names in the news

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Moms vs. Kate Middleton

There's no bigger celebrity stage than a royal wedding. Catherine "Kate" Middleton's special day made her a global sensation, with round-the-clock coverage of her every move and every outfit. But how much does Kate the Celebrity rub off on Kate the Baby Name?

Skittish parents, I have good news for you. The golden rule of celebrity baby naming is in your corner: it's not about the fame, it's about the name.

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Second Baby Name Inspired By Facebook! Find Out If It's Wall, Friend, Poke or Like

Second Baby Name Inspired By Facebook! Find Out If It's Wall, Friend, Poke or Like

There's no doubt that Facebook is popular -- there are more than 600 million active members -- but the social media site has now inspired its second baby name. Nearly three months after an Egyptian man named his daughter Facebook, an Israeli couple followed his lead by naming their little girl... Like.

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To Name a Mockingbird?

My husband is a movie fanatic. His all-time favorite films are To Kill a Mockingbird and It's a Wonderful Life. He is bound and determined to name our next child either Atticus (from Mockingbird) or Zuzu (Jimmy Stewart's daughter from his Wonderful Life). He wants to be able to scream with pure joy, "Zuzu's petals! Zuzu's petals!" I, frankly, am frightened, yet I want my husband's favorites to be included. Are Zuzu and Atticus TOO weird? - Attack of the Atticus

At first blush, I'd say that any name that "frightens" the baby's mother is, indeed, too weird! But if you're personally open to the names and just worry what the neighbors will say, I might be able to reassure you.

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Do My Kids Sound Like Muppets?

We have a daughter named Zoe. We are expecting a boy and love the name Oscar. Is this combination just begging for snarky comments about a third child named Big Bird? - Not Muppet Mom

Ah, isn't it amazing how different naming a second child can be? With your first baby, the world of names was open to you from A to Z. You could grab your copy of The Baby Name Wizard from the shelf, open to any page, and dream. You could choose a family name or a brand-new invention, a long name or a short name, a Greek name (as you did) or something utterly English.

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Can Your Name Seal Your Fate?

Parents obsess over baby name choices, but do those choices really matter? Can the names we give our children really affect their life paths? That question is ostensibly asked by this promotional video for the new film Freakonomics (NSFW). Unfortunately, the video doesn't seem interested in the answer. It's too busy dreaming up nasty stereotypes and giggling about them to actually talk name science.

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Miley Cyrus Ruined My Daughter's Name

In 1994, my husband and I had a daughter and named her Miley Elizabeth. Even though she was named way before people even heard of Miley Cyrus, people keep insisting that she was named after her and call her mean names because they do not like the Cyrus kid. My daughter hates her name now and wants to change it. I suggested we call her by her middle name but in our area there are a lot of girls named Elizabeth and pretty much any nickname for Elizabeth has been taken. She wants to change her name to Zarya because no one has that name and it means princess. Should we let her? I personally do not like the name Zarya and the name Miley Elizabeth means so much to my husband and me. - Miley's Mom

Ah, your poor daughter! There she was, all set with a creative, unusual name that put a smile on people's faces, when a celebrity came along and stole it right out from under her.

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Is the World Ready for Another Grace Kelly?

My daughter has always wanted to name a baby girl Grace, and it's especially great because her great-grandmother's name was Grace. However, she has married a Mr. Kelly, making a prospective baby girl Grace Kelly. She is wondering if this would target her baby girl with a life-long problem, or if time has moved on enough for people to not associate the name with the beautiful Princess of Monaco? - Planning ahead Grandma

Dear Grandma,

Please pass on my condolences on the loss of your daughter's favorite name. I wish I had better news, but the original Grace Kelly will always keep at least partial ownership of her name. That means that it can never fully belong to your granddaughter.

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A tabloid star is ruining my name!

My name is Vienna. Unfortunately, this name is shared with the latest winner of the Bachelor, and people do not like her very much. I have heard people saying "I HATE Vienna! She's disgusting! Why would he want HER?" It takes me a while to realize that they're talking about the reality-show Vienna. I love having such a unique name! I don't want it to become popular and I don't want people assuming Viennas are bad people. Help? - Vienna

Vienna, you're living out the fear of every name-obsessed parent. "What if the stylish, creative, unusual name I choose for my child suddenly hits the headlines?" The poor souls who share their names with notorious criminals know your pain well. But you're in a better position than the law-abiding Theodore Bundys who woke up one morning considering a name change. Your namesake is guilty only of crimes of taste and fashion, neither of which carry a 30-to-life sentence.

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