An Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis...A few nights ago, while my daughter was supposed to be falling asleep, she sat up and told me she had the perfect name for a girl squirrel.


Get it?

Apparently, name nerdery is genetic.

Her pretend name has also changed.  For a while it was Kick.  Now it is Sallie.  I’m intrigued by the names she likes as a 5 year old, first because, hey, she’s my kid.  But also because I wonder how the names we embrace as children inform the names we prefer as parents.

Speaking of unexpected name influences, have you seen the Ylvis video “What Does the Fox Say?”  If you haven’t, I’ll spare you the confusion – it’s from a Norwegian comedy troupe, to promote their television show.  Apparently it is big with the third grade set.  So what does that mean for the given name Fox?  He’s already risen in recent years, as boys’ names ending with x have been all the rage.

Elsewhere online:

  • On baby #13, running out of names … The first dozen are Ben, Stephanie, Caitlin, Harry, Eddie, Sid, Paddy, Oliver, Joseph, Libby, Anna, and Isobel.
  • What a fascinating, scandalous story behind the Sydney Opera House!  Anna raises the question of whether Eugene can make a comeback?  I’m divided.
  • Gilbert, on the other hand, seems rich with potential now.  He’s on Lisa’s list of 20s names ready for a comeback.  I’m fond of the nickname Gib, but Gil works, too.  Or maybe Gibbs?
  • Oh, the naming challenges for blended families.  What would you call a little brother for Aiden and Asher?  I love the idea of Axel, but as Swistle tells us, two is a coincidence, three is a pattern.  I think I’d change my initial, too.
  • I love it when people stop by to comment on posts – especially older posts – because it is their name – or their child’s name, or grandparent’s name.  Did you see all of this information Montserrat shared on her name?
  • From the wayback machine: the featured name in 2008 was Leo.  In 2009, it was Nancy.  A year later, we turned our attention to Wallace.  We looked at Denise in 2011, and Avalon in 2012.  The names suggested here are always surprising!
  • Haven, Mairin, and … Solveigh?  I’m not sold, and neither is Duana.  I think her suggestion of Seren is brilliant.
  • Nella – less expected than Ella or Bella, still very wearable.  And more story than you’d guess.
  • Lena and Luka are tops in Serbia.  Love ’em both.
  • Another L name that should be heard more: Lyra, with a great write-up by Isadora.
  • Alex Mayhem, Arlo Bloom, Damian Thunder, Marcus Fate and plenty of other awesome middles in this post.

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

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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. Eugene wouldn’t be making a comeback in Australia, as it has always been an extremely rare name and never came “in”. And it’s still on the Top 1000 in the US, so it hasn’t quite gone away enough for a comeback there either!

    I’m seeing a bit of Gilbert lately, and think it’s great – ditto Nella! 🙂

  2. Nutalie is very cute and clever name idea for a squirrel.

    Eugene is unusable for me, because my 3x great grandfather was Elmer Eugene. He was not a good guy. He was never around for his family, he tried to poison his wife once and he abused his daughters.

    I like Gilbert okay. I prefer Gilchrist, though.

  3. That’s pretty cute about your daughter’s naming idea :). When I was her age Jasmine was my pretend name then I think I switched over to wishing I was a Cara at some point.

    It’s funny you mention choices we like as kids informing our preferences as adults — I recently looked up a fanfiction board I frequented in junior high to see what sorts of name lists I had then. My name lists from 15 years ago are pretty similar to my current lists!

  4. I do like Nella, but it reminds me a bit of vanilla or Nilla Wafers. Not a deal-breaker, just something that always comes to mind.

  5. Sally was the name of my imaginary friend as a child who always dressed in red. I have no idea why her name was Sally or where little me came across the name. Maybe Mustang Sally? I’m ready to hear Sally and Nancy more.

    I also like Gibbs for Gilbert. Though Gilbert makes me wonder about Gilberta? Little Gertie/Birdie?

    And as far as a brother for Aiden and Asher goes… Koa and Silas stick out in my mind. Also perhaps Theo for the baker’s dozen family.

    1. I like Theo for #13! I’m still stuck on Axel for Asher and Aidan’s brother, but I can see that’s a non-starter for them.

      For girls, how ’bout Gilberte?

      And yes, I think Sally/Sallie will be back before we know it … Nancy, too. I know sisters called Nancy and Betsy.

  6. I hope Clio’s taste as a parent leans more towards Sallie than Kick. Well, maybe as a nickname… want to do a Getting to Kick post sometime? 😉

    I’ve had a certain fondness for Eugene for a long time and hope it makes a comeback.

  7. Oooh, Nella is lovely. For a long time my favourite -ella name was Rella, but I hear it has acquired a less than stellar “urban definition” since I first heard it 🙁 So sad because I think it is the only ella name I would ever have considered seriously. The Rella I knew was Jewish and I think it was a diminutive of Rachel.

    1. I kind of like the idea of Della, as -ella names go. Rella is charming … I wonder how widespread the slang is? It might be fleeting …

  8. One of my dogs is called Gilbert (his littermate’s name is Edmund), and he has many nicknames- Gil, Gillie, Gib, and Goob. We mostly call him Gil or Goob.

    I love the name Lyra. I think it fits so well in the middle with many names that it should be the new Marie or Rose.

    I had never thought of using Northern as a middle name before I read the names4real post, and I think it is quite lovely. Lily Pop, however, is hilarious and would be cute on a doll or pet.

    1. I did think Lily Pop was a little too sweet and silly … it reminded me of the names of British designer Anna Ryder Richardson’s daughters: Bibi Belle and Dixie Dot.

  9. I met a little Nella a while back (a bit over 5 years ago), and it’s always stuck in the back of my mind. I think it’s a fabulous name.