Not Just You: Comments are Missing!

by appellationmountain on September 16, 2014

One of my favorite parts of Appellation Mountain comes from discussion in the comments.  Sometimes it is a parent finding a post years later, and leaving a note to say that her new daughter or son has this name.  Sometimes it is the discussion on dicey topics – from Native American baby names to whether you should be able to name your kiddo Messiah.

So please know that I would never turn off comments intentionally!

A few days ago, the comments here disappeared without warning.  It turns out it’s a glitch related to an upgrade in the back-end of the website – something that I cannot easily resolve myself.  (Though I’ve tried four or five work-arounds … and will continue to look for new suggestions.)

The designer I’ve worked with previously is booked solid, so I’m trying to find a new WordPress designer who can take on the project.

It’s so frustrating – especially with Kelli’s give-away going on right now!  But hopefully I’ll be able to find a designer to work with over the long term to manage some other site updates.  This online world, it moves fast – and if you look down for even a second, things fall apart!

So my sincere apologies for the disruption, and know that I’m looking for the best possible resolution.


Out-There Alphabet: Baby Names G to L

by appellationmountain on September 19, 2014

Out-There Alphabet G to LIf you follow Appellation Mountain on social media, you’ll know that we’ve been talking about the most Out-There baby names that make our lists of favorites.

This question:

Alphabet time: what are the most out-there names that you love, starting with the letter …

The answers were so great that I decided to round them up to share here.  The first installment covered letters A through F.

Now we’re back for the second round of the post that you wrote.

It’s quite the eclectic list, ranging from the perfectly wearable (Genevieve) to the whoa (Icarus) to the names I had to Google because I had my doubts.  (Isn’t Laphroaig best known as a whiskey?  Oh well.  Left it on the list anyhow.  It’s definitely out-there.)

The same notes hold from the last time around:

  • Most mentioned means any name that was mentioned more than once. I probably should have kept count, because a few of these were really, really mentioned, again and again!
  • The * after a name means that the person mentioning the name actually used it for their child, or has a sibling, niece/nephew, etc. by the name. Always interesting to see which unusual choices are actually being, well, chosen.
  • I’ve divided the list by names for girls and names for boys. But not all of the original comments were so clear – meaning I’ve probably put some girl names on the boy list and vice versa. If the comment did indicate gender, I’ve listed it accordingly.

And now, here’s the list of your favorite Out-There Baby Names, starting with the letters G through L.

[click to continue…]


Amalthea: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on September 18, 2014

The Unicorn Is Penned, Unicorn Tapestries, c. ...

We all know Amelia, but this elaborate appellation is a rarity.

Thanks to Dragonflymv for suggesting Amalthea as our Baby Name of the Day.


[click to continue…]


Daleyza: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on September 17, 2014

DaleyzaThe small screen strikes again, with the name of a famous musician/reality television star’s daughter in the spotlight today.

Thanks to Christina for suggesting Daleyza as our Baby Name of the Day.

[click to continue…]


Tara: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on September 16, 2014

English: High Cross on the Hill of Tara, Co.Me...

If this name hadn’t been a hit in the 1970s, surely we’d be hearing more of her today.

Thanks to Virginia for suggesting Tara as our Baby Name of the Day.

[click to continue…]


Ada: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on September 15, 2014

Ada Lovelace, 19th century British mathematici...

This post was originally published on July 3, 2009.  It was substantially revised and re-posted on September 15, 2014.

Top Ten favorite Ava shimmers with Hollywood glamour.  Change just one letter, and you have today’s featured name – just as short and sweet, but with a very different vibe.

Thanks to Sophie for suggesting Ada as our Baby Name of the Day.

[click to continue…]


Sunday Summary: 9/14/14

by appellationmountain on September 14, 2014

English: Imperial State Crown of Great Britain...

I’ve just heard a rumor that Beyonce is expecting baby #2.

Could there actually be two royal births in 2015?

I’m going to shelve my excitement because really – rumors that Beyonce is expecting are pretty ordinary.  Then again, I was dismissive of the rumors about Kate, too, and another Windsor is on the way.

Should this rumor prove true, it would be absolute baby name mania overload.

Not like that’s a bad thing.

