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Classic Baby Names Make a Comeback

baby name harold

By Abby Sandel

The new US Top 1000 list is out, and there’s good news for those who love classic baby names! While plenty of newer names caught on, 2014 was all about the return of longtime favorites.

James bumped Jayden out of the US Top Ten. Alice and Eleanor re-entered the girls’ Top 100.

The farther you look down the list, the more vintage gems you’ll find. Some of the names have returned to the rankings after decades of hibernation. Others have never really gone away, but the numbers suggest that these classics might feel stylish and fresh once more.

Here are eighteen great names – nine for girls and nine for boys – that climbed 50 spots or more between 2013 and 2014.

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O! Oh!..Those trendy o-ending girls!

o-end willow

We’ve long been loving o-ending boys’ names like Milo and Theo, but now we’re seeing that final vowel sound becoming a solid trend for girls. Except here names with the o-ending sound don’t necessarily end in ‘o’–it may also be represented by letters ow, oh or the French aux. Some prime examples: Marlowe has been a hot hit of late, and Isabeau is proving to be a more distinctive follow-up to the ubiquitous Isabel.

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baby name Maisie

The names Mary and Elizabeth were once so ubiquitous (there sometimes would be two in one family) that it was inevitable that a ton of nicknames and variations would evolve, not to mention international versions. Running a close third to those ultimate girls’ classics is Margaret, which means ‘pearl’ and which in fact shares a number of Mary’s pet forms. Here are just a few of Margaret’s offspring, and their recent bearers.

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There have been some colorful baby names–if not wacky ones–in the Nameberry 9 this week, as reported by Appellation Mountain’s Abby Sandel.

It has been a great week for gutsy, even wacky girls’ names, led by Girl Next Door alum, Holly Madison.

Before we get to her new daughter’s colorful moniker, let’s pause and consider the other issue Madison raised:  to share or not to share your baby’s name in advance?

Madison split the difference.

She hinted throughout her pregnancy that she was going to choose something different, even comparing it to that much-maligned celeb kid choice, Apple.

And then, just a few weeks before giving birth, she tweeted a snapshot of Rainbow Brite’s Colour Buggy with a one-word caption – need.

I’d been pouring over her Twitter feed looking for clues to her baby’s name, and completely missed that one.

So the choices for expectant parents in 2013 are: tell the world your name before the arrival, keep mum until you’ve already made it official, or use social media to drop broad hints to all of your faithful followers.

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