Fabian: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on October 22, 2014


This name has been worn by a martyred pope and a teen idol.  How would it wear on an ordinary boy nowadays?

Thanks to Jessica for suggesting Fabian as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Lazarus: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on October 21, 2014

Mosaic in Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo. I...

Looking for an unexpected Biblical choice for a son?  Here’s a seldom-heard possibility, rich with meaning.

Thanks to Adrienne for suggesting Lazarus as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Wyatt: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on October 20, 2014

English: Wyatt Earp with his mother Virginia A...

This post was originally published on May 10, 2008.  It was substantially revised and re-posted on October 20, 2014.

American parents are wild ’bout today’s choice for their sons, and now a high-profile celebrity couple has given the name to a daughter.

Our Baby Name of the Day is Wyatt.

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Sunday Summary: 42nd of 2014

by appellationmountain on October 19, 2014

Sunday SummaryLet’s start with a huge, great big, tremendous thank you!  It was so exciting to see the great responses, on Facebook as well as here on the blog post, for the first Name Help post.

I knew you would be a wealth of thoughtful resources – and you absolutely were!  I’ve always loved answering questions from expectant parents via email, but I knew the community had so much more to add – and, frankly, I’ve struggled to keep up with emails over the years.

Which reminds me – there are over a dozen requests for name help in the cue at last count, and I’m slowly working my way through them all!  We’ll absolutely tackle your questions as quickly as possible, but please bear with me – hopefully I can figure out a super-efficent way to get all of the requests on the calendar.  Because when you’re ready to talk names, well – you want to talk names now, right?

Elsewhere online:

  • Namespotting at The Art of Naming: Elisabelle.  On the heels of Alyssa Milano’s Elizabella, I wonder … will we keep seeing more spins on Isabella and Elizabeth?
  • Hezekiah is the kind of name that would have struck me as bananas fifteen years ago.  But now?  I agree with Alexia Mae – Hezekiah sounds downright perfect.  But I’d be all about Zeke as a nickname, and there are tons of other ways to get to Zeke.  Zechariah, Ezekiel … and just Zeke on the birth certificate, too, of course.
  • Leontin and Melusine – the lion and the mermaid.  Such an enchanting, ever so French, sibset.
  • Would you name Mollie’s little brother Oliver?  I’d avoid it, but only because I know nicknames are absolutely irresistible in my family.  In another family, maybe no one would think to call them Mollie and Ollie? Hmmm … reminds me of this list.
  • No, I don’t actually read entire book series just for the names.  But I’ll admit that Deborah Harkness had me hooked with the All Souls trilogy partly because of the amazing names she chose for her vampires and witches and demons, too.  Oh, and the twins’ names?  Spoiler alert!  Rebecca Arielle Emily Marthe and Philip Michael Addison Sorley.  Tons of significance to those choices.  And, um, today’s Summary may or may not be late because I read the entirety of the third and final installment in the series this afternoon.  But not just to find the names.  Ahem.
  • Confession: I’ve never seen an entire episode of Twin Peaks.  I know, I know.  Where are my priorities?  So I was surprised to see that the names were so broadly influential.  Then again, I’ve read and heard so much about Twin Peaks that I feel like I’ve seen it … so no surprise the names got a boost, too.
  • When someone says “I hate creative spellings,” I get it.  I’ve been known to raise an eyebrow at needlessly complex re-workings of standard names.  And yet.  There’s a lot to think about when it comes to spelling, and I can’t imagine saying something so dismissive as “I hate them.”  Jennifer Moss dismisses them here – and yet the BabyNames.com database is packed with them.  Which is as it should be.
  • The name Lake Loretta just makes me smile!  The unexpected first name, the longer, retro middle.
  • I’ve been fascinated by the name Grayson for a while now.  Gray has long been on the fringes of my shortlist, a potential middle name to honor a family member.  I once criticized Grayson as yet another spin on the go-to name pattern: long ‘a’ vowel sound, ‘n’ ending.  But a sharp-eyed reader pointed out that Grayson had more history than Graydon and other mix-and-match inventions.  Elea’s write-up made me like it even more.

That’s all for this week!  As always, thank you for reading, and have a fabulous week!


Baby Name Help: Naming Daughter #4

by appellationmountain on October 18, 2014

Name Help

Name Help is a new series at Appellation Mountain.  Every Saturday, one reader’s name questions will be discussed.  

We’re relying on thoughtful comments from the community to help expectant parents narrow down their name decisions.  Thank you in advance for sharing your insight! 

N writes:

We are getting ready to welcome our fifth child (and fourth daughter) in November.

We are having an impossible time settling on a name for this little one. We have a common one-syllable surname that makes names with lots of L sounds challenging.  We also can’t have a name that ends in the -ee sound.

Most of our top contenders are either rising fast in popularity (none of our older children had names ranked higher than the 200s when we named them) and most of our current potential names are in the low 100s and have risen sharply in recent years (ie. Annabelle).

N adds that they do have a shortlist – but they’re looking for new ideas, so they’d rather not share.

The family already includes four kids:  Josephine (Josie), Genevieve (Neve), Rosemarie (Romy), and Augustin (Gus).

Read on for my suggestions – and please add your ideas in the comments!

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8 Reasons to Forgo Family Names

by appellationmountain on October 17, 2014

English: White Family Grandmother White and gr...

Choosing a name from your family tree can be great – it simples up the process of finding the right name, and it will doubtless please the honoree. There’s a built-in story for your child, too, one that connects her to earlier generations.

But it isn’t for everyone, and there are some excellent reasons to forgo the family name and start fresh.

It’s not always easy, though.  The pressure can be considerable, especially if the traditions are long-standing, or others in your generation have already embraced family names.

I love this quote from Swistle:

 … traditions end up being most pleasing and least burdensome when they’re FLEXIBLE.

And this list of ways to name a baby after someone without actually using that person’s name might be helpful.

But maybe it’s time to forget the family names, and start fresh, with a name that you and your partner choose.  Here are eight signs that it might be time to forget the family names.

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Lafcadio: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on October 16, 2014

English: Kalamitsi beach, Lefkada island, Ioni...

Lorenzo and Marco and Matteo are stylish.  How ’bout this ends-in-o choice for a son?

Thanks to Rebecca for suggesting Lafcadio as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Dalarna: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on October 15, 2014

From London to Cairo, place names are quite stylish, indeed.  Here’s another in that category, one rarer – and yet maybe more name-like, too.

Thanks to The Mrs. for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day: Dalarna.

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Starling: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on October 14, 2014

English: Illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes...

It’s a bird … and maybe a baby name, too.

Thanks to Katie for suggesting Starling as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Elowen: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on October 13, 2014

This post was originally published on February 4, 2010.  It was substantially revised and re-published on October 13, 2014.

A foreign import, a nature name and an unexpected way to get to an all-the-rage nickname? What’s not to love?

Thanks to Corinne for suggesting Elowen as our Baby Name of the Day.

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