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Easter baby names

Have you ever wondered how the bunny rabbit came to be associated with Easter and how the connection became so entrenched?  Well, it relates more to pagan folklore than Christian iconography, dating back to 13th century Germany and worship of the Teutonic deity Eostra, the goddess of spring and fertility, who was honored by feasts on the Vernal Equinox.  Her symbol was the rabbit, because of the animal’s fecundity.  Which just might inspire you to consider a famous bunny’s name for your Easter baby.  These range from the classic to the comical.

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Classic Girl Names: Alexandra the Great

alexandra

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The other day we took a look at all the boys’ names in the Alexandrian clan, now we move on to the girls. Here we find 11 direct descendants on the Social Security list. The big surprise is that Alexandra, the direct feminization of Alexander, does not come first, but is superseded by a unisex offshoot. And it’s not Alex!

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Alexander names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

There are several girls’ names—Mary, Margaret, Elizabeth, Katherine—that have spawned copious numbers of female variations and nicknames, as have boys like John and William, but there is one name whose progeny has embraced both genders, and that name is Alexander.

In 2013, there were 19 forms of Alexander on the Social Security list—almost split between boys and girls, and that doesn’t count names like the Scottish Alistair, which was Number 181 on Nameberry, or newcomer nicknames Xan and Zan.   Enough for a two-part blog. Today, it’s gentlemen first.

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Knightly Names of Camelot

Camelot names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table represent the essence of chivalry and romantic love. And the names in those tales conjure up images of knights in shining armor, ethereal medieval ladies, the court of Camelot and the heroic quest for the Holy Grail.

These legends have existed for over a thousand years, interpreted by countless writers and poets, including Geoffrey of Monmouth, Crétien de Troyes, Sir Thomas Malory, and Alfred Lord Tennyson and have persisted through such modern interpretations as T. H. White’s The Once and Future King, the basis of the stage musical Camelot, countless films, including the spoof Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and numerous TV shows.

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The New International Names

international baby names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

There was a time when the top baby name lists of different countries reflected their own distinctive native cultures. When John and Mary headed those of most English-speaking countries, just as Giovanni and Maria and Juan and Maria and Jean and Marie et al were in first place elsewhere.

But that has changed. With the homogenization of culture in general, with an increase in international travel, the spread of the internet and global audiences watching the same TV shows, we are no longer surprised to find the Irish appellation Liam ranking high on the list in Switzerland or the Old Testament Ethan suddenly Number 3 in Monaco. This is a moment when certain names, often in a variety of indigenous forms, are spreading epidemically across the world.

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