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Happy Valentine’s Day, dear Berries!

And beyond celebrating Valentine’s Day baby names, let’s get expansive and salute the whole wide-ranging rise of its initial letter, ‘V.’

If consonants can be said to have personalities, then it wasn’t so long ago that the letter V was seen as more venerable—even fusty– than vivacious. Velma, Vera and Verna; Vernon, Victor and Vincent, all made our original ‘So Far Out They’ll Always Be Out’ list.  But as Pam and I have learned all too well since then—never say the words never or always.

The changes have been gradual since we wrote that, but there were two celebrity events that had a significant effect on V-baby names:  the naming of Violet Affleck in 2005, and then of one of the Jolie-Pitt twins Vivienne three years later.  Now there are a myriad of V-starting names popping both in and out of the celebrisphere.

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abby--1-7---13

Today, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel, finds some 2013 baby name predictions embedded in this week’s Nameberry 9 newsiest names.

As 2012 faded into 2013, the world welcomed many a new little life.  Re-reading birth announcements, I was struck by something.

None of them received outlandish names, but every one of them seemed nicely creative.

Some are memorable and meaningful choices, while others are mainstream firsts paired with unexpected middles.

Does it speak to an age where we won’t dismiss names as weird?  Have we stopped worrying that our children can’t be district attorneys or heart surgeons if we name them something other than Katherine or James?  Are filler middles really gone for good?

It all adds up to a great year ahead for baby names – whether you’re naming a child or just spending lots of time thinking about what we might name a child.  And that’s before we consider the latest addition to the Kardashian family …

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birthann4q

And now we come to the 2012 final quarter round-up of the names that Berries have actually chosen after all their various options were considered and discussed, on our forums and in the outside world.  And once again, it’s a gorgeous group, with many great first and middle combos and equally intriguing sibsets.

The most popular choices reported on the Birth Announcement forums between October 1st and December 31st were: Violet (3), Audrey (2), Beatrix (2), Eleanor (2), Eva (2), Matilda (2), Archer (2), Felix (2), Henry (2), and Jonah (2).

Tomorrow we’ll be taking a look at the whole year’s results—the most widely used first and middle names, as well as all the triplet and twin name choices.

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This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel considers the impact of baby name popularity–does it sway our choices more than it should?

Lately I’m wondering: is all this talk about baby names changing the names we use?

A century ago, parents could draw inspiration from the newspaper, the Bible, literature, music, and anything on the family tree.  There was room for creativity, but actual data gathering would have been difficult.

Today a few keystrokes will tell you how many girls were named Isabella last year, or whether hundreds of random strangers think that Ethan Alexander is a good name for your son.  No wonder an expectant mom actually grimaced when I asked her if they’d chosen a name yet.

With all of this information, could it be that trends will accelerate?  Will we talk ourselves out of using great names?  I’ve heard of dozens of parents deciding against their top choice for fear that Stella is the next Ava. Or maybe they’re desperately searching for a name just like Logan, but much less popular, without actually being too unusual.

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detectv

Hear the words ‘detective’ or ‘private eye,’ and you probably picture a tough guy like Mickey Spillane or a cooler customer like Sam Spade.  But it turns out that mystery fiction also features a lot more female sleuths than you might think, dating back to Loveday Brooke in the 1890s and coming right up to today.

It’s interesting to note how many of these earlier crime-solvers were given “ladylike” professions as covers—either as antique dealers or esoteric academics –or the more modern wedding planners or pet sitters.  It wasn’t—for the most part—till the TV era, that they would become career private or police investigators.

One thing that they do have in common though is some pretty fantastic first names, and here are some of the best.

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