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Category: Baby name news

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge is just a week old.  We’ve discussed his name – and the names the royals didn’t choose, or might be holding in reserve for future princes and princesses – for months.

But while Will and Kate were welcoming their firstborn, plenty of other babies made their debuts.  Many of them are baby girls, girls with bold, brave names.  Some are retro, some are inventive, and others are just plain great choices.

One name remains unknown.  Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem welcomed a daughter on the very day George Alexander Louis was born.  The famously private Cruz-Bardem family has yet to share the name of Leo’s little sister.

There’s no shortage of names that we do know.  Let’s take a look at the great girls’ names that we have heard on new arrivals this month:

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By Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

The world is awaiting a royal birth announcement, and I’ll admit I’m unreasonably excited.

But it is different this time, isn’t it?

A high-profile arrival usually comes complete with a headline-grabbing given name. There’s North and Knox and Rainbow Aurora, Apple, Hattie and Everly, Zuma and Bronx Mowgli.

Some are prime for imitation, and catch on with non-Hollywood types. Others are unlikely to be used by anyone other than celebrity parents, and while unusual names are more accepted than ever, Suri has yet to crack the US Top 1000.

This time we know one thing for certain: the prince or princess won’t have a wacky name. I suppose Kate and William could slip in a quirky Anglo-Saxon royal as an extra middle – Elswith or Athelstan or Godwin. But the couple doesn’t seem likely to go that route.

Instead, we’ll be celebrating an evergreen classic of a name, the kind that we too often ignore.

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The Nameberry 9 by  Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

Are we becoming more tolerant of creative names?

My kids’ friends and classmates are a diverse lot, and their names reflect it.  There’s Seamus and Shivarama, a boy named Delaney and a girl called Jordan.  Yes, we have Matthew and Sam and Zoe.  But in their school of 300 kids, I can count the number of names that repeat on one hand.

Even though we know lots of boys with unusual names, it seems like girls have the edge.  Statistics bear it out.  In 2012, over 78% of boys received a Top 1000 name, but fewer than 67% of all girls did.

This past week seemed to be all about unusual, but perfectly wearable, names for girls.  I’m not thinking of headline-grabbing choices like North and Khaleesi.  Instead, I’m thinking of the wide universe of wearable names, choices that are a little bit different, but not staggeringly strange.

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Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel has found some intriguingly unusual baby names in this week’s name news.

It’s easy to belittle a parent’s search for a unique name.  Headlines call it self-centered and short-sighted.  But if you went through school as Jessica or Jennifer, one among many, is it so wrong to want your child to be one of one, at least in her kindergarten?

This week was all about the quest for a distinctive name.

There was nothing truly surprising in the baby name news – no Buddy Bear Maurice or Rainbow Aurora.  Instead, there’s been a treasure trove of very wearable names that all feel just a little bit different.

What makes them stand out choices?  For some, it’s a high value Scrabble letter, like V, X, or Z.  Others are super short, even brisk.  And giving a masculine name to a daughter is always a sure-fire way to grab attention, for better and for worse.

Not every parent would – or should – consider every trend, but it is exciting just how many choices manage to be both unusual and perfectly normal at once.

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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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