Twice this week, I’ve found myself talking about drinks that taste good versus drinks that photograph well.

Rarely do the two categories overlap.

That fancy drink from the summer festival menu, the one with the boba and the foam and the shot of something that may or may not weapons-grade plutonium?

Odds are it’s going to be too sweet or too spicy or just too, too much.

Sometimes names can be like that, I think. Before I was expecting – and raising – actual humans, I probably would’ve been all about seriously obscure, truly complicated names. Really daring, wait-is-that-even-a-name choices.

And I sincerely think those can work for some families.

But from my vantage point as a parent? I want a name that wears well. Flexible. Meaningful. A name that will endure.

Which is also why no, I do not want to try the Lavender Dragon Fruit Frappuccino with Cherry Blossom Boba. I’m not here for a photo opp. This is real life, and it’s marvelous and interesting and sometimes very, very hard. Please pour me a coffee, the old school kind, and let’s focus on names that will serve our children well long beyond a specific season.

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… but I can appreciate that moment of name regret. After debating names up until the last possible moment, these new parents settled on Sigrid. But now the new mom is worrying she’ll be called Siggy … and sound like a chain-smoker. FIX


This is a really random find, but I tumbled down one of those “who accurate is Bridgerton” rabbit holes and found myself reading up on actual Regency/Victorian traditions, which led to this list of actual debutantes who would’ve found themselves in the same ballrooms as Daphne and co.


Despite lots of Instagram scrolling, I’m not sure what this couple named their first baby, but I feel like we can all appreciate this reel. “My husband likes … Bible names … Mark, Luke, John … but I like names with a little bit of spice to them … not crazy names like you would find in a Dune movie …” BUT THE MAIN CHARACTER IN DUNE IS PAUL ATREIDES. And Mark is not a Top Ten name. It’s not even in the current Top 200. (This is why I’m no fun at parties.) Yes, I know I’m missing the point. But my point is that we like the names we like, and then we try to justify it.


Do twins’ names have to be alphabetical? Steph points this out in this video, and yes … Ember and Opal, Jory and Rhys both sound better to me than Opal and Ember, Rhys and Jory. Thinking through real life twins, I can’t think of a single example where the twins’ names are NOT in alphabetical order. But, but, but … why?!


Looking at my list of names for boy twins sharing the same first initial, I really don’t follow this rule at all. I also remembered how much I like some of these combinations. Tennyson and Thatcher! Rafe and Rhodes! (Wait, those are alphabetical … Maybe Steph has a point?!)

That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading and have a great week!

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. Counterexample? My grandfather and his twin were Homer and Harvey.

    Of course, that was long enough ago that twins were a surprise rather than anticipated.

  2. Roger Federer announced his twin girls names in 2009in this order: Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, not alphabetical. His son’s are Leo and Lenny, also not alphabetical. Both sets are identical twins.