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Nameberry 9: Are Blogbabies the New Name Trendsetters?

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For this week’s Nameberry Nine, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel invades the blogosphere and finds some wildly creative names.

Huxley, Wolf, Ezra, August, Lochlan, Elsa, Emilia, Petra, Eleni, and Juniper all have something in common – they’re all names that I’ve come across on blogs, names that are unusual in real life, but familiar because I read what their parents write.

Move over supermodels and rock stars.  Lately bloggers are among the most daring of baby namers.

Heather Armstrong, a.k.a. Dooce, has girls called Leta Elise and Marlo Iris.  Design Mom Gabrielle Blair has six kids with charming, retro appellations: Ralph, Maude, Olive, Oscar, Betty, and June.

Then there’s Rebecca Woolf, the blogger behind Girl’s Gone Child and the memoir Rockabye.  I love her son’s name – Archer Sageand was blown away when she and husband Hal chose Fable Luella for their daughter.  Speculation about names for their twins had reached a fever pitch when the girls made their debut last week.

Rebeccas’s not the only high profile mom blogger to welcome a new member to her family this week, and so this Nameberry Nine is dedicated to a new category of tastemakers – blogbabies.

Azure – Blogger Katy of No Big Dill has welcomed a son.  No, his name isn’t Azure – in fact, they’re still puzzling over the name.  (Elisabeth at You Can’t Call It “It” has a post up to solicit suggestions.  The couple is sure to choose something inventive – big sisters are Divine, Pearl, Olive, Azure, and Clover. I’ve always found Azure under-used.  If boys can be Indigo, this must be the perfect shade of blue for a daughter.

GlowRubyellen of Cakies had three little girls: True, Brave, and Soul.  Now she and husband Ben have welcomed a fourth, Glow Amorette.  The parents admit that their choices are wildly over-the-top – the first question in her blog’s F.A.Q. is “Are your daughter’s names really True, Brave, and Soul?”  If Rubyellen were a television actress, this one would be all over the headlines.

Boheme – The tragic heroine of Puccini’s opera was called Mimi, but the newest babe in the blogosphere is named Boheme Shalom, daughter of Girls Gone Child’s Rebecca Woolf. Just like big sis Fable, this one was virtually unheard of until her arrival.  Boyish nickname Bo is wearable, plus she sounds like Poem, a word name that wouldn’t be a huge stretch.

LuxJeffrey Eugenides used the name for a character in his 1993 novel The Virgini Suicides. Now this is the middle name of one of the Girls Gone Child twins, Reverie Lux. The whole category – punchy Latin words that end with x – seems primed for attention: Pax, Lux, Vox, Rex.  They strike me as more masculine, while Paz and Luz seem like their feminine counterparts.

ReverieBoheme’s twin, and a name that feels certain to attract more attention.  She’s not completely unknown – five girls received the name in the US in 2010, and blogger Kristen at Marginamia has a daughter called Valo June Reverie.  While that’s still pretty rare, she reminds me of popular picks like Avery and Valerie, suggesting that you might meet a little Rev before too long.

Lillian – In the meantime, some Hollywood types are choosing names that sound downright tame.  Actress Mary McCormack welcomed a third daughter, a little sister for Margaret and Rose.  Their new addition is called LillianLily names are epidemic, but they’re still easy to love.

Oliver – Actress Sarah Lancaster welcomed son Oliver Michael.  He can keep company with Lillian – two kids with very current classics.

Walden – Let’s not count out the influence of the small screen just yet.  Ashton Kutcher’s character in Two and a Half Men moves into the Malibu residence tonight.  Will he be able to replace Charlie?  That’s tough to say, but if he succeeds, his character’s name could be the big winner.  Waldo is so hipster it hurts, but Walden conjures up Thoreau.  He’s just vaguely literary, a male counterpart to Harper.

Xander – It’s not as classic a choice as Lillian or Oliver, but January Jones’s new son wears a mainstream moniker, too.  Pop culture references run in the family.  January’s parents got her name from a Jacqueline Susann novel.  Jones may not have found Xander on television, but his big boost came from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy’s BFF was an ordinary Joe called Alexander Harris, but he always answered to Xander. It also seems a very fitting name for an actress who recently starred as a member of the X-Men.


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