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Top ten hints on naming your baby

  1. The baby name should have a positive connotation for you.
    The baby name should be associated with pleasantries. The definition should also be meaningful. A name has a strong first impression. Imagine the child using the name not only on the playground but as an adult.

    A suggestion: Choose several names. Go to a busy playground and call the names out loud. If you feel uncomfortable shouting the names or if several children answer you, then rethink that name.

  2. The baby first name's rhythm should match the last name.
    In general, the number of syllables in the first name should not match the number of syllables in the last name. Say the first, middle and last name several times to test the rhythm. Say the first name and last name together, too.

    Be conscious of what the first name and last name together say. The name you choose if for life. Would you like to end up with the name Annette Curtin?

  3. If you have a common or easy to pronounce last name (i.e. Smith, Jones, Brown), you might find that an unusual or long first name can complement the last name nicely. Such as Dakota Smith, Lucinda Brown and Sharona Flynn.

  4. The initials should not spell anything undesirable.
    Combine initials of the first, middle and last name. Do they stand for anything? If the initials are not satisfactory, then the first and middle names can be switched. The child can still use the middle name on a day by day basis. For example, the name Malcolm Abraham Davis has the initials MAD.

  5. Check the pronunciation and spelling of the baby's name.
    If you use an unusual pronunciation, your child will need to continually correct it. On the other hand, if the name is common, an unusual spelling will distinguish your child. Another factor is the ability to find personalised items. Unusual spellings will mean you have to special order or do without the personalised item.

  6. Honour a family member, friend or hero/heroine with the name.
    Check with your parents or grandparents to collect as many family names as possible. You can use the same name, a variation of the name or match the first initial. For example, our second child's middle name is Saunders after my father named Alexander.

    If you do not want input on the final selection, do not announce the name until the baby is born. Then it will be too late for lobbying.

    How about naming the baby after a famous person. When the child is old enough to understand, explain who you named them after. They will love to hear the story over and over again. It is a great feeling to be connected to the past. Another example is naming children after sports stars.

    Another method is using the letters of family names to create your own name. For example, one letter could be from grandfather's name, another from grandmother's name, etc.

    Another way to find a name is to use a version of a name that relates to a different ethnic group. For example, Giovanni is Italian for John. Ian is Scottish for John, etc.

  7. Combine names to create a new baby name.
    You can choose two or more words to create a unique baby name. By separating each word into syllables and combining the syllables, you can create new baby names. You can even scramble a word to create a new baby name. For example, Kalana can come from combining the names Kay and Lana.

  8. Be conscious of nicknames and variations.
    You may want to select a name that can have many nicknames and variations. This will enable the child to have more control of his/her name when older. The disadvantage is that childhood nicknames can linger into adulthood and be uncomfortable. For example, Elisabeth has several nicknames including Liz, Beth, Lizzy, etc. We have included nicknames in our database. Whenever you search for a name it will also tell to the potential nicknames.

  9. Practice the baby's name and hear how it feels.
    You will say this name thousands of times. You will say lovingly and in anger. You will whisper it when the child is asleep and yell it when dinner is ready.

  10. The middle name provides a unique opportunity.
    The middle baby name can be used to honour a family member when it is not desirable to be used as a first name. It can be a way to settle the name selection between parents. If needed to keep the family happy, the child can be given two middle names. Some families leave the middle name blank, then the child can pick a name later in life.

    Some families like to use the middle name for naming the child after the mother or father. The child has his/her own first name, yet has their mother or fathers name as the middle name. You can also use the mother's maiden name as the middle name or other family member's last name as the middle name.

  11. Avoid letter redundancy between names.
    Generally, first and last names with the same first letter do not sound well together. Also, if the last name ends with a vowel, the first name usually should not.

    The first name should not end with a syllable that rhymes with the first syllable of the last name. For example, Angela Anna has quite a few letter A's.

Popularity of the name
The popularity of a name can affect the child in good and bad ways. With some names being very popular, your child might have several classmates with the same name. Your child might feel like he fits in better with the more popular name and might be accepted more by his fellow classmates.

If a child has a very uncommon or unique name, he or she might feel special from the rest of his friends because the name is uniquely his or hers. On the other hand the unique name might be looked upon as a strange and weird name by his classmates.

