number 6
Number 6 by jontintinjordan via Flickr

This is all kinds of intriguing – check out The Board: An Unofficial Guide to The Bump’s baby name forum. First, because there’s great content. I watched Rant 55: All Your Kids Are Named the Same Thing twice. And, okay, I’m hugely flattered to be on their Best Blogs list. But it is especially interesting to see the conversations in a well-used discussion board rounded up and expanded.

Elsewhere online:

  • Now this is a great sibset: Ronan Joss and Carys Eleanor;
  • I liked this Rookie Moms post about names from the J. Crew catalog and/or nature;
  • Here’s a name I’m really liking – Agnessa, spotted over at Baby Names Garden. I’m not so sure about the premise of post, though. The names are terribly stylish, but if you’re raising your child in an English speaking country, you’re probably better off with Theodore or Richard than Teodor or Rikard;
  • Yes, parents really are naming their daughters Aniston. It’s the new Addison, which was the new Madison, which was a cultural phenomenon that still surprises me. I might just have to profile Madison at some point – how did that happen?
  • I overheard this one on Saturday: there’s a Swiss freestyle skier called Conradign Netzer. He’s been around for a while, but this is the first I’ve noticed his name. The sportscaster pronounced it con RAD eh GAN. Anyone know where it came from?
  • In 2009, I wrote about Eben. And last year, it was Roxana;
  • Nancy has the Most Popular Baby Names in Armenia. Narek tops the boys’ list, and Mane is most popular for girls. Neither seems like a promising import, but Milena is also popular for girls, and I’m hearing it here, too;
  • Elisabeth spotted a Hendrix over at Ohdeedoh. I mentioned Hendrix in my most recent Nameberry summary, inspired by Oscar nominees. Is Hendrix the new Jaxon?

Which reminds me – stop by Nameberry tomorrow for the girls’ list inspired by Oscar nominees.

Amongst the famous, or at least famous enough to be mentioned in People Magazine over the last week:

Tune in this week for Ziva, Winston, Abilene, Monserrate, Rachel, and a special Saturday post for a reader who is due quite soon.

Thanks for reading, 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. For some reason Agnessa doesn’t particularly charm me. That added syllable sounds awkward to my ears, but I could just be pronouncing it incorrectly.

    Rant #55 was hilarious! I made Mark watch it and he chuckled too.

    For the past month Roseanna’s been going to a drop-in preschool program. The latest new attendee? A cute little guy named Rupert. I’m hoping his mother shows up again so I can find out what inspired her choice.

  2. Agnessa is an interesting one, but I can’t say I love it. Agnes, to me, is fine. Nothing glamorous about it, but it isn’t all terrible. Agnessa looks like an Anglicanized version of Agnieszka, as in Polish tennis player Agnieszka Radwanska. Agnessa also reminds me of model Agyness Deyn, born Laura Hollins. This one’s a real interesting story – apparently a numerologist told her Agyness was the most “fortuitous” way to spell Agnes, and even her mother, Lorraine, changed her name to Lorrayne!

    As for people naming their daughters Aniston, celebrities do it, too! Chyler Leigh, Lexie Grey of Grey’s Anatomy, has an Anniston Kae! She’s also got Noah Wilde (B) and Taelyn Leigh (G). Husband Nathan West named the girls and Miss Leigh named the boy…

    1. You’re kidding! That’s how Agyness Deyn got her name? Wow.

      And tak, Agnieszka came to mind for me, too – but I don’t love her “nyesh” sound. I’m not even sure I can say it correctly.

      That’s right – there is a TV star with a TV-star-inspired baby name … I wonder how Chyler got her name?

      1. Yes. Maybe we can blame numerologists for the popularity of creative-Y spellings, then?

        Agnieszka is sort of like [ag-NIESH-ka] – the second syllable is sort of like “niche,” but you say it as if it has two fast syllables. Sorry, I’m not sure if that made any sense! It’s easier to just call her Aga or Agi…

        1. My ear hears the middle syllable, but I can’t quite say it. It’s the same with most of Polish. My mother-in-law despairs …

  3. My name spotting for the week – a family with 4 boys: Fletch3r, Sawy3r & Campbel1 (twins) and West0n. I liked how the Mom told me “After calling our first son Flecther, it’s not like we could name the second one John – we needed something more unusual.”

