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28 Surprising Baby Names on the Rise

baby name Azalea

Swimming just below our Most Popular lists are other baby names that are attracting new levels of attention. Some of these are unusual names from traditional sources like the Bible and nature. Others are classic choices that have suddenly gone from dowdy to stylish.Many of these names share a darkness, an edginess I didn’t notice until I began researching illustrations to accompany the text. It may be that, in these vampire-threatened times, we’re more drawn to myths and pop culture sources that have a shadowy underside. Or it may just be that we’re looking harder for unusual names, in places parents may have shied away from in the past.Wherever we find them, here are 28 surprising baby names on the way up:

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By Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

Styles change.

In hemlines and hairdos, in music and cuisine and baby names, too.

Once upon a time, Mildred was a Top Ten name in the US.  Clarence, Connie, Randy, Dawn, Eugene, Norman, Norma, Crystal, Dustin, Myrtle, and Elmer have all ranked in the Top 50 names at one point or another.

It can take years for a name to transition from emerging trend to solidly established choice.  But this week’s baby name news highlights many of the changes happening now.

Change is constant, but some of the outcomes are fresh and new, and it is too soon to say which names will catch on.  Will Americans embrace truly gender neutral names?  Are noun names mainstream?  Should you double-check the spelling on every single name, no matter what?

Read on for nine baby names in the news, and what they might signal for the next generation of children.

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posted by: bluejuniper View all posts by this author
Shirley-Temple-Feature

By Brooke Cussans of Baby Name Pondering

For many name nerds there are two things that are usually pretty high on their want list when choosing names. One is that the name isn’t too “trendy” – so that it won’t seem too dated in years to come and instantly mark someone as a child of a particular decade. Another is that it’s not “too” popular.

In the 1930’s, one name that completely broke both of these rules was Shirley, thanks largely to child mega-star Shirley Temple. The name was already very well recognised, positioned at #9 in America, when Shirley Temple‘s first films were made. The attention this young girl brought to the name gave it such a boost that Nancy of popular blog Nancy‘s Baby Names points out that Shirley had the second biggest jump (in numbers of girls given the name) ever from 1934 to 1935, which saw it go from #4 to #2 when 42,353 American girls were given the name. That’s a lot of Shirleys.

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The Most Popular Baby Names of 2018

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By Jeff Bogle

The first half of 2018 has been an exciting and adventurous one for new baby names, as parents everywhere are looking to their pantries, driveways and TV screens for help deciding what to call their precious newborns.
Thanks to a shady back room deal (not really), I have procured a list of widely-used 2018 baby names from the Social Security Administration.

Here are a dozen of the most popular so far, right now, in 2018!

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baby name Cataleya

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Trendy baby names have been around a lot longer Miley Cyrus or any of the famous Kardashians. From the dawn of recorded U.S. baby name history — aka 1880, when the federal government began keeping records — we’ve adopted names inspired by current events and popular people and culture, only to leave them behind for a new inspiration the next year.

The inspiration for name trends a century ago may have been politicians and war heroes rather than reality stars, but the definition of trendy baby names was the same: Names that spiked in popularity thanks to an outside influence, then sank from view along with its original bearer.

An organization called Flowing Data has calculated the trendiest names in US history, a fascinating look at which names burned the brightest only to fade the fastest.

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