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Category: Baby name news

abby--11-11-13

The Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

Do you celebrate your name day?

While the idea is little known in the US, many cultures prefer name days to birthdays.  The idea is simple: instead of celebrating your day of birth, you and every other Margaret or Joseph or Andrew are feted on the same day.

The custom has its origins in saints’ feast days, but plenty of non-saintly names exist on national calendars.  Wanda is a legendary figure in Poland, so no surprise she has a name day there, along with other Slavic staples like Bogdan, Dobromir, and Grazyna.

Some parents look to these calendars for baby naming inspiration.  Born on March 17th?  Patrick is a nice name.

Word is that Facebook is now encouraging users to add their name day celebrations to their profiles.  Americans love a holiday, from Halloween to Cinco de Mayo.  Could name days catch on here?

I’m in favor.  Double the reasons for cupcakes!

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announoct

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Since our last Quarterly Report grew to be so huge and unwieldy, with its unfortunate share of troll challenges, we’ve decided to try sectioning it into more manageable monthly reports instead.  Remember that these are the names reported on the Nameberry Birth Announcement forum–not necessarily born–during the month of October, and only to Berries–not including nephews, nieces or neighbors–no matter how adorably named they might be.

This time around we’ve added some comments by the original poster and other berries that we thought you would find interesting.

Just one set of twins to report: the lovely Vivienne Gray and Philippa Winter. And only one double listing–the glamorous girls’  name Greta.

Most unusual first: Oslo; Most unusual middle: Honesty

Girls

Alice Ann

Alicie Marie

Annika Rosealine, sister of Claudia Vivian

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rockwell

Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

Neil Gaiman recently lectured on the future of reading and libraries and all manner of literary and imaginative things.

He didn’t utter a word specifically about names, but he’s bestowed many a memorable choice on his characters, from Coraline to Thessaly to Yvaine, Silas to Vandemar.

Gaiman did say this: “We must not attempt to freeze language, or to pretend it is a dead thing that must be revered, but we should use it as a living thing, that flows, that borrows words, that allows meaning and pronunciations to change with time.”

If language is a living thing, doesn’t the same hold true for names?

Some words endure with minimal alteration, and some names do, too.  But for every Elizabeth, there’s a Samantha – a name that feels rich with history, but is actually almost unknown until the nineteenth century.  Or Brooke, a name that feels established and sophisticated, but would have been out of place a hundred years ago.

Names should evolve, and they quietly do when we’re not noticing.  Take Beatrix.  Once a rare spelling variant, she’s now at her most popular ever – and gaining on Beatrice.

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abby--classics

The Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel of  Appellation Mountain

What makes a name a true classic?

Very few names have been in constant use, and those few evergreen choices differ across cultures and languages.

A definition is elusive.  A classic should be universally recognized and long established. It should possess either a measure of elegance or another distinguishing characteristic.  But classic isn’t a black and white line.  In baby name discussions, classic sometimes translates as “a name I like.”

Are Adelaide and Charlotte as classic as Mary? How do Walter and Jeremy compare to William and JamesHow about names like Samantha or Brooke – seldom heard before the twentieth century, but now solidly established?  How many years does it take to make a classic, bearing in mind that classic rock is sometimes as young as five decades old.

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abbysibs

By Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

I do love a birth announcement, for so many reasons.  But I’m especially interested when the birth announcement includes the name of a sibling or two.

Mario Lopez and his wife Courtney Mazza welcomed a second child last week, a son named Dominic.  The proud parents intend to call him Nico.

I think that’s just perfection.

But what also struck me was how much I liked their children’s names together: Gia Francesca and Dominic. Gia and Nico.

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