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Stump the Masters!

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Sometimes we feel we’ve heard every name in the book…..until someone introduces us to a new one.

Actually, that happened just now, when our friend the wonderful photographer Fran Liscio, who took the picture of me and Linda on the home page, just wrote to say she’d heard an unusual name in a 1941 movie called Smiling Through — Moonyean.  Had we ever heard of the name Moonyean?, she wondered.

Nope, we told her: She’d stumped the masters.

Which made us think it might be fun to challenge YOU to stump the masters, i.e. tell me and Linda and the rest of the Nameberry community about an unusual name you’ve heard that you think we may not have come across.

All names already in the Nameberry database are off limits, naturally.  When you suggest a new name, all documentation — movie character lists, newspaper stories, non-U.S. baby name sites — are helpful.  Plus tell us as much as you know about the origin, meaning, and background of the name.

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Unusual Boys’ Names Ready To Pop

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Last week we brought you our selection of rare girls’ names destined for stardom; now we bring you our pick of unusual boys’ names ready to climb the popularity ladder.These are names given to fewer than 100 boys last year in the U.S.   But in Nameberry’s analytics, we see them drawing twice as much attention as other names.What that means: No matter how unusual these names are by the numbers, they’re attracting considerable buzz. And that’s bound to translate over the coming years into usage for a lot more babies.

As with the girls’ names, these names share much beyond their potential popularity.  Most are ancient names, slumbering for centuries.  While they hail from a range of cultures, a quorum are rooted in Ancient Rome or mythology.  And as has been the trend with boys’ names, how they end — in n, r, us, or o — seems to be more important to their fashion status than their first initial.

Here, 9 unusual boys’ names we see ready to pop.

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The writers of a new name book go out on a limb–and then some–to come up with some unusual baby names you never, ever, would have thought of.

People often ask us how the heck we, two colleagues who live on different continents, and with a total of zero children between us, came to write a baby name book.

It started with an office email about the names of our childhood pets—Miek gave all his tank pets outrageous names like ChunksOfLoveAndLikeAndStuff, A+ Nachos, and Wraaakkkk, while Kerry believed she had discovered the perfect name—July—and so whenever her fish died (which was often), she simply replaced it with a new one, but kept the same name.

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The Nameberry Nine: Embracing the Modern

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Nameberry Nine columnist Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain trolls the web this week in search of the newest, most modern monikers.  Here, her report.

The arrival of Blue Ivy, firstborn daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z, was a signal for every commentator to discuss wacky celebrity baby names once again.  It is a topic that never seems to grow old, though many name cognoscenti rated Blue as relatively tame, perhaps even less original than we’d expected from the stylish duo.

Ellen DeGeneres congratulated the couple, then revealed their secret – The Celebrity Baby Name Generator, issued to every star.  While Ellen and her partner Portia and childless, she gave the BNG a spin to see what they’d name their twins.  The answer?  Banjo Fire Escape and Elbow Gas Lamp – the latter, she quipped, obviously a boy’s name.

Despite all of this gentle mockery, I’ve fallen in love with modern word names over the past few years.  Maybe it is because of all those blog babies with such adventurous appellations:  Reverie, Morrow, Drummer, Glow.  Based on the chatter on the forums and in recent blog posts, I’m not alone at Nameberry.

This week’s Top Nine suggest that world is adapting to a much broader pool of given names:

King – American parents might choose this regal name in memory of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.  But he made headlines last week as one of the names most frequently rejected by New Zealand naming authorities, along with fellow royal titles Prince and Princess, plus noun name Justice.

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Baby Names 2012

For the new year, we thought it would be fun to ask you to post the new baby names 2012 you’ve heard or see lately, on babies or in movie credits or in the newspaper or even new choices you’ve encountered on Nameberry.

We think we’ve heard them all…..until we encounter a new name, which seems to happen every other day.  We’re always adding new names to Nameberry.

Some recent name sightings that were new to us and that we added to Nameberry: Avdel, an Old Testament name that means “servant of God,” and Roreto, an Italian place-name a Berry used for her son and enlightened us about. Tomorrow, we’ll bring you a longer list of the new baby names 2012 we’ve added to Nameberry.

What new names have YOU encountered?  Where did you find them?  And what if anything can you tell us about them?

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