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Category: new names

What makes a name a name?

Kid portrait

By Abby Sandel, AppellationMountain

What makes a name real?

To think bigger, what makes a word real?  That’s the question raised by English professor and language historian Anne Curzan in her TED talk.

They’re long-standing questions, but the speed of our modern age means that change happens fast.  Imagine a name like Nevaeh catching on before MTV, or Jayceon before YouTube.

Curzan points out that dictionaries are written by people, people who are listening very carefully to how the general public uses words.  So tweet and defriend make the cut.

The same thing happens with baby name books and websites.  Nevaeh wouldn’t have appeared in the 1980s, but she’s firmly installed today.  And while Jayceon might be too new to appear in print, the fast-rising variant can be found on most of the major baby name sites.

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blue surprise

We’re always adding new baby names to our database, and the latest collection all have international roots.  These additions were partially inspired by the update of our baby name popularity page to include Top 100 lists from several countries beyond the U.S.  We also thank Nameberry readers who contributed names from their home countries that were new to us.   Here, the dozen (plus) newest international baby names on Nameberry.

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What name deserves more love?

baby names

It was the headline that caught our eye:

I think that Paul has been ignored long enough!, wrote our longtime friend and berry Rollo on the message boards.

Rollo goes on to make the case for Paul‘s wonderfulness, which made us wonder which other now-dormant or widely-ignored names people might champion for greater attention.

What one name would you singlehandedly and magically bring back (or introduce to the wider world, if it’s a new name), if you could?

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The Newest Names on Nameberry

new baby names

We’re always adding new names to the Nameberry database, whether new discoveries or expansions of older listings.

Our latest collection includes word names and nicknames, international imports and mythological revivals.  We bring you these new entries not as our latest recommendations but as fresh additions to the lexicon.

Here, our 16 newest names:

Alcina, Alcie, and Alsie

Alcina is best-known as the name of the beautiful sorceress of the eponymous Handel opera drawn from the Orlando poems. Alcina and her sister Morgana live on an island where Alcina seduces every passing sailor but once their novelty wears off, changes them into plants, rocks, or animals. Alcina comes with modern-sounding short forms Alcie or Alsie, which feel more baby-ready now that names such as Elsie, Elsa, and Isla are becoming popular again.

Bruin

Bruin is the Old English term for bear, taken from the Dutch word meaning brown. Bruin might be a sports fan’s choice or an animal name in hiding. As a kind of hybrid of Roone and Bruno, it’s definitely got some cool.

Celestina

We are hearing more of such heavenly names as Celeste and Celia, which opens the door to the range of lovely variations rarely heard before, including the Italian and Spanish Celestina.

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Kateriornament

by Denise K. Potter/Nameberry

The cool baby names this summer include the 12 newest choices on Nameberry, inspired by ancient queens and celebrity newborns, fictional characters and an Ethiopian cabdriver! If your definition of cool baby names are those that are exotic, quirky, and unusual, our dozen newest choices may inspire you. (Buy this St. Kateri oranment on Etsy.) 

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