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fathersdayblogsize

Last month we gave a Nameberry shout-out to the moms of best-named babies in the past year, so how could we not do the same thing for the dads on Father’s Day? Again, we were looking for names with a real sense of style, a spark of originality, an eye for vintage treasure—and in one case even some playful gender-bending.

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May Names: Mabel, Mavis & Mae

mayday

Today being the first day of the merry month of May, why not consider a name that starts with that upbeat, springlike syllable for your baby born this month?  Here are the most likely May names suspects.

MABEL –When Bruce Willis, who, with then-wife Demi Moore, was one of the original creative baby namers with older daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah, recently named his baby girl Mabel Ray, he brought this vintage Victorian charmer further into the modern world orbit.  It had already been used by Chad Lowe, Nenah Cherry and Dermot Mulroney, as well as for the sitcom baby on Mad About You. Mabel—originally a short form of Amabel—could well join other ascending sassy showgirl names like Ruby and Sadie. Maybelle is rarely heard outside Nashville.

MACYMacy entered the popularity list in 1990—almost a decade after it had been noticed on the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful—and has been well used ever since, a much more modern sounding replacement for the dated Tracy and Stacy, and more solid than the lacy Lacey.  Apart from the department store chain, the most noted bearer of the name, singer Macy Gray, was born Natalie McIntyre; Carmela Soprano/Nurse Jackie Edie Falco named her daughter Macy.

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abbyarrietty

This week, Abby Sandel, of Appellation Mountain, outdoes herself in seeking and finding some truly novel names for The Nameberry Nine..

This week in baby name news, an actor named his second daughter after a tree. One movie brought an invented name to the English-speaking world by way of Japan. Another film started out in the imagination of a New Jersey-born novelist, took the audience to Paris, circa 1931, boosting a name that is popular throughout modern-day Europe. And an English pop star debuted a high-fashion handbag named in honor of a daughter named after a rather high-minded novel.

For every name that is clearly tied to a culture of origin – Maeve or Svetlana or Hiroshi – there is a growing pool that feels like fair game for parents from any background. This week’s names fit that mold, mostly because it is almost impossible to make them fit any one specific category. They’re global, eclectic, and stylish – just like the names that many of us are seeking for our children today.

Many of them are also shape-shifters. Is Sylvie a nature-name, a next-wave vintage appellation, or a nod to French heritage? How about Jed – is he a Biblical boy or a little wrangler? The answer is frequently yes, yes, and yes for these nine baby names in the news:

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