Announcing Lurker Week!

Lurker Week May 2016

When I started writing Appellation Mountain way back in January of 2008, I struggled to come up with enough ideas to hit publish regularly.

And then that May, I decided to feature a Baby Name of the Day.

Every. Single. Day.

After choosing a few, I realized that it was the kind of decision that was better made by a group, so I opened it up to suggestions.

Since then, I’ve never struggled for ideas.

If there’s any magic to Appellation Mountain, it’s thanks to this wonderful community. In the best of possible ways, it’s not me – it’s all you! (And you and you and you!)

But as the site gets bigger, it can be harder to reach out. And I’m often overwhelmed by the sheer number of ways to talk to readers!

That’s why every once in a while I like to host a Lurker Week.

The idea is simple: during the week of May 23rd, I’ll feature names suggested through comments on this post, but only from first time commenters.

Feel free to also suggest post topics – ideas for lists or burning questions to be answered – as well as possible Baby Names of the Day.

And just for fun, here are a few of my favorite Baby Names of the Day that I wrote about – and in some cases discovered! – thanks to suggestions from The Formerly Lurking:

  • The on-trend but seldom heard Madeleva, apparently invented by a young nun at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. It’s believed that she created Madeleva from a smoosh of her given names, Mary Evaline, who went on to become a medieval scholar and trailblazing leader as the president of her alma mater.
  • The jazzy Ellington, a name that feels unisex and is rising for boys and girls at the moment, though it remains much rarer than the rest of the El- names.
  • The Cornish Aderyn, which is almost a perfect blend of our interest in bird names and all of those Addie-inspired choices. Except the pronunciation is different, with the emphasis on the middle syllable. Dealbreaker? I’m not sure …

Oh dear! Now that I’ve started this list, it could go on forever. Because Appellation Mountain readers really do have The Best Ideas.

If you’re new to the site, or have been here forever but have been hiding quietly in the background, this is your chance. Leave a comment with the names or topics you’d love to have featured, and hopefully we’ll fit a bunch of them in this May!

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Just sent an email but now realise this is probably more appropriate! Long time lurker but first time poster.
My suggestion for a name of the day- Angelou! It’s new to me and it really appeals to me for a multitude of reasons (including but not dominated by Maya) and would love to see it featured!

Also, I adore this site and your articles are always fascinating. I often find myself getting lost on this site!

I’ve always been drawn to nature names, specifically ones that relate to cycles, seasons, or phases. I’m always a fan of Moon-related names, and recently came across the name Tide. Obviously there will be a strong correlation to the laundry detergent, but when you think about the rhythms of the ocean and the pull of the moon I think there is something earthy and serene to it. What do you think? Any other good name suggestions in this category?

De-lurking here! Your posts totally brighten my day 🙂

I would love to see a spotlight on the name Willa. Not one, not two, but THREE friends/acquaintances of mine who have recently had baby girls all named them Willa. I’m not sure if it is due to living in a more hipster/college town, or what. I’d love to learn more about the name, besides the obvious Willa Cather association.

Other names I’d love to see featured out of pure curiosity on my part:
Celestia, Eudora, Isolde, Jean, Persephone, Pomona, and Valerie for the ladies.
And Dean, Donovan, Jeremiah, Lawrence, Obadiah, Tennessee, and Xerxes for the gents.

Hi Abby, I found your site this past year and love it. I have never commented(until now!), but have been thinking about a few names I would love to see featured and this is too great an opportunity to pass up! I am currently looking at baby girl names and have a few I would love to see your thoughts on. First, I am curious about double names as first names (Mary Ann, Sarah Jane, Mary Rose, etc.). I also love a few less common girl names that I don’t think I’ve found on your site: Emerson, Audra, Henrietta (a family name and I am so curious about it, especially nicknames!), Ashlyn, Ainsley, Layla, and Delaney. Thanks for all your posts and insights, I can’t wait to keep reading!

Longtime reader, second comment. I was wondering about the teen tv shows of the 90s: Dawson’s Creek, Beverly Hills 90210, Buffy – the target demo of those shows is old enough to have started naming their own kids, so how are Dawson, Pacey, etc doing?

I’ve been reading your blog for four years, so I guess it’s about time I finally commented. My name of the day suggestions:



Hi! I love the name Levin, as in Constantine Levin from Anna Karenina – so much that I almost don’t want to mention it because I’m convinced it will take off. But there it is. 🙂

Hi there! I don’t have suggestions for baby name of the day but maybe a post topic. I work almost entirely with a Hispanic population and I LOVE the names found in that community. Some of them to me feel straight out of a dusty hacienda in the days of the war for Mexican independence – ha! But what I mean is, they feel romantic in that bye-gone era kind of way. Some I’ve come across recently —

Santos — fav!
Maria del Rosario
Eulices- love!
Maria Dolores

Hi there! I’ve been reading your posts faithfully and quietly for nearly a year now. They are one of the highlights of my day. Thank you very much for all that you’ve created Appellation Mountain to be! My husband and I have a few names high on our list that we both love yet don’t really know much about. We would love to know what you can discover about them!

