Boy and chair
Image by anyjazz65 via Flickr

Happy Thanksgiving!

For those of you in the US, I hope you’re having a lovely day filled with the ones you love.

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 love North, and we could totally pull it off being umpteenth generation Michiganders 🙂 Noble is another favorite virtue name. I also love Makepeace, though I think that one is best for the middle spot. Prosper is also awesome and the Vulcan vibe makes it that much more appealing 😉 Great list Abby!

  2. I think North is a pretty cool name for a boy, but being a 9th generation Southern girl, I couldn’t do it. However, naming a child South just wouldn’t have the same effect, would it? People would constantly think about “going South” and other similarly dirty phrases.

    I love Oak for a boy, and surprisingly, a lot of the names mentioned in this blog really appeals to me. DH and I just found out we’re expecting our first child and while I’ve had a girl’s name picked out for several years now, we’re completely blanking out on a boy’s name. Oak is now the first name on our short list! It goes with our girl’s name, which has a nature name in the middle slot. Thanks!

    1. Congratulations, Kat! How exciting!

      And yes, I do think that South is less wearable than West or North or East. Maybe Southerly or Sutherland in the middle spot, though …

  3. Oooo I love North, I think you would have to be careful with it though, depending on the the last name it could sound like a street name… North Washington

  4. I’ve have Prosper in my back pocket for years, and would happily use him. Earnest, more often seen as Ernest, is another potential, if somewhat dated, choice.

  5. No Mad Men fans with babies named Sterling Cooper, yet?

    Prosper and Merit both feel feminine to me, but I love Oak as a middle name, and I think Everest has potential for growth with Ever already on trend!

  6. I think I’ve said this before, but Everest always sounds like the name of a funeral home to me.

    Once, when visiting Seattle, I met a man who introduced himself as Forgiven. I have no clue whether that was his given name or a name he chose for himself.

    In India Joy is considered a masculine name. I even had a teacher who we called “Mr. Joy”.

  7. I don’t think of Sterling as being hard to carry off probably because I grew up with one.

    Shelter I’ve never thought of as a name, yet Spanish has Amparo and Consuelo for girls, as well as unisex Refugio with similar meanings.

    My coworkers and I as well as our friend were shocked when her grandson was named North. We thought it was so weird – three years later it’s perfectly normal and it’s him.

    I like Everett; Everest being just one letter different is nice. I do wonder if there would be a lot of “climbing Everest” jokes.

    Virtue names make nice middle names for those who feel they would be too much as a first name.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  8. Someone else mentioned Noble, but this is totally on my guilty pleasure list for boys. I don’t know if it is entirely useable in my neck of the woods, but I still really like it. As I know a baby female Sterling, I couldn’t use it-for either sex. I am not really a fan-at least as a name. As jewelry, however…

  9. One name that has not been mentioned yet is Endeavor which I think was the first name of Inspector Morse. Also I wonder if Ernest would fall into this category.

    Valor I think would be a good name for a boy – I also like Hero even though I know it is female in the Shakespearian play. Also I don’t see why Honor could not work on a boy but again has been historically female.

    1. There’s Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, the nephew of Ralph and Joseph Fiennes. His siblings are Titan and Mercy. Pretty cool!