By Clare Green

The last couple of weeks have seen some big baby name stories in the news, including the release of the US 2018 popularity charts and a new baby for pop royalty – plus scintillating snippets from the rest of the world.

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Nature Names for Boys

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

Their firstborn is Cedar. Now they need another nature name that’s just as perfect for his little brother.

Lisa writes:

We have a son named Cedar, and we’re expecting another boy in September.

If it was a girl, we were considering Aurora, Juniper, or Sequoia. I know Juniper and Sequoia could be used for boys, but we are hesitant.

We’re looking for another unusual name, preferably one that has no religious connotations, references nature – we especially love plant names, is easy to spell and pronounce, and feels somewhat gender neutral.

His middle name will be my (German) surname; last name is my husband’s (Irish) surname, which is also a common first name and sometimes causes confusion.

We’ve considered Jupiter (but is it too out there?), Hawthorn/e (too surname-y?), Zephyr (too close to Cedar?), and Salix (the Latin genus for willow trees, but maybe too confusing?)

Thoughts and suggestions welcome!

The Name Sage replies:

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The Hottest Nickname Names of 2018

by Sophie Kihm

We’ve taken a hint from the Brits, as nicknames are being used as given names more and more in the US each year. Liam outranks William, Lily is more common than Lillian, and names like Bella, Jack, Ellie, Eli, and Sadie are all in the Top 100.

These nicknames are all cool, but they’re not hot. A hot nickname is one that is climbing quickly, rising fifty or more places in the Top 1000. Nicknames often become hot thanks to pop culture references or due to similarities to other popular names.

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by Sophie Kihm

The most exciting celebrity baby news of the past few weeks has undoubtedly been that of the birth of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s little prince. Archie Harrison does not have any family names, but his middle name honors Dad—Harrison literally means Harry’s son.

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Best New Names in the Top 1000

By Emma Waterhouse

According to the latest baby name data from the SSA, the pool of names chosen by new parents in the US has never been wider. The percentage of babies receiving a name in the Top 1000 continues to trend downwards, with almost a third of those born in 2018 receiving a name less common than Coleman or Kimora, Markus or Maliah — the #999 and #1000 names, respectively.

50 new girl names and 45 new boy names joined (or rejoined) the Top 1000 in 2018, replacing some surprising dropouts: like Marlowe, Kaya and Renee on the girls’ side, and Foster, Anton and Emmet on the boys’.

We’ve rounded up ten of the most appealing new entries for both sexes, together with the trends they showcase. Starred names appeared in the Top 1000 for the very first time last year.

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