I’m not a sports fan, but I am (obviously) a name fan.

And it turns out that athletes have names, and those names? Can be wildly influential.

Two pro sports held their drafts recently. In the NBA, the #1 draft pick was Zaccharie Risacher. He’s French by birth, but now will make his home in Georgia, as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.

The NHL’s #1 draft pick was Macklin Celebrini. A native of British Columbia, Macklin will now play for the San Jose Sharks.

Will either name prove influential? Zaccharie is intriguing, but Zachary’s moment is in the past now. Macklin, though? It peaked with 175 births in 2021, and was given to 127 boys in 2023. I think this might boost the name just enough to get it on more parents’ radar. Maybe.

More names in the news for the week ending on July 7, 2024 …

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American track and field star Masai Russell will compete in the Paris Olympics. Looking at her name, I’m struck by the -ai ending. Is it the hot new element for names? I’m intrigued …

Also: Hezly Rivera has made the US gymnastic team, and I’ve yet to unpack her first name. Any insight? Guessing it’s a spin on Lezly, a Leslie spelling that had a moment with Spanish-speaking families early in the 2000s. Because Hezly? Seems pretty close to unique …

All of this is a long way of saying that I cannot wait for the summer games to begin. All those nations, all those names …


A random find: PAW Patrol spin-off Rubble & Crew stars young voice actor Luxton Handspiker. He voices Rubble, the English bulldog who leads a construction crew of can-do doggos, known for building and/or repairing a bridge, a bike shop, an ice cream place, and more. 55 boys received the name in 2023, a new high.

With so many Luke names going strong, Luxton just makes sense.


I’ve loved the name Veronica forever. At least since Winona Ryder was the non-Heather in Heathers and Elvis Costello recorded that sweet song. So how did I not know that it’s also the name of a plant? Thank you to the Trader Joe’s floral department for the education. Also: pretty sure I read at least one of these Veronica Speedwell novels by Deanna Raybourn without putting two and two together.

Yet another reason to consider this timeless, quirky classic.


Can you imagine finding out that you’re expecting quadruplets? This couple were already parents to Lauren and Hunter, and they just welcomed four more boys. Ben, Noah, Harrison, and Rory. Thanks to Jennie for sending the link!

And now I find myself puzzling over this question: what would I name four boys? It’s overwhelming …


I’m all for big, bold middles. But is Riley Coyote just much, too much?

Find out what I think by joining the AM Baby Name Patreon group. (Name of the Day posts are free to access for all members. For just $5/month, you’ll get exclusive content including my Friday letters, naming advice, trendwatch, and favorites lists, too.)

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. Riley Coyote does seem a bit much, but it reminds me of the middle grade book “The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise”. The main character is Coyote Sunrise, her father is Rodeo Sunrise, although their names are chosen, rather than given to them at birth.

  2. What to name four boys at once? If we had to agree on names, I’d say we might not be using middle names lol. Or maybe we would, seeing as a lot of the names we like rhyme and wouldn’t work for quadruplets, but would be fine in the middle spot. It’s a fun exercise!

  3. What to name 4 boys at once? In keeping with the general theme our 4 boys already have….
    Barnabas John, Levi Robert, Peter Michael, and Jude Matthias.

    If I could pick any name I liked without my husband vetting it?
    Dominic John, Malcolm Edward, Cyrus Michael, and Tucker Cornelius

    That was a fun 15 minutes!!

      1. Four boys at once! That’s intimidating, and not just for naming reasons. I’d go with:

        Felix James
        Gideon Thomas
        Lionel Gerald
        Simon Edward