Kyle: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on August 11, 2014

KyleThis post originally appeared on January 5, 2009.  It was substantially revised and re-posted on August 11, 2014.

Kai might be more stylish for boys born in 2014, but this name remains more popular.

Thanks to Skye for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day: Kyle.

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Sunday Summary: 32nd of 2014

by appellationmountain on August 10, 2014

MalcolmThings I have done this week: bought back-to-school supplies, attended the last day of ice hockey camp celebration for my son, booked tickets for Christmas break travel.

Yup, summer is winding down.

So let’s start the Sunday Summary with a Big Question.  I’m staring down a list of nearly a dozen projects for the site over the next few months, and I can’t decide where to start.

I’d love to know what you think would be the biggest addition to Appellation Mountain:

I’d like to tackle all of them – now, right now! – so this isn’t exactly an either-or situation.  It’s just a question of which project comes first.

Thanks for taking the time to answer, and comments – and off-the-wall ideas – are always warmly welcome.

Now, on to the baby name news and such:

  • Interesting to hear the oh-so-wise Malcolm Gladwell talk about his name.  He likes it!  And I like what he has to say about Malcolm.
  • Did you think about the number of children you might have before you started your family?  Did that inform the names that you chose?  It did for us, even though we knew that we’d run out of go-to boy family names after our first son, and would have to get creative.  (We could name girl octuplets from our family tree without difficulty.)  In an older episode of 19 Kids and Counting, mother-of-many Michelle explains that they stumbled into their all-J name pattern when they decided on Jana and John David for their twins.  The family also brainstormed more J names:

But no, they’re not expecting – the baby that they were trying to name turned out to be Jubilee.

  • Looking for a Sunday paper devoted to all things baby naming?  You’re in luck.
  • I’m a sucker for star names.
  • And, while we’re looking up, For Real spotted a Cielo in Montana.
  • Clare finds the best new baby name sources!  But I’m most intrigued by her comment here:
Englyn would fit on this list.  It’s a type of short poem in Welsh.  Which reminds me, I spotted an author named Novella in the bookstore the other day.  Novella Carpenter is an author/urban farmer.  With a name like that, you’d have to have an interesting life, right?

Speaking of themed weeks, this upcoming week is 80s week at Appellation Mountain!  So get your leg warmers and your jelly bracelets ready, because we’re talking Kyle, Lindsay, Justin, Amanda and more.

And for those who asked, yes!  We’ll have a 90s week before the year is out.

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


Crazy Baby Names: 12 Warning Signs

by appellationmountain on August 8, 2014

Crazy Baby NamesI’m an advocate for unusual names.  I’m willing to defend a lot of choices that are outside the mainstream, whether it is reviving a name all-but-lost, choosing a non-dominant spelling, embracing an unconventional word, or deciding to borrow from another language.

Sure, an unusual name might raise a few eyebrows – but in our age of Jayden and North, chances are that you won’t choose a truly crazy baby name – no matter how different that name may be.

But can you go too far?  Well, yes.

How do you know if your choice crosses a line – and what line exactly, are you measuring against?

We’ve all heard names that feel over the top.  But defining exactly why they qualify as crazy baby names is a little tougher.

Ultimately, it is a personal decision based on your lifestyle and values.  If you’re a performance artist living in New York or L.A., and all of your friends are in similarly creative fields, I can guarantee that you can blithely violate many of these guidelines – though your parents in Poughkeepsie might not be thrilled.

Now, a disclaimer: most of these rules can be blithely ignored when you’re choosing a middle name.

Here are twelve tests that might - might - signal that you’ve gone too far.

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Rialta: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on August 7, 2014

English: Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy Italiano...

Today’s choice is rarer than rare – and yet, doesn’t this name sound like it could be more common?

Thanks to Jasmin for suggesting Rialta as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Sergio: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on August 6, 2014

SergioIt’s the Spanish and Italian form of an old saint’s name.  If we’re naming boys Matteo and Marco, why not this one?

