I can’t find the original source for this quip: “Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people.” But we should talk about it. Because in this week’s #namehelp and in a recent Swistle post, questions related to family naming customs came up. My take on family names comes down to this: You are never under […]READ MORE >>
Sharing all the baby name news from the week!
Every Sunday, the Summary rounds up the most newsworthy name-related stories, along with the occasional blast from the past. We'll examine trends and themes, surprising celebrity choices, and names in the headlines, too.
Sunday Summary: Construct Creative Constraints
Here’s something that I’ve noticed as I’ve worked with families over the years: the temptation is to add to our lists. Making it longer, longer … and longer still. We feel like we just haven’t found the right name yet and one more search will get us there. I’m a huge fan of discovering new […]READ MORE >>
Sunday Summary: Happy New Year!
Happy 2023! As the old year drew to a close, I spent time looking back at the most popular posts. Some of it is just housekeeping. After all, the lists of the Most Popular Girl Names on the Site and the Most Popular Boy Names on the Site will fuel the March Madness Baby Names […]READ MORE >>
Sunday Summary: The Next Big Names
As the end of the year draws near, it’s time for plenty of 2022 retrospectives, along with lots of prognostications for the year ahead. Thanks to Caroline for featuring my thoughts on the Next Big Names of 2023, along with some other really talented namers! You can read my full lists of the Best Names […]READ MORE >>
Sunday Summary: Festive Family Fun
Many of us will see our families over the holidays – if we haven’t already! And while that brings a mix of the joyful, stressful, and just plain complicated, it’s also an opportunity to think about names. I recently discovered that my Great Aunt Betty wasn’t Betty at all. She was Rose Elizabeth. The Elizabeth […]READ MORE >>
Sunday Summary: In Praise of Critical Ignoring
I need a cookie recipe. When I was younger, this involved flipping through my mom’s (single) baking-focused cookbook. Today, that same process could easily take hours. Longer! Google, Pinterest, Insta, searching through the archives of sites I love. And then there are more questions: can I get lemon pie filling/Butterfinger bits/almond extract at my usual […]READ MORE >>
Sunday Summary: Dunbar’s Number
A reader asked a fascinating question a while back. Yes, she agreed. Fewer children receive the most popular names. But we know SO many more people. Doesn’t that offset the decline in a name’s absolute popularity? My reply: not really. And that’s because of Dunbar’s Number. To follow her (excellent) argument: maybe back in the […]READ MORE >>
Sunday Summary: Confirmation Names
This is confirmation weekend in my church, and while there are many, many things I appreciate about this right of passage, I’d be lying if I said that names weren’t right up there. If you’re unfamiliar with the tradition, Confirmation – at least for Catholics – is the final sacrament of initiation. In some ways, […]READ MORE >>
Sunday Summary: The Story Matters
I love a good Name Quotes round-up from Nancy. Reading the story about Amandla Sternberg’s name, I found myself thinking: The story matters. And how you TELL it matters, too. Amandla’s name looks like a creative twist on Amanda, but it’s not. It’s borrowed from an anti-apartheid rallying cry and means power. Reading her account, […]READ MORE >>
Sunday Summary: Boston Accents and Adele
Here’s something that we often don’t anticipate, but OH how it matters. ACCENTS. They’re all over the name news this week. First up, Adele surprised everyone when she announced that a fan said her name “perfectly.” It’s less uh DELL and more … uh DALE. Except there’s a little bit of a “w” quality to […]READ MORE >>
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