number 9
Number 9 by Jon Tin Tin Jordan via Flickr

I had lunch with a mom-to-be friend of mine last 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, yes! I read that David and Victoria were expecting #4 as I was going to bed, and I’m just shocked! I’m hoping for a girl, but they could go anywhere with that child’s name. I’m thinking it might be time for them to venture into the realm of nature names, hm?

    Alas, I am more excited for Baby Portman-Millepied because I think Natalie is awesome. Her child is sure to be lovely!

    Also, I looked into Ashe a bit more and Wikipedia tells me it is some sort of life force or creation energy – really cool! I’ve become quite attached to these short, powerful middle name options: Wren, Ashe, Bay, March, Pearl, Reed, maybe even North…

  2. When it comes to the Indian/Polish/Canadian family I actually find Lucas to be the oddest one out of the bunch. The father’s last name, Cherian, is South Indian — typically from Kerala to be exact. Kerala has a high Syrian Christian population (some sources argue that Cherian is actually a Malayali variant of the biblical Zechariah/Zecharias), so it’s not entirely uncommon to come across people named Philip in the area. I’ve known a number of South Indian Philips, and even some who have it as their surname. It is true that it’s more usual for a family to stick with a trend when naming their children — either all Indian names or all biblical/Western names — but that’s not always the case. South Indians are also known to be fans of rhyming names (e.g. sisters named Betsy and Blessy), names all beginning with the same syllable, and made up names, often combinations of their parents’ names (e.g. parents named Benjamin and Minnie calling their son Bemin).

    1. That’s so interesting, Charlotte. Lucas strikes me as perfectly Polish, but I’m in the dark on South Indian names. And the idea that Cherian is derived from Zechariah … wow. Names do travel!

  3. When my ex and I were dating he wanted to use a horrible name for a girl (Melfina, I think, or something similar), and I countered saying that if he used that name for a girl, I got to use Melchizadek. I was kidding, it seems like too much name, even for an adult. 🙂

    I like Asher, too. I also hold out hope that Natalie and her beau chose a wonderful name for their little one, as some of the names coming from Hollywood these days are….interesting, to say the least.

  4. I actually think Ashe is cool! It reminds me of Arthur Ashe, which is a plus – for me. I’m not ready to let go of Asher, either – it’s the perfect mix of Hebrew heritage and contemporary chic! But, Ayelet! No, thanks.

    I’m quite intrigued by what the soon-to-be Mrs. Millepied – did I spell that right? – will choose for baby. With parents called Benjamin and Natalie, I wonder if they’ll go for something long and classic, like Eliza, Juliet, or Harrison. Or, will Natalie take a cue from Kourtney Kardashian and use something like Port or Porter for a son’s middle – or first! – name? And, wasn’t Nat born in Israel? Perhaps that will influence baby’s name?

    As for your friend who won’t be getting Nehemiah, there are so many awesome offbeat Biblical names waiting to be discovered again! Maybe she won’t get Obadiah, either, but Gideon has potential in my mind…

    1. Okay, so Natalie Hershlag – Portman is a stage name – was born in Israel to Avner and Shelley. Maybe she could revive the super-cool Herschel? It seems Benjamin Millepied was born in France and raised in Senegal – diversity all around. I love it! I’m predicting all of this will play into the naming decision. Or, maybe they will kill two birds with one stone and use Jacob, considering Israel was the name given to Jacob in the Bible. Just a thought…

      PS I hope they have a girl, really!

      1. I can’t decide if I’m more excited for Natalie Portman to announce her name, or to hear the Beckhams follow-up to Cruz, Brooklyn, and Romeo!

    2. Speaking of offbeat Biblical names, I met a 2 or 3 year old boy at church today named Melchizedek. I didn’t quite catch his full name, but my husband knew it was in the Bible, so I looked it up later. He goes by “Mellie” (not sure of the spelling.)

      Another family at church are expecting a girl in the spring and have chosen Eden. 🙂

  5. Ezmae, haha!

    Not sure about Ashe, tbh I’m tired of all the Ash-names, time to give them a rest.

    Carlo sounds awfully masculine haha, but it could work I guess.

    Those lists on nameberry were really interesting. Obviously for some letters they’re irrelevant almost, I hope they do an overall analysis of the most popular names ovr the years.

    I’ll be avoiding Nancy’s book, sounds like the kind of prentetious stuff I don’t like to read. Boy names that happen to be used by girls aren’t less masculine or “strong”, doesn’t make them weak names. Seems like something she’s obsessed with too…

    1. From what I’ve read on message boards, parents are horrified at the possibility that their favorite boys’ name will “go girl.” It is NOT something that worries me personally, but I think there’s definitely a place for a guide to the masculine names that seem least likely to be used for girls.

      Trouble is, of course, that it can change. One of the names in her book is Alan, and I know a little girl with the middle name Alan …