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thanks for baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Later this week, the United States celebrates Thanksgiving.  In simplest terms, it’s a feast, one with a very traditional menu, and a good excuse to head over the river and through the woods to see our loved ones.

But Thanksgiving is also a verb – a time to express gratitude for the best things in our lives.

How perfect, then, to read Sarah Baird’s “I Don’t Have Babies But I’m Obsessed With Baby Names” in The Atlantic earlier this week.

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baby boy names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Let’s say you’re naming a son.

You’re a buttoned-up kind of family, and the classics seem like the right route.

The only problem?

Your nephew is James, your favorite cousin is expecting a Henry, and William is your BFF’s #1 choice.  Charles was a frontrunner, except there’s already a little Charlie two doors down – and she’s a girl.

What’s a parent to do?  Go further back, of course.

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October births

By Linda Rosenkrantz

I don’t know about you, but I get a tremendous kick every month seeing what names—after all the discussion and debate—Berries finally have chosen for their babes. There is always such a wonderful mix of surprising choices, unique combinations, new patterns emerging.

October brought three sets of twins—one each of the girl/girl, boy/boy and girl/boy varieties:

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new traditionals

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Lately when I hear a birth announcement, I’ll sometimes find myself thinking: “Oh, what a nice, normal name.”

This is madness, of course.  Because there’s no such thing as a normal name.

There are stalwart classics, like Elizabeth and James.  There are well-established mainstream choices, like Jacob and Ava.

Trends have been with us forever.  And there have always been kids with outlandish names, the Bunny and Princess, or Rebel, Rocket, and Rogue of their generations.

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

The good news about naming a girl: the options are limitless.

The bad news about naming a girl: the options?  Limitless!  How do you choose?

In the US, around two-thirds of all newborn girls are given a Top 1000 name.  We play it safe with our sons, with 79% – nearly four out of five – parents sticking with something in the Top 1000.  Sure, Cortez, Kamdyn, and Garrison are included in that Top 1000 definition of safe – but they’re not nearly as out-there as some of the rarities given to girls.

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