Sunday Summary 10.29.23Here’s a thought experiment:

What would a Southern fairy be named?

The original seems to be taken down, but more than a year ago @onlyannamaria tweeted:

Why did we just collectively decide that fantasy worlds need to be populated solely by British, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, New Zealand, and Australian accents? I want ethereal fairies who sound like they were born and raised on a farm in Tennessee.

I mean … yes. It’s a whole thing. If something fantastic is set in the American South, well, it’s almost always New Orleans, or at least Louisiana, and then it’s vaguely French. (Think Anne Rice and Charlaine Harris. And those aren’t exactly on point because they’re more vampire/witch-focused, right?)

But now I’m racking my brain trying to figure out what I’d name a colony of fairies in the rural American south.


I keep veering into French. Or British English. Alvin and Delphine.

Because somehow, Waylon and Loretta just don’t say “bewitching, mystical creature” to me. Maybe Comfrey and Wildflower?

Of course, there’s no reason Dusty and Willadeene, Marshall and Chantilly can’t be fairy names. It’s a failure of my imagination.

But it’s keeping me awake at night. So I humbly ask for your help: Imagine you had to name a bunch of fairies living in rural Tennessee. What would their names be?


Add this one to the Charlie/Frankie/Stevie list. Figure skater Tara Lipinski and husband Todd Kapostasy welcomed daughter Georgie Winter. First, how perfect is that middle name? But then, I think Georgie could really catch on.

Have you noticed the John-Sean-John pattern?  Quite often, we don’t consider a translation of a name close enough to honor a loved one. But I feel like I’ve spotted multiple men named Sean/Shawn to honor a father named John … who have then called their sons John or Jack or something in the same family. Is John the exception to the rule, or does this happen a lot? It came to mind because Rams football coach Sean McVay named his son Jordan John, and Sean’s grandfather is legendary NFL coach John McVay.

There’s lots of buzz about Hannah and Daniel of Ballerina Farm, for so many reasons. They’re currently the parents of seven children, sons Henry, Charles, and George, and daughters Frances, Lois, Martha, and Mabel. Now they’re expecting their eighth, and yes, I’m looking forward to hearing what they choose. I liked Sophie’s suggestions of Peter and Esther, but yes – something just slightly more daring, like Albert and Dinah, would be amazing, too.

Some of the best names I find are from Smithsonian Magazine.  The most recent gem? Zelia, from Zelia Nuttall, who decoded the Aztec calendar way back in the late 1800s. The origin of her name is unclear, but it’s worth noting that she must’ve loved unusual names herself. She named her only child, a daughter, Nadine, which wasn’t in the US Top 1000 at all back then.

It’s a shoe brand, but … I can sort of imagine an influencer naming her kid Vivaia. Or finding it in a archive of nineteenth century names.

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

girl names 10.29.23 boy names 10.29.23

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. I am so here for this!

    Our family spends a LOT of time in southern cemeteries, and some names are just begging to be used on a southern fairy.



  2. Alafair/Alifair always struck me as very ethereal. Also Pharaby. There’s a Safrona on my family tree somewhere and a Calista. All Indiana via North Carolina.

  3. I would love to read a Southern fantasy series featuring some names from my family tree: Mary Alice (but pronounced with a slur that sounds more like Murrayalice), Corrine, Zuella, and Halovee. None of the menfolk have particularly interesting names.

  4. Male Southern faeries: Basil, Price, Hawthorne, Rhett

    Female Southern faeries: Ivy, Magnolia, Brilliant, Merritt

  5. There’s a long tradition of using nature names for fairies. What about the names of plants native to or popular in the region?

    Magnolia, Hibiscus, Azalea, Camellia, Jessamine, Aster, Hydrangea, Gardenia, Dogwood, Cypress, Hickory, Oak

    Though now I’m imagining a child fairy in Tennessee being called Oaklynn. There are three in her class at school, but she’s the only one with pointed ears.

  6. Ohhh, I can help with that. I came across the Tufa series by Alex Bledsoe. He wrote fantasy about fairies that lived in the East Tennessee and being a namenerd I loved it so much! One name I did fall in love with: Sophronie. Sounds very southern and very Tennessean!