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Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel looks at nine of the most unusual names to hit the headlines this week.

Suggest almost any name in nearly any setting – message board, moms’ group, casual gathering of friends – and someone will almost certainly snort, and tell you that naming your child Sebastian or Oliver or Aiden will lead to a lifetime of misery.  The person making that dire prediction will, of course, not realize that every kid these days is named Sebastian or Oliver or Aiden.

Suggest a name that is truly out of the ordinary – Cedar or Gideon or Airlie – and the comments can be even harsher, predicting dire consequences like playground shunnings and an inability to find employment as a surgeon and/or district attorney.

Is it cruel to choose unusual names for a child?  I’m confident that the answer is no – but a few of this week’s most captivating names raised the question.

Ace – As in the playing card and the tennis term, but in this case, borrowed from a popular anime character.  Japanese fashion model Hikari Kamikawa recently gave this rather un-Japanese name to her son.  Some cried cruelty; others noted that Ace is tough to pronounce in her native language.

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