Sunday SummaryHappy Sunday!  I finally picked up a copy of Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls, and oh my goodness – it’s like nothing I’ve ever read.  Have you ever picked up a book and simultaneously wanted to read it straight through and save it, so you wouldn’t finish it too soon?

One of the first things that caught my eye was the name of the main character: Harper.  A guy named Harper.  Since he was born in the 1910s, I think, it was perfectly plausible.  But Harper is a villain, so there’s no chance he’ll lead a revival in this name for boys.  Other names from the book, of the Shining Girls themselves: Alice, Catherine, Jin-Sook, Kirby, Margot, Willie, Zora.  Quite the list!

Speaking of lists:

  • Names from the latest J. Crew catalog: special occasion dresses named Misha, Raquel, Sara, Megan, Suzy, Arabelle, Marlowe, Cameron, Kami, Mandy.  Some are likely the names of the women who will wear them, but a few seem like names they’ll give their daughters.
  • Also in the May 2014 J. Crew catalog – a special Mother’s Day section featuring Ann Masburn, the Atlanta style maven and mother to five girls.  It took some Googling to find their names: Elizabeth, Louisa, Daisy, Harrietand Pauline.  Unexpected and very Southern prep, I think.  Other mom-and-kid combos featured in the section include Mei and daughter Dashiel and Mara with son Joaquin.  Style for days …
  • From the lovely to the laughable – did you see this story of a chocolatier who refused to write the name Rooney on an edible Easter egg for fear of copyright infringement from footballer Wayne Rooney?  Spotted by the sharp-eyed Clare of Name News.
  • I’m so addicted to DesignMom’s Living with Kids tours.  This is another gem, with great names to match: Emilia Emanuele and Lucien Michel.
  • Set off the confetti cannons – Nomes e mais nomes is celebrating five years!
  • I’ve heard before that compound names like Hannelore are terribly out of fashion in Germany.  More proof here – a story of an Annegret who dislikes her dated name.  I find Annegret rather charming, but then, I’m obviously not German.
  • A birth announcement for a Lorelai Victoria Sunflower!  Totally made my day …
  • Nameberry’s list of One Hit Wonders is fascinating.  I’d love to see comebacks from Evander, Calhoun, Luc, Djuna, Beatrix and lots of the others.
  • What would you name triplet girls?  It seems easy at first, but I know how this mom feels – I have two perfectly paired girls’ names, but it would be a struggle to find a third compatible name, well-matched enough for a triplet.  Well, I know how she feels, except without the reality that they actually need to find a name for Claire and Norah’s sister.
  • Speaking of choosing names, check out this list of Western nouveau possibilities generated for a family’s fifth addition.
  • From the wayback machine: in 2009, the featured name was Cynthia.  2010 profiled Dawson and 2011 focused on Crispin.  Zippy Z Names for Girls took center stage in 2012, followed by Macon and Marigot: More Place Names for Globetrotters in 2013.
  • My daughter and I are watching Mulan for the first time – neither of us have seen it yet!  And that has me thinking about this post from Berry Juice.
  • Loving this list from Harper’s Bazaar: Fashionable Baby Names.  No to Gucci, but yes to  so many of these – Elettra, Oribe, Magnus, NoorSimone, Zac, Zosia.  My favorites change every time I review the list!
  • Have you seen the headlines declaring medieval names back in vogue?  Here’s a quick analysis from a medievalist – and wise words for the ages.

That’s all for this week.  As always, thank you so very much for reading – and have a fabulous 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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  1. Annegret was on our short list for a while. It sounds gorgeous (to me anyway) in a German accent but the first time I heard my mother attempt to pronounce it, it was out 😉 (it sounded like “An-regret”, not exactly the sentiment we were going for!) It’s funny that what most people consider the most usable German names state-side are actually the Cheryls and Gladyses of Germany! I know American Heidis, Annelieses, and even a couple Hannelores, all excellent names to our ears but perfectly matronly in their country of origin.
    I wonder if this is an across the board phenomenon? Of my hispanic friends, all in their twenties, I know two Brendas and a Selma.

    1. Perhaps so! I realize that my German friend’s mother is named Anneliese – and I was all over the German pronunciation of this name.

      When I meet 5 year old Valeries, Jessicas, Jennifers, Jacquelyns — they are often from Spanish-speaking families.

      Except that names that we would never consider usable here can still be popular elsewhere (you can meet a teenage Valdemar or Boris sitting next to the fashionable Aracelis and Katerinas)

  2. Oh, Mulan is one of my favourites! My sister and I live our life out through Mulan quotes 😉

    Thanks for spotting that Guardian article. It’s nice to know there are others who have pointed out that Peyton and Kendra don’t really count as a “medieval revival.”