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photo by Elena Kalis

The big news in baby names this week has been the Most Popular Names 2012: Top 1, Top 10, Top 100, Top 1000.

But swimming just below the surface — not quite on the radar but not truly off, either — are dozens of more unusual baby names poised to find wider favor….or dropping from view.

Many Nameberry favorites exist in this limbo of baby names, including choices such as Aurelia and Wren for girls that missed making it into the Top 1000 by a single point.

Of course, that may bring relief rather than disappointment to many parents.  If you want to name your baby Magnolia or Clementine, Bishop or Langston — or already have — you may tremble on surveying the new Top 1000, hoping your favorites stay off the list.

We looked below the Top 1000 for girls and boys and found those names within 50 points of the cutoff that we felt were heading back into style, along with those sailing off into the sunset.

In raw numbers, 251 girls received the Number 1000 name Katalina while 197 boys were named Number 1000 boys’ name Dangelo.  The numbers after each name below represent the number of children given that name in 2012.

One note on the names we say are Heading Out: Some of these may appeal to parents in search of a name with Geek Chic or an unusual classic.  Hello, baby Ralph!  Or….dare I suggest….baby Pamela?

Here, the names just under the Top 1000 coming into style and heading out:

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SEE THE WINNERS BELOW!!!

The official list of U.S. Most Popular Names 2012 will be revealed later this week — Thursday afternoon or Friday morning, according to the Social Security press office —  and so in advance of that announcement, we’re asking YOU to predict:

What do you think will be the Most Popular Names for 2012?

Will Sophia hold onto the Number 1 spot she claimed last year?  Will Jacob retain his long-held crown?

And if not, what WILL be Number 1 — and 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. and 10?

The first Berry to guess all Top 10 names for both sexes in correct order will win the gorgeous sterling silver and antiqued bronze double-charm necklace pictured here, soon to be offered exclusively in our Nameberry Store for $99, personalized with the names and/or dates of your choice.  If no one guesses the exact Top 10s, we’ll decide who comes closest.  Entries end at 11:59 PST TONIGHT, Wednesday, May 8.

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Top Boy Names 2012

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Finn has taken over as Nameberry’s top boy name for 2012, claiming the Number 1 spot held last year by Asher.  Former most popular boys’ name Henry drops to Number 3.

The names on our boys’  Top 10 remain the same as last year, except that Owen and Felix have switched places at Numbers 10 and 11.

Biblical Simon is the name that’s risen furthest on the Nameberry list, up 43 places.  The boys’ names moving the most places up the ladder are:

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America’s Favorite Baby Names

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What are America‘s Favorite Baby Names?  Not the top names on the Social Security List, not even Nameberry’s own favorites, but the most well-liked names chosen by popular opinion.

Recently we collaborated with Huffington Post Parents to create a brackets challenge, asking readers to vote for America‘s Favorite Baby Name.  We picked the 16 contenders for each sex from the ranks of Nameberry favorites, pitting Henry against James, Scarlett vs. Charlotte, Hudson against River (how could we resist?).

Through a series of elimination rounds, thousands of parents voted for their favorites.  And today we have the winners!  Read on to find out which the finalists were, and the identity of America‘s favorite baby names.

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