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Hey, remember that one time an author made up a name and it suddenly surged in popularity? (I'm looking at you, Renesmee.) Well, add Vanellope to the list. I bet it sounds familiar, and that's because it's the name of the main female character in 2012's Wreck It Ralph, an animated kid's movie. I believe it is a candy-coated smoosh of 'vanilla' and Penelope. Vanellope von Schweetz is the lead racer in a game called "Sugar Rush," and she is cute, determined and witty. She is 9 years old, dislikes bullying, and loves candy. With Ralph's help they are able to get her out of glitch mode and save the residents of the arcade's games.

In 2012 when the movie came out the name was nonexistant, but by 2015 Vanellope was used 68 times. The spelling Vanelope was also used 7 times in 2015. While the credibility of this name is lacking thanks to being made up for a recent animated film, the plus side is that most people won't recognize where it came from. So if you want them to know where it came from, tell them, and if you don't, at least it has an appealing sound.


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Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse
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Norway's Top 10 Baby Names

Taken from Statistics Norway. I have no clue how/why there are multiple spellings, but I'm assuming they group spellings for each name and then rank them, unlike the U.S. that goes by individual spelling.

2015 Stats
1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sahra/Sarah
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1. William
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8. Axel/Aksel
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10. Oskar/Oscar


1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sarah/Sahra
4. Sofie/Sophie
5. Linnea/Linea
6. Thea/Tea
7. Maya/Maia/Maja
8. Emilie
9. Ingrid/Ingri
10. Julie

1. Emil
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Mathias/Matias
4. William
5. Magnus
6. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
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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.

Forest doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it's one of those names you enjoy saying without having to shorten it. Forest is Old French, meaning "woods." A famous namesake is St. John Forest of the 16th century…