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new baby names

Here’s the beautiful thing about baby names: the well never runs dry.

No matter how many names cycle through Top Ten lists, no matter how many celebrities choose truly outlandish names for their children, there are always more names. Neglected gems from years gone by, novel words never before considered names, imports from abroad.

Need proof? Look no further than the overwhelming response to last week’s Invent a Name Challenge.

Or just read the baby name blogs, high profile birth announcements, and Nameberry message boards any day of the week. Plenty of parents, from Hollywood A-listers to the family next door, are choosing inventive, daring names for their children. The boldest might surprise us with their first name choices, while others play it safe with firsts but choose sparky, unexpected middles.

There are no guarantees, of course. An obscurity you choose in 2015 could hover just outside the US Top 100 by the time your kiddo heads off to kindergarten. But that just opens the door for another group of parents to innovate with the names of their children.

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Mockingbird Names: Atticus, Scout and more

Mockingbird names

By Herb Scribner, Deseret News National

It was announced recently that there will be a To Kill a Mockingbird sequel, penned by Harper Lee, the writer of the original literary classic that’s sold more than 18 million copies and has been printed in 40 different languages.

The book includes a unique set of character names that aren’t easily forgettable. These names may serve as inspiration for your baby’s name, too. According to Nameberry in The Huffington Post, parents in 2015 will be giving their children powerful, unique and oddball names to set them apart from the rest of the pack.

Here are 13 character names you can use for your child. The characters aren’t always the greatest role models, but their names are unique enough to make your baby sound cool and sophisticated.

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starba2013

By Linda Rosenkrantz

We haven’t quite kissed 2013 goodbye yet, but we’re close enough to have gotten a pretty good picture of the year’s celebrity baby naming landscape, enough to pick out our personal faves—and to give you the reasons why.  Here are our Top 12 choices—some from A-list celebs, others who are not so well known—from the worlds of film, TV and sports.

Winnie RoseJimmy and Nancy Fallon went up to the attic to pick this vintage treasure. Turns out the name was chosen by the couple in honor of the lake where they frequently vacationed and even got engaged at: New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee, but, said Fallon, ‘Winnipesaukee’s a little long, Also, she’s a ‘win’ for us. He added that the Wonder Years connotation makes the name even better –“Winnie is the coolest girl on TV ever.”

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abby-4-8---arya

This week’s Nameberry 9 by Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel shows us the wide range of girl baby names available to today’s parents.

Did you read Swistle’s post about a woman named Justin?

Some of us probably felt vindicated.  Of course you shouldn’t give a boy’s name to a girl!

Others probably thought: If only they’d chosen Justine instead.

Miss Justin might be an extreme case, but this week’s name news reminds us that the range of possibilities for girls is vast.  From conventionally masculine names to modern inventions to antique revivals, we are willing to be daring when naming daughters.

That’s not just a name nerd perspective, either.  In 2011, almost 79% of newborn boys in the US received a Top 1000 name.  For girls?  Just under 67% received a Top 1000 choice.

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abby news-round-up

Today, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel looks back over the 459 names she’s chosen in her weekly Nameberry 9’s this year and picks out her top favorites.

Nine names per week over 51 weeks equals 459 names.  They’re classic, they’re quirky, and sometimes they’re downright strange.  But when I sat down to review a year’s worth of Nameberry posts, I realized that most of them are actually pretty wearable.

Very few of them repeat – something that surprised me, as it so often seems that a name is suddenly everywhere all at once.  Some garnered lots of positive comments while others went completely unnoticed.

My favorite comment?  “No, don’t mention THAT name.  It’s the top of our list!”  As I scrolled through the posts, there were more than a few groans of disappointment.

The best names, though, aren’t necessarily the ones that will be racing up the popularity charts.  I’m most attracted to the ones that seem novel – unlikely to catch on, but probably part of a bigger change in how we think about names.

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