As you see, it can go both ways (good and bad). The main thing to do is take your time, consider all of the topics below and make your decision. With a little thought and research, you will find the perfect name for you baby.

For a list of the most popular names for the current year and over the past 120 years >Click here.

Gender
While some parents feel that a unisex name like Robin, Dana, and Chris allow them to pick a name before the baby's sex is known and that these types of names 'type cast' the child in sexual roles and expectations less than traditional boy or girls names; others argue over this point. Some believe that it is unfair and harmful to have a child explain which sex he or she is. Girls will typically not be bothered or insulted as much as boys when they are presumed to be the other gender.

Meaning of the name
While most people do not know the meaning of their own name; the meaning of the name is something to consider. With most names having a direct meaning, some names are derived from other names or the combination of other names. If you have chosen a name that means something embarrassing or funny, you shouldn't immediately change your mind because it will not drastically effect your child's life. After all, how many times in your life have you been asked about the meaning of your name?

If you have chosen a couple of names that are equally attractive to you, the meaning of the name may help you in your final decision. For a list of baby names and meanings from around the world >Click here.

Uniqueness of the name (Alternate spellings)
While a unusual or unique name has the advantage of making the child stand out, you should also consider that a very unique name that is hard to pronounce or that no one has heard of can bring attention to the child that he or she would rather avoid.

One thing to consider is the complexity or uniqueness of the last name. If you have an unusual or lengthy last name, consider choosing a familiar first name. If you have a familiar last name consider choosing a unique first name.

Alternate spellings are another way to make a name unique. Instead of Emily or Blake, you could choose an alternate spelling of the name, such as Emalee, Emillie, Emeli, Blaik, Blayke or Blaike.

Sound; Rhythm; and compatibility
How the name sounds when it's said out loud is very important to think about. Is the name Harsh? Does it go well with your last name?

A general rule to consider is longer first names go well with shorter last names, and vice versa. You shouldn't try to be cute with choosing names that rhyme. While it will be cute for a while, your child will have to live with it the rest of their life. Most naming experts agree that unequal numbers of syllables create pleasing rhythms. When first and last names have equal numbers of syllables, a middle name with a different number will make a nice sounding name.

A final consideration is that combining a first name that ends in a vowel with a last name that starts with a vowel is usually not the best choice.

Initials and Nicknames
When choosing a name, think about what the initials of the name will be. You wouldn't want to name your daughter Malcolm Alex Davis (MAD). The possible nicknames of the name you are considering should also be thought about. Children can be very creative and cruel when it comes to nicknames. Think ahead and try to anticipate some of the embarrassing nicknames that might come up. If you like the name Madison, but don't think your child would like to be called Mady, then you might consider another name.

Names tend to go through a cycle in the child's life. Your son's name might be Michael; but as a child he might be called Mikey, then as a teenager he might be called Mike and finally as an adult he might go by Mike or Michael. Just take a little extra time and consider these things.

Pronunciation of the name
Take into consideration the complexity of the pronunciation of the name. Nobody likes to have the name constantly mispronounced. For example a child named J'esus (Hay-soos) might be called Jesus (Gee-sus).

Religions; Ancestry (Nationality) and Heritage
Your religious preference, nationality, and heritage may steer you toward a particular group of names, but try not to make the name unpronounceable or unspellable, which can be a burden on your child.

Your child's heritage, nationality or religion, might be very important to you but if the names you are considering for a first name do not go well with the last name, think about using it as a middle name, while giving the child a more familiar first name or vice versa. For a list of names from around the world >Click here.

Family names and Friends (Namesakes)
While a lot of parents choose to name their baby after their father, mother, grandparents, relatives, or friends this might not always be the best choice.

Exact reproductions of names are often confusing and can make the child feel as if they have no identity of their own. You will also find that everyone wants to give you suggestions on what the name should be. It is sometimes best to not discuss the names you are considering; this is between you and your partner.

Take in the ideas and be thankful for the suggestions, but keep the final name to yourself until your baby is born or about to be born.

At this point it is to late for people to give you negative feedback about the name. Finally, do not let anyone ever pressure you into a name you do not like!

Stereotypes
For most people names call to mind a certain personality trait that often comes from a well known name sake be it fictional or real. For instance, a name like Adolph will never outlive the terrible association that comes with this name. Since the name will forever affect its owners self image, always consider what associations come to mind as you are deciding on a name.

