I’m on a reality television kick. (Right, well, it’s worse than usual.) How can I not, with names like Truely on Sister Wives and Bret Michaels’ daughters Raine and Jorja on his new series. Will the trio of real life monikers become the new Destiny, Skye, and Alivia? Or will the trends take us elsewhere?

Speaking of celebs, this week we welcomed Egypt, a son for Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz, plus twins GideonHarper, a son and daughter for Neil Patrick Harris.

Elsewhere online:

  • From the Telegraph UK comes a fascinating report: parents consider, on average, twelve names for their child, and more than a third of all couples quarrel about the final choice. My reaction: Just twelve names? And not 99.9% of couples?
  • I loved Sebastiane’s post on Jenny – it is a great reminder that nicknames attach to different names over the years;
  • Remember my post about Archer? The Name Lady talks a mom-to-be off the ledge after she frets that Archer is getting “too popular” – while the Name Lady assures her, the only thing is that the mom’s fears might be right. While there aren’t that many, there might be more than you expect in your circles. Our friends and family and even colleagues often tend to have similar naming styles. I know two boys named Finn, another two called Kai, plus two girls called Esme. None of them seem remarkable to me, though they’re not common in statistical terms. I imagine that happens a lot – I also don’t know a single Nevaeh;
  • I’ve been pondering the emerging trends for 2011, and the one that seems clear is this: the rise of single-syllable names for boys. It’s been coming for a while, but look at this list For Real compiled from Montana: Cade, Quade, Gage, Drake, and Clive. Over in Minnesota, there’s Jence, Joab, Jude, Tate, and Clark;
  • Are we really going to name our children after the rescued Chilean miners? Or are names like Esteban and Lilianett (the wife of a miner) irresistible even without the happiest ending outside of a Disney movie?
  • This is fascinating: remember Elisabeth’s post on twin girls Ellis Catherine and Claire Emerson at You Can’t Call It “It”? Check out the same question at Swistle. I still like the original set just fine, but it is fun to see two different bloggers tackle the same question.

Lastly, to all of those parents thinking that Flynn was the perfect, simple, unusual, swashbuckling, Irish surname for a son’s first name, the name never to be shared by another, I regretfully inform you that the hero in Tangled, Disney’s upcoming Rapunzel reboot, is called Flynn. Yes, he was originally named Bastion. And yes, Flynn was awfully close to the white hot Finn anyhow. Regardless of the movie’s success, this is Disney, and suspect Flynn will rise. Of course, he’s never been in the US Top 1000. But Disney plus the single syllable trend that seems to be accelerating? Make that he has been in the US Top 1000 yet.

That’s all for this Sunday. Check out the Facebook page for more Summary-esque chatter during the week.

As always, thanks for reading and have a fabulous 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. 2 Finns, 1 Kai on our birthday party invite list. No Esmes, though I do encounter a few. I don’t know any Archers yet, nor have I ever met a Nevaeh in Brooklyn. My high school buddies who are best friends each have a Fin and a Cai, also best friends. 🙂

    So interesting to see Swistle’s take on the same post!

  2. I’m not sure Sebastian has anything to do with the Little Mermaid. It seemed to have gotten very popular about 8 years after. But you never knew. Before it became popular, I only knew Polish-Americans with the name.

    Its interesting. I remember I loved Sebastian since very young, and when I told several people I wanted to name my son that they told me it was a “fruity” name, that no boy could carry it off in the United States. Now, it is one of the most popular male names. I will still use it if I ever have a son. I am somewhat relieved it is popular, because now, people won’t think its so strange.

  3. Wow my name on one of your reports hehe. But I’m a male Skye.

    I have noticed the -ade trend picking up, I’ve met a Kade just a few weeks ago, who’s brother was Jade.

    As for the miners, well the name I hope picks up again for males is Ariel, the miner who became a father while trapped down there. Disney may have derailed the name towards the feminine side, but it sounds clearly masculine to me, as it does to every other country out there. Plus it’s never left the top1000, so there’s still hope.

    And now back to Disney names. I think Flynn has the potential to become popular thanks to it’s similarity to Finn. However it can go either way. The Disney name Zephyr did nothing, am I right?

    1. What movie is Zephyr from? I agree with you that Tangled could actually hurt Flynns chances. Well, hmm, I don’t know. I was little when The Little Mermaid came out so to me Sebastian was ONLY a crab, and not until I met a Sebastian about 4 years ago did it seem possible for a human, and even then I thought it was so weird, since I could only see the crab. But apparently that’s not how everyone feels. But Flynn is a cool character, not a crab. However, Aladdin was a cool character too and that never made the top 1000, and even if that name was a bit much, you’d think it would inspire a few boys named Al, no? Maybe not though, maybe that just didn’t fit the trends of the time, while Flynn does.

      Maybe it’s more like Bianca from The Rescuers. It entered the top 1000 4 years earlier and was already jumping up the charts when they named the character that. I didn’t check the beyond the top 1000 for Flynn, but I would imagine he’s been on the rise already and that they are just picking up on the trend, not causing it.

