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Unusual names top Nameberry’s list of popular baby names for 2013 so far

Jordana Divon
Shine On
April 8, 2013

We’re firmly into April, which means the first crop of 2013 babies have already come crying, smiling, sleeping and cooing into this world.

Naturally, with the new bumper crop of babies comes a brand new set of name trends.

Baby name nerve centre, Nameberry, has already isolated the top 13 trends of the year based on names that have received a significant uptick in interest over the past four months.

“Influences include television characters and romantic literary heroes, celebrity babies and classic jazz musicians,” writes name guru Pamela Redmond Satran.

“Our picks for popping names are as contemporary as Wilder and as ancient as Phaedra -- and they include surnames, word names and diminutives along with classic firsts.”

Also see: Vintage baby names making a comeback

With that in mind, here are some of the names prospective 2013 parents have been mulling over so far:

Marlowe: Both a brilliant Elizabethan era playwright and a popular name for fancy gastropubs, Marlowe has reportedly made a smashing comeback for modern-day boys and girls. Nameberry notes that the hipster celebrity contingent has led this Marlow cavalry, with Sienna Miller, Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill and actor Jason Schwartzman all choosing Marlowe as either a first or middle name for their baby daughters.

Marnie: Nothing like a popular TV show to trigger an avalanche of future adults named after a character in the show. Since HBO’s "Girls" happens to fill that wide space left by "Sex and the City," a slew of little girls are about to grow up with the name Marnie and forever be associated with the character played by the lovely Allison Williams. Nameberry notes that this happened once before in the 1960s, after the eponymous Alfred Hitchcock film debuted and that the name, which means “rejoice” in Hebrew, has “shot up sevenfold” on their site since the same quarter last year.

Christian: Detractors of popular eroto-trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey aren’t going to like this one very much. Interest in Christian, the name of the S&M-loving sex god in the E.L. James series, has tripled since last year. No doubt babies who resulted from their mothers reading the books will have a double whammy of ick once they also learn the origin of their name.

Nelly: Sadly, Canada’s talented songstress, Nelly Furtado, isn’t the driving mechanism behind increased interest in this name. That would be the newest Kardashian female, Penelope “Nelly” Disick, who entered the world of 24-hour cameras and manufactured family drama for the entertainment of the masses last summer. Though this name has been on the radar for the past few years, it’s up 300 per cent in the first quarter of 2013.

Also see: Most unusual baby names of 2012

Mavis: French for “songbird” and Welsh for “strawberries,” Mavis is a name we haven’t heard much of since the early half of the 20th century. But thanks to a popular movie (of course), a brand new generation of girls will carry the old-fashioned name.

Thor: There’s always one name in the bunch guaranteed to result in years of playground teasing and this one is it. Though Thor is a fierce, powerful god from Norse mythology who recently enjoyed a surge in popularity thanks to Chris Hemsworth, that doesn’t mean you should name your son after him. Remember, you may think it’s cool but he’s the one who has to live with the name. The same reasons apply as to why you shouldn’t name your children Orion, Jupiter and Persephone – more mythological names that are suddenly, inexplicably hot.

Severine: Despite her all-too-short screen time, France’s Beatrice Marlohe was one of the most smashing Bond girls in recent memory. Her smoldering performance has led to a spike in interest for the old world French name, which means “severe” or “stern.”

Bruce: Here’s one that hasn’t been seen in a while either. Thanks to Christian Bale’s performance in the "Dark Knight" trilogy, interest in Bruce has jumped 200 percent. Interest has also been aided by another superhero: Bruce Banner in "The Incredible Hulk," starring Edward Norton.

Wilder: Be careful what you name your child, parents. The little one could live up to his name and tear that house apart during his toddler years. Mind you, once you get past that difficult era, he’d share a name association with literary greats like Thornton Wilder and Little House on the Prairie scribe Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Also see: Big baby name trends for 2013

Phaedra: While this Greek mythological name is certainly striking, parents who name their children after Real Housewives are tempting fate (See: Wilder).

Mingus and Linnea: This pair of Scandinavian-inspired names has edged up the charts over the past quarter. Danish 90s supermodel Helena Christensen named her son Mingus back in 2000, becoming the first famous person to do so. It’s also the last name of jazz great Charlie Mingus. Linnea, on the other hand, doesn’t have a real-life famous precedent, but the Swedish name means “twinflower” and is also the name of a popular children’s book heroine.

Finnegan: Anything that promotes Irish literature is a good thing, even though James Joyce would probably be unamused that his most difficult work had helped trigger an avalanche of interest in the name Finnegan since 2005. And that popularity has only grown with a 125 per cent uptick since the beginning of the year.

What do you think of this year’s popular name picks? Sound off in the comments below.

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