If you have found the perfect baby name, but it does not follow all these rules, then use it anyway. You like the name and that is the most important rule of all.

Tips & Suggestions

What’s in a name?
Despite the millions of births each year in Western countries 90 percent of all first names are from a list of only 175 girls’ names and 125 boys’ names. In the 18th century half of all men were called John, Thomas or William and about half of all women were called Anne, Elizabeth or Mary.

In tribal societies naming of the new baby was given significant importance. It was the responsibility of the most spiritually aware person of the tribe – the priest or chieftain. Relics of this tradition remain in the Christian baptism service.

How do you think your childhood experiences would have gone if had a name like May Day, John Wilfail, Annette Curtain, Lo Fat or Ima Hog. On the other end of the scale are average names like Bill Smith, Jane Jones or John Brown.

Romeo asked ‘What’s in a name? …. ‘that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’. ‘Rose’ comes from the same root as the boys name Ross – ‘Hros which means ‘Horse’. Not many parents would want to call their new daughter ‘Horse’.

A Rose by any other name is a Horse. So what is in a name? A lot!

Choosing the right name for your new baby is very important. But how do you choose a meaningful name?

Step 1
Find or decide on a quality or thing you like. It can be a place, flower or plant, famous person, a name from one of Shakespeare’s plays or a sports person.

Step 2
Once you find a name or names you like and are not totally sure you want to use one of those names then play with the name. Combine them, change the spelling or shorten them. There are no real defined rules. See some of the sections below as your guide.

Boys Names
Names with a single syllable hard short vowel sound tend to sound masculine, so they are more suitable as boys name rather than a girls name. Such as John, Ron, Carl and Jack. However single syllable names with longer soft vowel sounds can sound feminine. Such as Jane, Joan and May.

Girls Names
There are specific endings in girls’ names that are particularly feminine. Endings such as-

- belle

Comes from French and has an association to ‘attractive woman’. Examples are Isabelle, Arabelle and Annabelle.

- elle

Also come from French meaning ‘woman’. Examples include Rochelle, Gabrielle and Janelle.

- ette

Examples are Yvette, Bernadette, and Claudette

- leen

- lene

- lyn

Examples are Pauleen, Kaylene, Marlene, Roslyn and Joscelyn

- a

The ‘a’ ending comes from Latin. Examples are Claudia, Renata, Diana and Georgina.

The ‘a’ ending can be combined with any of the above endings to make a new or unique name. Examples are Yvetta, Bernedetta or Gabriella.

Make a Unique Name
Creating a new name is not difficult. One tip though is to avoid creating a long first name if your family name is also long.

So how do you create a unique name? The easiest way is to pick a name you like and change the spelling and/or the pronunciation. Some examples-

y – i

Wendy

May

-

-

Wendi

Mai

i – y

Sonia

Alice

-

-

Sonya

Alyce

e – y

Darren

Allen

-

-

Darryn

Allyn

ia – ja

Tania

Sonia

-

-

Tanja

Sonja

s – z

Sara

Sandra

-

-

Zara

Zandra

Another method of creating a unique name is but shortening multiple syllable names. Examples are-

Desdemona

Desde, Esde and Esede.

Natalie

Nata, Tali, and Atalia.

Offcourse the opposite can apply. Elongating or combining parts of two names will give you a unique name. Some examples-

Adora and Belle

Adorabelle

Jo and Marlene

Jolene

Kay and Lana

Kalana

Reverse Syllables
Reversing syllables to create a new name has been in practice for centuries. An example of reversing syllables is Dorothea and Theadora. Both words originate in Greece. Doron means gift and Theos meaning God. Other examples are-

Diamond

-

Mondia

Abraham

-

Hambra

Carissa

-

Issacar

Escalus

-

Lusesca

As you can see it is not difficult to create your own unique name.

How Do You Know the Name You have Chosen is OK?
Some people will find a name and they know instinctively is the perfect name. Others will feel the need to check to make sure and that is perfectly OK. So how do you check? The sad news is there is no real way. Deciding on the right name is very much a matter of your own feelings. Family and friends can be of some help, but also they can be a hindrance. Particularly if they have a whole set of different suggestions of their own.

