Allyson (born Ella).  But as those images have faded to sepia, June is sounding less saccharine and more modern.  Balthazar Getty used it for his daughter in 2008, and Amanda Peet realized its middle-name potential when she named her daughter Molly June.

JuniaJunia is the name of a Roman woman who was an early convert to Christianity and in all probability the only female apostle in the New Testament, praised and complimented by the apostle Paul. A common name in ancient Rome, it also belonged to the first wife of the Emperor Caligula, Junia Claudilla, but is rarely heard today.

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