Christmas came early to Appellation Mountain, with a guest post on Nameberry leading to a shout-out from Lisa Belkin’s venerable The Motherlode blog at the New York Times.  Christmas also officially arrived in our town – a tree was lit in the City’s park, we had breakfast with Santa, and we spent a few hours at our parish bazaar.

But back to naming news, because those kids?  They’re not gonna name themselves!

  • Or are they?  I loved Carolyn Robertson’s article at BabyCenter on what we actually call our kids.  At the moment, Clio is usually Bootsy, and Aly is O’Malley.  It is interesting how many kids played a role in creating their own pet names, and older siblings, well … we might not let the choose the names, but they sure play their part;
  • As for the news that we’re naming our kids after TV characters? Yawn. Oldest news in the world.  I do find BabyCenter’s Top 100 interesting, because it is clearly less about the names we actually choose and more about the names we might like to use.  For example: four boys’ names have never left the US Top Twenty, but Joseph, James, John, and William all fail to appear in the Baby Center Top Twenty.  I can’t believe 2010 is the year we all decide to stop using the enduring classics for our boys;
  • Here’s a cool thing about life in the 21st century: you can always find something with your child’s name on it, no matter how common or obscure your choice.  weeDecor released their Fall list of baby names, including a few gems: Sophie Bleu, Constantino, and Brenna are lovely, and I’m fascinated by Sumer for a boy.  As in Ancient Sumer?  Maybe his parents are archaelogists;
  • My Nameberry Smoosh post prompted a debate on which is the most common addition: -lyn or -anna?  ForReal spotted Macelyn, Courtlyn, and Magdalyn – which makes me think that, while -lyn appears more common, that’s because she’s part of so many inventive respellings;
  • A UK survey suggests that moms mostly make the final decision on a child’s name. Except they also report that a mere 15% of parents report arguing.  Maybe arguing is too strong a word, but I suspect more like 75% disagree to some degree;
  • Nancy has brought us many a tale of a baby named after mode of transit, but this one is nicely subtle – see how Adele got her lovely name;
  • Did you see Nameberry’s list of Dutch names for girls – I am madly in love with Malou.  And look – Noa is #10!  And check out the boysSem is #2.  The Old Testament Shem has never caught on in the US, but Sem seems strangely appealing;
  • This is totally random, but it turns out that Caldrea, the high-end eco-sensitive cleaning products – is a smoosh of company founder Monica Nassif’s daughters’ names, Calla and Aundrea;
  • Chanara – mom to the lovely Rosemary – muses on names for a second child here.  It it always interesting to see how our firstborn impacts our future children’s names.  Here’s wishing an early happy first birthday to Rosy!

And on to the rich and the famous:

While I’ll still post celeb births here if the name is stunningly different or eagerly anticipated, I’m putting some of the more routine announcements up at the AppMtn Facebook page, along with interesting links and intriguing name sightings.

As always, thanks for reading and have a GREAT week!

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. Abby — belated congratulations on the New York Times mention! I’m excited that more and more people are discovering your blog.

  2. I actually gave my little brother his nickname. I was a big fan of Fraggle Rock as a child and my brother (3.5 years younger) was a very rowdy kid, so I started calling him Doozer as in the worker Doozers of Fraggle Rock. My mom’s family is Scotts-English and she found out that Dhu is actually Scottish, so she started spelling his nickname Dhuzer. His given name is Mohammed but he is 23 now and we all still call him Dhuzer, even his friends and co-workers. So that is a case where the older sibling gives a nickname that sticks 🙂

  3. I call Sylvia “Silly” a lot of the time and I’ve had people stop me and chastise me for it. Um, she’s my kid last I checked and I can call her what I like, right?

    1. Absolutely! Our son Julius is usually “Bug” or “Superbug.” My sister Melody occasionally goes by “Moldy.” And she sometimes calls me “Em” and sometimes “Phlegm.” We tend to morph nicknames in our family. My favorite girls’ names are Clara and Susanna. One day in the shower I was pondering what nicknames I’d be likely to use (especially since Clara isn’t super nickname-friendly) and I’m pretty sure that if we ended up with both, they’d occasionally answer to Looney and Zany. (Clara –> Clair de Lune –> Looney)

      As long as the child realizes the nicknames are terms of endearment (rather than meant in a disparaging way), I think anything goes. Well, maybe not ANYTHING. I find it hard to imagine a situation where it would be appropriate to call your child a swear word. But “Silly” is just fine!

  4. hmm, I’ve done a few posts about -lyn endings, maybe I should do one with anna/ana endings.

    I also love Malou. It’s just plain fun to say. 🙂
    I’ve seen a couple of Sumner for boys, but never a Sumer. Interesting.

    Great read. Have a good week!

  5. Roseanna goes by Roseanna in public — I’ve yet to find a nickname that relates to her name and still fits her. In private, I rather shamefacedly admit to calling her Pumpkin Princess. I started off by calling her “pumpkin” and “pretty princess”, or “punky princess”, and those names somehow that morphed into the term of endearment she now goes by on a daily basis.