Top Ten Hints on naming your baby

  1. The baby name should have a positive connotation for you.
    The baby name should be associated with pleasantries. The definition should also be meaningful. A name has a strong first impression. Imagine the child using the name not only on the playground but as an adult.

    A suggestion: Choose several names. Go to a busy playground and call the names out loud. If you feel uncomfortable shouting the names or if several children answer you, then rethink that name.

  2. The baby first name's rhythm should match the last name.
    In general, the number of syllables in the first name should not match the number of syllables in the last name. Say the first, middle and last name several times to test the rhythm. Say the first name and last name together, too.

    Be conscious of what the first name and last name together say. The name you choose if for life. Would you like to end up with the name Annette Curtin?

  3. If you have a common or easy to pronounce last name (i.e. Smith, Jones, Brown), you might find that an unusual or long first name can complement the last name nicely. Such as Dakota Smith, Lucinda Brown and Sharona Flynn.

  4. The initials should not spell anything undesirable.
    Combine initials of the first, middle and last name. Do they stand for anything? If the initials are not satisfactory, then the first and middle names can be switched. The child can still use the middle name on a day by day basis. For example, the name Malcolm Abraham Davis has the initials MAD.

  5. Check the pronunciation and spelling of the baby's name.
    If you use an unusual pronunciation, your child will need to continually correct it. On the other hand, if the name is common, an unusual spelling will distinguish your child. Another factor is the ability to find personalised items. Unusual spellings will mean you have to special order or do without the personalised item.

  6. Honour a family member, friend or hero/heroine with the name.
    Check with your parents or grandparents to collect as many family names as possible. You can use the same name, a variation of the name or match the first initial. For example, our second child's middle name is Saunders after my father named Alexander.

    If you do not want input on the final selection, do not announce the name until the baby is born. Then it will be too late for lobbying.

    How about naming the baby after a famous person. When the child is old enough to understand, explain who you named them after. They will love to hear the story over and over again. It is a great feeling to be connected to the past. Another example is naming children after sports stars.

    Another method is using the letters of family names to create your own name. For example, one letter could be from grandfather's name, another from grandmother's name, etc.

    Another way to find a name is to use a version of a name that relates to a different ethnic group. For example, Giovanni is Italian for John. Ian is Scottish for John, etc.

  7. Combine names to create a new baby name.
    You can choose two or more words to create a unique baby name. By separating each word into syllables and combining the syllables, you can create new baby names. You can even scramble a word to create a new baby name. For example, Kalana can come from combining the names Kay and Lana.

  8. Be conscious of nicknames and variations.
    You may want to select a name that can have many nicknames and variations. This will enable the child to have more control of his/her name when older. The disadvantage is that childhood nicknames can linger into adulthood and be uncomfortable. For example, Elisabeth has several nicknames including Liz, Beth, Lizzy, etc. We have included nicknames in our database. Whenever you search for a name it will also tell to the potential nicknames.

  9. Practice the baby's name and hear how it feels.
    You will say this name thousands of times. You will say lovingly and in anger. You will whisper it when the child is asleep and yell it when dinner is ready.

  10. The middle name provides a unique opportunity.
    The middle baby name can be used to honour a family member when it is not desirable to be used as a first name. It can be a way to settle the name selection between parents. If needed to keep the family happy, the child can be given two middle names. Some families leave the middle name blank, then the child can pick a name later in life.

    Some families like to use the middle name for naming the child after the mother or father. The child has his/her own first name, yet has their mother or fathers name as the middle name. You can also use the mother's maiden name as the middle name or other family member's last name as the middle name.

  11. Avoid letter redundancy between names.
    Generally, first and last names with the same first letter do not sound well together. Also, if the last name ends with a vowel, the first name usually should not.

    The first name should not end with a syllable that rhymes with the first syllable of the last name. For example, Angela Anna has quite a few letter A's.

Popularity of the name
The popularity of a name can affect the child in good and bad ways. With some names being very popular, your child might have several classmates with the same name. Your child might feel like he fits in better with the more popular name and might be accepted more by his fellow classmates.

If a child has a very uncommon or unique name, he or she might feel special from the rest of his friends because the name is uniquely his or hers. On the other hand the unique name might be looked upon as a strange and weird name by his classmates.

