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Baby Name Trends: Sleek, simple, cool names

cool baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

People often ask us how we come up with our baby name trend predictions.

The short answer: It’s a mix of science and inspiration, with a dash of magic.

One of our major predictions for baby names 2015, for instance, was a trend toward short, simple names.  The basis for this prediction was scientific: These names are now stylish and popular throughout Europe, and the names themselves are both fresh and easily translated to the American culture.

But now suddenly we see that trend for sleek, cool names really taking off, and here’s where the magic comes in.  First, early this morning, we noticed extremely positive comments on the Nameberry pages for both Jude and Lux, perfect examples of this kind of short, modern, stylish name.

And then, just as we were beginning to compile a list of similar names we saw as fitting the same attractive mold, we opened the New York Times magazine to read about a hot new clothing company called Kit and Ace, named for two prototypical millennials who personify the cutting-edge brand.

In the baby name trend predicting world, three influences like this from three different sources — international statistics, grass-roots comments, and the fashion world — add up to a bona fide trend.

And then a fourth item drove the idea home: Abby Sandel’s Monday column right here on Nameberry, discussing all the new celebrity baby names that fit the short, simple trend.

Here, our picks for baby names that embody this major trend toward sleek, simple, cool names.  Most of these move beyond traditional choices such as Bill and Anne but stop short of being word names or nature names such as Wren or Snow (though there are selections here that veer toward both the traditional and the nature categories).  But the best of them, to our mind, live somewhere in the middle.

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invented baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Last week we challenged you to invent a great baby name. You took us up on it….and how! Over 200 entries later, Linda and I along with Nameberry’s senior editor and writer Abby Sandel made our individual lists of favorites.

There were only a handful of names on all three of our lists – and our two winners were chosen from those names that won unanimous approval. But before we get to those, let’s look at the long list of names we liked and the categories that sparked the best inventions.

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Unusual Baby Names: 100 Under 100

unusual baby names

We’re always looking for baby names that are at once wonderful and unusual, and so today’s list compiles 100 great names given to fewer than 100 babies in the US last year.We included names from a range of styles: classic and under-appreciated as well as modern and under-discovered.  Half of the golden 100 are girls’ names and half boys’ names.  And the names are ordered from most-to-least used, with the number of children who received the name in 2013 noted after each.Our picks for 100 unusual and wonderful baby names are:

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unusual baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

If you’re looking for unusual baby names that are also attractive and intriguing, a good place to start is at the bottom of the extended US popularity list, at those names given to just five babies.

Down there, among the wacky inventions or truly terrible kree8tiv spelling variations, are dozens of intriguing choices that you won’t encounter coming and going.

A few of them — Jessamy and Amyas, Celestia and Inigo — might even be considered fabulous.  But all are worth further consideration.  And given that each was given to only five babies in the entire US last year, they qualify as truly unusual baby names.

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new baby names

New baby names we’ve added to the Nameberry database include a Native American tribal name, obscure Slavic and Hawaiian choices, names with Christian and Muslim origins, and a couple of word names making waves as firsts. Because they’re popping on the popularity list or were chosen by a celebrity, have august roots or noteworthy relatives, we’ve deemed them worthy of adding to the Nameberry lexicon. Would you use one of them for your baby?

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