Let’s start off our Sunday with some controversy. The NameLady recently answered a reader’s question: Are there rules for nicknames?

Her answer was basically yes. Julia can be Julie and David Dave, but take it much farther you really should just put the nickname on the birth certificate. (In this case, she advised her reader to put Catie on the birth certificate.)

I disagree. And I said so.

Much to my delight, other readers come out strongly in favor of nicknames, too.

In other, (mostly) non-ranting news:

In celeb-spotting, all via Celebrity Baby Blog:

  • The big news was the birth of Axel Ferrell. I realize it is absolutely none of my business, but I always wonder when a middle name isn’t released – are Will and Viveca not into them? Or just not sharing;
  • Ditto Emily Mortimer’s new darling daughter, May. A sweet, simple name, but is that it? Big brother is Samuel John;
  • Desperate Housewives alum Neal McDonough and wife Ruvé are parents for the third time. Daughter London Jane joins sibs Morgan Patrick and Catherine Maggie. I loved Neal as the Tin Man in Syfy’s reboot of the Wizard of Oz, so I’ll give him a pass on that inconsistent naming style.

Lastly, I keep meaning to share this snippet of conversation I had with two colleagues, after one had went to visit a friend’s new baby:

V: What did they name him?
E: Bryce.
V: Now that’s a buppy name!
E: Bryce Roosevelt.
V: Roosevelt? That’s old school buppy!

You might note that I am uncharacteristically speechless throughout this exchange.

Buppy = Black Urban Professional, and up until that moment, I was completely unaware that such a category of monikers existed. (Though if I had thought about it for a second, I guess I’d have imagined it would.) When I pressed my colleague for a list of buppy names, she shrugged. Clearly this was not as interesting to her, though she did concede that Morgan is the default buppy choice for a daughter.

So I’m dying to know more about buppy names, but I don’t think I can ask E. anymore without risking her ire. (And she orders the cookies for meetings, so I don’t dare.) If anyone stumbles across a list, please share.

That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading!

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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  1. I have a strange thing about nicknames; I love cute contractions of the name, especially where it isn’t just the first syllable ( eg Nils for Nicolas, Als for Alison- but I really don’t like nicknames with a different initial- Tony for Anthony, Becky for Rebecca- even though these are extremely established. I still remember feeling cheated when I realised that the first Tony I knew had initials which were Al, not TL, and for some reason that bothers me.

  2. There’s a web-show on BET.com called Buppies. The characters are named:

    Considering what a buppy colleagues named their children, Christian, Marcus, Brooke and Victoria should be added to valery’s list.

  3. Verity, I was laughing at your Buppy anecdote! Buppies are a very particular group of African American upper class professionals, many of which can be read about in the (very “buppily” named) author Lawrence Otis Grahams “Our Kind of People,” which is a history of the black American upper class. Other buppy names of the top of my head:


  4. Hmm, I could probably think of a several different tryndee spellings for Cable: Kaebull, Kaiybyl, Kaybyl, Kaybill, Kaybull, Kaibl….I think the list could go on and on :()

    As for Elodie, I went to high school in France, and it was very common, so I don’t get the same fresh appeal, if anything it already feels rather dated. Still, a 100 times better than Cable.

  5. On Wikipedia, it has both of Will Ferrell’s sons middle names listed as Viveca’s last name: Magnus Paulin Ferrell and Mattias Paulin Ferrell. I am assuming baby Axel is the same.

    I very much agree with you on the nickname debate.

  6. I’m still giggling about aerial… maybe they realize what`they’ve spelled and really like their TV? (I love mine, but won’t be calling my kid Cable.)

    This is probably wrong to actually type out and share, but there’s a maximum taste level allowed for taking Yahoo Answers seriously and pretty much, if you frequent this board, you’ve probably exceeded that… Y!A posts on names are then for amusement only.

    1. Oh, somewhere out there is a toddler called Cable, a little brother for Gauge. 😉

      I know what you’re saying about Y!A, and I also strongly suspect that many, many of the posters are talking about hypothetical baby names that they won’t need for a decade or more.

          1. And that’s exactly how creative spellings end up crashing and burning! All of a sudden Cable looks as reasonable as James.

  7. Groan, did you read the comments about Elodie?

    “Kaci(Pronouced Casey) There is several ways to spell Casey. There’s Casey,Kaci,Kasey,and Kacy. Or you could do the name Nicole. Theres another way to spell it thats more unique and its my middle name,Niquole?”

    “Elodie Noelle Edna? Seriously? Elodie sounds horrific and makes me think of Odie from Garfield. Edna is insantely outdated and it’s not a cute name from the past that should be brought back. Noelle is decent.”

    I don’t even want to know what they name their kids.

    1. I share your groan. And yup, read the comments. I’m hoping Niquole and Kaci are both 14 and don’t have children yet. I would far, far, far rather be Edna than Niquole or Kaci.

      The other thing is that I can’t believe the posters’ husband really likes double middle names. I mean, maybe he is. But that’s unusual.

  8. I don’t have muh to say about the names, but buppy? I love this! I wonder… I’ll have to ask my black friends about it. Buppy.

    1. I’ve been floating a few other buppy options, and have yet to land on one. E. tells me that Zora – which I was CERTAIN would be buppy – is more literary/artistic/academic.