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. I was friends with a girl named Hillary in high school and we frequently called her Hilly. I think I remember that being mentioned in the movie as the character’s full name as well.

  2. First of all, I. Love. Homer. Forget the Homer Simpson connection. Homer, Alaska is my favorite place on Earth (other than NW Florida). Also, there’s Winslow Homer and the great poet and oralist, Homer. And it just reminds me of home. Hello, warm and fuzzy feeling. 🙂 I’m sounding insane, I know.

    Second of all, I’m a big hater of “kreatyv” names. More specifically names that just sound stupid and trendy like Brayden (makes me think of donkeys), Jayden, Natalee, etc.

  3. Parents have such unique and singular motivations for names and that should never be discounted. I’m a Hayley, not for ease of spelling, but because I was born the year of Halley’s Comet. My dad loves a good, once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event & my mother loved Hayley Mills. We met her at a play several years ago, and it was a special moment. There were no other Hayley’s (of any spelling) as my classmates, and my parents are always surprised that it is so common now. Don’t think they envisioned that half of the mail would always arrive spelled incorrectly! Interesting article but baby names just can’t be pigeonholed.

  4. One of the women who works at my OB/GYNs office is Danae (no umlaut) – she says her name “dan-NAY”… but that’s a grand sample size of one, so who knows, really.

    1. Nope, MBC – that would be blogger error. And it is fixed! 🙂

      Except I linked to the Parents version of the article – I’m not sure if it was the original after all, picked up by Yahoo! – anyhow, the comments are interesting. Every parent who reveals their child’s name had chosen something that runs afoul of one or more of the rules …

  5. I didn’t get a chance to see this controversial yahoo article, but I agree, you cannot really generalize a person’s mindset when choosing a name. I actually consider Tabitha old fashioned, but not in a dated kind of way. I think there is a difference between old fashioned and dated. I could see a Tabitha living in the 1800s, that is what makes names like that so charming for parents of today. Names like Linda, Kathleen, Nancy, Debbie are dated and kind of have a babyboom vibe and aren’t as appealing to new parents because they probably associate those names with the average mom of their generation, but whose to say that THEIR children when they grow up won’t find those names old fashioned in a very charming way.

    I have always had a soft spot for Sofonisba, and Hillia is very appealing.

  6. I agree with Isadora in that the yahoo article feels like an Internet quiz… “Which sweeping stereotype do you want to pass on to your child?” My niece’s name is a Greek island and she has more stamps in her passport than most frequent flyers, but her father (my brother) is incredibly cautious and conservative. Since the article is about the parent’s personality, not the child’s I don’t buy the premise.

    I love the name Danae, but I prefer it pronounced like Ren

  7. Honestly, the Yahoo article made me kind of mad. Too many sweeping generalizations and like you said, you can’t draw conclusions about the parents until you know why they chose the name they did. I agreed with a lot of what Isadora had to say in response to the article – especially on the creative spellings bit. Spelling Victoria as Vyktoriya is not “daring to be different” – it looks like you dared to bang your head on the keyboard and use the result as your child’s name.

    1. And sometimes what we interpret as kreatyv is actually foreign. I once skewered the spelling Deaglan – until I realized it was the authentic Irish spelling … and Deaglan’s dad was from Ireland. Oops.

      1. It’s worth remembering, how many people actually do spell Victoria as “Vyktoriya”?

        Not actually all that many…

        And if they do, their choice. It’s between them and Vyktoriya.

        As Emily says, far too many sweeping generalizations. Annoys me too.

        Articles like this (which seem to largely regurgitate quotes from others out of context) are basically all about drumming up the curtain-twitchers who have nothing better to do than tut their disapproval of the way others live their lives — whether there’s any substance there or not.

        On a completely different subject, also love Sofonisba, though I prefer the spelling Sophonisba :).

      2. That is a very good point about the kreatyv spellings. I have seen many people dismiss legitimate spellings in other languages as kreatyv. In fact, even Vyktoriya could be considered another transliteration of the Russian or Ukrainian version of the name. There is the Polish Izabela which I could easily see people confusing for a kreatyv spelling, not to mention all the Finnish and Estonian names that are centuries old names and legitimate but might come off as tryndee by some namenerds.