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The New International Names

international baby names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

There was a time when the top baby name lists of different countries reflected their own distinctive native cultures. When John and Mary headed those of most English-speaking countries, just as Giovanni and Maria and Juan and Maria and Jean and Marie et al were in first place elsewhere.

But that has changed. With the homogenization of culture in general, with an increase in international travel, the spread of the internet and global audiences watching the same TV shows, we are no longer surprised to find the Irish appellation Liam ranking high on the list in Switzerland or the Old Testament Ethan suddenly Number 3 in Monaco. This is a moment when certain names, often in a variety of indigenous forms, are spreading epidemically across the world.

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Future Top 10 names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

We’re just days away from the new year!  As 2014 draws to a close, plenty of websites and hospital systems have released their top baby names for the past twelve months.

At Nameberry, Asher, Declan, and Atticus topped the boys’ list, while Imogen, Khaleesi, and Charlotte were favorites for girls.

The official 2014 US data doesn’t come out until May 2015.  But this early information lets us read the tea leaves and guess – or hope! – which names might come out on top when we see the official numbers in a few months.

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In this turned-around pre-holiday week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel offers her baby name wish list, as well as her picks of the newsiest Nameberry 9 names.

With the holidays in full swing, I thought it was time for a wish list.

I’d love to magically know how to pronounce every child’s name at first glance.

A crystal ball to find out which noun names will wear well, and which just plain won’t work.  Or, alternately, a detailed explanation as to why Pilot and Apple still seem outrageous while Chase and Genesis are mainstream.

A trip to the most fashionable of playgrounds in Paris and the ability to speak fluent French in order to grill expectant mamans about their favorite baby names.  Cosette probably isn’t one of them … but in Pittsburgh or Pensacola, I think she could be a smash.  Or wait, maybe I’ll visit Toronto, because their list is just different enough from the US to pique my curiosity.

A promise that there will be a bunch of fabulously named starbabies every week … never mind, Santa – we have Claire Danes!

The nine baby names that inspired my wish list are also this week’s nine most newsworthy appellations:

Calin – Television veteran Samaire Armstrong is a new mom.  She welcomed son Calin a few days ago.  But t riddle me this: does Calin sound like Caylen, Colin, or Calvin without the v?

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Irish names have been making the trans-Atlantic crossing for centuries, beginning with easily assimilated ones like Patrick and Kathleen, Kevin and Brian and Ryan. But recently, thanks to a few high-profile celebs in both the entertainment and literary worlds, we’ve been introduced to some intriguingly authentic Irish names we hadn’t met up with before. Here, to commemorate  St. Paddy’s Day, are some of the best.

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Yesterday we did a rundown on the divide between the girls’ names that are stylish to the point where it feels like they must be popular and those that are actually, statistically widely used.  It’s especially hard to distinguish when it comes to the names we see appearing so often in berry posts and blogs.

So here we do a similar analysis for the boys, with some similarly surprising results, especially when it comes to those berry faves,…names such as Theo.  It’s easy to be fooled if you live in a place where there are more Atticuses than Aidens in your neighborhood playground.

Once again, the numbers in parentheses represent how many babies were given that name in the most recent U.S. Count.

Abner (162) is stylish, while Abraham (1,899) is popular

Ace (395) is cool; Chase (6,397) is hot

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