Sunday Summary: Bastille Day Edition

by appellationmountain on July 13, 2014

English: A sculpture at the entrance to the pa...

Allons enfants de la Patrie!  Le jour de glory est arrivé!

Yes, July 14th is Bastille Day, the French equivalent (more or less) of Canada Day and the Fourth of July.  It’s a good excuse to think of all things French, and I’ve written plenty of posts featuring French names, so:

Hmmm … I need to write more about French names for boys, don’t I?

Elsewhere online:

  • Congratulations to the stylish Karla Quiz, Instragrammer extraordinaire, on the arrival of baby #2!  Daughter France Fox is joined by daughter Fair – Fernanda James.  (Oops – my first post called poor Fair a boy.  Thanks to Sarah for the correction!) Best wishes to the Quiz clan.
  • Are the -bert names ever going make a comeback in the US?  I’ve met an adorable newborn British Albert, and there’s a Herbert in this birth announcement round-up from British Baby Names. Plus, I always think of baby Cuthbert in Hester Brown’s The Little Lady Agency series.
  • Guinness!  Too World Record?  Too Brewery?  Spotted in For Real Baby Names, here.
  • Yay – they decided to use Margot!
  • Up at Baby Name Pondering: Fairlie.  Are we on the cusp of a -ley baby name epidemic?  Or are we already there?
  • Do you know this Tumblr?  Bare bones, but lots of interesting names featured, including Serafina.  Which reminded me: among the celebrity names that I expected to catch on – but never did – is the Garner-Affleck’s Seraphina.  Isabella, Alexandra, Seraphina … but she was still give to just 168 girls last year.
  • Please bring back Wolfstan and Belsante.
  • This line - Linus and Henley are a less-trendy take on Silas and Henry – is Duana at her best!  Plus she gives great advice to Henley’s mom on finding a name for his baby brother.
  • While I’m quoting lines I really liked this week, did you see Swistle’s thoughts on names that eventually feel datedEven classics go in and out of style: remember when the name William felt classic but not at all fashionable? Very few names escape this, just as very few clothing items stay in fashion decade after decade … The difference is between the things we come back to again and again, and the things we feel grateful we weren’t photographed wearing.  A valuable way to think about what makes a classic, I think.
  • Hello, Townes!  Isn’t he handsome?  And such a great name.
  • I could happily name quintuplets from this list.
  • Or maybe this list.  Peridot is my new guilty pleasure.

One quick announcement – all of the posts for the upcoming week are re-runs.  I had such a backlog of posts that were sadly out-of-date that I thought a few extra days of catch-up might not be a bad idea!  Plus, they’re great names – and should be fun to revisit over the next few days.

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


What to Name a Fairytale Prince

by appellationmountain on July 11, 2014

English: Sleeping Beauty, illustration by Hein...

Around the time Once Upon a Time debuted, I compiled a list of names for fairytale princesses.  Not names of fairytale princesses, like Aurora or Snow.  No, these were names that could be worn by a fictional character from a romantic fantasy adventure, animated or otherwise.

It’s been a popular list over the years, but somehow I never wrote a boys’ version.

So many fairytale princes went nameless, or answered to things like Charming.  Royal is too obvious, as is Kingsley.  And names of actual princes - William, Henry, George, Frederick - seem like mainstream names that don’t quite hit the fairytale note.

So a fairytale prince name is masculine, but not conventionally so.  They have a touch of daring and dashing about them – names for Olympic fencing champions, rather than NBA hoop stars.  And while many of them are rare, they’re not all completely unknown in 2014 – some are quite stylish!

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Laetitia: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on July 10, 2014

Español: Retrato de Letizia Ramolino, madre de...

She’s an Ancient Roman goddess and a Spanish saint, too.

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

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Reid: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on July 9, 2014

ReidLooking for a short boys’ name that is still long on style?

Thanks to Amanda for suggesting her son’s name for our Baby Name of the Day: Reid.

