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Oberon

Today's name: Oberon

Pronunciation: oh-bur-on

Potential nicknames: Obie, Ober, Ron, Ronnie (a great way to honor a Ronald or Obie in your family tree) Bear, Bearie

Origin: Old German, meaning "royal bear," or "noble, bear-like," coming from the name Auberon (which is equally attractive) an Old French name from Frankish German origins. It is possible that Auberon and Oberon are related to the Germanic name Alberich. If indeed they are related to Alberich, then they are also related to the name Aubrey.

Popularity: I was shocked to learn that there were zero (five or less, as the SSA won't tell you when there is less than five) baby boys named Oberon and Auberon in 2010 and 2011. A pity, but that number rose to 11 boys in 2015.

Fun fact: (1) Oberon was King of the Faeries in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and he graces the pages of other medieval and Renaissance literature. Since then, a moon of Uranus was named Oberon, as well as Queen of the Faeries, Titania, and those were the first two moons of Uranus discovered. All of Uranus's moons were named after the characters of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. (2) Author Auberon Waugh. (3) Bell's Oberon Ale (beer).

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Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

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