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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
Go Ahead — Write This Story: New and old names 
13th-Nov-2013 10:46 am
Children’s names go in and out of fashion, so the names you give your characters can show their age. Mildred was popular in the United States 100 years ago, but Sophia is big now. In Britain today, Harry tops the charts, but 100 years ago </i>Albert</i> made the top ten. And different ethnic groups and foreign countries have their own preferences and trends. A little research can yield names for a story that say a lot about the characters — or about their parents.

For the United States, check http://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/ and http://nametrends.net/ or http://jezebel.com/map-six-decades-of-the-most-popular-names-for-boys-st-1450787771 and http://jezebel.com/map-sixty-years-of-the-most-popular-names-for-girls-s-1443501909</a>

For Britain, http://www.babynames.co.uk/ and http://www.britishbabynames.com/blog/ or even http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/09/18/curiosities-of-puritan-nomenclature-1888/

And since I live in Spain, here’s a look at names there: http://unadocenade.com/una-docena-de-nombres-de-chica-mas-puestos-en-espana/ and http://unadocenade.com/una-docena-de-nombres-de-chico-mas-puestos-en-espana

If you need an idea for a story, here are a few:

• This is a gritty novella about a centuries-old family-run pawn shop specializing in magical objects, and the item that changed their business forever.

• This is a touching tragicomedy about a small town in Florida that must relocate due to rising sea levels from climate change.

• This is a culture clash story in which a superstition has been passed down among Lunar colonists that Earth-born humans bring bad luck to water storage units.

— Sue Burke
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