As you see, it can go both ways (good and bad). The main thing to do is take your time, consider all of the topics below and make your decision. With a little thought and research, you will find the perfect name for you baby.

For a list of the most popular names for the current year and over the past 120 years >Click here.

Gender
While some parents feel that a unisex name like Robin, Dana, and Chris allow them to pick a name before the baby's sex is known and that these types of names 'type cast' the child in sexual roles and expectations less than traditional boy or girls names; others argue over this point. Some believe that it is unfair and harmful to have a child explain which sex he or she is. Girls will typically not be bothered or insulted as much as boys when they are presumed to be the other gender.

Meaning of the name
While most people do not know the meaning of their own name; the meaning of the name is something to consider. With most names having a direct meaning, some names are derived from other names or the combination of other names. If you have chosen a name that means something embarrassing or funny, you shouldn't immediately change your mind because it will not drastically effect your child's life. After all, how many times in your life have you been asked about the meaning of your name?

If you have chosen a couple of names that are equally attractive to you, the meaning of the name may help you in your final decision. For a list of baby names and meanings from around the world >Click here.

Uniqueness of the name (Alternate spellings)
While a unusual or unique name has the advantage of making the child stand out, you should also consider that a very unique name that is hard to pronounce or that no one has heard of can bring attention to the child that he or she would rather avoid.

One thing to consider is the complexity or uniqueness of the last name. If you have an unusual or lengthy last name, consider choosing a familiar first name. If you have a familiar last name consider choosing a unique first name.

Alternate spellings are another way to make a name unique. Instead of Emily or Blake, you could choose an alternate spelling of the name, such as Emalee, Emillie, Emeli, Blaik, Blayke or Blaike.

Sound; Rhythm; and compatibility
How the name sounds when it's said out loud is very important to think about. Is the name Harsh? Does it go well with your last name?

A general rule to consider is longer first names go well with shorter last names, and vice versa. You shouldn't try to be cute with choosing names that rhyme. While it will be cute for a while, your child will have to live with it the rest of their life. Most naming experts agree that unequal numbers of syllables create pleasing rhythms. When first and last names have equal numbers of syllables, a middle name with a different number will make a nice sounding name.

A final consideration is that combining a first name that ends in a vowel with a last name that starts with a vowel is usually not the best choice.

Initials and Nicknames
When choosing a name, think about what the initials of the name will be. You wouldn't want to name your daughter Malcolm Alex Davis (MAD). The possible nicknames of the name you are considering should also be thought about. Children can be very creative and cruel when it comes to nicknames. Think ahead and try to anticipate some of the embarrassing nicknames that might come up. If you like the name Madison, but don't think your child would like to be called Mady, then you might consider another name.

Names tend to go through a cycle in the child's life. Your son's name might be Michael; but as a child he might be called Mikey, then as a teenager he might be called Mike and finally as an adult he might go by Mike or Michael. Just take a little extra time and consider these things.

Pronunciation of the name
Take into consideration the complexity of the pronunciation of the name. Nobody likes to have the name constantly mispronounced. For example a child named J'esus (Hay-soos) might be called Jesus (Gee-sus).

Religions; Ancestry (Nationality) and Heritage
Your religious preference, nationality, and heritage may steer you toward a particular group of names, but try not to make the name unpronounceable or unspellable, which can be a burden on your child.

Your child's heritage, nationality or religion, might be very important to you but if the names you are considering for a first name do not go well with the last name, think about using it as a middle name, while giving the child a more familiar first name or vice versa. For a list of names from around the world >Click here.

Family names and Friends (Namesakes)
While a lot of parents choose to name their baby after their father, mother, grandparents, relatives, or friends this might not always be the best choice.

Exact reproductions of names are often confusing and can make the child feel as if they have no identity of their own. You will also find that everyone wants to give you suggestions on what the name should be. It is sometimes best to not discuss the names you are considering; this is between you and your partner.

Take in the ideas and be thankful for the suggestions, but keep the final name to yourself until your baby is born or about to be born.

At this point it is to late for people to give you negative feedback about the name. Finally, do not let anyone ever pressure you into a name you do not like!

Stereotypes
For most people names call to mind a certain personality trait that often comes from a well known name sake be it fictional or real. For instance, a name like Adolph will never outlive the terrible association that comes with this name. Since the name will forever affect its owners self image, always consider what associations come to mind as you are deciding on a name.

