Sunday Summary: 41st of 2014

by appellationmountain on October 12, 2014

Happy Sunday!

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.Sunday Summary
  • 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.


Something New: Saturday Name Help

by appellationmountain on October 11, 2014

Name HelpNow 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.


Clover, Dior, and Parker: Harper’s Sisters

by appellationmountain on October 10, 2014

Harper's SistersHarper is a sensation, a fast-rising surname name with musical appeal.  A long list of high profile birth announcements have boosted Harper’s use, from Shonda Rhimes to the Beckhams.

Visit a playground nowadays, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear the name.  Harper has soared from #887 in 2004 to #118 in 2010 to #16 in 2013.

Forty years ago, another ends in ‘r’ name occupied the #1 name in the US: Jennifer.

So plenty of parents love Harper, but lots of families also want something different – which now means something just a little bit different than Harper.

Happily, plenty of names share Harper’s ‘r’ ending, and many share her tailored, frills-free sound.

From vintage picks to imports, mainstream possibilities to quirky stand-outs, there’s something for everyone on this list.

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Tiziana: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on October 9, 2014

TizianaTake the Ancient Roman Titus, mix it with a healthy dose of Italian, and you’ll arrive at today’s choice.

Thanks to Calien for suggesting Tiziana as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Mafalda: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on October 8, 2014

English: Princess Mafalda of Italy (1902-1944)...

Matilda is hot.  Maude has a certain appeal.  How ’bout this obscure form of the name?

Thanks to Filipa for suggesting Mafalda as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Ailsa: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on October 7, 2014

English: Ailsa Craig in the 1840s. Clyde. Scot...

Looking for a Scottish name with a rather stylish sound?  Here’s a possibility.

Thanks to Ali Lynne for suggesting Ailsa as our Baby Name of the Day.


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Odette: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on October 6, 2014

Adelaide Giuri as Odette and Mikhail Mordkin a...

This post was originally published on December 23, 2008.  It was substantially revised and re-posted on October 6, 2014.

It’s a plum role for a ballerina, and a name worn by a World War II heroine, too.

Thanks to Nessa for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day: Odette.


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Sunday Summary: October 5, 2014

by appellationmountain on October 4, 2014

Sunday SummaryWelcome to October!  It just might be my favorite month.  (Wait, do I say that every month?)

But this one is extra exciting.  If you didn’t win a copy of Kelli Brady’s Name-alytics during last months’ give-away, you can buy it at a special discounted price during the month of October.

Appellation Mountain readers can use this link to buy Kelli’s book, chock full of data analysis and intriguing looks at some of the most popular names, for just $2.99.  The promotion runs through October 31st.

Now, on to the name news!

  • I so appreciate Bree’s Apartment Therapy round-up posts!  How gorgeous are Maeve Rosalind, Angus & Amelia, Reason (b), and
  • Hmmm … Virgil is kind of clunky.  I have a soft spot for Virgilia, as in George’s fiery abolitionist sister, played by Kirstie Alley in the mini-series.  Do you think Virgil or Virgilia is wearable in 2014?
  • I used to find the -ie spelling of Emily a little frou frou, but lately I’m liking it.  And For Real spotted Emilie Raven Rose in Arkansas, which is really rather fairytale-like.
  • Jerusha!  More girls should definitely be named Jerusha.
  • Names for October:
    • Oct- names via NameFreak!
    • Notable names of the month, at Nameberry.
    • Mostly wearable Halloween names at The Stir.
    • I could happily name B/G twins Jasper and Opal.  And more ideas from Sophie.
    • From the Nameberry post, comes my favorite piece of name nerd trivia for the month: Dave Eggers has a daughter named October Adelaide!Uncommon
  • I love Juliette, nn Jette!  It came up on a Swistle post years ago, and now Sophie has rounded up some other options for getting to Jette.  Oh, and Jetta is lovely, except … too Volkswagon?
  • Rarely do I think regulating baby names is a good thing, but in the case of Namibia, maybe there’s something to it.
  • My all-time favorite Disney attraction is The Haunted Mansion.  I always assumed that Madame Leota – one of the main ghosts in the ride’s story – was chosen for its suitably spooky qualities.  But no – there really was a Disney Imagineer named Leota Toombs.  And its her face in the attraction.  Seriously, was there ever a better name?
  • Via Clare at, this quiz with a long and entertaining list of stereotypically posh names in #17.
  • On a very different note, what’s your hillbilly name?  I’m Savannah, and I’m sitting here with Buck, Betty Sue, and my kids, Otis and Sue Ellen.
  • Oh, this quote from Duana!  Of course Sophia theoretically means “Wisdom”, but we all know it actually means “I was born between 2005 and 2013” - love it!

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


Clara, Clarity, and Clarion: Claire Names

by appellationmountain on October 3, 2014

English: Scanned and cropped publicity shot fr...

This post was originally published on April 9, 2012, for my mother, Clare.  It was substantially revised and re-posted on October 3, 2014 for her namesake’s sixth birthday. 

In my Italian family, children were traditionally named after grandparents.  When you reached girl or boy #3, it was time to move on to honoring great-aunts and great-uncles.

The result?  Those big families with lots of cousins named Tony.

In my family, one of the biggest names was Chiara – the Italian form of Clara, doubly important because of Chiara Offreduccio, better known as Saint Clare of Assisi, one of the first followers of Saint Francis.

Forms of Chiara and Clare are all over my family tree, from my mother to my daughter.

But it’s not just our family in love with the name.

The French Claire has been a Top 100 favorite for more than a decade.  The Latinate Clara is a stylish up-and-comer, climbing from #354 in 2000 to #131 in 2013.

Those aren’t the only forms.  Plenty of others have had their moment in the sun.  And a handful of new, bold Clar- names could catch on in 2014.

Read on for all of the Clara-Claire names.

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Jack: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on October 2, 2014

Signature of Jack Kerouac

This nickname-name is the go-to choice for our favorite action heroes and many a real boy, too.

Thanks to Clio for suggesting Jack as our Baby Name of the Day.

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