Sunday SummaryMy family spends a lot of time on ice.  Blame it on my Michigander husband, or maybe the Swedish grandfather I never met.  Ice skating is winter’s consolation prize – my favorite sport, bar none, possibly because it involves wearing layers, many of which are knit.

I tell you this because our daughter’s season wraps up this weekend, with a big ol’ show complete with costumes and choreographed routines.  As we stood in the endless, snaking line to gain admission to the Saturday ice show, I struck up conversation with a nice grandfatherly type.  He told me his skating granddaughter’s name was Roslyn.  I confirmed the spelling – R-O-S-L-Y-N? “Yes.  Her parents named her after a small town in Washington.  And her middle name …”

Clearly, this was a conversation that needed to be pursued.  But wouldn’t you know it?  The line started moving pretty much right then.

But it reminded me that every name has a story, and that’s the whole point of Appellation Mountain.  I’m grateful that I know more of the stories than ever since I started writing here.

Elsewhere online:

  • Someone mentioned Rowan in a comment on the Facebook page yesterday, fretting that it had “gone girl.”  Except that it hasn’t.  According to Nancy’s chart, nearly twice as many boys received the name in 2012.  Do our anxieties about baby names going girl turn into self-fulfilling prophecies?
  • What’s your favorite formal name for Ann?  I’d probably use Anneliese, or maybe Diana.  And I’d use Anya before Annie or Ann.  But this list at NameSplash has some out-of-the-box possibilities for getting to Ann.
  • There’s out-of-the-box, but how about off-of-the-map?  Not in a mapless way, but in a not-really-on-the-map-to-begin-with way: fictional place names that could make good given names at Roses & Cellar Doors.  My faves are Avalon, Gallifrey (from Doctor Who) and, a new arrival, Arendelle, the land that Queen Elsa rules in Frozen.
  • Speaking of Frozen – NameCandy reported their production babies.  Just as awesome as the Pixar lists.
  • Oh, this essay!  From YingYing to Eva, a very American story, and one about the importance of names.  “Picking a name and living with that name is intensely personal, because a name reflects so much of your identity.”
  • No one covers sporting names like Kelli, and this list is simply delicious – names of the women who played in All American Girls Baseball League, for teams like the Kenosha Comets and the South Bend Blue Sox.
  • DesignMom has an interview with Madelon, a Dutch Instagrammer with kiddos called Sylvester and Reva.  Love that duo!
  • Let’s go time traveling back to 1986 with British Baby Names, only to discover that births announced in the Times were completely ahead of the curve.  Hello, Cosmo, Effieand Tarquin.
  • There’s an Australian cockatoo called the Corella.  I agree with Anna – what a great name possibility!
  • Speaking of possibilities – Violaine, anyone?  Maybe for the middle spot?
  • Lastly, thanks to each and everyone for voting in March Madness 2014, and congratulations to Cora and Everett on their triumphs!

That’s all for this week.  As always, thank you 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. My eldest is, in fact, Anneliese. But Ann makes me shudder. Her nickname if, instead, Liesl. 😉

  2. I had a French language assistant at school called Violaine, I always thought it was just beautiful!

  3. Hi Abby. Yes that it is one of the reasons I love Appellation Mountain and names so much, the stories and meaning that names hold. Not sure if this has been mentioned but there is a lovely, touching name story and baby welcoming story that I recently read about baby Desmond Jeremiah on glutenfreegirl. Interesting and sweet story.

  4. I do agree that even if a unisex names is only used like a quarter on girls, a lot of people will say its “gone to the girls” or “its girly”. That’s just the way it is.

    Funny you should mention about self-fulfilling prophecies: The new Disney spinoff Girl Meets World will feature a lead actress named Rowan, and the character she’ll play is Riley. I think both names will get a boost. Still, it’s another case of actors having more interesting names than their characters: Rowan (f) will play Riley, Sabrina will play Maya, August will play Auggie, Peyton (m) will play Lucas, Uriah will play Joshua.