I keep re-naming my dog.

She came from the rescue with a name: Darly.

In a completely un-characteristic move, I agreed to keep it.

Since then, she’s acquired too many names to track. Dar Williams. Miss Poochyface. Dar Dar Binks. The Duchess of Snifferton. Lately, Disco.

The other morning? She seemed so completely a Dolores.

Having never been a dog person previously, I’m surprised at how completely I am now This Dog’s Person.

I’m less surprised by the nicknames, though. Even people who are staunchly in the “name-them-what-you-plan-to-call-them” camp find themselves drawn to nicknames. A single name often fails to capture the breadth and complexity of our feelings.

No one needs a formal name. And yet, we often find ourselves rearranging and reinventing those straightforward names in an attempt to make them fit the moment just a little better.

And that’s okay! It’s the way language – and parenting and relationships in general – work.

So name your child Theo, not Theodore. But don’t be surprised if you call your baby Teddy anyway.

Here are the names in the news for the week of June 9, 2024 …

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Suzanne Collins’ first Hunger Games book was published way back in 2008. Her mix of ancient-meets-nature-meets-bold-word names and creative takes was very of the moment. But somehow the universe Collins has crafted continues to expand on those themes, and sounds utterly specific and unique to that world. Now there’s another installment in the series due in 2025, with a movie already set to follow. The main character this time? Haymitch, which almost certainly means Maysilee, too.


Wait, what? Have THISMANY people made it through 2.5 seasons of Bridgerton without realizing that the eight siblings’ names are in alphabetical order? How did you not notice? What about Simon’s quip in the closing moments of the first season, that whatever name he and Daphne choose has to start with an A? I mean … I may be a little obsessed with Bridgerton names right now, but surely this was obvious, right?


Taylor Swift is wildly, unimaginably successful – and influential, too. Except we’re not necessarily naming our children Taylor. The name peaked not long after Swift’s 1989 birth and has fallen steadily since. But maybe we are naming them with the Swift-verse in mind?

One Swiftie mama went with Nashton for her firstborn, a nod to Taylor’s Nashville. Now she’s expecting Blakelynn – whose sonogram picture is going viral – inspired, in part, by Taylor’s BFF Blake Lively.


We don’t think of Graham and Josephine as divisive names, right? But it turns out that some surprising names are far more popular in one region of the US than the others. Laura has the breakdown of the names that truly divide us. (And it’s not Nevaeh.)


Speaking of divisive … I am a hard-core, card-carrying name nerd and I think Everly is kind of a great name. This ScaryMom article contends that Everly is the most hated name of our moment. According to Reddit.

Listen, I’m addicted to AITA, too. I answer them in the AM Baby Names Patreon. And yet … Reddit is not making us better people. Nor is it necessarily capturing how most of us feel with any accuracy. Or maybe I’m wrong. Is Everly really some not-so-secretly detested name?

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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1 Comment

  1. The sound of Everly is pleasant, but it’s ike Jennifer or Aiden; a nice name but so overused and trendy that it quickly becomes dated and lackluster. My cousin though liked it so much that she named a daughter that; so my opinion is just that, my opinion.