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People Are Giving Their Babies Super-Pretentious Names & We Kind Of Love It

Refinery29 logo Refinery29 4 days ago Natalie Gontcharova


Refinery29 © Photo: Getty Images. Refinery29 While celebrity baby names often make people's eyes roll all the way back into their heads, we are actually ridiculously inspired by this latest crop. The Hollywood Reporter just came out with a "how the 1% lives" guide that includes a $150,000 vape, something called "healing hyperbaric chambers," and trendy baby names, and naturally, we had to see what the celebs and influencers were up to.

"Elite parents in urban areas lean toward very fashion-forward and sophisticated names," Pamela Redmond Satran, cofounder of Nameberry.com and author of 10 baby-name books, told THR. "They are attracted to quirky, not-so-easy-to-like names that are more difficult to embrace."

It looks like popular baby names really vary by city. Nameberry.com tells THR that in New York, it's all about literary names: Dashiell (after mystery writer Dashiell Hammett), Sophie, Matilda, Ophelia (presumably Hamlet 's Ophelia).

L.A.'s names are a bit more trippy — and unisex: Zen, River, Story, and James (for girls). No wonder Lauren Conrad is reportedly smitten with the name. "While this name may not be at the top of the baby names list for 2017 (we consider that a good thing!), we’re still smitten. River may be a unisex name but we think it would make an adorable little boy’s name!" the editors on her site LaurenConrad.com wrote earlier this year. And James? That's Ryan Reynolds' and Blake Lively's baby-girl name.

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In Washington, D.C., however, which is more classic-minded, names still sound like they're meant to be monogrammed onto linen napkins: Sam, Charlotte, Jack, Lily. It sounds like Chelsea Clinton is right on trend with her daughter Charlotte. And in a town full of tradition and Kennedy lore, there will always be room for Jacks.

Satran says that for many 1% parents, the rarer the better: As soon as a name starts to gain popularity — like Penelope, which both Tina Fey and Kourtney Kardashian named their daughters — it starts to lose traction. "Now Penelope feels too popular, too common — and we’re not hearing much about it anymore," Satran says.

Because every name tells the story, we think the philosophy behind naming should be less about trend-setting and more about expressing individuality. But that doesn't mean we don't love tracking all the trends and watching names get turned on their heads. If "James" is becoming a girl's name, who's to say that "Jack" won't? And if "Story" is a popular name, is "Sonnet " next — or, perhaps, Villanelle?

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