I’m curious – do you read blogs and forums where the tone is snarky, even scathing? They’re not for me. I don’t object to opinions, even strong ones, even ones that don’t begin to fit my worldview. And sites that are purely humorous – like The Onion – get a pass, too. The diversity of perspectives and the ability to know people who are really different and learn completely unexpected things powers the internet, right?
Well, that and LOLcats.
I ask because I’ve been struggling with what to do about blog posts from a well-known baby name book author. There’s something about his work that feels unnecessarily harsh. He recently wrote about Fergie and Josh Duhamel’s son, noting the similarity between Axl Jack and applejack, an alcoholic version of apple cider. Hmmm … maybe a little. I don’t hear it. The phrase “apple jack” makes me think of the breakfast cereal and the My Little Pony before my thoughts turn to hard cider. In the first version of the post – which has since been edited – he wrote “It’s also possible Fergie was drinking Applejack …” when she came up with the name. Wow! I’m glad he chose to edit that, but I’m put off by the general tone of his writing.
So while I try to cover the whole of the baby name blogosphere in the Sunday Summaries, I’ve stopped following his blog. I’ve asked you to exercise a degree of restraint in your comments, so I’ll do my best to only share content that is generous and thoughtful, or, should I choose to share something that is questionable, I’ll put a big ‘ol warning label on it.
Now, on to the news:
- So many names to love in this Ohio round-up from For Real Baby Names. Oswald! And Caroline Mavis and Ezra Keaton – my favorites when I read the post most recently, but I keep changing my mind.
- I’m intrigued by this dilemma at Swistle: their favorite name is Marley, but the only spelling both parents agree on is Marleigh. Except that Marleigh feels too creative and invented to the mom, even though she likes it. Have you ever fallen in love with a name that just isn’t you? Swistle calls them Names We Love That Are Not Right for Our Family. It’s a useful concept.
- This list of princess names at Nameberry is fantastic – can’t you just imagine a feisty teenaged heir-to-the-throne called Delphinia, Frederica, or Leontine?
- What a great list of formal names for Miri up at Naming at the Fishes. And thanks for the shout-out, too!
- Speaking of lists, here’s my Bird Names list, with a happy birthday to my sister who answers to one of these.
- Anna’s got some great advice for parents worried that their future son’s name will go girl. And, oh this line: “But I hope that we can also embrace risk and change and diversity, and live in a more accepting world that doesn’t divide us so sharply into pink or blue – a world where we all have more name choices, rather than less.” Yes!
- Middle names were not always the norm. Find data to back it up here, plus lists of the most common middles in the UK.
- Speaking of middles, how many names is too many? British Baby Names recently reported on the arrival of Robin Mabel Anneke Shirley Paulien Aletta Johanna Winifred, a new little girl named after lots of her female ancestors. It’s an awful lot of names, but I can understand the impulse. In our age of smaller families, it can be tough to decide who to honor … and what to do if you have lots of names to use.
- Clare has been scooping great posts from years past, and I’m especially thankful for her coverage of Hello, My Name is Pabst. A girl named Avail! I’m a fan of obscure and archaic words used as names, and since one of avail’s meanings is help, I think it works well.
- Time to nominate names of the year at the Baby Name Wizard. I’d probably vote for Francis, mostly because it seems likely to be influential. I’m always curious to hear the other ideas, so please go comment.
That’s all for this week! I hope everyone in the US had a great Thanksgiving holiday. If you’re celebrating Hanukkah, I hope you’re enjoying!