No 20 - flowery
No 20 - flowery by Kirsty Hall via Flickr

Let’s start with an announcement: every Saturday in March will be March Madness at Appellation Mountain. Nope, I’m not writing basketball-related posts. Instead, you’re voting on your favorites from last year’s most popular posts.

It should be fun!

Elsewhere online:

  • I love Lemon’s guest post at Nameberry on word names: Echo, Tansy, Temple. Ages ago I stumbled across Cascata – the Italian word for waterfall, as in cascade – and I always think of that one when word names are discussed;
  • Speaking of word names, here’s one in the same key from Nancy: Invicta, inspired by a steamroller;
  • ForReal spotted a boy named Ridge. I completely understand why parents would gravitate towards such a rugged, outdoorsy pick, but it seems a little hard to wear for a real kid. It seems more appropriate for a soap opera character;
  • Is it me, or is Finn making a stealth attack? This story from the Chicago Tribune about a 61 year old woman who served as surrogate for her daughter mentioned that the baby name’s is Finnean. Finley, Finnegan, Finbar, Fintan … it seems like every day there’s another way to get to that oh-so-popular nickname;
  • There was a lively conversation about unisex names at Nameberry earlier this week, and so I thought this was timely: from the Quinnipiac Chronicle, a girl named Kyle who loves her name. However, she would’ve liked to buy pink pencils with her name on them. No word on how sisters Shawn, Casey, and Riley feel about their names;
  • MTV suggests names for Honor Warren’s little sister or brother. Somehow I don’t think Jessica and Cash will be using Louboutin or Money, but hey, Sterling has some possibilities;
  • The 30 Rock baby is Elizabeth called Liddy. Here’s the quote from Alec Baldwin‘s character Jack: “We’re calling her Liddy, as in Liddy Dole, G. Gordon Liddy, and my martial arts instructor, Li-Dee.”
  • From BabynameloverBraden loses his “r” and becomes Baden. I wonder if they were thinking of the German resort town?
  • I do truly love the name Evander.

Just a few celebrity birth announcements. I also post these on Facebook:

  • No Doubt’s Tom Dumont and wife Mieke welcomed a third son, Koa Thomas. Koa joins Ace Joseph and Rio Atticus at home. I spotted Koah more than a year ago. Let’s see if it catches on;
  • Rod Stewart and wife Penny welcomed a son called Aiden. All those years of naming babies, and I’m not sure Rod has mastered the art. His older kids are Kimberly, Sean, Ruby, Renee, Liam, and Alastair.

Tomorrow at Nameberry: a list of designer names drawn from Fashion Week 2011, and no, Chanel is not on the list.

That’s all for this week. As always, thanks for reading!

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 think Spencer and Brody are pretty much almost 100% male. I agree that Bailey and Quinn seem odd on a girl, especially because I associate Bailey to the character of Party of 5. But I think all the “aley/ailey” names are doomed to become feminine, even Haley was at one point male.

    By the way, what is the origin of the name Lacey? I’ve always considered it a girls name, but I did meet a 60 year old man named Lacey, which made me wonder if its another male named turned female, or if its an extremely rare case of a woman name on a man.

  2. I went school with boys named Bailey, Quinn, Spencer and Brody so when I see them on a girls list it makes me shake my head.

  3. Feels like I should dislike Ridge, but I kind of don’t. I somewhat prefer it over Aiden. 😛 Though I’d probably be surprised to meet a little Ridge.

    Koa isn’t my style either, but I do like the 3 letter theme thing, how they all end in a different vowel and how they have more traditional middle names. 🙂

    The sound of Baden is ok, but the more I look at it, I just see “Bad-en”, when I wouldn’t really want the word “bad” popping out of a name.

  4. Speaking of Finns, People Magazine had an article about an outdoor preschool in Washington. The boys named in the article were Finn, Connor, Orion, and Boots; the one girl named in the article was Beulah. What fun names! Beulah was just a NotD a few weeks ago so it was nice to see the name on a real kid. And Boots?! Pretty out there but still kind of cool.

    I have two birth announcements from this last week. A colleague of mine had a boy named Martin John (older brother is William). I’m not wild about Martin and I keep mixing the names up and wanting to say John Martin. But Martin goes well with William I think.

    A friend of the family named their first child Connor Osman. Osman is for the paternal grandfather whose own parents hailed from Egypt; I guess they just liked Connor.

    Great round up Abby and look forward to seeing tomorrow’s Nameberry post!

    1. William and Martin do go together nicely! I know a little Martin – fairly sure it is a family name, as his sister’s name is totally different in style. And I overheard a mother calling her tweenaged son mar TEEN – the French pronunciation – a few days ago and I found myself really liking it.

      But not Marty. That’s too McFly for me. 🙂

  5. I’m really not loving the trend of boys’ names on girls. It’s been done to death, and I dislike seeing perfectly good masculine names such as Avery and Aubrey become feminine names and therefore unusable on boys, since most parents are reluctant to give their boys names that will be perceived as girly. There are some names that truly are being used in a unisex way such as Jayden and Taylor, but it seems more common for a name that’s initially unisex to wind up ‘going to the girls’ and dropping off the charts for boys entirely.

    Ridge was (is?) a popular character on the soap opera Bold & the Beautiful. He had a brother named Thorne. They’re definitely not my style, but aren’t nearly as odd as some of the stuff people are coming up with nowadays!

    I think Finn is definitely getting a boost from Glee. Is Quinn making a similar jump I wonder (and going over to the girls)?

