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By Kelly McDonald

The shortest month of the year has arrived, and with it some of the most interesting occasions on the calendar. From Valentine‘s Day saints to the most valuable players of the Superbowl, February is brimming with noteworthy namesakes for your little Berry. Whether you’re a history buff or a pop-culture aficionado, this list is sure to help you find a unique and timeless choice.

AbrahamAbraham is a Biblical name that was more common when President Lincoln was born on February 12th of 1809. Although it hasn’t achieved the superstar status of other Old Testament names like Noah and Joshua, this moniker is actually at Number 183 on the American charts and has been rising in recent years. Abraham is a traditional choice that would be especially appropriate for those with deep religious faith—or a particular admiration for one of the greatest leaders in history.

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Christmas Names: Special TV Special Names

Christmas names

Remember when holiday specials were really special–a much-anticipated, much-loved holiday event? When Christmas wasn’t Christmas without How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas? Well, times may have changed, but the names from those mostly animated old shows still can evoke some nostalgic memories, and some newer ones are creating future memories of their own.

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Reality television has become a real influence in baby naming.

And why not?

Hollywood A-listers like Hugh Grant and Owen Wilson might hesitate to announce details of their new arrivals, but reality stars tend to be eager to share pictures, and, of course, baby names.

There’s no shortage of reality stars, either.

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chris13-nicholas

There are certain names, like Merry and Christmas and Noel/Noelle, that scream to the world. “I’m a Yuletide baby!” One way around this, if you still want to acknowledge the season, is to pick names that are related but are also used all year round, to the extent that they’re found in the Top 500, given to babies born in July as well as December. Here are some examples—both religious and secular — that do relate to the holiday, but in a quieter voice, shown in the order of their current popularity:

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Canadian guest blogger and name book writer Shandley McMurray offers some advice on global baby names–picking a name that will travel well. (And those are her beautiful kids in the illustration.)

Growing up with a name like Shandley in Canada wasn’t always easy. I became tired of correcting people’s spelling and pronunciation of it, and, of course, I bemoaned the lack of personalized products like pens and rulers that adorned the desks of my more traditionally-named friends. Then, the world’s increasing reliance on email made things even more difficult, with online editors and others I hadn’t met in person often referring to me as Mr. rather than Ms. in their correspondence.

Now don’t get me wrong—I’ve always loved my name. I’m a loud and opinionated free spirit and a quieter name like Elizabeth or Ashley just wouldn’t have fit. My name set me apart and I took pride in the fact that my parents had invented such a unique name.  So when it came time to name my own children, I thought long and hard about my decision.

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