If you have found the perfect baby name, but it does not follow all these rules, then use it anyway. You like the name and that is the most important rule of all.

Tips & Suggestions

What’s in a name?
Despite the millions of births each year in Western countries 90 percent of all first names are from a list of only 175 girls’ names and 125 boys’ names. In the 18th century half of all men were called John, Thomas or William and about half of all women were called Anne, Elizabeth or Mary.

In tribal societies naming of the new baby was given significant importance. It was the responsibility of the most spiritually aware person of the tribe – the priest or chieftain. Relics of this tradition remain in the Christian baptism service.

How do you think your childhood experiences would have gone if had a name like May Day, John Wilfail, Annette Curtain, Lo Fat or Ima Hog. On the other end of the scale are average names like Bill Smith, Jane Jones or John Brown.

Romeo asked ‘What’s in a name? …. ‘that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’. ‘Rose’ comes from the same root as the boys name Ross – ‘Hros which means ‘Horse’. Not many parents would want to call their new daughter ‘Horse’.

A Rose by any other name is a Horse. So what is in a name? A lot!

Choosing the right name for your new baby is very important. But how do you choose a meaningful name?

Step 1
Find or decide on a quality or thing you like. It can be a place, flower or plant, famous person, a name from one of Shakespeare’s plays or a sports person.

Step 2
Once you find a name or names you like and are not totally sure you want to use one of those names then play with the name. Combine them, change the spelling or shorten them. There are no real defined rules. See some of the sections below as your guide.

Boys Names
Names with a single syllable hard short vowel sound tend to sound masculine, so they are more suitable as boys name rather than a girls name. Such as John, Ron, Carl and Jack. However single syllable names with longer soft vowel sounds can sound feminine. Such as Jane, Joan and May.

Girls Names
There are specific endings in girls’ names that are particularly feminine. Endings such as-

- belle

Comes from French and has an association to ‘attractive woman’. Examples are Isabelle, Arabelle and Annabelle.

- elle

Also come from French meaning ‘woman’. Examples include Rochelle, Gabrielle and Janelle.

- ette

Examples are Yvette, Bernadette, and Claudette

- leen

- lene

- lyn

Examples are Pauleen, Kaylene, Marlene, Roslyn and Joscelyn

- a

The ‘a’ ending comes from Latin. Examples are Claudia, Renata, Diana and Georgina.

The ‘a’ ending can be combined with any of the above endings to make a new or unique name. Examples are Yvetta, Bernedetta or Gabriella.

Make a Unique Name
Creating a new name is not difficult. One tip though is to avoid creating a long first name if your family name is also long.

So how do you create a unique name? The easiest way is to pick a name you like and change the spelling and/or the pronunciation. Some examples-

y – i

Wendy

May

-

-

Wendi

Mai

i – y

Sonia

Alice

-

-

Sonya

Alyce

e – y

Darren

Allen

-

-

Darryn

Allyn

ia – ja

Tania

Sonia

-

-

Tanja

Sonja

s – z

Sara

Sandra

-

-

Zara

Zandra

Another method of creating a unique name is but shortening multiple syllable names. Examples are-

Desdemona

Desde, Esde and Esede.

Natalie

Nata, Tali, and Atalia.

Offcourse the opposite can apply. Elongating or combining parts of two names will give you a unique name. Some examples-

Adora and Belle

Adorabelle

Jo and Marlene

Jolene

Kay and Lana

Kalana

Reverse Syllables
Reversing syllables to create a new name has been in practice for centuries. An example of reversing syllables is Dorothea and Theadora. Both words originate in Greece. Doron means gift and Theos meaning God. Other examples are-

Diamond

-

Mondia

Abraham

-

Hambra

Carissa

-

Issacar

Escalus

-

Lusesca

As you can see it is not difficult to create your own unique name.

How Do You Know the Name You have Chosen is OK?
Some people will find a name and they know instinctively is the perfect name. Others will feel the need to check to make sure and that is perfectly OK. So how do you check? The sad news is there is no real way. Deciding on the right name is very much a matter of your own feelings. Family and friends can be of some help, but also they can be a hindrance. Particularly if they have a whole set of different suggestions of their own.

 
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