Number 4
Photo by Richard Whitaker via Flickr

Happy Sunday!

The big noise in the naming world this week came from Baby Center’s top names of 2011 list. Their list reflects user data, so while it is a huge set – and certainly can reflect trends – it isn’t nearly as accurate, or as revealing, as the Social Security Administration data. But it is enough to prompt a flurry of articles about Sophia and Aiden being the most popular names of the year. Their Spanish list is out, too, but it isn’t getting as much press.

Which reminds me, the birth announcements section at BabyCenter is growing, and it is pretty addictive. November includes babies called Whitaker and Jett Elle Ryleigh. Flippng through other months, I found a Prinz, plus Ember, Hendrix, Bryson Risk, and – be still my heart – Ondine Willa. Visit at your own risk!

Elsewhere online:

    • Speaking of addictive, have you bee following British Baby Name’s Advent Calendar? She started here with Robin. I’m hooked!
    • This article at the Huffington Post took the Baby Center data in a whole other direction, with a look at the most obscure names reported to the site: Air or Favor, anyone?
    • Lou mentioned that the names of the elves on her Cadbury Advent calendar are Lloyd and Esther, rather than Jingle or Buddy.
    • With the year drawing to a close, it is time for round-up lists of celeb baby names. This one is interesting, mostly because the author is British – and some of the celebs are barely on my radar. Oh, and you can vote!
    • Actress Elisabeth Rohm was recently quoted saying that she thought up her daughter’s name, Easton, in a dream. Read the story at Nancy’s Baby Names.
    • For Real’s recent list from Iowa included girls with Bliss and Lux in their names. It feels like there’s a category for names like these – they’re not quite everyday words, but they’re not obscure, foreign, or archaic, either.
    • Tyne, Maranoa, and Kalinka all appeal to me from Eponymia’s recent list of names inspired by folk songs.
    • I’m intrigued by Mollie Bee and Indigo Sally, both from Aussie BAs at Waltzing More than Matilda.
    • What do you think of Boyd?
    • Hat tip to Photoquilty for the link to this genius video – more proof that creative people give their kids great names!

That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and please stop by Nameberry tomorrow for my weekly round-up of the nine newsiest names!

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 tend to write off the Babycenter list (the people who submit names to the website have to be of a certain socio-economic set which I find doesn’t totally represent the actual statistics very well) but it is always interesting — it reads a lot like the preschool class rosters I’ve been seeing around as I search for a place that suits my little 2-year-old funny girl.

    I love your Sunday Summaries, and thanks so much for the mention — wonderful posts, always! I had the same reaction to Indigo Sally as you — though neither name is a favorite, I can’t get it out of my head!

  2. That voting was definitely rigged, but I found it hard to choose, there were many lovely celebrity baby names this year.

    I’m always interested by people who choose baby names from dreams: I often dream of baby names, but they’re never anything I’d think of in real life (I remember one was Bleu Celeste).

  3. I voted for Agnes Lark!
    Interestingly, Bingham is leading by an insane 44%. Apparently all the Muse fans have gotten out the vote. I’m vaguely reminded of all the vitriol given by a lot of My Chemical Romance fans when many name blogs deigned to be disappointed by Gerard Way’s daughter’s name Bandit Lee:

    I guess sometimes it can’t be just about the names.

  4. I am utterly and completely biased, but I think Indigo Sally is a rockin name. I’d like to see more middle names that end with the high-pitched “ie” sound – it’s so unexpected.

  5. I actually like Favor! I encountered it first on a list of the top names in the U.K. It was #806, of course spelled Favour. I looked into it and it apparently has some sort of Muslim significance, but unfortunately I can’t recall precisely what that was. I think the sound of it is absolutely fantastic, I would just be worried about ‘party favor’ teasing.

  6. Dont forget that top100 combines spellings. In this rank they keep each spelling in their own ranking, giving a more clear idea of how the SSA list may look. Although a lot of names rank very differently each year. Still, it is interesting to take a look.

    Elisabeth Rohm told that story not long after her daughter was born, not really news to me. However, I wonder how it is for girl with 2 names that are trending a lot for boys.

    Boyd? Not a fan, at all.