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M Baby Names: Initial of the future?

M baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Let’s forget about the vowel-starting baby names that have dominated the current era.

When it comes to consonants, the J names of the 80s — Jennifer and Jason, Jessica and Joshua — were followed by the K names of the 90s were followed by the L names that are both popular and stylish today: Lila and Liam, Lucia and Laszlo.

So what might be coming up but names that start with M?  Sure, we’ve had dominant M names — think Mary and Michael — in the past, but the next wave of M names are more unusual examples.

And after the lovely, lilting L names, we are ready for M’s fuzzy warmth.  There are so many marvelous, miraculous M-starting names that are already being discovered by stylish parents: Mila and Milo, Maisie and Maxwell.

But today we’d like to focus on the M names of the future, those waiting in the wings for revival.  Some of our favorites:

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abby--3-26-14

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Confession: I’ve watched Kid President’s latest YouTube video more than a dozen times.  It’s called “Letter to a Person on Their First Day Here,” and even though little Robby Novak (a.k.a. Kid President) never mentions names, it reminds me of the happiest part of talking all things onomastic.

Around 360,000 babies are born every day.  That’s 4.2 newborns every second.  Even if we limited it to arrivals in the English-speaking world, it would take a lot of berry brainpower to help find names for all of those lovely new people.

It’s worth looking for the right name, isn’t it?  All of these new people are going to do some amazing things.  At their best, the names we bestow on our children honor that potential.

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merrych

As a holiday season extra, we’re serving up a second helping of one of our favorite past Christmas slideshows.

Looking for Christmas names for your holiday-season babe? Well, you can forget about those old chestnut choices likeNoel/NoelleHollyNatalieEveMerryCarol and Claus. A much more original idea might be to look at some of the classic and current Christmas movies for interesting character names that would do the job more subtly. But don’t worry– we’re not suggesting Ebenezer or Clarence.

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Alonzo

Alonzo was the name of both the father and the brother (both called by nickname Lon) in the Smith family in this “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” flick, "Meet Me in St. Louis," starring Judy Garland. This dashing Latinate name, which has always ranked in the Top 1000, is ready for wider use. Don’t like Lon? You can call me Al.

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thanksthursday

The story of Thanksgiving spans nearly four centuries and features a large cast of characters, from the very well known, like Miles Standish and George Washington, to those sometimes neglected, including such Native American participants as Massasoit and Squanto. Here, the Thanksgiving names that might be perfect for a late November baby.

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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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