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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Let’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?
- 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!
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!
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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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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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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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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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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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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I’ve just read Matthew Dennison’s Queen Victoria: A Life of Contradictions. And I learned this:
The future Queen Victoria was christened Alexandrina Victoria. But her parents had planned to name her Victoire Georgiana Alexandrina Charlotte Augusta.
It was changed at the last minute by the Prince Regent, the future King George IV. By removing Charlotte, he lessened the connection between the new baby and the crown. (George’s daughter Charlotte, the former heiress presumptive, had died in childbirth not long before the birth of Victoria.) Victoria is for her mother, the Duchess of Kent, and, at the time, the name was considered very un-English and decidedly un-royal.
Well, up until June 1837 or so.
Alexandrina honored the future queen’s most important godparent, Alexander I of Russia. It also led to her childhood nickname, Drina.
Now let’s zig and zag between the serious and the fluffy for the rest of the name news:
- Yet another reason why my mother is the best – on a recent toy store outing with the grandkids, she stopped and read every Cabbage Patch Kid name off while I frantically took notes. The following were on the shelf: Stella June, Lola Scout, Maddie Isabella, Shantay Laila, Alexandra Angeline, Nikki Alanna, Scout Kristie, Rileigh Karine, Scout Macy, Cali Sailor, Avery Dani, Harlow Sophia, Spencer Alexa, Isabelle Stephanie, Maddie Ava, Jaelyn Paris, Isabelle Paris, Kait Madelyn.
- Which prompts this thought: has the database of Cabbage Patch Kid names become more narrow? I remember the CPKs always having wacky, clunky names mixed in – Wanda and Esther and Inez and Eunice.
- Or how ’bout any of the names from 1920 that are not currently back in favor? The Art of Naming’s list includes picks like Mildred and Gertrude, Thelma and Geraldine. Stylish? Not quite. But they scream “Cabbage Patch Kid” name to me.
- A random thought only a name-aholic could have: what would Ashton and Demi have named a baby? Bruce and Demi’s daughters have such delightfully daring names: Rumor Glenn, Scout LaRue, and Tallulah Belle. And then Bruce and second wife Emma Hemming have Mabel Ray and Evelyn Penn, choices that seem much safer and less inventive. So we can assume that Demi was the edgy trendsetter of the pair. (Or has Bruce’s style just stayed frozen in time? Mabel would’ve been pretty out there in the 1980s.) Still, I cannot see Demi choosing something like Wyatt Isabelle.
- Just when I think I’ve seen all of the names, along comes Winterfylleth. Which is the Old English name for the month of October. (Timely, right?) And is actually spelled WinterfylleÞ, just to make it much more complicated. I agree with NamesDaily – a killer middle possibility, but with the ‘th’ instead of the rune.
- Speaking of October-inspired names, did you see this list at Baby Name Pondering? Could mythical creatures actually inspire baby names? At first I thought nope, crazyville. Except Griffin and Phoenix are totally wearable and quite mainstream today. Brooke made a great case for names like Roc and Leviathan, too.
- From British soap opera Hollyoaks comes a daffily named fictional baby – daughter of Theresa and Dodger, Myra-Pocahontas Regina Madonna.
- I’m intrigued by Calaire. And tempted to add Calaire to the list of Claire- names.
- Loved this bit from Simcha Fisher on how expecting your tenth baby is different than your first. With your first: I really want the baby’s name to be attractive but unusual, and it should express how cherished this child is … Now, according to Nameberry, the name “Frostina” is actually fairly popular in some parts of Sweden, and is long overdue for a surge in popularity in the states. I think we can … add it to our list of possible third middle names, don’t you? By baby #10: Come on, now, think! There must be some names left. Ha! Though I think I could happily name ten girls. With boys, I struggle after four or five name combinations.
- Here’s what I know about Diwali – it is the festival of lights, and everything about it sounds positive and uplifting and wonderful. Plus, lanterns! I love a good lantern. All of this is to say that I’m not sure if these 20 Baby Names Inspired by Diwali would really be a good fit – and I’m quite certain the meanings given are a smidge off – but I’m passing the list along anyhow.
- Oh, Sophie – you put Kahlo on a list!
- Elea features Aurora this week. So timely, as Disney has recently re-released Sleeping Beauty in a collector’s edition.
- Ruby Kiss and Daisy Darling – not twins, but aren’t they sweet? Maybe too sweet. Though Darling is definitely growing on me, what with the Peter Pan association and all.
- It is now possible to buy Kelli Brady’s Name-alytics via Paypal! Use this link and AppMtn can still get it for just $2.99 through October 31st.
That’s all for this week! As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week.
Now that the comments are up and running, it’s time for something new!
For years, I’ve been wanting to offer Name Consultations.
Plenty of sites do a fabulous job – Swistle and Duana and Waltzing More than Matilda are some of my favorites.
But there’s no shortage of parents looking for a little help with a name quandary. The Appellation Mountain Facebook community has come through time and time again with great insights and suggestions.
So let’s give this a try, shall we?
If you’d like your naming dilemma/question/concern addressed in a Saturday post on Appellation Mountain, please complete this form:
Once your form is submitted, I’ll be in touch via email to schedule your date and confirm details (how to display your names, etc.)
And if your question feels like it just won’t fit in this format, please feel free to email me directly at appmtn (at) gmail (dot) com.
As always, thanks to each and every one of you who visits this site! It’s your thoughts and comments that are so helpful to others as we try to settle on the right name.