  • Because, just like Aela said, I’m really too concerned about what everyone else is naming their children.  I like to think it is friendly and non-creepy.  But I might be wrong.  I found out that another mom at school is expecting TWIN BOYS during drop-off one morning, and seriously, I had to remind myself that the morning could NOT grind to a halt just because my friend has TWO babies to name.
  • Aren’t the Kilcher family names just downright fabulous?  Farenorth is still my favorite.
  • This game!  Is hilarious.  Billy Eichner quizzes David Letterman to see if he can correctly identify whether a name belongs to a Kentucky Derby winner or a celebrity kid. I like hearing David Letterman confidently answer “horse” for Pilot Inspektor.
  • Alright, the biggest problem with international terrorist organizations is not when their acronyms are the same as baby names.  But I do feel for women and girls with the (gorgeous, lovely, historic) name Isis right now.
  • On a (much) lighter note, I had so much Reader Quote of the Weekfun adding your words to the Out-There Alphabet posts that I’ve included a Reader Quote of the Week in today’s Sunday Summary.  Rebecca S.B., you made me laugh out loud!
  • Meagan featured Eden and Silas this week.  I met my first real-life Silas around 2006, and the name continues to climb, climb, climb.  Ends-with-s boys, whether they’re oldies like Atticus or nouveau surname plurals like Brooks, are definitely a thing.
  • Innovation is alive and well in Wyoming!  Names for Real always features some novelties, but this post really stood out – girls called Callah, Coralee, Envie, Omi, Tallis, Dru, Joules, Atana, Jalyn Bess, Tesslin, Gwynever, and boys called Andric, Emerick, Beylen, Thayden, Zyeth, Ever, Briggs, Drexel, Grizz Lee, Jory, Kye, Larz, Newt, Trig, and another Vander.  And that’s leaving off most of the middles, which are equally intriguing.
  • Speaking of innovation, I’ve been turning the Mischievous Boys trend around in my brain for a while.  Nameberry asked a similar question back in 2009, and their list, Bada$$ Baby Names, is a perpetual favorite.  I’d say this:
    • Some of the names – Wilder, Wolf, Gunnar – have roots that make them very wearable, and only a little on the dangerous side.
    • Others have gone mainstream, like Maverick and Ryker.  (Though there was a little Ryker on the playground the other day, and I’ll admit I thought it sounded awkwardly intense on a playful little boy.)
    • Ultimately, I think Nameberry’s theory probably explains the appeal of the more extreme names, the Rowdy-Rekker-Riot gang: parents want to arm their kids with an aggressive, take-charge image to do battle with an ever-more-challenging world. 
    • Would love to hear what you think about this trend – it feels fresh and different, but also brings to mind my biggest hesitation around names with a fairly narrow image.  What if Arabella is a tomboy?  What if Rekker is a bookworm?
  • On a different note, what you name a sister for Rio?  I think Duana is right – this list could go nearly any direction.  My list: Djuna, Iris, Vega (too much?), Coco (or are repeating ‘o’ endings too close?), Leda, Romy (a lot of Ro, though), Luna, Lara.  Oh, and Esme, Britta, and Milla from Duana’s list.
  • Speaking of naming siblings, I’m fascinated by the complexities presented in this post at Swistle.  As usual, she breaks them down nicely.
  • Wondering about Name Trends in Lebanon?  Here you go.  Interesting that pressure to use family names seems to be decreasing there, as it certainly has in the US and elsewhere.

Schwoo – that was a lot of territory!

Before I close, don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of Kelli Brady’s new book, Name-alytics.  While the comments are not visible to readers right now (still looking for a fix!), the entries are visible to me, and everyone of them counts.

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


A Give-Away: Name-alytics by Kelli Brady

by appellationmountain on September 13, 2014

Name-alyticsIf you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’re very interested in names.  Maybe that’s because you’re expecting a new arrival – or hoping to be expecting a new arrival.

Or maybe you just love names.

Either way, Kelli Brady’s new book, Name-alytics, is for you.

Here’s why:

  • While I like to say that there’s no such thing as a normal name, there is such a thing as a classic name.  Kelli’s analysis of the names that have made the US Top 100 since 1880 sheds light on these stand-outs.
  • Overwhelmed by choice?  Kelli’s method of slicing and dicing the data cuts the universe of given names down to 356 for boys and 459 for girls.  That’s a pretty manageable list, with something to suit every style.  I could happily name a son August, or a daughter Alice … and that’s just the first letter of the alphabet.
  • Eager for a data dive?  There are charts!  And tables.  And every possible way of looking at the most popular names.

Overall, Name-alytics is a truly different approach to looking at names.  We spend lots of time talking about the Top 100 or 1000 for any given year, but this is wisdom gleaned from the accumulated data – a true picture of name history and trends, not just a snapshot from any single year.

You can buy your copy here, but one lucky Appellation Mountain reader will win their very own!  To enter:

  • Leave a comment here.  (I know there have been some problems seeing comments thanks to a recent site upgrade – my apologies!  It does not prevent LEAVING comments – you just won’t be able to see how many others are also entered to win!)
  • Go follow NameFreak! on Facebook.  Then come back and comment that you’ve done so.
  • Or leave a comment on the Appellation Mountain Facebook post, or reply to the @appmtn Tweet about this contest.

So that’s three ways to win hours (and hours and hours!) of name analysis.

A winner will be announced next Saturday.

Good luck!

P.S. This is an eBook, and will download as a PDF.  That means that the winner can be anywhere in the world!


Aria and Lyric: Musical Baby Names

by appellationmountain on September 12, 2014

Musical Baby NamesBaby name inspiration can come from anywhere, and plenty of children have been named for popular songs, from Geneva to Elise.

Names of musicians are a rich source of possibility, too, from quirky retro names like Otis to swaggering moderns like Jagger.

But how about musical terms?  We’re mad for nature names, and literary noun names – think Story – have been on the rise, too.

So if you’re musically inclined and about to welcome a new baby, here are some possibilities to consider.

[click to continue…]


Anouk: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on September 11, 2014

Cover of "A Man and a Woman"

Anna is a classic, heard in plenty of smooshes, elaborations, and countless variant forms.  Here’s one of the most intriguing possibilities.

Thanks to Witchgreens for suggesting Anouk as our Baby Name of the Day.

[click to continue…]