Girls Basketball Portrait
Photo by Robert McPherren via Flickr

Have I ever mentioned that I know nothing about basketball? My son has now played for three seasons – granted, at the little kid level – and while I show up and dutifully cheer, that’s all I’ve got.

Baby names, on the other hand, are a safe and knowledgeable place for me. And I’m finding that what’s true in life is very true in March Madness. We really do go to the middle, favoring names that are already on the rise. The names that fare well in March Madness are current classics, stylish and attractive, but never eyebrow-raisers.

And so I give two semi-final matches, where I know many of you will struggle to choose!

Two up-and-coming appellations face off: Adelaide versus Genevieve

A twist on the staple Ann goes toe-to-toe with a play on the enduring Elizabeth

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. So sad that Annika and Eliza are head to head in the semis. Interesting that all the names are 3 syllables.

  2. I really thought Arthur and Adelaide were going to win this, but now it seems Genevive is a head. I prefer and voted for Adelaide, but Genevieve is a lovely name. Just as long as Eliza doesn’t beat Genevieve in the finals, I’ll be happy 🙂

  3. I love Annika, but I think posting it as a play on Ann is deceiving. I knew an Annika and she pronounced it “On-ika”.

    1. Some do, just as some pronounce Andrea with ON drey ah or on DREY ah. But Annika is a diminutive form of Ann, just like Anita and Annette and Anja.

      1. I also have friends who pronounce Anna like ON-ah.

        With a slight spelling change Annika would fit in as a fourth sister to my Dutch childhood friends Marieke, Hanneke, and Nelleke.

        1. I was just thinking about how much I like Marieke. I knew a Marijke a few years ago … she was incredibly cool. I’m not a scintilla Dutch, so it doesn’t work for me, but I love that it worked for someone.

  4. I voted for both A names because I know one of each, little daughters of my two good friends. They must have impeccable taste in names!

  5. Okay, now it’s gotten very tough. I voted based upon what name I would rather answer to. So, I think I’d rather be a fun Gen than a peaceful Addy and a spunky Annika than a reserved Eliza. It’s a silly way to choose, because I love all four names actually.