16 (Photo credit: chrisinplymouth)

Nine days ’til Christmas and the not-done-yet list is long, but that’s okay.  I typically don’t comment on news of the world here, for dozens of reasons.  The headlines can be bleak, even horrifying, but talking about baby names reminds me that there is constant potential for good with each new human life.

And what tremendous names they are!

  • Yesterday I thought that I’d failed to find any interesting 12-12-12 baby names actually bestowed on a child, until Matilda Magazine spotted this gem: Forever Cierra Cortrice.  Forever is a big name, but if Destiny can hit the US Top 100, she feels strangely appealing.  Or maybe that’s her -er ending
  • Loved this crystal ball gazing from the British Isles with Elea at Nameberry – How high will Eliza go?  And is Bobby the next Alfie?
  • My son is into the cartoon Ben 10 these days, and I find myself intrigued by the character’s name: Ben Tennyson, so much that I’m kind of loving Tennyson for a boy.  For Real spotted a birth announcement for Tennyson Ross.
  • A baby named Brubeck.  Jazzy.
  • Rex should completely make a comeback for boys.  Nevermind the canines.
  • Did you see this birth announcement for a girl named Clare Texas in Australia?  Ever since Dixie Chick Emily Robison welcomed daughter Julianna Tex, I’ve been watching the state name to see if it is catching on.  Max, Rex, Tex … I think there’s a post in this.
  • Angela successfully makes the case for Phaedra for a girl.

One of the hardest things to talk about in the name ‘verse came up this week: class.  It’s easy to dismiss names as trashy.  It’s slightly harder to settle on what makes a name classy.  You have to believe that parents choosing a name like Jagger Shark or Finnegan Rumble understand that they’re taking a gamble with a daring middle.  But how to explain that Jagger Shark strikes me as over the line, while Finnegan Rumble feels like he’s just different enough?

In the discussion at Nameberry, claredelune quoted 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy: “Number one, don’t overthink the names. Stick to kings and queens of England. There will never be a president Ashton or a Dr. Katniss.”  Except that’s not necessarily true.  Charlotte satisfies Donaghy’s criteria, but she was boosted by Sex in the City.  And hey, if we can have a president named Barack and a challenger named Mitt, then that rule feels pretty fragile.

BabyCenter’s list of unusual names of 2012 fed countless blog posts last week, from snarky mock-fest Gawker to local sites.  I raised an eyebrow at Rysk and Excel myself.  Except that the list also includes names that are unusual only in the US.  LiveScience points out that Kaixin, Pawk, and Krittika are perfectly ordinary names in other cultures.  The article quotes a number of name experts, and I think the only conclusion is this: we have more names than ever, and more freedom to choose names that we love.  This is something to celebrate, today and every day, whether your name your child Elizabeth or Krittika or Anakin or Jack.

That’s all for this week.  As always, thank you for reading, and thanks for being part of our community!

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 noticed a common thread in the discussion on “classy” names is that the classiest names are those which are class-less – so common and everyday that people from all walks of life use them.

    Emily could be born dirt-poor, she could be heiress to a fortune – you can’t really tell from the name. Maybe people like the ease of social mobility inherent in such names (which is the opposite of class).

  2. I’m not a fan of Forever, it strikes me as faintly odd; I can’t imagine an 89 year old with the name. Could be just me, though. 🙂 Still, it’s a really neato birthdate to have!
    I do so adore Rex and would love to see him climb the rankings. I’d welcome anything with him in it!:D

  3. Tenney is my maiden name, so I am absolutely swooning over these baby boys named Tennyson! My husband is tragically not on board with this, but that’s sort of okay since we don’t have actual plans to have another child.

    I have to stay away from those “weird baby names” lists because they start to make steam come out of my ears. Rysk?! I’m getting steamy.