MM basketballsThe opening round of March Madness Baby Names is underway, our annual contest of favorite girl names.  (And boy names, too.)

If you’re new here, the skinny is this: ever year, I gather up the data on the most viewed names at Appellation Mountain.  These are a far cry from official top lists.  They’re not tied to actual use by any means.  And because the names profiled at AppMtn tend to be a quirky, eclectic set some of the names that rise to the top are those you can’t read about anywhere else.

That said, these are the pages that have attracted the most traffic, and I think there’s something in that.

Over the course of March, the names that win tend to be slightly more conventional favorites.  Arthur and Genevieve walked off with the trophy in 2012.  Nathaniel and Louisa won in 2011.  But the sweet sixteen is a wild and wooly set, filled with unexpected possibilities.

Past champs are excluded from future rounds … though many of our contenders have appeared in the 2011 or 2012 games.  As with the boys’ names, polls close on Friday, March 8 and the next round opens on Saturday, March 9.

So – ready, set, vote for your favorite girl names!

Battle of the Es: 2011 contender Elodie versus the newcomer Emmeline

The literary – and Twilight-inspired Esme faces off against the German folklore favorite Lorelei

Two very similar-sounding names face off: 2012 contestant Mila versus 2011 tournament competitor Isla

Two names on the upswing face off: Noa, the feminine form of a masculine favorite, takes on the regal Adelaide

An intriguing contest between boyish Indie and lovely rarity – and name fan favorite – Ottilie

Preppy, tailored Sloane versus the inspiring goddess Clio

Irish saint name Eithne versus French surname and place name Romilly

The lovely, stylish Lila versus the meaningful – and controversial – Nevaeh


Check back on Saturday, March 9 to see who advances to the Round of Eight!

Have you voted in the boys’ poll yet?


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 voted Emmeline, Lorelei, Mila, Adelaide, Ottilie, Clio, Eithne, and Lila. I would be very happy to see Emmeline win, but wouldn’t mind if one of the others did. I like all the names I voted for, and love 6 of them. Mila and Eithne are the only ones I don’t love (just like).

  2. Wow, it’s a crop of absolutely hideous names! I couldn’t bring myself to vote in the Noa v’s Adelaide as I dislike both so much. I really think I’m going to have a hard time naming #3 if it’s a girl!! Although Clio, Lila and Elodie are lovely and my friend has a beautiful wee Indi who is about 9 months old now.

  3. HA! That it would, Havoye – but it seems unlikely. My money is on Adelaide, Lila or Ottilie … all of which are way in the lead in their respective matches!

  4. Interesting…most of my choices for girls are winning and most of my choices for boys are losing. Now wouldn’t it be gratifying to see Clio go all the way to #1, Abby? 😉 I think it’s my favourite of the bunch, although I do very much like Eithne and Elodie as well.