As part of our Birthday Fun Weekend, we took the kids off to Build-A-Bear Workshop. Actually, Aly built a bear dog. There was stuffing and fluffing and convincing us that yes, his bear dog absolutely needed ice skates. And then we got to the moment – naming the bear dog.

After several suggestions were rejected by the Builder of the Beast, including Harry and Warren, we settled on Star. Unimaginative, I guess. But we’d been there for a while. And a birthday party was bearing down on the birth certificate station.

“Maybe,” my friend suggested, “he should be Starr. Star doesn’t seem like much of a name.”

“Starr? Really?”

“I guess it is kind of feminine. Maybe an e at the end?”

Stare? How ’bout Stahr?” I replied.

And just like that, I understood precisely how we end up naming our kids Jordyn and Madalon and Carsin. Except that a plush pet doesn’t ever have to put his name on a business card.

In other news, Nymbler released their September search names:

  • No surprises from the Top Ten favorites – Charlotte, Ava, Amelia, Audrey, Grace and Ella for girls and Jack, Finn, Benjamin and Oliver for boys;
  • As for the new Nymbler debuts? There’s surname-with-a-twist Everleigh (chosen by Twilight’s Cam Gigandet), the feminissa Elliana, the lovely Cornish Elowen, part-goddess, part-sci fi Inara and the French Marielle.

It’s been a quiet week in celebribaby naming news, and the choices have been quite conservative, including:

  • Actress Sarah Sahai and husband Steve Howey welcomed a son, William Wolf;
  • Nancy reports that House’s Robert Sean Leonard welcomed a daughter, Eleanor – months ago;
  • Jon Cryer and wife adopted a daughter, Daisy, a little sister for Charlie Austin;
  • Teresa Strasser welcomed son Nathaniel Jamesloved her posts about the search for the perfect name;
  • And then there’s one daring choice of the week – Ben Lee and Ione Skye welcomed a daughter, Goldie Priya. Priya is gorgeous. Goldie is a bit too much of a diminutive for my tastes, but if Sadie and Molly can be given as independent names, why not Goldie?

As for real life kids:

  • Bewildertrix spotted a child named Eternity Amenity. Isn’t that something offered by a funeral home? She also spied a Jahykuhb, which seems more like an entrant in a Wacky Respelling contest than a real name;
  • This week’s Toronto Star baby is named Graydon. The parents were following Jewish tradition, so they needed to settle on a name that started with G. I’m hearing Graydon as yet another Aidan/Jayden/Braeden/Hayden/Caiden twist more and more;
  • I loved reading Elizabeth’s post about her Baby with No Name dilemma over at Nameberry. Her daughters are Courtney Olive – known as Olive, Kit Aurora and Nola Belle. Elizabeth and her husband have a truly distinctive naming style, I think – and the story of how they arrived at a name for each daughter is great fun;
  • Here’s a guess: Eleni will reappear in the US Top 1000 by 2011, if not sooner. (She’s currently unranked.) It’s the name bestowed by two pairs of friends – with very different styles, inclinations and backgrounds – on their newborn daughters over the past few weeks.

My vote for best diversion of the week goes here: this Nameberry post on Hawaiian Baby Names led to a link to find your Hawaiian name. I spent much, too much time converting the names of everyone I know into Hawaiian. In RL, of course, I am far too pasty to be answer to Apikalia.

Speaking of RL, I’ll confess that I’m dealing with a Level of Hectic that I haven’t encountered, well – ever. I’m often slow to respond to Name of the Day requests – I like to save them up, then sit down with my calendar and look at bunches at once. But these days? It might be slower than slow. Please stand by, and know that I do look at every request and do my best to squeeze ’em in.

Thanks for reading – have a great 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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  1. Eleni is the modern Greek form of Helen, I’ve only ever heard it pronounced (ey-LEH-nee). There was a movie back in the 80s starring Jon Malkovich entitled Eleni. It was based off a book about a guy who lost his mother in a war in Greece. I’ve just posed about the name Elowen on my blog 🙂

  2. How do you pronounce Eleni? El-lay-nee? El-en-ee? I’m not familar with that one.

    My daughter got a Build A Bear for her 4th birthday in June. I was excited for her to name it too. She started by naming things around her, wanting to call the bear “Rose Muma”. She ended up settling with “Bright Pink” (the bear was white with rainbow on it.) But when we got home, she started calling it ‘Rainbow Bear’ instead. I was rather disappointed with the uncreativity of that one. 😛

    And speaking of ‘creative’ spellings, I spotted a Donavyn in the local birth announcements.
    There was also a Summitt (boy) and a Maple (I’d presume a girl). (I kind of like Maple – I guess it’s like Mabel without the old-lady image.)

    1. Donavyn – oh dear! I’d like to like Summitt, but I can’t imagine how I’d shorten it. (And I shorten everything, unless explicitly told not to do so. And even then, I tend to think of people by the verboten short forms. Bad habit.)

      Maple is strangely appealing, isn’t she?

      Rose Muma rocks!

  3. Graydon for me has literary cache–it is the name of Vanity Fair’s longtime editor-in-chief, Graydon Carter, former co founder of Spy Magazine.

  4. I love your Build-A-Bear anecdote. What a greats story!

    As for the names:
    Well done, Sarah Shahi. I was just looking her up yesterday to see if she’d had that baby yet.
    Everleigh I’d be happy to neverseigh again.
    Graydon. Nope. I’ve also seen Zayden to go with that.
    Belwildertrix – talking about “”By the power of Grayskull…I have the power!”” by any chance? LOL, I’m a child of the ’80s, I guess!

    1. Why yes, yes I am. I was fascinated by He-Man’s furry knickers. Although I really only strongly remember the campy Dolph Lundgren film that came out some time after the tv series. Hilarity!

  5. Thanks for all the nameberry shout-outs, Abby. Love that Aly named his bear Star. Or Stare. Stare Bear, kind of a stalkerish Care Bear.

    1. Yes, we had quite a time … the last thing he named was a craft project called “Stinky Eggy Feet,” so it could’ve been worse!

  6. Stahr? You boganified the bear-dog’s name. Well done you! That conversation had me giggling.

    Graydon is an absolute bugbear of mine. It sounds positively dingy and dour as well as sounding like it came out of He-Man and Skeletor’s world.

    1. Apparently, a soap opera actor just named his son Greysun … even closer to He-Man!

      1. Ha! We met a Greyson a couple of years ago and my husband started referring to him as “Grey Skull” when we got home. 😛