Sunday SummaryMany of us want names that stand out, and I completely understand that we mean different things when we say, “I want an unusual name.”

But quotes like these set my teeth on edge: “We like Kasen for a boy and Emersyn for a girl.  Both on the top 100 list but I think they’re unique.”

When did unique become a synonym for good?

We do seem to have strong opinions about how common a name can – or can’t – be.  I know a mom with a nearly unique name who happily chose classic, but very popular, choices for her children.  I know another mom with a very unusual – and often butchered – name who chose a nearly unique name for her daughter.  For every Jennifer who disliked sharing her name with classmates and co-workers, there’s another Jennifer naming her kids Jacob and Ava without a second thought.

Baby name news relies on all of these – the very popular, the very rare, the surprising, the creative.  But I will never get over the misuse of the word unique.

Elsewhere online:

  • The venerable Oxford Dictionaries has developed a Baby Names Generator.  Fair warning: the pop culture references are very Brit-centric.  The generator nailed my style for a girl, though Daphne isn’t one of my personal favorites.  It was much less accurate for a boy.  It suggested Jonah, a name that just plain isn’t on my radar.
  • Would you use Jennifer?  Does Jennifer Lawrence‘s Oscar win make this name feel any fresher?
  • Speaking of dated names, can Ken shake off his image as Barbie’s boy toy?  Baby Name Pondering suggests some Ken- names that would be at home in 2013.
  • There’s dated, and then there’s really dated.  Check out Nancy’s post on male names from the Domesday Book.  Wigstan, anyone?
  • It looks like there’s a kid called Boris in upcoming crime drama Red Widow.
  • I love the idea of Lysander – and really, and of the unusual -ander names – but does it work?  Opinion at Swistle seems to be slightly against.
  • Casher, Cutler, Gatlyn, Gracen, Kaemyn, Honesty, Jersey, Khale – whoa!  Nebraskans are sure into some just-a-little-different names.
  • Ooh … Benedicta Maribel!
  • Mimosa combinations – apparently very wearable in the UK.
  • What would you name Bugsy’s sister or brother?
  • Oh, how I enjoy reading others’ shortlists of names for children.
  • It isn’t my imagination – names are getting shorter.

Have you voted in the opening rounds of March Madness?  The boy names are here, and girl names can be found here.  Help narrow the sweet sixteen to just eight competitors to advance to the next round!  Voting closes Friday, March 8 and the next round opens on Saturday, March 9.

As always, thank you for reading, and have a great week!

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. I was given Jude and Alice: two names I absolutely adore!
    I was actually the one to write in to Swistle about Lysander 🙂 I still love it! It seems so strong to me; not girly in the slightest. Maybe that’s just me!

    1. Oh Jemima, I meant to say something on Swistle, but I saw a newspaper story about a baby boy named Lysander, and his mother was called Eglantine! How elegant.

      I think Lysander seems very strong and manly, quite heroic really.

      The story was from Canterbury Hospital in Sydney; I’ll give the blog entry where I recorded it, but I just clicked on the newspaper article and it’s expired by now.

      So there’s an Australian boy named Lysander anyway.

  2. The baby name generator gave me awful choices, nothing I’d pick in real life. In response to Lysander, I know a woman who has two boys, Axel and Leander. 🙂

  3. So the generator gave me Alice…not my favorite, though literature would influence my girls’ names.
    And Edgar. Again, not my favorite, but it did correctly state that tradition would influence my boys’ names.
    So interesting way to narrow your style, not too keen on the actual name suggestions. They ought to give a few examples, rather than just one name.

  4. I’ll trade you Ophelia and Byron for Daphne and Jonah. The generator nailed my style but not the name for the girls and missed the mark on the boys.

  5. I got Rosalind and Dylan. I like Dylan although I probably wouldn’t use it, but Rosalind is just not my style.