number • nine
Image by origamidon via Flickr

This week has flown past! I’ll save the celebrity baby name news for my column at Nameberry tomorrow.

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

  • Nook of Names reached the letter L on her surname list. There are a few here that I think could really catch on, more likely for girls: Langley, Larkin, and Linley/Lindley;
  • Then there’s Amasa, the kind of name you’ll stumble across in baby name books, but that no one is using. Or really ever has …
  • Nancy mentioned a couple who named their son for the many destinations they’d visited on their honeymoon. Including Newark. I like the idea of using a name from a honeymoon location well enough, but maybe there’s something more subtle than just putting the place name on the birth certificate;
  • Speaking of a lack of subtlety, could an English footballer actually be considering the name Haribo for a child? Haribo, the German candy company best known for Gummi Bears, is a global powerhouse. The brand name comes from the father and son Hans Riegel of Bonn.

Now, since I’m leaving the celebrity babies for Monday, a comment on a controversy: Dorcas surfaced the idea of claiming names, as previously discussed on Nameberry. In general, I tend to think the idea of claiming names is pointless, save for a very few specific circumstances – like, your name is Amasa Gilroy Buchanan III and passing down your unusual name is a long-stated desire. But I also think a lot of good can come of openly discussing your name choices – at least once you’re expecting, and it is no longer about claiming your most favoritest name in the world, but ordering embroidered baby blankets.

And so I’m curious: did you tell others your child’s name ahead of time? If so, do you regret it? If not, why did you choose to keep it under wraps – or was it because you weren’t quite sure?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment, and as always, thank you for reading and 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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What do you think?


  1. How is Amasa pron.? Like (ah MAY suh) or (ah MAH suh)? I have a friend who is Persian (Iranian) named Mahsa pron. (MAH suh) which means moon in persian. I’ve always thought her name was very pretty. If Amasa is pron. like Mahsa then it should be used more 🙂

  2. We shared short lists both times – just with our parents. With our second (boy), Oliver and George stayed on our lists from beginning to end, but we were also considering stuff all over the map, searching for more inspiration – so I don’t think anyone much knew what was going on with it (even us)… We got some pretty unique reactions to sharing our daughter’s short list (just with my folks and my in laws) and that made me think twice about saying anything more to anyone else. We did get some great insight here (thanks to Abby and everyone who left a comment on names we suggested) with some of our list of names for Oliver, but then we didn’t really decide 100% on his name until he was almost 2 days old. And with Imogen, we were pretty certain we’d call her Isadora until a few weeks before her birth. So perhaps indecision was just as much a reason for not sharing as a desire for other people to keep their thoughts to themselves.

  3. The only name we claimed was when my sister was pregnant. I reminded her that my DH would not look kindly at her using DH’s father’s name as a baby name. Since it wasn’t even close to being on her list, it wasn’t an issue.

    We didn’t share our names with friends and family before our twins we’re born. Partially because I wanted to see the girls before confirming the names. (I did ask Nancy for some name suggestions, though.) We called the girls Merry and Pippin in utero and suggested some outrageous (for us) combos whenever pushed about names (Filomena and Fatima; Marilyn and Virginia). When we named them “normal” names, everyone was relieved, although my mother still wasn’t keen on our choices. She wanted Emily and Claire.

  4. We went to Madison on our honeymoon. It didn’t make our baby name list. 😛

    Our first two children weren’t named until after they were born. We didn’t share our top picks beforehand. All worked out well.

    Third baby was a different story. I know you can’t really ‘claim names’ but at the end of my pregnancy we wished that we’d made it known earlier on what our chosen names were. We were having a gender-surprise baby and so were our good friends at church. We were due the same week. We had decided on a boy name and a girl name early on in pregnancy, but didn’t share them with anyone. At the end of the pregnancy I knew that our girl name fit the criteria that our friends were using for a girl name – ends in the “ee” sound. So I gave them a ‘heads up’ that “we have picked this name.” Turned out they liked the same name and they went ahead and used it.

    So we had a week of upset and trying to decide if we should still use the name, right after they did. We decided we still would, but hated to think of all our mutual friends thinking “Wow, they totally stole that other couple’s baby name, right after they just used it first!” When really we had decided on it much earlier than they had. (They didn’t decide until their baby was born.)

    Two other families were pregnant at the same time and they had started referring to their babies as *Name* in Facebook statuses and ultrasound photos. So we wished we’d started doing that and then perhaps the other family wouldn’t have used that same name. In the end, it turned out to be a non-issue as we had a boy, so we didn’t ‘need the name’. Though 7 months later I still feel weird using the name to refer to the other family’s baby.