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Category: favorite baby names


One thing we’re finding really mesmerizing about our gorgeous new Top 1000 U.S. names page is how easy it is to read across each line and compare the names of each gender that have the same rank.  Some of the pairs seems perfectly matched — Sarah and Henry at Number 43, for instance, or Cadence and Skyler at Number 290 — whereas other equally-ranked pairs feel discordant.

We can’t help thinking, as we survey the list, which pair we’d pick if we had a baby girl and a baby boy and had to choose their names from the same line.

Annabella and Lorenzo sound pretty great together, we think.   Or maybe Lilah and Beau, or Camilla and Zachariah.

But we’re really more interested in finding out which pair you’d pick, if you had to choose names for your only daughter and only son from the same popularity rank?  And why?  Do you really like both names equally, or do you simply think they make the most balanced set?

Here’s the link again to the new Top 1000 page:

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A Few of Our Favorite Names

flora by frances pelzman

We try not to play favorites around here, but the truth is that, just like anybody, we have them.  And the reasons we love the names we do are as idiosyncratic, irrational, and deeply felt as those of the average citizen.  In honor of Nameberry’s new look, we thought it might be time to reveal a few of our personal favorite names and why we adore them.  (Floral photo collage by Frances Pelzman)

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There are a lot of names I love and enthusiastically encourage other people to use.  But when it came to naming my own kids?  No way.

The most common reason for championing a name that you wouldn’t use yourself is, of course, cowardice.  I think of all the names I considered for my younger son but chickened out on actually using: Penn, Pike, Otis….sigh.  I’d lead the cheer if a parent on the Nameberry forums was thinking of one of those wonderful names.  But in the end, we went with the much safer Owen.

My husband would tell you that we never really seriously considered Otis, because he hated it.  So there’s another reason you might only be able to envision a beloved name on someone else’s child.

Plus, with a last name that starts with S, the truth is we never would have used a first name that ends with an S sound, for fear of confusion.  Similarly, you may love elaborate names like Orianna but wouldn’t pair them with your equally-elaborate last name, or shy away from a short name like Tom if your last name is Smith, or avoid favorite ethnic first names such as Maeve or Massimo if they clash with a last name of a distinctly different ethnicity.

Or you may love really unusual distinctive names — Pallas or Peaches, Snow or Xen — but just feel that, in real life, you couldn’t do that to your own child.

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Your Favorite Names, from A to Z!


The inspiration for this week’s question comes from you, dear berries: What are your favorite names for every letter of the alphabet?

When we saw this thread on the forums,  we were reminded of a game we both liked to play long before we knew there was such a thing as name games.

We’d list our favorite names for each letter of the alphabet, one for a girl and one for a boy, sometimes torn between choices, sometimes (Y!) working overtime to come up with a name that we could honestly call a favorite.

So now we turn the spotlight on you.  What are YOUR current favorite names from A to Z, a girls’ and a boys’ choice for each letter?

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Popular baby names are the Number 1 topic of the week, but today we thought we’d turn the tables and ask instead about favorite baby names.  What are your personal Top 10 names for each gender?

The criteria: Those you love best, period.  Put them in order, with Number 1 your very favorite on down.   Or hey, if that’s too hard, just give us your ten best in any particular order.

And if you can’t come up with ten for each gender, then list as many as you can think of!

Whether or not your personal favorite baby names are favorites with anybody else doesn’t matter.  But if you’d like to add commentary on how popularity or family or your personal history factors into your decision, it would be very welcome.

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