Sixteen by Abby Sandel

We went out of town this weekend, to catch up with old friends and take the kids to see dinosaurs at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Our old neighborhood is flourishing – had we stayed, we would now live within a mile of an Anthropologie, and a really cool independent toy store. Perhaps it is best that we’re gone!

The name-spotting was plentiful, but the highlight was sibs called Rita and Otto, plus a little girl called Dia.


  • I’m (finally) reading The Radleys, about a fictional family of vampires. There’s Rowan and his sister Clara, plus unrepentant Uncle Will. But the name that has me curious is that last name – Radley. Update to Bradley and Riley or just plain trying too hard?
  • Congratulations to Laura Vanderkam of 168 Hours on the birth of Ruth, a little sister for Jasper and Sam;
  • I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy discovering new celebrities through Waltzing More than Matilda. Her round-up of recent AFL players’ kids is no exception – one of them named his daughter Halo Ava. Great sound, but an awful lot to live up to;
  • I love the letter z, too, but Betzie feels unnecessary. Even if her siblings are Jazmin, Maizie, and Frazer;
  • Did you see Kate’s post about names? “I am incredibly judgemental about names … will admit that If I don’t like what you name your children then I quietly think less of you.” I understand the feeling she’s describing perfectly, though I do think it works the other way, too – when people we love choose names we don’t care for, eventually the names grow on us;
  • Though I did recently pick up a book, only to put it down when I saw the author’s dedication, to her children Randsley and Bryceton. No, it wasn’t a baby name book. But I just couldn’t get past those names;
  • Like the nickname Aggie but can’t embrace Agatha or Agnes? Nook of Names reminded me of a great alternative: Aglae or Aglaia;
  • What do you think of Justinian? Maybe in the middle spot …
  • How about England? As Dorcas points out, London is hot;
  • Are you reading Eponymia? Love her list of Olympic athletes with double names – especially Prince-Octopus. That’s one you don’t hear every day;
  • I think this person got bad advice from a message board – okay, that’s predictable. But I don’t think we should dismiss names just because we first hear them on television shows. And the name in question – Thayer – has history that pre-dates ABC. Ditto Rory and Lux, two other names mentioned in the thread;
  • I was not remotely interested in Hillary Duff’s baby name, until I realized that her young adult novel stars a girl called Clea;
  • Axis, Cutter, Legend, Sladyn, Trig, and Weston Rowdy. Yup, that’s a name round-up at For Real Baby Names from the Great State of Texas;
  • Ending on a strange note: Nancy was rightSiri is growing on me.

Celebrity name discussions are wrapped up in my Nameberry post for tomorrow, but I am curious – if you had Hattie or Harriet on your list, are you reconsidering after Tori and Dean gave the name to their little girl?

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 thought Halo Ava a bit unusual, although I get that it sounds like popular names like Haylie.

    To me, all I can think of is the video game, but when I polled it, most people said it reminded them more of the angelic type of halo.

  2. Not exactly related but I spotted an interesting name that I wanted to share.


    I’m assuming it is pron. DRU though I can’t be certain. It is the name of a young (maybe 12 years old) boy who was spotlighted in a local newspaper.

    1. Huh. Jru. I’m with you – my ear can only hear it as Drew, but maybe I’m missing something …

    2. My oldest nephew is Dru and I noticed when he was a baby that while everyone else in the family pronounces the /D/, I say “jru”. I don’t know why, that’s just how it comes out of my mouth. I never would have expected to actually see Jru though!

  3. I like Siri! I think Shiri Appleby is beautiful and gives a nice image to the name, at least how it sounds. It’s exotic yet very modern.