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. Agree with Sarah A–I don’t like Penelope myself, but I really like it for Tina Fey’s family. What gorgeously named sisters!

  2. What a lovely pairing 🙂 love how Penelope is flirty but is given strength by the mighty warrior Athena 🙂
    Alice & Penelope are just divine as sisters too 🙂 great naming Tina Fey!

  3. I’m not a big fan of Penelope, but Penelope and Alice sound beautiful together! And Abby, I think your analysis of the two names is spot-on 🙂

  4. I just finished Tina’s book and when she wrote about the guilt of wanting a second child vs her obligations to the all the people who depend on her at 30 Rock, it broke my heart.

    I hadn’t heard she was pregnant, so this is a pleasant surprise! I love Penelope and now maybe it will become widespread enough that (some) people will stop pronouncing it Pen-eh-lope.

  5. As a Greek-American, I have to say I have never, ever, ever, ever, EVER met or heard of anyone named Zenobia. Neither has anyone in my family. I don’t know where she got it, but if it’s Greek, it’s REAALLLLLY obscure.

    And just as an FYI, in Greece, Athena (ah-THI-na) means the city of Athens. Whereas the woman’s name is pronounced with the accent on the last syllable (ah-thi-NA).

    1. Tina’s Greek-born mother is named Zenobia, (although she apparently goes by Jeanne.) So at least one family is using the name.

      1. I knew a Zenobia, she was my mom’s age, so b. during the depression. I presume her fam was Greek-American.

  6. It is a great sibset. Just as a small point that would have worried me — Penny & Alice strike pretty different chords — I agree that full on with the middle names, it’s kind of perfect, but I wonder about in practice, will Penny always feel less serious and Alice less fun?
    Not to be a naysayer! More power to Tina & her awesome girls!

  7. She certainly didn’t disappoint! Penelope Athena is a wonderful name! I love it with Alice Zenobia.

  8. I knew she wouldn’t disappoint! 🙂 Penelope Athena is gorgeous alone and utterly divine with big sister Alice Zenobia. Congratulations to them!

  9. Of all the pregnant celebs this summer, I was most looking forward to Tina Fey’s name selection. Alice Zenobia & Penelope Athena are absolutely stunning on their own, but together, they are breathtaking!! I love that the first names are old fashioned, and then she chose funky, fabulous Greek middles. Congrats to Tina!