Sunday Summary 11.26.23Maybe I’m the last to know, but I was fascinated to learn how IKEA names its products. I mean … it doesn’t really apply to naming children, because, well, none of us will ever have so many children (or grandchildren!) that we need a structured approach. (Rugs are named after cities in Denmark and Sweden; bathroom products, after lakes and rivers.)

But rules are interesting, and I’ve heard couples say things like: we pick first names we both agree on, then choose middle names for family. Or:

  • The first name has work in English and Spanish, but the middle names are more for fun.
  • First names have to be short, nickname-proof, modern, but we usually choose more traditional middle names to balance them out.

I’ve never heard a couple articulate this well with their first child, though. It’s almost as if our first sets the pattern that we evaluate – and often try to replicate – for younger siblings.

Did you find yourself following a pattern? Was is deliberately chosen? Or more of something you noticed you were doing over time? 


Paris finally has her London! Reality star Paris Hilton always said she’d name a future daughter London. Her firstborn, son Phoenix, arrived in January of this year. Just ten months later, Paris and husband Carter Reum have added daughter London to their family. Ireland Baldwin named her daughter Holland back in May. There’s plenty of potential in this not-quite-honor name approach. Maybe a generation of children called River and Iris will name their children Bay and Peony?

Two names I’m watching for girls in 2024: Elliott and Juliet. Sound-wise, Elliott feels like it could be unisex. Surname names tend to feel that way in general. But because Elliot and Elliott are so similar in terms of use, it’s hard to get a handle on true popularity. (As of 2022, Elliot is rising for boys, while Elliott is falling. And both spellings are falling for girls.) Still, I feel like I’m hearing it on more and more shortlists. As for Juliet – or maybe Juliette? – thanks to Broadway musical & Juliet, a re-telling of the tragic romance with pop music and an entirely different outcome. One more reason for Juliette’s rise to continue.

I know Apricity is getting some buzz as a hot new word name option, but … it took the short days of late November paired with colder-than-average temps for me to think that it’s really a good idea. Apricity means “the warmth of the sun in winter.” Five girls received the name in 2022, marking its debut in the US popularity data.

Are you watching Love is Blind? The Netflix reality series was in the news recently thanks to season four stars Zack Goytowski and Bliss Poureetezadi. They’re expecting their first child together. 48 girls and 6 boys were named Bliss in 2022. I’m not sure the Netflix series is enough to up that number, but Bliss has potential.

Since this edition seems to be all about unusual word names, did you see this Swistle post? They’re naming a brother for boys Brighton, Rockwell, and Sundance. It’s an intriguing challenge, particularly because they have a bunch of rules. Which also takes us back to where we started! Swistle’s list of suggestions is great, and I particularly like her gentle suggestion that they ease at least one of their requirements.

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

boy names 11.26.23 girl names 11.26.23

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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