Sunday SummaryDo you dream of names?  I woke up thinking about Torrance, the perky cheerleader character played by Kirsten Dunst in 2000’s Bring it On.  Torrance could be a great name, another way to get to Tori, though her name was rarely shortened in the movie.  It’s a place name and a surname and far less expected than Brooklyn or Madison or Riley.

As I was pondering why Torrance isn’t more often heard, I opened up this post, and there she was: Torrance Evelyn Marie.

There’s also the surname Toran, which seems like a potential name for a boy, or maybe an update to Taryn.

Elsewhere in baby name news:

  • I feel like Sadie works as a nickname for Mercedes.  What do you think?
  • Names I love for boys: Everett and Abel.  Names I’m not sure about: Adamxander, Portlen.  All from this post.
  • Elea analyzes popular initials in the UK.  They may love Alfie instead of Aiden, but parents on both sides of the pond are wild about the letter A.
  • Angela gives some thought to middle names.  Vocabulary addition for the week: trochaic.
  • Alternatives to William, from Wallace to George.
  • There’s respelling.  And then there’s this.
  • Names for your little fish.
  • Oh, look – a baby named Rose.  Refreshing.
  • Have you voted in March Madness?  The boys’ list is here, and the girls’ here.
  • Cornish saints are a nicely-named bunch.  My latest discovery: Piran or Peran.  I know a guy my age named Perrin, and I quite like it.
  • Time to enter Baby Name Wizard’s 2012 Baby Name Pool!  You have until April 15 to take your best shot.
  • Do I need to say it?  It isn’t that these names get you into Yale.  It’s that socio-economic factors impact the names we choose, and those same factors impact the educational paths our children pursue.  There are plenty of kids called Thomas and Caroline who turned out to be slackers, and lots of successful people named Cody and Ashley.  A name is not your future – it is a clue to your parents and your past.

Now, if you haven’t already voted in the latest round of March Madness, may I ask you to take a sec and help your favorites advance?  The boys’ quarter-finals are here, and the girls’ quarter-finals are here.

As always, thank you for reading.  (And commenting.  And hanging out on Facebook.)  Have a great week!

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. The lead singer of the Christian band, Royal Tailor is named – Tauren Wells. He’s a great singer with a great name.

  2. I went to Yale, and there were two other Dianas my year, which were two more Dianas than I’d ever had in school with me for the entirety of the rest of my education. But there was also no lack of Sarahs, Jennifers, Christinas, Julies, Amandas, and Lindsays.

    Having said that, it was also the first time I was introduced to many lovely names, especially of foreign origin: Annis, Finbar, Rafe, Collum, Odile, Samira… but I think any college, being a bigger pond, can fulfill the whole “broadening your name horizon” thing.

    Which is to say, AM nailed it. It’s not the name that gets you in, is what the name says about who your parents are and the other Yale-trending opportunities they are providing for you.

  3. I am still rolling on the floor over Airwrecka. I doubt she’s popular buying aeroplane tickets.

  4. It took me about ten minutes to even understand the Yale Names diagram, possibly a sign that I’d be too dumb to get in there no matter what my name.

    It doesn’t tell you what colleges the left-out ones went to. Maybe they just preferred Harvard? Is that such a terrible thing? (Here we seem to think Harvard is the more impressive university for some reason).

    I mean Gawker seems to think that either you go to Yale, or you live in a dumpster and sell your own organs for a living. Frankly I just can’t see what it proves. You might not go to Yale, but still have a great life.

    Meanwhile I checked a list of list of Yale alumni, and one was imprisoned for decades, another is on the run indicted for murder, another is a spokesman for the Taliban, and another is listed as an “internet sensation” (eg unemployed, then he died). In other words, you might go to Yale and have a crap life.

        1. Having said that, the results are quite similar to my own when I looked at names of famous people – boys names tended to be from the bottom half of the Top 100, girls names from the 200s or lower. It was remarkable how few very popular names there were, especially considering that famous people can come from a variety of backgrounds.

  5. Yale draws pretty heavily from the East Coast, so I’m curious what kind of overlap there would be between the Yale grads and the names that were popular in the Mid-Atlantic and New England in 1994? And since we know Western parents tend to choose more adventurous names, did Stanford graduate more Codys and Ashleys?

    But then, both of my kids both have “Yale” names and I have already measured them for their cap & gowns. 😉

    From names4real, the one I was unsure about is Nowhel. Is that a respelling of Noel?

  6. I like Sadie for Mercedes.

    I agree with you about the Yale names. The name doesn’t make the person. I have a “Yale name” and Yale would have laughed if I tried to apply. I never really was a math person & my SAT score showed that. 🙂