By John Kelly

This Black History Month, we’re taking a look at some of the great jazz musicians of the past century. But these cats didn’t just give us some of the best music. Their names also offer some inspiration for baby boy names—and on the flip, serve as a cool way for jazz lovers to honor and remember their musical heroes.

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

One perk of following international events for name nerds is the exposure to a whole new world of interesting multi-cultural names, and the current Winter Olympics is no exceptions. Though many of the superstars have such familiar names as Chloe and Kelly and Jamie and Shaun and Sean, we’ve also spotted some outstanding European, Asian, Africa and even Anglo names that piqued our interest.

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Baby Name News: Fresh and festive choices

By Clare Bristow

This week’s news includes gemstone and virtue names for boys, reasons to choose a popular name, fresh names from the 1990s (yes, really), and Boomer Phelps’s little brother.

Festive, lucky names

At this time of year, the festivals come thick and fast – as do baby names relating to them. Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s or Palentine’s Day) has been and gone, as has Mardi Gras. In honor of the end of carnival season, Cleveland Evans’ column looked at names inspired by days, including Mardi and Domenica, and the more transparent Tuesday and Sunday. If you like these, here are even more days that work as names.

Coming up this weekend is the Lunar New Year. Whether or not you’re celebrating the start of the year of the Earth Dog, you might find inspiration in these names relating to good fortune and dogs. And because good luck is such a common theme in names (who wouldn’t want it for their child?), here are even more adventurous names meaning luck.

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

Since the beginning of US history, from the time of George Washington on, aspirational parents have bestowed presidential surnames (with a few exceptions like Eisenhower and Bush) on their sons, in the old platitude that every American lad could grow up to hold the country’s highest office.

Even now, the national boy Top 500 popularity list is rife with such names, i.e.:

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How much should you, can you control your child’s nickname?

Is a nickname something you plan when you choose the name — your William will be called Will and not Billy, for instance — and then insist the world fall into line?

Or do you wait to see whether a nickname arises naturally and how it evolves over time?

Do you start with a nickname — Nell, let’s say — and work backwards to choose a proper name — Penelope, Eleanor, Helen? — that supports it?

Or maybe you looked for a proper name that you hoped would be nickname-proof.

Inspired by this interesting discussion on nicknames over in the forums, how did you handle the issue with your child’s nickname and what’s your general take on the subject of nicknames?

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