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deja vu names

By Abby Sandel, AppellationMountain

I know that Hollywood isn’t one great big playdate, with A-list moms and reality starlets alike pushing their designer strollers through the park together. There’s no reason to think that Blue Ivy Carter and Tennessee Toth will attend the same preschool, or that Tori Spelling and Angelina Jolie are trading tips on managing big families.

Which is a long way of saying that of course sometimes one set of high-profile parents will choose the same name that some other headline-worthy couple chose.

To spectators, those repeats can seem significant. Tabloids accuse Blake Lively of stealing a Garner-Affleck baby name. We declare names The Next Big Thing if it pops up on lots of celeb birth announcements.

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awards-olivier

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Of course we all want our kids to be winners. So how about giving him or her a leg up by starting life with an achievement-award name? If you want to look at it aspirationally, a great variety of bases are covered here—from science to sports to literature to film to cartooning and even to blogging. (We’ve skipped the almost-too-obvious Oscar, Tony and Emmy.) Some very usable award names, and you might find one that relates to your own field of interest.

Agatha Award—a mystery fiction award named for Agatha Christie and given to crime writers in her “traditional” genre—in other words no explicit sex or excessive gore. .

Angus Book Award is for UK authors of teenage fiction, presented by the Angus Council of Scotland.

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mom14bear

In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating some of the celebrity moms who became new parents in the year since last Mother’s Day, some for the first time, others not. These are the ones we think most successfully negotiated the turbulent waters between cool and cuckoo.

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abbysibs

By Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

I do love a birth announcement, for so many reasons.  But I’m especially interested when the birth announcement includes the name of a sibling or two.

Mario Lopez and his wife Courtney Mazza welcomed a second child last week, a son named Dominic.  The proud parents intend to call him Nico.

I think that’s just perfection.

But what also struck me was how much I liked their children’s names together: Gia Francesca and Dominic. Gia and Nico.

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woody allen family

We don’t particularly think of Woody Allen as a cutting-edge filmmaker, but there is one area in which he has been—if unwittingly—prescient, and that is in giving some of his characters names that would later become trendy choices for babies.  (Though there are no babies in his films—children hardly exist in Woody’s World.)

For those characters he created for himself, he chose, with a few exceptions, pretty ordinary, sometimes nicknamey names—Alvy, Sandy, Mickey, Lenny, Larry, Jerry, Sid, Gabe, Sheldon, Isaac.  But for others, he did come up with some inspired choices:

AlfieYou Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger, 2010 (Anthony Hopkins).  A fittingly British choice for a British character—but it’s doubtful if Woody knew that Alfie was the fourth most popular name for UK baby boys born in 2010.

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