    1. Havoye, I completely agree with you about boys’ names on girls. Vince Vaughn’s lady Locklyn really epitomized for me the rampant nature of this trend. And yes, unfortunately, when a name goes pink it’s difficult for it to stay blue. A friend of mine experienced this when she named her baby boy Harper last year. She announced the name before the birth and many people assumed she was having a girl.

      And I do think that Finn is getting a boost from Glee. I somehow doubt that Artie will though 😉

      1. Well being a guy with 2 unisex names, well Rhyly or Riley used to be just male anyway, I agree with your point.
        I know several guys named Leslie, Shannon, Kelly, Ashley, Courtney, etc, and most of them are pretty much ok with their names. However most people’s reactions to these names is that they’re girl names. Popularity does put them on the pink side, but it completely disregards the original of these names and that they used to be male in the first place. I guess I would be more ok with boy names on girls if people would still accept them on boys too (girl names on boys almost never happens…).
        Another thing that bothers me is that TV shows will promote these unisex on girls a lot more than boys. Anyone notice how many girl Madison’s, Addison’s, Kelly’s, Whitney’s, Rory’s, Peyton’s, Quinn’s, Riley’s, etc, are around in these shows? I’ve never even heard them for boys. They do influence people’s perception on the name. 2 years ago people might’ve associted Quinn as a boy name, now, probably not as much.

        Anyway, Aiden is really boring, but it could be worse.

        Koa, now there’s a great name, and what a fab set of names those brothers have. Koa will fit right in with Noah, and the nickname Koda which I hear a lot, probably short for Dakota.

        1. Skye, there definitely are lots of examples of names trending feminine after being used on TV. Riley Finn was Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s boyfriend, but I think that’s the exception that proves the rule. Plus that was ten years ago.

          On a related note, Peyton had never charted in the US for girls until 1992. Guess what happened in 1992? Rebecca deMornay played psycho nanny Peyton Flanders in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Payton debuted for girls the same year. Go figure.

          The only Shannon I know right now has served several tours of duty in the military, so yeah – I’m sometimes challenged to see that one as feminine.

      2. Aw, no, Artie probably won’t, though we have a celebrity baby Archie, so maybe it could? I doubt Tina or Brittany will see a rise, either. Noah? Rachel? Maybe…

        Finn and Quinn are destined to be chart-climbers, though, and I can’t see why not. They are totally fun and playful, yet they manage to maintain a seriousness to ’em.

  6. I went to high school with a guy named Ridge. His last name was a common first name (Z@achary) which added to the confusion. He was a mohawk, pierced nose, and leather jacket sort of guy, which made Ridge work pretty well for him.

    My favorite word names are pretty bland, like Grace, Ruby, and Sage. I had a bit of a hard time swallowing Diva, I can’t lie, but I appreciated Lemon’s thoughts on it. Tansy’s pretty rad, though!

    1. Wow. I can’t substitute symbols for letters to save my life :\ That’s supposed to be Z@chary, of course. No double A there.

    2. Kayt, that was the nicest way to say you didn’t like Diva ever. Bravo! I’m glad Tansy was more favorably received.

      By the way, I think Grace, Ruby, and Sage are simply delightful. Grace is a timeless classic, Ruby was my great-grandmother’s name, and Sage is just modern fun! Curious – would Sage be a boy or a girl for you? I’ve heard it both ways but usually prefer it on a girl…

      1. Thanks! I try to keep it polite, even if it isn’t my taste. 😉 I think of Diva as a bit low rent, but your explanation made me see it in a different light, and makes it sound less silly to me. Totally not my style, but my son’s name is James.

        I think of Sage as more masculine. I think the shortness and the long vowel makes me think of names like James, Keith, Sean, Gage, etc. I don’t think it’s terribly out of place on a girl, but my first thought is boy.

  7. Thanks for the props on my guest blog, Abby! And, Cascata is very chic. I do worry it might be too close to Cascada, the musical group…

    Aren’t Ace, Rio, and Koa the coolest sibling set? Love the three letters, love the unusual, playful names.

    I was not impressed, however, with either Rod Stewart’s Aiden or Melissa Rycroft’s Ava Grace. Come on, people! Get creative! But, of Rod’s children, I think Ruby and Alastair are rather wonderful.

    …do I hear that Natalie Portman is expecting a boy after all? Alas, no Hosanna, Shoshana, or Eliza. Boo!

  8. March Madness has long given me fits (I loathe the sound of rubber on a parquet floor!) so March Madness here is far more appealing, Huzzah for Appelation Mountain!

    As someone who narrowly escaped being Rainbow MacKenzie, I’m not a huge fan of word names. Echo, Glory and some flower names are as far as I go, comfortably.

    Rod Stewart scares me a fair bit, but I’m guessing his kids are wildly varying ages. Of them, Kimberly & Sean feel older than Renee & Liam who feel older than Ruby & Alistair. (Ruby feels odd man out if you posted them in age order). Aiden neither excites or repulses me, it just is.
    Ace, Rio & Koa hmm? I guess they’re sticking to a three-letter theme. Could be worse, I suppose.

    Evander is lovely, isn’t it? Strong, handsome and rather suave. I like him too!

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s Nameberry post. Designers names, I’ll bet that’s a creative lot (or maybe they’re not, but their kids are!)

    As usual, fabulous post; Have a lovely, lazy Sunday Afternoon Abby!

  9. Koa, Ace and Rio are a wonderfully spunky sib-set. Thanks for another amazing week, as always, Abby!