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. I like Artemisia, though I’m not fond of the potential nicknames. I agree with Christina that it wasn’t long ago when Isabella seemed over the top. Artemisia just needs a little more exposure.

  2. Artemisia’s one of my guilty pleasure favorites, and I think it makes a great middle name for more classic choices. I had vaguely heard about Artemisia Gentileschi, but these are all interesting associations! Also, I love all the nickname possibilities.

  3. I was in college when I first heard of Artemisia Gentileschi. Fell in love with the name right then and there. When I had my kids 20 -30 years ago Isabella seemed over-the-top and now it’s everywhere. I can only hope that parents will start using Artemisia a tad more, even if it’s just enough to crack into the Top 1000. Thank you for featuring Artemisia today.

  4. I’m sort of surprised you didn’t make any botanical connections. Artemisia is ultimately a fairly plain shrub when lined up beside the modern resurgence of Lily’s, Violet’s, and Rose’s.

    1. I thought about it, but I didn’t think it would interest anyone – it feels like a plant named artemisia should be a showy bloom, and instead it is humble wormwood! It feels like such a disconnect. And yet, you’re right – if the goal is a feminine nature name with a certain elaborate quality, Artemisia would appeal more than, say, Rowan or Aven or many of the more tailored options.

  5. Gentileschi is fascinating, but Artemisia is quite over the top… I’d stick to Areti or Ariadne. Theodosia is probably the only polysyllabic Greek name I’d actually use.

  6. Artmeisia Gentileschi is also fascinating because of her anachronistic foray into women’s rights. She was raped by her tutor and basically disowned by the father that taught her art and sponsored her in the academy. The tutor gave her the option of marriage, but she took him to court. Also, what a great name!

    1. Yes! I teach an art history course that focuses on minority and oppression art and Gentileschi is one of my favorites. I’d name a daughter after her if only Artemisia didn’t clash so horribly with my husband’s last name. But I’d settle for naming a future dog. I already have one named Roseanne Barr Pentland Arnold Thomas, so an Artemisia Gentileschi would fit right in. 🙂

      1. HA! Love your dog-naming style. And how cool that you get to talk about Gentileschi. That’s a story begging for one of those accurate-but-only-so historical novels.

      2. You’re so right about the book. I’m actually surprised it hasn’t been done yet! Her life would also make a great made-for-TV movie.
        My dogs’ names always make people do double takes 🙂 My rats’ names always make people groan, though. Bubonic Plague, “Bubba” and Malaria, “Mala”. 😀

      3. There is a highly “colored” biography of her out there… I can’t remember the name, but it was a fun read!

      4. Because I can’t reply to your comment below, there actually IS a wonderful Italian movie about her life (IMO, despite the changes about her rape. but I didn’t know about that when I first saw it, so I did not mind it, obviously) . You should try to seek it out.
        That’s where I first heard about her and the wonderful name. I love all variations of it. Artemia, Artemia, Arthemise, etc.
        Would definitely use. If just in the middle name spot.

        1. Thank you! I’m definitely looking for the book and movie. I won’t be able to use them in class as we only talk about her for one lesson but I’d love to read/watch them!