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new celebrity names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Welcome to a bumper crop of nicely-named starbabies!

This week’s celebrity baby names news proves that there’s more than one way to choose a great name, whether you’re welcoming your first child or your fourth.

Two place names, at least three family names, a vintage gem, a Biblical boy, some daring middles, and a bunch of modern favorites all made headlines last week. There’s creativity but also a sense of tradition in these names. It’s a balance that many parents try to find.

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celebrity baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

The stars, they’re just like us.  They shop for groceries.  Run out for coffee.  And celebrity parents love names with vibrant, exciting letters like V, X, and Z – just like the rest of the world.

Names featuring V, X, and Z aren’t novel.  One hundred years ago, parents were naming their daughters Evelyn and Virginia.  Melvin, Marvin, Vernon, and Alvin were all up-and-comers circa 1914.  Max, Felix, and Hazel have had good runs before, and rarities like Zenobia and Zola aren’t quite as rare as you might guess.

Even Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II – there’s that letter ‘z’ again – has a granddaughter named Zara, born all the way back in 1981.

But those letters feel almost epidemic nowadays, from favorites like Zoe and Xavier to nouveau names like Zayden and Everly.

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In this week’s Nameberry 9, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel’s choices run from the royal Amalia to the unique Catchen, showing the anything-goes spirit of baby naming today.

The only rule of baby naming in 2013?

Anything goes.

From reliable classics to nouveau inventions to family heirlooms, the range of possibilities is truly infinite.

So it is no surprise that the baby name news ran the gamut this week.  On the one side are Dutch royals and a supermodel’s three sons with regal names.  On the other?  We have a few nouveau inventions and discoveries that could work nicely for a twenty-first century child.

All of this leads to my favorite piece of baby naming advice from the blogosphere this week: don’t whittle down your short list, discarding names for one reason or another.  Narrow your list UP, until you find the one that you truly adore.

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Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel targets a wide range of names for this week’s Nameberry 9, from the outrageous (if fictitious) Conquistador to the sweet floral Violet.

 It was a week for outrageous baby names. 

Steve Martin joked that his new baby girl is named Conquistador.

Then Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof welcomed a baby boy named Phaedra, a little brother for Astala.  The only one in the family with a buttoned-down name is Peaches’ rocker husband, Thomas Cohen. 

For better and for worse, there will always be outlandish stand-out baby names, the headline-grabbing, eye-popping choices like Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii.

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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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