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Arctic Baby Names: Icy cold but cool

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arcticblog

By Alzora

I have this fascination with the Arctic Circle. I think it stems from my love of Christmas movies, as most of them feature scenes set in the magical North Pole.  Rudolph, Elf¸ The Santa Clause, The Polar Express…they all show snippets of what I believe to be real-life documentary footage from the Northernmost regions of our globe, complete with the striped peppermint stick that is the North Pole. What a haven of whimsy and charm that polar region is.

In all seriousness, the real Arctic Circle that I have visited on Google Earth is, of course, nothing like the sparkling, colorful Santa Land featured in those films, but it has a breathtaking beauty and splendor all its own. It may not feature singing snowmen or dancing elves, but it is magical in its own right. Its bleakness is eerie and mystifying. Its simplicity is elegant. Crisp, clean, untouched. I have never been there in person, though I would love to visit someday (any Alaskan Berries have a guest bedroom??), but I have had a lifelong fascination with the frozen North. I have seen the Northern Lights twice from my hometown in Pennsylvania, and no scene on earth compares to that sublime light show that hails from the skies above the North Pole. For us name enthusiasts, things like that inspire us in the area we love best: naming.

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mom13olive

This Mother’s Day, we salute those celebrity moms who have given birth to their starbabies since last Mother’s Day–and in particular those who have given their offspring what we consider to be the most interesting and appealing appellations.  These are the first children for several of them; others have added to a sibset.  And the winners are:

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britflorence

Eleanor Nickerson, of the wonderful blog British Baby Names, offers her predictions of the names that will succeed today’s trendiest in England and Wales.

The Next Olivia

Olivia was the supreme queen of girls’ names in 2008, 2009 and 2010 in England and Wales, and was only marginally beaten by Amelia to the number 1 spot in 2011. It entered the Top 100 for the first time in the late 1980s, and has been in the Top 10 since 1999. Further down the ranks, Eliza stands at #62.  Like Olivia before, Eliza has not ranked in the Top 100 for a century, but is now steadily rising.

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The Nameberry 9: Over-the-top baby names

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This week Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel finds some extreme examples in the Nameberry 9 and ponders their acceptability.

Did you read the Jools Oliver interview from earlier this week?  The model-turned-mom of four is married to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.  Together they’re the parents of the imaginatively named Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, and Buddy Bear MauriceJools declared, “I hate people’s opinions on names. Whatever you call your baby is your decision.”

I know scads of people who would agree with Jools.  At least until they hear a name, like oh say, Buddy Bear.  And I wonder if Jools would be so open-minded if Poppy came home with a best friend called Ermingard.

There I was thinking of England when the lovely Shannon alerted me to a baby name discussion taking place on The Pioneer Woman’s blog.  Ree Drummond is known for her delectable recipes, along with vistas of her ranch somewhere smack in the middle of the US of A, but last week she decided to talk about her favorite names and thousands of comments continued the discussion.

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This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel talks about the almost-names that might have been if circumstances were just a little bit different. 

Do you ever imagine an alternate life?  Specifically, what you might have been named, or what you might have named your children if your life was just slightly different?

My husband’s taste in given names is buckets more conservative than mine.  From the color of their eyes to the shape of their toes, I cannot imagine our children even a scintilla changed.  And yet imagine just one twist in life’s journey, and all of a sudden they’re Dexter and Domino instead of Alex and Clio.

The given name that I so actively disliked as a child was chosen, in large part, because of a clumsy surname, poorly exported into English without harmonizing the improbable consonant clusters.  What if my parents had decided to overlook the glaring limitations of a let-me-spell-it-for-you last name?  Or what if my ancestors had blanded out their surname to something that accommodated any number of appellations?

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