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Which famous figures have the largest influence on baby names right now?The most important baby name influencers are a fascinating mix of actors, writers, sports stars, musicians, and historical figures. What they all share: A charismatic and sometimes heroic image that can inspire parents….and their young namesakes.

Here, based on their names’ standings in the current US list of most popular names, are the biggest baby name influencers of our time.
Pamela Redmond Satran

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By Denise Potter

The third month of the year holds more than the promise of spring. The thirty-one days of March encompass a little bit of everything—from the birthdates of famous artists, sportsman, war heroes, inventors, musicians, and writers, to the observance of women’s history innovators, and of course, the luck of old Saint Patrick himself. Before you get to finally set your clocks forward for that extra hour of sunlight thanks to Daylight Saving Time, check out these 11 baby names inspired by marvelous March.

Beryl – One of the birthstones for March is the aquamarine, the blue or turquoise variety of a mineral called beryl. The crystal is naturally small and colorless, though often tinted bluish-green by impurities. The dated British favorite Beryl is scarcely used in the US—a distant runner-up to the green gem of choice, Jade

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Your Hero Name!


Kennedy, Monroe, Landry, Truth — hero names are becoming increasingly popular, with parents naming their babies after their favorite heroes and heroines from history, Hollywood, sports, and beyond.

Surname names from Palin to Picasso are popular, but so are first names: think of Ava (Gardner), Amelia (Earhart), and Ashton (who else?).

Hero and heroine namesakes may be fictional rather than real: Atticus or Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird, for example, or Jo from Little Women.

Then again, your hero or heroine may be from your own family and circle of friends and acquaintances: a favorite teacher, an acquaintance you’ve always admired.

Celebrities have recently been incorporating hero names into their choices for their children: Mariah Carey‘s daughter is named Monroe after Marilyn, for instance, while Jennifer Jason Leigh and Noah Baumbach named their son Rohmer, for French director Eric.  Several politicians in recent years have named their children Kennedy, for example, a conscious choice to identify with that powerful political family and legacy.

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Canadian guest blogger Abby Simpson, of  The Name Station, takes us today into the realm of political names--past and present.

People say that few subjects are more controversial than politics, but sometimes politics has nothing on the often polarizing world of baby names! While some parents seek to avoid politically-inspired baby names at any cost, there are others whose passions drive them to use politically-inspired monikers from Thatcher to Reagan to Hillary, and even Chad.

So whether you need a list of names worth avoiding as we get closer to the U.S. election in November, or a list of names to inspire, this entry is as inclusive as politicians aim to be.

Reagan – the quintessential Republican hero has a surname that’s found relatively common use as a name through the years, though more for girls than boys. But if you’re looking for a more current GOP name, then why not Romney? Similar to hot Rom- names like Romy, Roman, and Romilly, the likely Republican presidential candidate has a gender-neutral name that could be shortened to Romy or Rome. Other notable past Republicans with names to inspire? Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Simpson Grant, TheodoreTeddyRoosevelt, and even Sarah Palin.

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Nameberry Nine: Trendy with a twist


This week, in her Nameberry Nine round-up of the latest newsy names, Abby Sandel, of Appellation Mountainlooks at recent celebrity and other interesting name sightings. Also, take advantage of our CyberMonday Nameberry ebook special! Buy our ebooks for just $3.99 today only, in our store.

If you’re an avid follower of all things onomastic, chances are you can spot names evolving in real time.  Emily fades, but Amelie rises.  Quick, list a dozen other options for parents who want something like Emily, but a little different.

Easy, right?

It must be surprising – even overwhelming – to those who haven’t been paying such close attention.  Parents often lament, “We thought that Logan (or Ava or Isaiah) was so different, but now we hear it everywhere.”

Stories of grandparents surprised by the next generations’ names abound, too.  Last week, Nameberry explored the Top 10 Names You’re Going to Have to Explain to Grandma, packed with everything from Brooklyn to Ranger to True.  They all sound novel, even bizarre, if the last time you checked everyone was naming their kids Jennifer and Jason – or Lisa and Mark.

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