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Category: Downton Abbey

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In the Nameberry 9 this week, Appellation Mountain‘s  Abby Sandel discovers some forgotten classics and some interesting  new possibilities among the newsiest names.

It’s been a quiet week for celebrity birth announcements.  If Uma has named her daughter, she isn’t telling.  Reese isn’t due for a while, and neither is Tori.

But there’s no such thing as a quiet week in name news.  Influences are everywhere, and this week’s announcement of the 2012 Primetime Emmy Award nominees got me thinking about the small screen, and the many names boosted by a TV series.

Of course, it isn’t a straight line.  It often takes years to tell which names will have long-term influence, and which will fade away.  Kimora and Miley are sliding.  Others are holding on strong – Alexis is still solidly established in the US Top 50 decades after Dynasty left the air.

It isn’t that we name our children after television characters, not exactly.  And yet the connections are impossible to deny.  Could it be that a popular series is one of the best ways to convince parents that a new name is mainstream, and worthy of consideration?

Most of this week’s newsiest names have a link to the small screen:

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Thomas Langmann, Uggie, Jean Dujardin, Michel Hazanavicius, Berenice Bejo, Penelope Ann Miller

Okay, so the Fashion Police have had their say, praising and pillorying the various gowns and guy clothes on the Golden Globes Red Carpet by designers from Armani to Zak Posen–scrutinizing everything from Charlize Theron’s sparkly headband to Evan Rachel Wood’s Christian Louboutins.

Now it’s time for us Name Police to have our turn.  Not that we would ever say anything negative about anyone’s appellation, but we did want to point out some of the award-worthy names we discovered among the cast members and characters in this year’s Golden Globe winning movies and TV shows.

Girls

AdrianaAdriana is the beautiful fantasy mistress of artists Braque, Modigliani and Picasso, played by Marion Cotillard, in Woody Allen’s Midnight in ParisA lovely Italian name that is perfectly at home in English-speaking countries.

AmaraAmara Miller is the 11-year-old actress who plays George Clooney’s precocious daughter Scottie King in The Descendents—her first movie role.  Amara is a strong, sweet, stylish name that means “lovely forever.”

Cora—The Rt. Hon. Cora, Countess of Grantham, is the American-born mistress of Downton Abbey, played by the American-born actress Elizabeth McGovern. Cora is a gentle, old-fashioned name that has recently been rejuvenated.

DjunaDjuna Barnes is one of the real-life Parisienne icons who resurface in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. The exotic name, pronounced JOO-na, has long been associated with that early 20th century American novelist, but we can see it being adopted by cutting-edge baby namers.

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