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Category: baby name Vivian

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By Erin Waldron

This past week, America said a sad goodbye to one of the most beautiful and influential voices of our time when poet, author, educator, actress, director, and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou passed away on May 28. While we mourn her loss and reflect on her countless accomplishments and the extraordinary life she lived, here are just a few ideas for those who may consider honoring Dr. Angelou‘s legacy for a 2014 baby. If you are expecting a new addition this year, would you choose any of the following for your child’s first or middle name spot? I would love to hear more of your suggestions in the comments.

Marguerite: This is Maya Angelou‘s birth name, which was shortened to “Maya” as a nickname from her older brother. Marguerite, the French form of Margaret, has been off the charts since 1970, but is on the verge of a comeback, currently at Number 406 in Nameberry.

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Names from the Book You’re Reading!

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Thanks, Hanniekitt, for posting this great question in the forums that we’re taking to the blog: What are the names in the book you’re currently reading, and what do you think of them?

You can think of this as the Nameberry Book Club, where we talk not about plot and pacing and characters but about the characters’ names (sounds like our kind of book club, right?).

I just finished reading the new New York Times bestselling novel Orphan Train, by my friend Christina Baker Kline who’s blogged for Nameberry on naming her three sons (and making some mistakes along the way).  Her characters’ names include:

VivianOne of those names I’ve been hearing a lot of in fiction recently as in life, maybe because it means life?  Ann Hood recently wrote for us about using it in her novel The Obituary Writer.

NiamhVivian‘s original Irish name, changed when she was put on the orphan train because it was too “foreign and difficult.”  Couldn’t help feeling that losing her lovely name was one of the biggest tragedy’s of the character’s difficult life!

Molly – The Native American teenager that the old Vivian befriends….and my husband’s pick for our daughter!

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Some stylish baby names in Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel’s Nameberry 9.

When I heard that Lily Allen was expecting a second child, my heart skipped a beat.

I don’t know Lily Allen.  When her first baby arrived, I had to Google search to find out that she was a singer, and I’d never heard her sing until I headed to YouTube.

The British pop starlet turned television presenter made waves with her first daughter’s name, Ethel Mary, and I’ve followed her ever since.  She didn’t disappoint with her second daughter’s name, Marnie Rose.

What would you call Allen’s style?

I’m thinking “So Retro it Hurts.”  She chooses great names that few of us have the guts to use – yet.

We classify names as traditional or modern, classic or trendy.  But the truth is that everything goes when it comes names, and there are all sorts of styles and strategies to describe our approaches to naming children.

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This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel finds inspiration for the Nameberry 9 from celebrity birth announcements and TV listings.

I know it has been a busy week in baby name news when my friend C makes a point of seeking me out.  “So what are they going to name the baby?” she asked, knowing that she didn’t have to add that “they” are William and Kate and the baby in question will be hounded by more paparazzi than a Jolie-Pitt kid.

Then again, bookies couldn’t take bets on the name of a new Jolie-Pitt arrival.  Where would a gambler begin?  We know the royal couple is up against some definite limits in choosing their child’s name, creating a perfect opportunity for the placing of bets, a scenario that couldn’t exist in Hollywood.

What separates name nerds from others might be this: I am filled with curiosity whenever I meet an expectant parent.  “Have you thought about names?” I’ll mention, casually, trying to not make it too obvious.  Aidan Donnelly Rowley’s post congratulating Kate struck a chord.  It doesn’t really matter if I know you – I’m excited for that new little person you’re about to welcome, and very willing to help if you’d like to talk names.

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Let’s hear it for Auntie Name!

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Today being National Aunts and Uncles Day (who knew, right?), here’s a shout-out to some of the most memorable aunts in both literature and pop culture– the sweet and the sour, the doting and the demanding, the over-indulgent and the overbearing—with, in literature at least, the unfortunate majority being the more domineering.

Especially in Victorian literature, with its plethora of poor orphans, aunts would often step in as surrogate moms.  Unfortunately, some of the more notable ones are known to us by their surnames only.

Here are some of the most memorable, from sources as varied as from novels to comics.

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