Sunday Summary: 6/9/13

by appellationmountain on June 9, 2013

Sunday SummaryMessage boards abound with this defense of newly coined names: every name was made up at some point.

While that’s true, my comeback has always been this: yes, but most of those responsible for invention were poets and authors of considerable talent.  We mere mortals probably can’t invent names like Will Shakespeare.

But a recent spotting has me wondering.  Maybe our reaction to invented names is so intense because names aren’t made up.  Not really.  They’re introduced.  And introducing anything new is dicey.  We don’t know how to say it or spell it.  We’re not sure what it means.  We might stumble over gender.  Names aren’t created as much as they’re discovered and understood, integrated into the fabric of our language.  It might be very difficult to wear one of those jagged, new names that hasn’t been washed down to wearable smoothness by the sea of language.

And so I’m watching names that have evolved in my lifetime with special care.  I mentioned this post featuring Atreyu earlier.  And then I found this birth announcement from Colorado for Atreju.  It’s a defensible spelling – think of Anya/Anja and Maya/Maia/Maja.  The novel-turned-movie The Neverending Story was originally written in German, and Atreyu was spelled Atreju.  Are the parents German?  Superfans of the novel?  Or are they adapting Atreyu?

Invention and novelty seem to be unstopped baby name trends in our era.  The same birth announcements featuring Atreju also included Alaska, Greidan, Daxio, and Cymberlee.  Yes, Cymberlee seems like a mangling of Kimberly, but then again, the name’s original spelling would have been with a C.

Elsewhere in baby name trends online:

  • Are you playing the Sibset Name Game at YCCII?  I finally chimed in during the 800s: Coraline Lilith Mina, Juniper Elissa Sky, Campbell Kenna Blair, Gibson Remy Van, Arlo Hendrix Heath.
  • There’s a new novel called The Shining Girls which gives the name Harper to a boy and Kirby to a girl.  I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my summer list.
  • Dear Ladbrokes, I sincerely doubt that Kimye will go with a name that is as dated as Krystal, Kirsten, Kara, Kacey, or Kaitlin.  I’m not clear that it will be as out there as Kashmir or Kougar, but I’d bet on one of those before I think they’d use Kristen.  Digital Spy is reporting that Cleopatra is a possibility.  I can hear it – Cleo Kardashian-West.  Or Kleo Kardashian-West.  Suddenly I know how all of those moms of girls called Penelope felt …
  • Interesting to see how place names have changed since 2012.
  • Is Abigaill a ridiculous spelling?  I really like The Name Lady’s answer and find the comments mildly horrifying.
  • Stella, Cedar, and Jules.  Seriously, I read Design Mom just for the names.
  • Need name news all the time?  Follow Clare on
  • Jack and Emily are tops in Ireland.  Yawn.  But check out the authentically Irish picks in the Top 100.
  • Flemish parents really can go quite wild with baby names, can’t they?
  • Loving Jem Richmond as a little brother for Bugsy.
  • From the wayback machine: Signe was featured in 2008, followed by Acacia in 2009, Orlando in 2010, Cleon in 2011, and Vada last year.
  • A delicious rarity takes center stage at British Baby Names.
  • These Google docs showing combined spellings of the 2012 name data are pure genius!  S. Onomastic posted the girls’ list here:  New entries to the Top 100 include Aaliyah, Elena, Adalyn, Lyla, Kaelyn, Jordyn, Aniyah, Maci, Carly, Callie, and Kaydence.  Spelling counts!

Lastly, I’m hearing that the links on these posts aren’t working correctly.  I’m stumped!  I can’t duplicate the error myself.  If you’re having the same problem, try this: look in your browser bar, and see if “” is included in the address.  If you delete it, it should leave you with the correct link.

That’s all for this week!  Visit Nameberry tomorrow for this week’s celebrity baby round-up, and have a great week!

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