      Sorry, I guess I’m feeling long-winded!

  4. Great post! I really like Finn, but was never fond of Flynn. But now that I’ve heard of Tangled, I’m starting to like it a lot. Isn’t that horrible? haha I guess I’m easily influenced by the power of Disney.

    1. I’m convinced Sebastian caught on because of The Little Mermaid. Which is crazy, but really, who was named Sebastian before 1989?

      1. It probably did. But while I loved The Little Mermaid as a child, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name Sebastian is the character from Heidi.

      2. Haha, lots of people outside America were named Sebastian way before 1989 😉 But I get what you mean!
        I always kinda liked the name Coraline, but when Disney used it, it seemed even more appealing. So I guess I am another sucker for Disney!

        1. True, Foxymoron. And there were definitely Sebastians in the US, too! It just always surprises me when I see him there in the Top 100.

          Some of the names Disney chooses are great, but you have to be willing to overlook – or embrace – the association.

      3. A friend just named her newborn son Sebastian. 🙂

        And I do know a kid who is Sebastian IV, which is impressive.

        I totally never thought of the Little Mermaid association, but that would make sense. 🙂

  5. I love your blog! I am so grateful that you visit so many sites and come back to report on such a variety of things going on in the world of baby naming. Your Sunday Summary is like a breath of fresh air to me.

    1. You’re welcome, Christina! It’s always nice to have a place to gather up all of my random name-related thoughts. And talk about them. 🙂

  6. I would actually pronounced Joab like JO-ab (and have heard others pronounce it that way), so I was surprised to see it in a single-syllable list. I kind of like Truly (which makes me think of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), but Truely looks odd to me; kind of like I’m supposed to say “troo-ah-lee”.

    There were at least fifty Jenny’s at the Korean church we used to attend. Not all of them necessarily had the name on their birth certificate/ID, but it’s what they went by in English. And no, I’m not exaggerating (but it was a fairly large church).

      1. As does the rest of the world! That’s my mistake … remove Joab from the single syllable list and put him in the “ever more obscure Biblical names” category.

  7. I am pregnant with a boy that we were, until approximately 20 seconds ago, planning to name Flynn. Nope, it’s out. I had some hesitation given the Finn issue but it’s OUTTA HERE!

      1. Yes, really. We are both extremely picky about names and really unhappy about this change of events. It is the only boy name we had picked out. Its actually from our last baby (a girl) and we haven’t thought of anything else. At all. And yes, it was perfect simple swashbuckling and Irish. And now it’s just Disney. Disney is swell but I am not a fanatic.

    1. I totally understand. A friend nearly used the name Flynn and is now very glad she didn’t – she has met 2 baby Flynns since baby was born just 8 weeks ago! The Disney movie will catapult it even further, for sure.

    2. Ohhh, I hope you still use it! It’s obviously your favorite name, a spike in popularity when it’s still out of the top 1000 really won’t make a difference, ya know? There aren’t going to be enough of them yet to matter. If he does enter the top 1000 this year or next, he’ll still have to be in the lowish numbers. Maybe it will continue to rise, but on the other hand, maybe not.

      As the mother of a Dash (The Incredibles) who was absolutely sure she would HATE the Disney connection, I gotta tell you, it’s fun. My boy is only a year and a half, but he likes “his” character. It’s always exciting if we find a Pez dispenser or something with Dash on it. And other kids (older than him) always think his name is SO cool because of the movie. I imagine Flynn would be much like that, he’s going to be a likable character, I mean he’s the prince! It’s not the same as using the name of silly character or a villain, ya know?

      I think your son would like his name. Other kids will like his name. But most importantly, YOU love the name!

  8. My husband is pretty much the worlds biggest Disney fan, and he has been loving Flynn for months now. I don’t know why, but I’m not in love with it (but I recently found my very first list when I got pregnant, which only had about 12 names on it and Flynn and Finn were both there). Finn is my favorite boys’ name that my husband actually agrees to, maybe even my favorite in general… So I feel like I should love Flynn, but I just don’t.

    As for popularity in your area… Almost every time I ask the name of a 1-2 year old boy, his name is Isaac. I mean, I’ve met at LEAST a dozen of them, more likely a lot more though. It’s to the point that I don’t even like to ask anymore because it’s so hard to mask my disappointment. And, I really like the name, but wow. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone in Orange County, CA! That paired with the jillions of Isabellas and Isabelles, and the handful of Isaiahs… Ugh. But then there are plenty of Aidens and variants, and tons of surnames, and lots of classics and lots of names I consider dated (80s), and plenty of hipster names, and the occassional out there name like Maverick… I don’t know if there is such wide variety everywhere, but after going to the park almost every day, I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter what you name your kid (unless it’s Isaac or Isabella!). The vast majority of names I hear, I only hear on one kid. Did I make my point in all that rambling? Basically I think you can use almost any name without fear of over popularity, there are some exception, but you can only find those out by meeting lots of kids in your area. Honestly, there are only about 10 names, if that, that I think are too popular here,