Sunday Summary 2.18.24Did your kiddo recently come home with a class list?

Mine used to come home with an entire directory, and yes, I devoured the names. Obviously.

With Valentine’s Day earlier this month, lots of kids were sent home with class lists so they could send in cards for their classmates. And, just as at the beginning of the school year, parents often share them on social media.

My takeaway, every. single. time?

Names do not repeat.

I mean, sometimes there’s a duplicate. Often there are two very similar names.

But overwhelmingly, in a child care class of twenty-ish three year olds? Your Liam will be the only Liam.

This is good news.

It’s only as the years go on, and your child reaches middle school, high school, life, and the pool of people grows that a common name becomes more noticeable. In a class of twenty-ish toddlers, the chance repetition is limited; in a high school graduating class of 300? The odds go up – even with a relatively uncommon name.

So the test isn’t whether or not you want your child’s name to be unique amongst their peers at age two or seven. It’s how much do you want your child’s name to stand out when they’re trying out for the track team as a freshman?

Which, admittedly, is mind-boggling when you’ve just found out you’re expecting.

Have you been surprised by how often your child shares their name?


The marvelous Zendaya stars in a new movie focused around tennis. Her character’s name? Tashi Duncan. I’m curious about Tashi – it strikes me as slightly off trend but still rich with potential. Challengers comes out in a few more weeks. If it’s even a modest hit, it could inspire a tiny bump. I read Tashi as a Natasha nickname, but apparently it has Tibetan roots and means good fortune – which is all kinds of amazing. (Also, it’s unisex – given to 9 girls and 12 boys in 2022.)

Speaking of movies, Dune Part Two is also hitting the big screen shortly. Will this potential blockbuster finally remind parents that Paul is a great classic boys’ name, currently quite underused? I mention, in part, because C in DC always brings it up and yes, you are so right and I didn’t listen!

I loved the adaptation of Daisy Jones & the Six. Have you seen it yet? I remember tearing through the book, so no surprise there. It got me curious about the director, Nzingha Stewart. She’s got one of those great overlooked names. Queen Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba ruled what is today modern-day Angola, fighting off the Portuguese. Her story is fascinating – she’s no saint, but she is a shrewd political and military leader. The names of our heroes are waiting for us to discover them.

Name popularity data for 2023 is starting to trickle out. Boston’s list caught my eye, if only because Liam + Olivia are #1 – just like the US-wide 2022 data. I’m not sure it’s worth reading anything into it – but I really have yet to see any name with the momentum to knock Olivia out of the top spot. Pretty sure I’d say the same thing about Liam.

Lastly, if you’ve noticed that things are looking a little different here lately? I’m working on the first real site re-design here in ages. The process temporarily broke the comments, but I believe they’re back now. This is very, very long overdue. More specifics soon, but for now … watch this space!

That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!

Boy Names 2.18.24 Girl Names 2.18.24

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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