Andralyn: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on September 10, 2014

AndralynShe’s a straight-up smoosh name with roots in the 1970s, and a twenty-first century sound.

Thanks to Alli for suggesting her daughter’s name as our Baby Name of the Day: Andralyn.

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Maxie: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on September 9, 2014

English: The Andrews Sisters, accompanied by H...

Sadie, Hattie, Winnie, Frankie, and … this name?

Thanks to Leslie for suggesting Maxie as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Malcolm: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on September 8, 2014

Malcolm Reynolds

This post was originally published on September 19, 2008.  It was substantially revised and re-posted on September 8, 2014.

Looking for a quiet classic for a son?  This might be the name for you.

Thanks to Lola for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day: Malcolm.

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Sunday Summary: Welcome to September!

by appellationmountain on September 7, 2014

Sunday SummaryThings that we learn as we grow up: you will not become the most popular girl in school just because you’ve bought a killer pair of first day shoes.  Many of those “Ten Quick Tips” to have great abs/a cleaner kitchen/a more organized desktop may be helpful, but they’re rarely quick.  Cupcakes are not a health food.

And when it comes to baby names?  Blanket criticism is rarely a good idea.

It’s tempting to make rules.  I’ve done it myself.  Sometimes they’re helpful.  Sometimes they’re funny.  Often they feel a little uninformed.  (The article disses Imogen – a Shakespearean name that is huge elsewhere in the English-speaking world, and is gaining steadily in the US, too.)

It’s also worth noting that normal names change.  And varies, from family to family, geographic area to geographic area.

Another danger? Sometimes we are racist.

More often, I think, we’re just not very patient or generous with each other.  Often hearing the reasons someone chooses a name can completely change our perception.

I know I’m guilty of this.  Around the time I started this blog, my kids met a boy named Deaglan.  Why, oh why, I thought, would you mangle Declan that way?  Then I met his Irish-accented father, and realized that Deaglan was the original Irish spelling – as valid as Siobhan or Aislin.

D’oh.  It wasn’t an uniformed or unthoughtful choice.  It was a huge gap in my knowledge.

That’s why I love the community around this blog so very much.  Thank you for pushing AppMtn to always explore new names – vintage names, foreign names, names that no one is using, names that everyone loves.  And sticky topics, too, like Native American names.

Putting my soapbox away now, and moving on to the name news:

  • Ghislaine is one of my guilty pleasure names.  Not really wearable in the US, and Giselle doesn’t quite move me the way Ghislaine does.  Maybe in the middle spot?
  • Along the same lines, there’s a Dictionary of Medieval Names in the works!  It’s set to go live January 2015 – which isn’t as far away as it sounds … For now, browse the list of names set to have entries.
  • Oh, Bree likes Jadwiga, too!  That’s the name of my husband’s beloved grandmother.  But we always dismissed it as too Polish to work in English, and Hedwig – the English version – doesn’t seem all that great, either.
  • And one more along the same lines, Once Upon a Time Baby Names profiled Ursula.  Which, I know, is all sea witch.  But it is such a great name.  I’m a sucker for Ursula, Lorna, Petra – names with that ‘r’ sound that are very off-trend nowadays.
  • My affection for mass transit is serious, and rivals my adoration of all things baby names.  So when I saw Anna’s post on Sydney’s new Opal card?  A great name + a better way to ride transit = win, win, win.  Another reason to visit Australia!
  • Time for a round-up of September/autumnal names:
    • Here’s Nameberry’s round-up, ever inventive.  J’adore Hugo.
    • Kelli takes a look at the seasons as names themselves.  Autumn is the clear front-runner, with Spring languishing in last place.
    • Which reminds me – I did something similar – but different! – a while back.
    • Sophie suggests Aster on her September names list – wearable?  I’m warming to Sapphire, too – and Emerald has crossed from my out-there list to my yes, please list.
  • Oh, how much do I appreciate For Real Baby Names?  Gems like Thora Skye and Wolf Christopher make me smile.
  • So Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Siri.  Nancy’s got the stats on the name’s use here, and you might recognize it from the video game Halo.  A few thoughts – first, this gives Siri more history as a given name.  But second, with all the affection for Cora and Cora-names, maybe Cortana is more wearable than it would have been otherwise.  Or, does the Downton Abbey effect make a 21st century video game name more wearable?
  • While we’re talking all things nouveau, Skye has the numbers on Jace.  Yes, this one could be considered a novel name, but after growing up with so many Jasons who answered to Jace, it seems perfectly reasonable to see it on birth certificates – especially if we’re also using just Jack and Jake and Kate.
  • What do you do when you love a name – but everyone else says “no, don’t do it?”   The Name Lady gives sage advice, as always.

Lastly, I understand there might be an issue with viewing comments when using Chrome?  I’m still trying to track down the error.  In the meantime, my apologies for the difficulties, and thank you for your patience!

