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Baby names, pregnancy & parenting news and views

Berry Juice is a collection of the best blogs on baby names, pregnancy, and parenting from around the web, including everything from personal naming stories to the academic study of names, pregnancy information to tips on decorating the nursery.

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Strong Sci-Fi Namesakes for Girls

By Kristian Wilsom

Many outsiders and casual fans still consider sci-fi to be a masculine genre, but women’s sustained presence and influence have transformed it into a diverse, feminist niche. If you’re looking for an empowering and unique name for your new baby girl, you really can’t go wrong with a selection from science fiction. Check out the following twelve feminist sci-fi names for your baby girl, and share your favorite galaxy-exploring monikers with me on Twitter!

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By Emma Jolly

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t obsessed with names.

Growing up in the English countryside, I entertained myself by making lists of names from all my favourite books. Each of my toys was named only after due consideration. I also used to write stories, usually spending more time on my characters’ names than on plots. Thinking ahead, I had full names planned for each of the nine children I intended to have. After having two real, noisy, hungry children, I decided that nine might be too many, and had to return to naming imaginary people in my fiction writing.

In my day job as a professional genealogist, I come across many interesting names. Some are useful in that they fit into a naming pattern or contain an ancestral surname that can provide clues to their family history. Others indicate a religious family, or perhaps one that is socially ambitious. Many parents in the 19th and early 20th centuries named children after family members or used fashionable options. In 1911, for example, parents opted for contemporary choices: the most popular girls names in England and Wales were Edith, Doris, Florence, Elsie and Gladys.

Those that most trigger my curiosity, however, are the names that suggest a passion of the parents for something literary, artistic, musical, or political.

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By Claire Shefchik

My parents have been in the same house for 25 years, and I’m not a famous enough writer (yet) that my personal papers have been auctioned off at Christie‘s. So when I got that inevitable command from my mother to “clear out your junk or else,” I dove into my childhood closet for the first time in years, getting rare access to the inner workings of my 6-year-old mind via battered college-ruled notebooks circa 1992.

What stood out most are the names, of course,

Whole lists of them. Hundreds. I must have just sat for hours, listing names as they popped into my head, one after another. Names of future children were just for starters. I needed names for puppies and kittens and ponies (both real and fictional), names for villains and princesses and orphan girls, names for when I grew up and renamed myself.

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By Courtney Ligon

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, and while many of us will at least pretend to be Irish for the day, you may not feel that you have a little Siobhan or Seamus in your future. So while there is an abundance of strong and appealing Irish names, there are also plenty of great name options that honor the spirit of luck and good fortune that surround the day, without demanding that your little one pop out singing Danny Boy. So here are some names with luck in their meaning.

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Baby Names Right Up Your Street

By Nick Turner

Place names have surged in popularity in recent decades, with picks like Dakota, Brooklyn and Savannah cropping up in maternity wards and nursery schools across the country.

But there’s one source of geographic inspiration that parents often overlook: street names.

If there’s a road that has special meaning to you (say, if you met your future spouse on Melrose Avenue), using a street name could be a fun way to share that history with your baby.

But you have to be a little careful. There’s an old gag about how you can generate your porn-star name by combining the name of your pet with the street you grew up on. In other words, street names have a the potential of possibly sounding a bit trashy.

To figure out the street names that work the best, I compiled a list of the most obvious options. Then I checked them against the Social Security Administration database to see which ones have actually been used as genuine human names. After all, even if you’re looking to get creative, you probably don’t want to go totally off the beaten path.

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