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By Abby Sandel

You know you’re a name nerd when half the fun of a new Disney Pixar film is the list of production babies.

I loved every second of the studio’s newest production, Inside Out.

As the credits rolled, I waited patiently. Accounting scrolled by, then Craft Services, until – finally! – the list of 87 children born to Pixar employees during the year Inside Out was finalized and released.

We could talk about Riley, of course, the name of the main character. Between this movie and Steph Curry’s scene-stealing daughter, Riley is having quite the summer. And Amy Poehler, the voice of Joy, is a great namer herself, the mother of Archie and Abel.

But production babies are a special category of names.

Ever since the studio put out their first feature-length film, Toy Story, way back in 1995, they’ve included the list.

The lists are just names – no genders, no sibling names, middles only when more than one child has the same first name. But the names tend to be different, even daring. Exactly what you’d expect from a creative field and especially from such a famously innovative studio.

Before we go any further, it’s time for a shout out to the fabulous Sarah of Names 4 Real. Sarah compiled the names after she heard me lamenting that I hadn’t thought to jot them down.

Let’s talk about some of my favorite names from 2015’s Inside Out, and then look at the full list.

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Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

A French film made its US debut this week.  What’s in a Name? takes us to a dinner party.  A happy couple announces that they’re expecting a son, and they’ve chosen a name.

Adolphe.

It’s as scandalous a choice in French as it would be in English, and the fellow guests are aghast.

The party goes downhill from there.  Other guests are criticized for their children’s “pretentious” names: Myrtille and Apollin.

Such scathing comments are usually reserved for gossip, or maybe anonymous online forums.  Can you imagine yourself in a social setting, hearing your child’s name ripped to shreds?  Let’s hope the movie – and the play it is based on – are pure fiction.

Then again, even if Adolf is your beloved grandfather’s given name, I would think long and hard about giving the name to a son.  It’s one of a very few names, like Lucifer, that strike me as off limits for good reason.

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Snap! Great Photography Baby Names

photodorothea

In these digital days, everyone is a photographer. But that’s not to say everyone is a Photographer. In the history of photography, which dates back only a couple of centuries, there were a number of towering figures who happened to have—surprise!—some particularly interesting names, including:

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Presidential Baby Names: Hail to the Chiefs

presiblog

Just as other countries have their royal names, America has had a long tradition of honoring our  presidents, going back at least as far as John Quincy Adams naming one of his sons George Washington Adams.  Not to mention the presidential surnames that have become latter day fads—think Taylor and Tyler and Madison and Jackson.  Today we’re looking at the first, middle and last names of all the past Chief Executives, to arrive at our Nameberry Picks for best presidential baby names today.

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These Names are Made for Walkin’

hiking

Guest blogger LAURIE LICO ALBANESE, who’s chronicling her year’s worth of walks on her blog My Big Walk, ponders names made for strolling the open road.

What do Walker Evans, Sojourner Truth, and Flannery O’Connor have in common?

They’re all Americans. OK, that’s a start.

They all have great names. That’s also true.

They had inspirational lives? Also correct.

But what links this Depression-era photographer (Evans), former slave (Truth), and Southern writer (O’Connor) with people named Journey, Amble, or Voyage? Names like Strider, Skip, March, Hiker, Pacer, Saunter, Trek, Ramble, Lane, Pike, Track, Racer, Skipper, Dash, Lane, Streeter, Strada (Italian for ‘street’) also fit the bill.

Still stumped? Saunter, in French, is Flanerie. Mais oui, c’est vrai.  (Translation: but yes, it’s true!)

And Saunter, we learn from Thoreau in his 1850s essay, Walking, has its etymological origins in the Middle Ages, “from idle people who roved about the country…and asked charity, under pretence of going à la Sainte Terre“—to the holy land, till the children exclaimed, “There goes a Sainte-Terrer”, a saunterer—a holy-lander….

Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere.” At home anywhere.

If I could choose a single identity for myself, it would be that. A saunterer, at home anywhere.  And everywhere. In fact, that urge to walk the world and see it up close and from the ground is what got me started on My Big Walk, a year-long daily walking project that I’m chronicling on my new blog.

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