That’s all for this week.  As always, thank you for reading and being a part of this community.



Out-There Alphabet: Baby Names A to F

by appellationmountain on September 5, 2014

Out There Alphabet names A to F

Over the summer, I started throwing out this question:

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

It was the kind of fun question that I love to share on Facebook and Twitter, and they were consistently popular, in June and July and August.

And the answers!  Oh, the names were spectacular.  They couldn’t just fade away.

Plus, other bloggers have been doing some great series on obscure names focused on the alphabet.  Lou just launched her Offbeat Alphabet series here, and Sophie has been writing about Names You Never Thought of Using for months.

So I’ve collected all of your wisdom, and, along with some of my favorite quotes from the responses.  There are so, so many names, from the perfectly wearable to the truly obscure.  A few notes:

  • 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!
  • An * 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.

Other than that, I’ve left the lists free of comments. First, because I’d love to hear your honest reactions.  (Are they really all that out-there? Are there any new favorites you’re adding to your list?)  Plus, most of my thoughts apply to the entire list – so it makes more sense to share them at the very end of the series.

My apologies for any omissions – there was a lot of cut and paste, and I’m sure I overlooked a few (great) names. Feel free to add them at the end.

And now, the post that you wrote!

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Bianca: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on September 4, 2014

Bianca Maria Sforza

Shakespeare used this name twice.  Throw in a medieval queen or two, and it is quite the storied appellation.

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

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Judith: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on September 3, 2014

English: Screenshot of Judy Garland performing...

Looking for an impeccable classic with history and strength?  Hoping for something less common than Katherine or Elizabeth?  Here’s one to consider.

Thanks to Dani for suggesting Judith as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Hatcher: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on September 2, 2014

HatcherH surname names are big for girls, from Harper to Hadley to Harlow.  How ’bout this occupational surname pick for a son?

Thanks to Leslie for suggesting Hatcher as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Asher: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on September 1, 2014

Mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel. From Givat ...

This post was originally published on August 27, 2009.  It was substantially revised and reposted on September 1, 2014.

Ashley and Ashton have been wildly popular in recent decades.  Now another Ash- name seems poised for popularity.

Thanks to Photoquilty for suggesting Asher as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Sunday Summary: Last of Summer 2014!

by appellationmountain on August 31, 2014

Sunday SummaryIf you’re in the United States, happy last weekend of summer!

Labor Day is the unofficial start of Fall here in the US – though here in Washington DC, it finally feels like summer, with our usual heat and humidity making its first real appearance, just in time for back to school.

No class lists yet, but there are definitely some new students with great names. My son has a classmate called Clark! And there’s a Jagger in their school, too – I spotted a kiddo with a personalized backpack during the first day of school opening ceremony. The whole school directory comes out later this month, and I can’t wait to see it.

Have your kids started school yet? Are there any great names in their classes?

Elsewhere online:

  • This quote from the lovely Duana: names that are popular are always fundamentally great – yes! So true. There’s nothing wrong with using a popular name.
  • Wow, this is quite an international round-up at Beliebte-Vornamen! I glanced at it and didn’t realize how extraordinary it was until Clare pointed it out on her – her observations are another reason I love following her page.  I think Thalis Matheo is the name that has me most curious.
  • Confetti cannons at the ready, now. Congratulations to Skye on his fourth year anniversary at Names in Trend!
  • Twin boys, and competing traditions at Swistle.
  • Nancy may have found the most eclectic sibset ever – Pleiades! Almira Melphomenia! And the youngest, Encyclopedia Britannica. I’d like to invite those parents to dinner – if only I lived in 1814 New York.
  • Speaking of unusual names, I’ve also found Quitterie appealing – and yet, thanks to starting with the word quit, I’d call it unwearable.  But oh, listen to that story from Portugal, and the names of Quiteria and her nine sisters.
  • Charlotte’s question is one that I tangled with myself.
  • Which brings me to Anna’s article – I didn’t know my chosen name, Abigail, had a whole other history in Australia! How can I conspire to spend a few weeks in Australia?
  • Elsewhere in the English-speaking world, hyphen names are such a big British phenomenon. Elea has the full report.  Spoilers: lots of Lily, and Lilly, and Lillie. Also some Ellie.
  • Agatha Summer! What a gorgeous, glorious name.
  • Okay, I’ll admit it – I can’t wait to hear what Jill Duggar Dillard names her baby.
  • Thanks to Jennie for sending this link from Scary Mommy!  It’s the funny take on my Crazy Baby Names post.  And hey, #7 isn’t really such wacky advice – the communities at AppMtn have done a great job helping parents choose names!
  • Some unusual -ine names up at Sophie’s site this week.  Oh, and if you’re on Pinterest, she finds some fabulous images for her Names board.

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

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