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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Would you pay tens of thousands of dollars to have a crack team of experts develop a one-of-a-kind name for your baby?

If you’ve got the cash, a Swiss firm has assembled the creative linguists prepared to do just that.  It isn’t clear just how many bespoke baby names the firm has created.

Here’s my guess: the number is small.

Because while many parents crave meaning, and want their child’s name to stand out, we don’t hear a lot of truly unique names that seem pulled from thin air, even in Hollywood.

Well … maybe Suri Cruise.

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Best of Our Best Baby Names

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We’re heading into the home stretch for taking advantage of our pay-what-you-want offer to access our big, juicy, comprehensive compendium of names for girls and boys, The Nameberry Guide to the Very Best Baby Names for a price you set yourself. Here are just a few examples of the varied kinds of names you’ll find among the 1200+ we’ve picked as the best on our site, from classic to the current.

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snooki-e-lorenzo

By Tara Ryazansky

Snooki, aka Nicole, the diminutive party-girl reality star from MTV’s Jersey Shore, took to her Facebook page to crowd-source baby name ideas from her fans.  I have a feeling that the typical Berry isn’t anxiously awaiting the next season of Snooki & JWoww, but that doesn’t mean we won’t help her out with our naming expertise, right?

Her guidelines?  “Something Italian, and beautiful.” and it has to pair well with Lorenzo, the surprisingly lovely name that she gave her first child with fiance, Jionni LaValle.

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abby1-13-13

By Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

What’s the 2014 equivalent of the old phrase “Every Tom, Dick, and Harry?”

Every Aiden, Mason, and Jake?

Every Max, Zac, and Jackson?

The most popular names for boys used to hold steady for years.  In 1932, the ten most popular names for boys born in the US were Robert, James, John, William, Richard, Charles, Donald, George, Joseph, and Thomas.  Twenty years later, eight of those ten names were still dominant.  Fast-forward to the 1980s, and 30% of the 1932 boys’ Top Ten still ranked.

As for the girls?  That’s a different picture.  Between 1932 and 1952, seven of the girls’ Top Ten fell.  Shirley and Doris made way for Linda and Susan, and the change has continued at a rapid pace.  None of the 1930s or 1950s girls’ favorites still held a top spot by 2012.

And yet there are more wearable names for boys than ever before.  Plenty of parents are still passing down grandpa Joseph’s name, but the pressure to do so seems to be on the decline.  We live in a more accepting age, where diversity in names feels quite normal.

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abby--4-14--13

This week in her Nameberry 9 blog, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel offers evidence that boys’ baby names are rapidly catching up with the girls’ in terms of creativity.

A few days ago, my daughter Clio announced that girls’ names are pretty, but boys’ names are awesome.

She also informed me that her awesome name was Kick, and please refer to her as such from now on.

I think my four year old just voiced the desire of many an expectant parent.  Clio – I mean Kick – called it awesome.  I’ve called the same names cowboy cool or surfer style or a dozen other descriptors. 

No matter the name, boys’ names have become bolder and more multi-cultural than they were in generations past.

Recent baby name news has been packed with boys’ names begging to be accessorized with a lacrosse stick, a snowboard, or a bucking bronco and a ten-gallon hat.  Or maybe just a passport and a pint-sized suitcase.

They’re fresh and inventive, and yet they’re definitely masculine at the same time.  Some of the best picks made it into recent baby name news, like:

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