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Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

It’s been a quiet week for high profile arrivals.  Sure, Michael Weatherly of NCIS fame and wife Bojana welcomed son Liam.  It’s a great name – friendly, upbeat, accessible.  Liam is also a solid favorite in the US, just like big sister’s name, Olivia.  Last year, he was the #1 choice in at least nine states, and shows no signs of slowing down.

But name news isn’t just about celebrities.  In order for parents to consider a name, they have to know that it exists.  Books, television, movies, athletes, actors, song lyrics, people in the headlines – they can all add new options to an expectant parent’s shortlist.

Baby name books have always surfaced some unusual possibilities.  I fell in love with Hephzibah in a paperback name encyclopedia from the 1970s, the same book my mother used to circle mainstream options like Jill and AmyHester came from The Scarlet Letter.  And Caroline, a name I eventually used as one of my daughter’s middles?  She’s from a Psychedelic Furs song, a classic I never noticed until I heard the lyrics.

Now Nameberry, and the vast community of baby name blogs and websites, is part of that process, too.  This week was filled with daring, even fanciful names for girls with global influence.  Some of these might seem too much for a first name, but I can hear most of them in the middle spot.

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The Most Outrageous Baby Names of 2012

outragblog

Even more than the names at the top of the Most Popular list, outrageous names can define our times, becoming the most memorable symbols of important passages and events. As well as sources of head-shaking wonder.Here, Nameberry’s picks for the 12 most outrageous names of 2012

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hungerforblog

Yes, The Hunger Games may well bring in a billion dollars at the box office, but at Nameberry the bigger question is, how will it affect baby naming? Will it, like the Twilight franchise, spur the revival of classics like Edward and Bella? Or bring to the fore some more unusual choices like Beatrix and Lavender and Luna as Harry Potter did? The Hunger Games has quite an eclectic mix of names—with lead characters called Katniss and Peeta and a guy named Gale, a Coriolanus and a Plutarch, exotic botanicals, and unlikely pairs like Glimmer and Gloss. Here are Nameberry’s pick of the Hunger Games names– of characters who made the leap from book to screen –that are most likely to succeed in Babynameland.

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