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We’re so pleased to announce that starting today, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel will be presenting a regular baby name news recap and analysis every Monday.

If you’re a Nameberry aficionado, you might recall that this column started out as a week in review, then morphed into a more conventional list of names based around a certain theme – superheroes, or wild animal names. 

This week’s column goes in a different direction, offering a re-cap of some of the most notable names in baby name news last week, from baby name message boards to international headlines.  The names have nothing in common, necessarily – they’re just nine newsworthy appellations plucked from the headlines.

Ami – The first season of NY Ink wrapped up this week, and I can’t help thinking about the leading man’s given name.  It looks like a spin on 1970s girls’ favorite Amy, but Ami James rose to fame on TLC’s Miami Ink, before headlining his own show.  The Israeli-born tattoo artist pronounces his Old Testament name like Tommy without the T.  James has been in the public eye since 2005, and 18 newborn boys were named Ami in 2010.  I’m intrigued by the idea that names like Peyton or Taylor can remain gender neutral.  But what would it take for a name perceived as feminine to chart for boys?  Ami seems like a long shot, but Kelly is showing signs of life, at least on message boards.

Arabella – Speaking of feminine, is there a girlier name than the frothy confection Arabella?  Worn by well-born women in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, she’s in the spotlight now as the newest Trump heiress, daughter of Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner.  Arabella is undeniably pretty, but makes me think of Nymphadora Tonks, the Harry Potter heroine who despised her elaborate appellation.  What do you do if your Arabella is a tomboy?  I guess you call her Arie – or maybe Abby.

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