Calgary Stampede, Alberta. Unidentified Cowboy Riding Bucking Bronco / Stampede de Calgary, Alberta. Un cow-boy monté sur un bronco fougueuxI love discovering new-to-me names.  On the AppMtn Facebook page, someone posted about meeting a baby Bronco. My initial reaction was Whoa!  Yes to Fox and Wolf and maybe Bear, yes to nearly and ends-with-o name for a boy, but Bronco?

Turns out that he’s named after Bronco Mendenhall, the current coach of Brigham Young University football.  Mendenhall has been quite successful since taking the role in 2005, so here’s guessing that the dozen boys named Bronco in 2010 and the ten more in 2011 were mostly named after him.

Better still, Bronco isn’t some crazy gridiron nickname.  The coach’s given name is Marc Bronco.

Elsewhere online:

  • Speaking of new to me, did you know that Iker sounds more like beaker than biker?  Nameisms has a great write-up on the name.  Me, I wouldn’t quibble if you wanted to go with the Ike sound, as the number of native speakers of Basque in the US is, well … small.  Then again, since this name was boosted by a soccer star, soccer fans might think differently.
  • Also in the category labeled “Imports” – this post from Once Upon a Time Baby Names on Turkish names for girls.  I’m captivated by Evren and Esmeray.
  • Look, Ames in the first spot.  I do like an ends-with-s name for a boy.  Oh, and Cosette in the middle spot, too!  Both at For Real Baby Names.
  • Speaking of Cosette, I know it isn’t my child to name, but I would be over-the-moon if this couple went with Cosette Collins for their new daughter.  As Swistle points out, there’s possible nickname Coco, too – a real bonus, in my book.  Plus, Cruise and Coco as siblings really appeal to me.
  • Do you think Benedict is unwearable?  I think Cumberbatch and the former pope before I think Arnold these days.  The Name Lady agrees.
  • Tolstoy’s epic novel War and Peace is being adapted as a BBC mini-series, set for an early 2015 debut.  If it is successful, I look forward to a spike in Russian names.  Natalya, Nikolai or Boris, anyone?
  • Congrats to Alice Munro on winning the Nobel Prize.  Will there be another bump in girls called Alice?  After all, she’s now literary across the life cycle, as an enduring fictional character and a wildly accomplished author.
  • I cannot bear to send any more traffic to Belly Ballot for their wackadoodle press release claiming that “Hispanic” names are in. But I also can’t stop myself from asking if anyone really thinks that Isabella is perceived as especially Latina?  Certainly language evolves, and there are subtle signs of Spanish-language influence in naming, as in other aspects of our culture.  But if you look at Baby Center’s Spanish-language Top 100, it gives a more nuanced picture. Choices like Daniel and Allison, Lucas and Lola are just as popular as more obviously Latino picks like Ximena and Joaquin.
  • Love Duana’s advice to the parents considering naming their daughter Jet or Jett.  Yes, you can name your daughter Jett.  But go for balance with a classic and conventionally feminine name in the middle spot.  I think this advice is followed less and less these days. (Tammin Sursok, I’m looking at you.)  But pairing a daring first with a more expected middle remains a solid strategy.
  • Thanks to the creepy character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I tend to think of Drusilla as a vampire name.  But it is a great name – the boyish nickname Dru, the feminine ending, the ties to the ancient world.  Check out British Baby Names’ round-up of sibling sets including Drusilla over the years – fascinating reading.
  • While we’re visiting British Baby Names, Elea featured Fallon recently.  I’ve tended to be dismissive of Fallon.  I remember being rather dismissive of Fallon – her rise was so clearly tied to Dynasty But with the passing of time, I find myself reconsidering.  It’s a great Irish surname choice, with history aplenty.  Nevermind the 80s excess.
  • Let’s end with Nameaholic’s deep dive into the current US Top 100.  She makes many great points: the impact of variant spellings and name families, the dominance of certain initials.  Lots to think about …
  • From the wayback machine: in 2008, the Baby Name of the Day was Oona.  In 2009, we talked about ZoraEllington was 2010’s featured name – love that one!  In 2012, it was all about Apple Names.  Loving the idea of Gala and Yates.  Last year, it was Getting to Cal.  Still love the name Calder.

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

Photo credit: Library and Archives Canada via Flickr

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 don’t know if Benedict is unwearable but the Pope certainly doesn’t refresh the image for me, or make it more wearable.

    I prefer Drucilla to the version with the s, because I love Cilla as a nickname option. I’m heartened that there were a handful of Drucillas around when the name was “in” (if the name was ever exactly in… I love it though…)

    Dru, like Pru, seems so cute and approachable to me that they soften Drucilla and Prudence.

    1. I don’t think the pope necessarily refreshes the image – by definition, they’re old guys in Rome – but with multiple notables sharing the same name, it seems less tied to any single person – more like William than Cher.

  2. I bet Bronco Mendenhall was named after legendary football player Bronislau “Bronko” Nagurski. So all I can think is that Bronco is probably “the ultimate gridiron” name.

  3. Fallon just makes me think of the word “phallic” and then the word “talon” – both of which are associations I wouldn’t want with a daughter’s name! :/

  4. I’m not wild about Cosette Collins, but when I read that the husband wants to name their daughter Collins Annabelle, Cosette Collins suddenly sounded fabulous! Collins Annabelle sounds ridiculous to me. I think the mother-to-be’s preferred combination, Cosette Claire, is nicest, but I like her other favourites, Tessa and Kira, even better. I had to cringe when she used the word “unique” to describe their choices, though I suppose I should be used to it by now. I hope her husband will come around in the end.

    Iker is one of those interesting name trends that was 100% spawned by a celebrity. I wonder if it will fade away as quickly as it rose once Casillas fades out of the spotlight, or whether it has enough momentum at this point to remain in regular use.

    I think Alice will remain on the rise for some time. It has a lot going for it: short and sweet, similar to other popular names like Alicia, Alexis, Alyssa and Alison, the literary vibe and the retro vibe, and it begins with A!

  5. Maybe my expectations will shift once I start running into more toddlers and preschoolers in my day to day life, but if I met an adult named Isabella (here in California where half the people I meet are Hispanic anyways) my first guess would absolutely be that they would be Hispanic. It’s just one of those names that Hispanic parents like because it “works” for both English speakers and Spanish speaking grandparents.