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This week, for The Nameberry 9, Abby Sandel of  Appellation Mountain looks at some of the tricky  generational issues surrounding baby names.

Could it be true that Bob Geldof – father to Fifi, Peaches, and Pixie – is unhappy with his grandson’s name?

That’s what the British press is reporting, following the birth of little Astala Cohen-Geldof.  He wouldn’t be the first grandparent let down by a name reveal, but he’s unlikely to garner much sympathy.  His daughters’ names have long stayed near the top of the wacky celebrity baby name rankings, right up there with Dweezil and Moon Unit.

From pop culture to academia, this week the thinkers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School revealed new research on how names catch on.  Their theory is that it is all about the sounds in oft-repeated names.  The study brings some analytical rigor to name enthusiasts’ observations that Madison paved the way for Addison.

There’s more to it, of course, but if our ideas about attractive and appropriate names are swayed by cultural influences we don’t control, then there will always be an awful lot of confused grandparents, just like Bob.

This week’s nine newsiest baby name list is all about the next generation:

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