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Polly

"Polly want a cracker?" "Polly put the kettle on." We've all heard it, and you must understand that if you choose Polly as your baby's name then you and she will hear this often. The question is, is it worth it? Polly has a certain allure - catchy, obviously, but also confident and happy. Maybe you'll just want to put it in the middle spot, but it is a delightfully bright, vintage name with dozens of namesakes.

Most people don't know that Polly and Molly are related, connected in medieval times. Both are originally nicknames for Mary (the most popular name ever given in the U.S.), which either means "beloved," from Egyptian, or "sea of bitterness," the most common given meaning.

An inspiring name, little Polly can look up to several powerful women. Polly Berry was an American slave who sued for freedom. Polly Beemis was born in 1853 in China, then became an American pioneer whose story later became a novel. Polly Bergen, born 1930, was an actress who won an Emmy, but she was also a singer, TV host, writer and entrepreneur. Polly Coke is a viscountess currently in England - she is married to the Earl of Leicester, Thomas Coke. Singer PJ Harvey is a Polly as well. There are many more namesakes.

In fiction, we have Aunt Polly from Tom Sawyer, Polly Plummer from The Chronicles of Narnia series, in Noel Streatfield's Ballet Shoes, "Polly" is a song by Nirvana, Polly is a character in the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Jennifer Anniston's character in Along Came Polly, and a character in Fawlty Towers and Orange is the New Black.

She was last on the SSA charts in 1977 and was only given to 50 girls in 2015. Despite how rare Polly's become, it's safe to say everyone knows it.

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Forest

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…