No 12 - elegant curves
No 12 by kirstyhall via Flickr

I often have conversations about baby names with people who have no idea how I spend my free time. It isn’t something I try to do – just a place into which I stumble over and over again. Do you do this, too?

Out there in the baby name blog ‘verse, where it is safe to assume that everyone else is equally obsessed:

  • Do you ever flip through Who’s Due Next at I’m thinking that Jennifer Garner’s baby name might be fairly tame, but hoping that Hilary Duff will come up with something wacky and call it “not too weird.” (Peaches Geldof, I’m looking at you and baby-on-the-way Astala.)
  • The Name Lady gave a very sensible answer to two parents’ questions regarding unusual names they plan to give their due-soon daughters: Idabelle Fae and Ramona. TNL writes “It’s easy to overreact to negative responses, because they pack an emotional wallop …” and praises diversity in naming. But in the comments? They savage Idabelle Fae. Huh? What’s that noise? Oh, that’s the sound of a good point whooshing right past …
  • I love a daring, even a daffy middle name. Check out this list at For Real: Henry Discretion, Wilkie Mountain, Phoebe Bluebell.
  • Which reminds me: I predict that Bluebell will pop up more and more often as a middle name – as familiar as Isabel with a touch of Beyonce’s stylish and daring color name, but still plenty of room to say, “Oh, no, we weren’t influenced by Blue Ivy. We’d never use a crazy celeb baby name.”
  • Speaking of speculation, Paula Kashtan might have nailed it: “Can Blue Ivy do for colors what Apple couldn’t for fruit?”
  • What did Picabo Street name her kids? Her four boys are Eli, Trey, Dax, and Roen. She shares their reasoning over at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
  • Cabot – as preppy as Carter, but completely unexpected without being difficult to wear. There’s a nice write-up at Bewitching Names.
  • Which reminds me – I love Abbott for boys, as well as many of these from British Baby Names’ occupational surname list: Thatcher, Foster, Ranger.
  • And Leif. I love Leif.

That’s all for this week. Oh, except that when my son learned that he’s getting a new classmate called Phoenix, he asked “Why is called that? Is he a magic bird?” It wasn’t a mocking question in any way – more a reminder that, at least at a certain age, a cool name really can be a badge of honor among kids. Given my son’s current preference for mythical beasts, I can see that he’d like to be called Gryphon – at least for a few more years.

As always, thanks for reading. Be sure to stop by Nameberry tomorrow for more name talk, 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 remember when Julia Roberts named her daughter Hazel and everyone commented that it was weird and then not even two years later, everyone loved it. I agree that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner will pick something tame, but tasteful. I feel they did well with their daughter’s names.

    I really like Ramona. I wouldn’t mind seeing that name pick up a little.

    You may be right about Bluebell, but I hope you’re wrong. I would rather see a baby named Blue than Bluebell. If little Bluebell grows up to be sassy, she will have no problems, but if she’s self-conscious that could be quite a name to bear. Teen boys can have some twisted minds.

    I feel Idabelle is completely workable, but I really like Ida on its own.

  2. Idabelle is sweet and transforms the staid Ida into something more. I wonder if she’d get questions about misspellings of Isabelle, though. I love Ramona too.

    Cabot – nice sound, but in New England, it would definitely come under the heading of “trying too hard” (a wannabe Preppy name) unless it was a family name.