Sunday Summary

Happy Easter!  For those observing the holiday, I hope you have a thoroughly enjoyable day.

The other day I came across a name in a magazine: Lynya.  Lynya had written an article in a prominent women’s magazine, so presumably her unusual name had not been a stumbling block to a successful life.  But I was struck by the name – was it pronounced like Linnea?  Or like Lydia with an n?  Maybe something like Mariah?  Distinctive, yes.  Easy to wear?  Maybe not.

Unusual names always spark that curiosity in me – was it a respelling, an invention, a smoosh?  And yet, even the most unusual name is still probably not truly unique.  That’s why I got a kick out of this post.  Scroll down to #3!

The post is meant for a laugh, but it is kind of horrible to imagine a world where no one shares the same name, isn’t it?  At first it seems great – no accusations of name theft, no pressure to stick with popular picks like Ava and Mason, no guilt over failing to pass down family names like Morton.  But it also means no honor names, no hero names, and a need to be far more creative than most of us can imagine.

Still, I was delighted when How Many of Me? informed me that I am the one and only Abby Sandel.  There are three of my husband, one of my daughter, and one of my son – except that’s not right, because he shares his first and last name with his grandfather.

Elsewhere online:

  • Vi Delores and Sy Reed.  Those are some seriously short first names.
  • Daphne, Olga, Victoria, Stella – Moira Shearer wore some great names!
  • Some of these vintage nicknames are among my favorites.  I especially like Ike, Bess, Kit, and Lulu.
  • Captivated by this list of medieval names from Portugal.
  • Such an interesting story about Rafael becoming Rafferty because these Australian parents thought it was a better fit.  And Anna makes a good point about the sisters’ names, too.
  • Baby Name Wizard talks about the generational switcheroo. While there are certainly women of all ages named Abigail, it is so VERY popular now that I suspect my name can potentially cause that kind of reaction.
  • A very long list of noun names, culled from the Social Security Administration data, by Roses and Cellar Doors.
  • Tabitha was one of my favorite names for years, thanks to re-runs of Bewitched.  Nice to see her getting some appreciation on Baby Names from the Bible.
  • From the wayback machine: Leandra was the featured name in 2009, followed by Priya in 2010, Callahan in 2011, and Delta in 2012.  One year ago, the featured name was Tamsin.

Oh, that reminds me – today marks my two year anniversary of being at the new and improved site!  Still lots of work to do, but it’s good to be settled in.

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. I love Tabitha. It’s actually thought to be a several-steps removed (gaps of translation) relation of my granddad’s name, Tzvi. Though Tabitha is often translated as gazelle and the Tzvi simply as deer.

    Tzvia is still used in some Jewish families, but I can’t help thinking that Tabitha would be much easier in English.

    “I doubt Dorcas would fly today as a name, but her translation into Aramaic from Greek as Tabitha certainly would” doesn’t make any sense at all though. “Dorcas” is Greek. Tabitha is a translation AWAY from the Jewish name Tzvia probably because people tend to like vowels and hate the letter tsadi. 😉

    1. Happy Easter, and Happy New Site Anniversary! (It still seems quite new).

      I tried the How Many of Me? and there is one person in the US with my name, none for my husband, three of our eldest child, and none for the youngest child. We all have fairly common names (three of us are Top 100), so our surname obviously puts us into the weird name club. Probably a good reason to have common names, now I think of it.

      1. That’s an interesting thought … I grew up up with a really unusual and hard to pronounce LN, and that was one of the reason my mother gave for choosing my FN. (“I knew you’d have to spell and repeat your last name all the time, so I wanted your first name to be simple.”)

        1. My maiden name is fairly easy (although it’s pronounced differently to how its spelled), but since being married, I have appreciated having a simple four-letter first name SO much!

          It isn’t even that our surname is bizarre – it’s 6 letters, two syllables, Anglo-Saxon – but somehow it’s so unexpected that nobody seems able to hear it or see it correctly. They have a quick look or listen and then guess. I don’t know how people cope if they have a genuinely complex name.

  2. I’ve actually met that Lynya! If I remember correctly, her name was pronounced “lynn – yuh.”

    1. Thanks, Catherine – and how crazy that I didn’t guess the right pronunciation!

  3. Whenever I see the name Tabitha talked about on here I get a little wistful. I’ve always thought it was so lovely and soft sounding. Unfortunately my husband dislikes it. I foresee a long line of well-named cats in our future!

  4. That blog piece is so funny, lol!

    I love the nicknames Lulu and Lula. I had a great aunt named Laura Lavinia that went by Lula! Lulu is Arabic for Pearl. I think it would be so sweet to name a girl Pearl and call her Lulu as a nickname. Lula is a cute nickname for Tallulah!