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Category: nameberry blog

collect4

There was a time when I did a lot of writing about antiques and collectibles, in the course of which I amassed five or six tall  bookcases fully stocked with volumes on everything from Mickey Mouse memorabilia to model trains to Meissen porcelain.  But since I’ve become almost exclusively  Berry-focused, I keep thinking I should cull the collection and make room for my ever expanding assemblage of international name books.  Yet something always stops me.

Just today, I was thinking I would drop off a few books at least at my local library, but every time I’d pick one up—Golf Collectibles, say, or Depression Glass—something would impel me to put it down.  And why?  Because each one is filled with names of one kind or another, names that just might be of interest to the Berries as antique baby names.

So, to justify (or not) my ambivalence, I thought I’d browse through a few of them to see what I could come up with, trying to avoid the proper names of makers, but looking for words with baby name potential.  Here’s what I came up with—see what you think.

Amberina–an amber glass made with a gold powder, used in art glass

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ssmidhughxx

Pop open the champagne: It’s Middle Name Pride Day! In celebration, everyone’s supposed to reveal their middle names to three people who don’t know it. What if you learned, probably the hard way, that your middle name might make other people laugh, gasp, or want to punch you in the nose? Then take comfort in knowing that you’re in good company. Many of the most famous names around have middle names they’d probably just as soon keep out of the limelight.

And hey, come on over and join the conversation on Facebook about YOUR middle name, proud or not.

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rosekatherine1

Our Berry Question of the Week comes from Jen Barnes of Seattle, who’s facing a common problem in Baby Name Land: She and her husband are having trouble agreeing on a name for their second daughter.  Here, the names he likes and those that she likes.  Your job, dear berries, is to help them find a name they both will love.  Jen writes:

Please help us name baby #2!  Our 2nd baby girl is arriving in 4 short weeks and she has no name!  Our 18-month-old daughter, Rose Katherine, was named the second we found out that she was a girl!  Every time I think I have some names narrowed down, I add one to the list.  My husband has been no help in this process either — ha.  Here are the names he likes:

Sarah

Shayla- he used to live in a city (spelled Xela) in Guatemala with this name and it is very dear to his heart but I am just not feeling it.

Nora

I love the name Nora but I fear that it is becoming too popular.  What do you think?

Here are my favorite names currently:

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abbytulip2

Celebrity baby names are in the spotlight this week in Appellation Mountain’s Abby Sandel’s Nameberrty Nine round-up .

The Sundance Film Festival just wrapped up in Utah yesterday.  Indie films are a great resource for unexpected baby names – they’re inventive, original, often rich with significance, and yet they’re usually not blockbusters.  Choosing a name from a great but somewhat obscure movie is different than calling your daughter Neytiri or your son Anakin – there’s less instant, unavoidable connection to the character.

Last week also brought us a string of celebrity birth announcements too intriguing to ignore.  A handful of Sundance-inspired appellations, like Merrily, Beatrice, Clarke, Spring, and Beau, exited the list to make room for a few newsworthy baby names.

Let’s start with a few from the Festival:

TulipCatherine Zeta-Jones’ character in upcoming crime caper Lay the Favorite answers to this botanical rarity.  Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell used it as an extra middle for their daughter Charlie Tamara Tulip.  She shares the same vowel sound as Ruby and LucyWill we start to see Tulip in bloom?

Zibby – The youngest Olsen sister, Elizabeth, plays Zibby in coming-of-age flick Liberal Arts.  Surely it isn’t the character’s given name.  Maybe Zibby is a creative short form of Elizabeth, or it could be a novel nickname for Isabella.

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abby-blur

This week, Appellation Mountain’s Abby Sandel ventures into the blurry grey area of  newly discovered gender-neutral names.

It’s official! America’s favorite names are Charlotte and James. The top names for 2011 in Sweden? Alice and William. They’re classic appellations, at home across the centuries and in many languages.

They’re also clearly gendered. With apologies to Mr. Cooper, it is difficult to imagine a boy named Alice, and while actor James Marsden has a daughter called Mary James, it is tough to imagine picking James for a daughter’s first name.

Or is it? At first, it is easy to draw clear lines. Evan is a boy’s name, but Evelyn is meant for a girl. Nicola is feminine, of course, while Jordan was shamelessly stolen from our sons.

While we all have our own impressions, it often turns out that the line is blurry, or even non-existent, for many a name. This week’s top nine illustrate that uncertainty.

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