Either way, I thought you might enjoy the greatest hits at Appellation Mountain, too, and so here they are … the most popular posts for the first three months of 2015.
Favorite Baby Name Posts: Advice
- In Defense of Nicknames: Ten Reasons to Embrace Nickname-Rich Names – This was a surprise! I feel like I talk about why it’s okay to skip the formal name much more often, but it turns out that my list of reasons to go nickname-rich was far more popular over the last few weeks! I’ll admit that this is my bias: give me Catherine over Kate any day.
- How Close is Too Close? Ten Factors to Consider – This one tends to generate some strong opinions, and I often find myself thinking, “But they’re factors to consider, not commandments etched in stone!” I’m also aware that my opinion is a product of my cultural biases. I know parents from other backgrounds with kids’ names that strike me as waaay too close. But from their worldview, that’s as it should be. I maintain that it’s a useful set of guidelines. But guidelines are made to be broken.
- Mailbag – One Saturday, I was at a total loss for a post idea, so I decided to answer some questions that are much too short to make up a whole post. Much to my delight, you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! The success of that one little post got me unstuck on my delayed newsletter project, too, so now you can subscribe to a regular round-up of these kinds of questions here.
Favorite Baby Name Posts: Top Ten Columns
- Adalia to Zinnia: Girls Names Ending with ia – A perpetual favorite, probably because parents are after alternatives to Olivia and Sophia and Amelia.
- Twyla, Esther, and Luna: Night Owl Names for Girls – I’m less certain as to why this post is so perpetually popular. Could it be because the names are so gorgeous?
- Ten Unexpected Nicknames for Charles – More proof that nickname-rich names do get a lot of love! The lovely Kate at Sancta Nomina recently linked to this post, too, so it will probably stay in the most-read column.
- Campbell and Collins: The New Unisex Names for Girls – This one is a breakout star on Pinterest!
- Ellington, Anniston, Hollis: Surname Names for Girls – I know an awful lot of readers dislike the idea of gender neutral names. It’s not my go-to style, but I see the appeal. Based on how popular these two posts are, I think it’s safe to say that we’ll continue to see lots of birth announcements with names like these.
- Fresh Three-Syllable Names for Girls – Emily gives way to Everly. Valerie might be a little bit dated, or is it ready for a comeback? And Kimberly is thinking about naming her daughter Dorothy.
- Baby Name Predictions 2015 – Because we’re all crystal-ball gazing.
- Noah, Luca, and Cuba: Boys Names Ending with a – Conventional wisdom long held that boys’ names didn’t end in a. Okay there might be a few, but who named their son Noah? Now, of course, Noah has hit #1, and it’s completely ordinary to meet boys with names ending in a. And this post is very well read, indeed.
- Ooh La La: French Names for Girls – A perpetual favorite, ever since it was published back in 2008!
- Coco, Willow & Marlo: Girls Names Ending With O – From mainstream picks like Leo and Willow, to daring possibilities like Valo and Winslow, parents have really embraced this sound in recent years.
Favorite: Individual Name Posts
With March Madness baby names just wrapped up, I expected to see lots of the contenders in the top individual name posts. The influence was clear – but there were also quite a few surprises!
- The top gender neutral names were Rumi and Meridian. I love both of those as possibilities – there’s actually a mom in my neighborhood named Rumi. While I feel like Meridian works really well as a given name, I have noticed more than one high-end apartment complex/office park development called the Meridian. Not sure that’s a deal breaker …
- For boys, Koa, Soren, and Leo led the lists! Koa definitely fits those new boys’ names ending in a mentioned above. And Leo seems like the kind of name that we’re about to hear everywhere. Is Leo the next Liam? Scandinavian Soren is another name that’s gone from obscure to familiar in recent years.
- On the girls’ side, Lena, Elodie, and Marigold were the most-viewed Baby Name of the Day posts. Lovely Lena is one of those names that feels timeless, and works across languages and cultures. A great choice! I’m forever expecting Elodie to finally catch on, but so far, Elodie remains obscure in English. (One dad I know vetoed Elodie because, “She’ll feel like something is missing her whole life … the letter M.”) And Marigold, lovely Marigold. I feel like I should stop talking about this name, because really, the Downton Abbey effect is probably enough to make some parents consider this floral name.
Lastly, this seems like the perfect moment to ask: what are some trends that have you curious lately? Types of names you’d love to learn more about? Burning questions you’d like to see answered? Please leave a comment!