8 Reasons to Forgo Family Names

October 17, 2014

Choosing a name from your family tree can be great – it simples up the process of finding the right name, and it will doubtless please the honoree. There’s a built-in story for your child, too, one that connects her to earlier generations. But it isn’t for everyone, and there are some excellent reasons to […]

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Crazy Baby Names: 12 Warning Signs

August 8, 2014

I’m an advocate for unusual names.  I’m willing to defend a lot of choices that are outside the mainstream, whether it is reviving a name all-but-lost, choosing a non-dominant spelling, embracing an unconventional word, or deciding to borrow from another language. Sure, an unusual name might raise a few eyebrows – but in our age of Jayden and North, […]

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The Problem of Native American Baby Names

June 27, 2014

On special occasions here at Appellation Mountain, we celebrate by giving one lucky reader a week – an entire week! – to choose the content.  Kara was the lucky winner this time around, and I’ve loved the names she’s chosen – Javier, Roxelana, Asenath, and Maureen. Her challenge for Friday was a tremendous one: write about Native American […]

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Baby Name Predictions 2013 Review

May 16, 2014

I simply cannot resist making predictions for the new year. But the best part, I think, is seeing whether or not my crystal ball gazing was right. It takes some patience to get there, of course.  The predictions I made in December 2012 were for the 2013 calendar year – and we don’t see that data […]

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The Most Popular Baby Names in the US: 2013 Data is Here!

May 9, 2014

The Social Security Administration has released the 2013 data on most popular baby names, just in time for Mother’s Day! Lots to think about here, but some quick and completely random notes: Thatcher cracked the US Top 1000 for the first time, ever!  I’ve been big on ‘r’ ending names for a while, and with […]

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John, Mary, and 63 More: The Most Popular Baby Names of All Time

April 11, 2014

What are the most popular baby names of all time? It sounds like a straightforward question.  Except that there are different ways to measure usage.  Are Steven and Stephen two names or one?  Are we talking about the percentage of the population receiving a given name, or the name’s numerical ranking?  On percentages, today’s #1 name is […]

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Seven Reasons to Go Big with Middle Names

February 21, 2014

Pssst … wondering if any of the names mentioned have been featured as Baby Name of the Day posts?  If they appear as a blue link, the answer is yes!  Just click to read. You’ve settled on the perfect first name, when suddenly you realize that you’re not done yet. There’s a family member that […]

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Baby Name Predictions for 2014

December 27, 2013

Which directions are baby names headed in 2014? In six years of name blogging, and 40 years of name obsessing, I’ve learned this: surprises abound, and everything changes.  One year’s impossibly outdated choice is the next year’s granny chic favorite.  Give that very same name a decade or so, and she’s way too common to […]

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Looking Back: 2013 Predictions Reviewed

December 20, 2013

In the last days of 2012, I came up with some predictions for 2013.   With twelve months in the rearview mirror, it is time to look back. Of course, the end of the calendar year doesn’t match up with the release of 2013’s official baby name data for the US.  So I’m analyzing how I […]

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Best Celebrity Baby Names of 2013

December 13, 2013

I write about celebrity kids an awful lot, but I’ve never done a real, end-of-the-year round-up post here. Really, where *are* my priorities? Since I’ve spent the week writing about celebrity baby names, it seems like the perfect year to reflect on my favorite high profile baby names. Before we dive in, let’s address two […]

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