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undiscovered girl

The other day we offered eight fresh choices for boys, and now it’s the girls’ turn—girls’ names ranging from a rare botanical specimen to a nostalgic nickname to an undercrowded place name.

1–Acacia—This a a pretty and delicate botanical name that has hardly been heard in this country, though it ranked as high as Number 273 among girls’ names in Australia, where the Acacia is a common flowering shrub, in 2008.  Acacia has a heritage that dates back to ancient Egyptian mythology, in which it was considered the tree of life due to the belief that the first gods were born under a sacred Acacia tree.  There is also an eponymous fantasy novel, Acacia. Caveat: just don’t think about the other name of the Acacia tree—the Golden Wattle.

2–AmabelNot to be confused with Annabel (though it well might be), the lovely Amabel has been around since medieval times, and has appeared in a number of British novels, including Agatha Christie’s Appointment with Death, and heard as well as among the English aristocracy.  Amabel gave birth to the shortened form Mabel, which has a much brasher image, and we think a name that means lovable, deserves more love than it’s gotten.

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Baby Name Trends: Top Names of 2030?

future1

Scanning the popularity charts of some of the current most popular and stylish baby names (yeah, that’s how I spend my spare time), I noticed something fascinating the other day.  Many of them – Ava, Ella, Peyton, Aiden, Emmett, even number one Isabella – were at the very bottom of the Top 1000 in 1990.

That means that they were rarely used when the parents of today – most popularly named Jennifer and Melissa, Christopher and Jason – were born, but were starting to rise up the charts by the time Jennifer was drawing hearts around Jason’s name in her Geometry notebook.

By that theory (who says baby name trends prediction isn’t a science?), we should be able to predict which names will be most popular 20 years from now by combing the bottom of today’s Top 1000.

Of course, not every name down in the 800s and 900s is destined for baby name greatness.  But we see the following as likely popular choices for your grandchildren.

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Top Girls’ Names: Transformed!

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This week, Nameberry Style columnist Elisabeth Wilborn, of You Can’t Call It It and The Itsy Factor, waves her magic wand over the girls’ top 100 list and transforms overly-popular names with chic new alternatives.

The list of top girls’ names is brimming with gorgeousness. After all, the top girls’ names got that way because people love them.

But if you seek a more rare, chic alternative for your little one, play this game with me. Ask yourself, is it the sound that makes you fall in love with a name? Is it the fact that it honors your heritage? Perhaps it’s the meaning? Whatever the names’ deepest appeal, there may be another, less popular option that will satisfy you.

I had fun with this list, maybe even more so than with the boys’ names because there are just so many viable options to choose from.

How would you amp up the style of the girls’ names from the top of the chart, and are there any that you’re too in love with to change?

1) Isabella–>Mirabella
2) Sophia–>Louisa
3) Emma–>Alice
4) Olivia–>Ottilie
5) Ava–>Rita
6) Emily–>Cecily
7) Abigail–>Tabitha

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deborah2

The Bible contains hundreds more boys’ than girls’ names, but the female names in its pages are among the most beautiful and enduring of Western culture.  It’s difficult to pick just a handful of our favorites.  Setting aside such timeless beauties as Anne, Mary, and Elizabeth, we spotlight these choices that combine distinctiveness and style.

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baby rider

So you think you’ve found a secret baby name.  One that nobody has ever discovered before.  Or a sleeping gem neglected by other baby namers.

And maybe you have.  But the distressing news is that a lot of the names that parents think are secret finds are really being scoped out at the same time by a lot of other parents.

How do we know? Because we’ve analyzed which names are spiking the highest in nameberry views at the start of 2011 compared with 2010, and among the biggest risers are obscure picks and long-neglected classics.

What makes these names suddenly so hot?  For the most part, it’s hard to say.  All we can tell you for sure is that they are hot — a lot hotter than you might guess.

Here, the 50 hottest obscure names and how high their traffic has jumped:

Girls

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