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Walker: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on July 8, 2014

WalkerHe’s a surname name with a White House connection, and a television tie-in, too.

Thanks to Elisabeth for suggesting Walker as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Jude: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on July 7, 2014

JudeThis post was originally published on May 26, 2008.  It was substantially revised and re-posted on July 7, 2014.

The Beatles scored a hit with this name in 1968, but only in recent years has it become a mainstream choice for a son.

Thanks to Natalie for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day: Jude.

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Sunday Summary: Independence Day Weekend Edition

by appellationmountain on July 6, 2014

A Fourth of July fireworks display at the Wash...

If you celebrate the Fourth of July, I hope you had great weather for cooking out, fireworks, and all sorts of festivities.  This year, we also got to celebrate Canada Day – which my American kids spent playing with their Polish cousins in Toronto.  It was quite the summit, and oh, how I loved quizzing my cousins-by-marriage on current baby naming trends in Poland.

Here’s an intriguing thing about Polish names:  there’s not a lot of choice when it comes to diminutives.  In the US, Margaret could be Maggie or Greta or Peg.  And she might grow up to be Margaret, or maybe only her husband will call her Meg.

But in Poland, Malgorzata is Malgosia if you’re friendly, and Gosia if you’re close.  End of story.

Or maybe not.  There appear to be some regional differences.  And I have to believe a trace of individual preference factors in, at least some of the time.  But even when parents choose foreign names, the same process of creating diminutives holds.

Elsewhere online:

  • It’s been a beautifully, bountifully floral kind of week.  This post ran at AppMtn on Friday, plus Names for Real spotted a Daisy Milagros, and a Briony Lois.  Plus, I just finished reading Sisterland, where the twin sisters are named Violet and Daisy.
  • Speaking of Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld’s name has always fascinated me.  It’s actually her middle – she’s Elizabeth Curtis Sittenfeld.  With Hadley and Harper so much in vogue, could Curtis follow?
  • I ask this question all the time.
  • My favorite name on this list?  I’ll go with Elettra, but there are lots of possibilities.
  • And another intriguing E name: Evalince,via NamesDaily on Instagram.
  • Hello, June babyberries!  Arlo, Augusten, Laszlo, and oh so many more …
  • For all of you missing Bewitching Baby Names, Bewitching 2.0 can be found here.  Isadora, we’ve missed you!
  • There’s naming your children after sports figures, and then there’s this.  Zidane is intriguing, but ten names from one World Cup team?  Yikes!
  • I’m not crazy about Aaron, but I love the Scottish Arran, as spotted in this British Baby Names birth announcement round-up.  Would Arran forever have to spell and explain his name?  Probably …
  • Thanks to Megan for this find – Rainbow Rowell on her unusual given name.

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


Azalea and Edelweiss: Daring Flower Names

by appellationmountain on July 4, 2014

Daring Flower NamesGirls have been named from the garden for generations.  Plenty of traditional choices have floral ties – think of Shoshannah or Marguerite.

There’s tremendous range, from the classic Lily and Rose to the bold and unexpected Azalea and Zinnia and Lotus.

If you’re after an uncommon name, a favorite flower might be the perfect choice.  We all know girls called Daisy and Violet, so we’re generally accepting of botanical choices.  Chances are that it will be relatively easy to spell and pronounce.  But most of the names on this list are far from common – many have never appeared in the US Top 1000.

You might also appreciate:

Or look for a bloom that’s relatively rare as a given name.  There’s no shortage of possibilities!

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Logan: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on July 3, 2014

Logan's Run (film)

He’s the alter ego of popular X-Men character Wolverine, and a popular choice for a child in recent years.

Thanks to Amanda for suggesting her son’s name as our Baby Name of the Day: Logan.

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Kate: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on July 2, 2014

Screenshot of Katharine Hepburn from the trail...

Katherine is a classic, worn by saints and queens.  In 2014, this breezy short form stands on her own.

Thanks to Alex for suggesting Kate as our Baby Name of the Day.

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