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artist surnames

Today being the birthday of Claude Monet—not only a great Impressionist painter, but the inspiration for a number of baby girls named Monet– we thought it the perfect moment to peruse the art world—past and present– for some other creative surname possibilities.

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Occupational Surnames: Far from a fad

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occupational surnames

By Nick Turner

Back in 2012, I heard about parents naming their babies Draper in honor of Mad Men. I remember thinking the idea was daring but a little silly. These people were taking the last-name-as-first-name trend to an absurd conclusion, I griped.

It had been a few years since occupational surnames like Cooper and Mason had become popular, and I worried that pretty soon every kid would be a Fletcher, Tanner or Jagger. Traditional names were a dying species.

Then I made a startling discovery.

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T

This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel points out the large proportion of names in the news that start with the letter ‘T’.

Why is it that certain letters have their day in the sun? Even before reality television gave us the Duggar and Kardashian clans, J and K had been having their moment. Lately, H is on the rise, thanks to Hannah and Harper and Henry. Now Huxley, Henley, and Hattie are poised to follow.

Other letters seem to hang in limbo. We haven’t heard much from T lately. Classics like Thomas and Timothy hibernate, while James and Henry take center stage. Names that should have caught on remain relatively underused. Tamsin, Tilda, Tennyson, Tenley, Tate, Trixie, Tess – lots of possibilities have never gotten quite as much attention as you might expect.

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