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Category: Patrick Dempsey

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Today we salute the Saint whose day is being celebrated, along with a dozen notables who share his name– even though the patron saint of Ireland was neither Irish nor born with the name Patrick. The name, which is Pádraig in Irish, has come to be seen as the quintessential Irish appellation, and is still a Top 10 name in the Emerald Isle, while it ranks at Number 143 in the US.

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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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