Thanks to C in DC for suggesting the World Cup-inspired Sergio as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Dallas: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on August 5, 2014

Dallas2Place names are stylish, and this one has a surprisingly robust history of use.

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

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August: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on August 4, 2014

English: A statue of the first Roman Emperor A...

This post was originally published on August 14, 2008.  It was substantially revised and re-posted on August 4, 2014.

It’s summertime, and the perfect moment to examine this seasonal appellation.

Thanks to Arthur for suggesting August for today’s Baby Name of the Day.

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Sunday Summary: Welcome to August 2014!

by appellationmountain on August 3, 2014

Ferris Wheel on the boardwalk in Ocean City, N...

Natalie Babbitt described the first week of August as the top of a ferris wheel.

I love ferris wheels – irrationally, because I’m not great with heights.  And I love the first week of August, for the same reasons – it’s the peak of summer, and while the ride down towards the first day of school is exciting, nothing beats this moment at the top.

On to the name news!

  • This couple changed their middle names to Seamonster, and won’t share why.  I find it all daffy and charming.
  • Speaking of daffy, a friend of mine has a Starbucks alias: Duke.  He travels a lot, and reports that it is rarely mangled or misspelled.  But how does he give that name with a straight face?
  • Love this one from My Name is Pabst.
  • Do you use a nickname for one kiddo, but not the other?  I overheard a dad calling his girls Addison and Cammie at the beach last week.  Thanks to personalized tote bags, I gleaned that Cammie was actually Cameron.  They’re well-matched names, the kind that imply a lot of thought was given to finding compatible names for sisters.  But I was puzzled that the older girl was never called Addie … More evidence that while we choose our children’s names, the way they wear them is sometimes outside of our control.
  • ForReal spotted a Rowdey in North Dakota.  I don’t think the extra ‘e’ makes it feel more like a name.  And while I think this one is too much, I was wrong about Maverick.  Could Rowdy/Rowdey be the next mainstream power boy choice?
  • Varro is officially my new favorite secret Shakespeare name.
  • Octave and Ernest?  Swoon!
  • Midge – wearable as a given name?  My instinct is no, but in our casual age, maybe she reads as retro cool …
  • Do you think Circe is a likely successor to Chloe and Penelope?  I love the sound, and the fact that Circe could be an avian name?  Bonus!
  • Love the sound of Agata, from this post at The Beauty of Names.
  • This is a tremendously clever approach to finding a distinctive name.  Judith, Liv, Louise, Milagros, Hattie, Harper, Iris, Paloma, Parker, Monroe – definitely something for everyone.
  • Could Eleanor ever be the #1 name in the US?  Piper?  Violet?  Sadie?
  • Thoughtful words on “trendy” names – and a compelling case to stop worrying about whether the name you love is trendy or not.

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



It Girls: Girl Names Ending in et and ette

by appellationmountain on August 1, 2014

Publicity photo of Clara Bow for Argentinean M...

You’ve heard of the It Girl.

The term has been around since the early twentieth century, referring to young women of exceptional good looks and style.  Clara Bow was an It Girl, and so was Edie Sedgwick.  Jennifer Lawrence is among the most recent women dubbed an It Girl.

But how about the -et Girl?  Some of the most stylish feminine names of the moment end with the -et sound.

Or maybe that should be -ette girl, because plenty of these names can be gussied up with the français -ette instead of the sparer -et.  And some are French through-and-through, and look best with the -ette ending.

If you’re drawn to tailored, gender neutral picks like Hadley and Sloane, but also find the feminissa frills of Alessandra and Louisa appealing, girl names ending in et offer an appealing approach – stylish and feminine, but with a tailored, unexpected ending, too.

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Sailor: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on July 31, 2014

Image of French sailor, 1880s

Taylor was huge in the 1990s.  But how ’bout this similar-sounding, equally-occupational choice?

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

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