For Girls:

For Boys:

(Other names on our list include Brio, Gwen, Everest, Juniper, and Claire for girls plus Victor, Theron, Indigo, Porter, Willem, and Harun for boys.)

Another name I would love to know more about is my own first name, Sierra! I have loved growing up with this name and feel that it has transitioned gracefully from little girl to woman. For many years, I understood it to be of Spanish/Latin decent meaning “mountains that are jagged like a saw” or “a type of saw.” I’ve often seen it used as a Spanish surname. However, recently I saw that it is perhaps of Irish origin (the feminine form of Ciaran) meaning “dark.” I supposed that would explain the popularity of the Ciara spelling?

As for topics, I’m very interested in seeing more posts about unique honor names (specifically for a creative middle)! For instance, if a grandmother loved drinking tea? Initially Rooibos comes to mind, but how about… Simmer? or Brew? :]

Hey there!

I’ve emailed some of the following suggestions, but I haven’t seen articles for them yet and have never posted on the site before.

Astrophel- I believe this was invented for a poem, “Stella and Astrophel”. But why did Stella take off, and Astrophel get left in the dust? Is this name usable (considering the first syllable)? Does it have any feasible nicknames? Has its logical feminine form Astrophelle ever been in use?

Aurvandil- Found on Wikipedia, has a many different spellings. Mythological name referring to the planet Venus.

Seymour- Not quite as obscure as the other names on my list, just one I have not seen an post for yet. Reminds me of “Simon” and other names beginning to make a comeback. Is this name ready for one as well?

Magritte- Artist’s surname that may make a creative alternative to Margaret.

Margaux- i know this is pronounced the same as “Margot” in English, but are they pronounced the same in French? Are they’re origins different?

Yadira- Found on Nameberry, want to know more about it.

Yaretzi – found this on Nameberry, apparently it’s super trendy right now, but I can’t find to much about its origins.

Zofeya- Sounds like a variant of Sophia, but apparently has its own (Hebrew) origins?

Zoffany- Another artist’s surname. Sounds similar to Tiffany, with accessible nickname Zoe.

I’m not really sure if I count since I did post a couple of comments here but I largely lurked on this site quietly in the background. Anyway, if I do, then it would be lovely if you give your own perspective on one of the more uncommon names found on the top 100 of the most common female names in the late Edo period, which you can find on my blog (something like Mina, Seki or, maybe, Yaku).

I’m relatively new to your FB page and site, but am a long time lover of baby names! I’d love to see a post about one hit wonders, baby names you’ve only encountered once ever (for instance, I have a friend who named her son by using her mother’s maiden name, Tibbetts nn “Tibbs”). I’d also love to see a post on some cross cultural ideas, sometimes the best baby names are hiding with neighbours next door! Russian, Arabic, Sinhala names etc. (I love Yana, Abram, Jayani, Vasana) that lend themselves well to english pronunciation. The new face of gender benders would be fun to see too (little girls name Bo, Elliot and Louie. Little boys named Harper and Ivy). As for names of the day, some of my suggestions would be:

Maybelline (beautiful, great nickname opportunities but neglected thanks to the cosmetic line)

Eilidh (intimidating due to the spelling, but very sweet and surprisingly easy to say)

Veida (forever associated with My Girl, but as the movie fades further away from popular culture I think this will have a new following)

Indie (showing up more and more, the right combination of gender obscure, unique and with a cool/earthy feel)

Sullivan (a great surname that easily becomes first name crush worthy! Love the adorable nn option Sully as well)

Casper (Can it ever overcome it’s friendly ghost image? Such a sophisticated name that is the right combination of cute on a boy and fitting for a grown man. It’s a shame it’s not used more often!)

Remy (just an awesome sounding boys name, short-to-the-point but substantial at the same time)

Lekas (a one hit wonder for me that an acquaintance used, I find it an intriguing choice and love the nn Lake)

Could you discuss the name Ozzy? I looove this name, but not sure if it could work as a stand alone. Oscar, unfortunately, is off the table for us. I wonder if names like Oswald or Osborne are too strange. I’d love to know your thoughts.

If it’s helpful, my son’s name is Linus, so we are somewhat adventurous namers. 🙂

Hi Abby, I am one of those readers who have been following you for a long time but have been hiding quietly in the background 🙂 I would love to read a post on the name Kitty as we are considering it as a name for our second daughter, a sister to Polly (a post on Polly would also be lovely, I`m always wondering why it is not as popular as Molly or Holly). Love your naming advice!!

Huge fan of Polly. Love Leopoldina and have considered Polly as a nn. I love kitty too, and Fanny as well. Very British Victorian. I get mixed reviews among family and friends. Polly started out as a nickname for Mary. My family is religious, so why not just cut to the chase and name your child Mary. Except Leopoldina is a family name passed down on my side as a middle not a first. Mary Leopoldina sounds a little bit too thick and over doing it with the Polly connection. These are some of the comments that I have ran into.Oh and Polly want a cracker, but I’m not offended by this as I have a pretty good sense of humour. Also, You would think that the Pollyanna connection, from the movie, would have had a greater influence, but it didn’t. Hope that helps.