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Category: place names

baby name Malaysia

The website Swimmingly recently published this very cool infographic on which place names were used for the most babies in the US in 2013.  The surprising results: Malaysia is the hottest place name for babies, beating out America, India, and yes, Sierra Leone. (And yup, there was a pop culture connection–the Malaysia on the reality show Basketball Wives LA.)

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Nile: Yes, Like The River

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ILLUSTRATION-Nile RIVER ANCIENT Egypt

By Nile Cappello

My name is, without a doubt, one of my most defining characteristics. Yes, I am loud, outspoken, slightly (or more than slightly) obnoxious, extremely determined (read: stubborn), and quite a few other things — but with a name like Nile, I wouldn’t have to be any of these to stand out.

Most people tell me they have never met someone named Nile.  They also ask me if I was born in Egypt, conceived on the Nile River (ew), or am Egyptian. My co-worker said before my first day she was convinced I would be a tall, dark, Egyptian goddess. I am not. I am small, pale, blonde, and overwhelmingly white.

Although my name was clearly inspired by the river in Egypt, I’m actually named after my grandfather Neil. In a time when made-up names like Jazlyn and “creative” spellings like Madilyn and Joslyn litter the Top 1000 list, I’m thankful to have a bit of history and familial significance behind my name.

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placeverona

There’s no shortage of place names on the baby-name map. In the Top 300 alone, we find Sienna and Sierra, Camden and Trenton, London and Paris, not to mention Brooklyn, Austin, Sydney, Kingston, Hudson and Georgia. But what if you’re looking for a less traveled destination? Here are some fresher possibilities.

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Middle Names: What’s your favorite kind?

middle

Middle names are, in many ways, the place where you can get most adventurous with your choices.

Or are they?

What, in your opinion, is the best kind of middle name to choose?

A creative name that you might love but that you wouldn’t dare put in first place?

A name with important symbolism — the city where your child was conceived, the name of a personal hero?

Or maybe you see the middle name as the ideal place to represent family:  to use the baby’s father’s first name, for instance, or pass down grandma’s maiden name or honor a family member who is recently deceased.

Or the middle name to you might be an opportunity to create flow and melody in a name, and so you look for a middle name with the perfect combination of syllables and sounds.

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What’s Your Favorite Place Name?

place names

Place names for people are a category that’s exploded over the past generation.

A couple of decades ago, names like Dakota and Chelsea were hot and trendy, while  Paris and London were wildly exotic.

Today, place name possibilities have moved far beyond such standards as Asia and Georgia.

There are popular city names — Savannah, Brooklyn, Milan — as well as state and country names, from Indiana to India.

There are place names that reference mountain ranges, like Sierra, or bodies of water, such as Hudson.  Place names can even refer to otherworldly locales, such as Heaven, Orion, or Zion.

Some place names owe their popularity to the epically beautiful places they reference: Kenya, for instance, and Venice.  And then there are those names that are much more attractive than the places they represent: We’re thinking of Trenton, Camden, Detroit.

Several celebrities have helped make the place name fashion more, well, fashionable.  Just last year, Reese Witherspoon had a son named Tennessee, while Jemima Kirke named her boy Memphis.

Our question this week: Would you use a place name for your child?  Have you used one?  In the first place, or only as a middle?

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