    Agnessa does sound prettier than Agnes alone.

  4. Hey there! Thanks for mentioning my post at the blog on Baby Names Garden (aka The Names Blog). Sorry the gist of the post wasn’t clear! The post wasn’t aimed particularly at parents who are raising their kids in English-speaking countries — it was intended to convey some “universal” names that travel well, no matter what country you are from or in. Hence the list of names is a mix of names from various origins, and the common theme is that no matter what the origin, they are all recognizable names, to a degree. For example, the choices you cited: Teodor and Rikard — are both names that have many recognizable cognates. (Theodore, Theodoor, Richard, Rikhart, etc). Teodore and Rikard happen to both be Scandinavian names, so Scandinavian parents could be confident they would “travel well.” Hope that clears it up a bit!

  5. I’ve been in San Francisco this week and have met some really nice people with uncommon names- Thaddeus, Davinia and Abraham are some of my favourites!

  6. a whole two years since Eben! Oh goodness! That means my little man will be 2 this year. ACK!

    I was watching a show on dogs this morning and they featured a girl (prob. 11 or so) named C0rryl. Coral. I was disappointed when I saw the name spelled out like that – I mean, Coral I could get behind (though not my taste), but C0rryl? Eek.

    1. Oh wow – time DOES fly, Bek!

      I wonder what motivated the respelling? Coral is such a distinctive name to start with …

  7. Great timing with Agnessa. I found a Agness the other day. 🙂

    One of my best friend’s name is Anniston so I have a soft spot for the name.

    Have a good week!

      1. Yeah, she’s 30 so she thinks its funny that her name is being used now as she was the only Anniston growing up.

        She was named after Anniston, Alabama. Apparently, her parents lived one block away, there churches were right next door, but they didn’t meet until they both moved to Virginia (when they were teenagers) in the same month and moved next door to each other.

        I looked that up too so I could send her how many baby Anniston’s were out there. If you include Anisten, Anistyn, & Anistin, then it would be in the Top 1000 Crazy.

  8. I loved rant #55!

    The J. Crew catalog post reminded me… We met a toddler named Arbor at the optometrist office. I got nosy and asked her mom if that was her maiden name. Nope, it’s was just a word she liked.

    My local paper’s birth notices included a Mubarak, born this past week. In this community his parent’s are probably Somali or Sudanese, but considering recent events, it’s an interesting choice.

    1. Julie, I ran into an Arbor, too, maybe a year ago – she was a flower girl at a wedding! Very appropriate.

      Mubarak … wow!

    2. I have to say I’m not that surprised about Mubarak. The timing is kind of eyebrow raising, but maybe the parents figured that in the next year or so it won’t matter. Or maybe he’s named for a relative and so they went ahead with it anyway. Mubarak is a fairly common Arabic name so I doubt it will be forever tied with the Egyptian president. But talk about bad timing!

  9. Madison. How did that happen? Look back in time to a little Tom Hanks movie called Splash. It was a joke. It was a gag. The mermaid had no name, or at least one that couldn’t be pronounced in English without shattering glass. As they were walking along in NY, Tom Hanks’s character was giving Darryl Hannah’s mermaid ideas for names, and then stopped to figure out where they were. Oh, yeah, Madison Ave. She liked the sound of Madison. Chose it as a name. Ba-dum-dum-ching! Laughter ensued. And then…people stopped laughing. They started thinking it was cool, not silly. Except, apparently, for a select few who know better. Then again, a glamorous, female movie star named Darryl isn’t expected either.

    1. That’s the thing – it was a joke, right? I haven’t seen Splash in years, and based on the age of the movie, I suspect plenty of parents naming their daughters Madison are only dimly aware of the fish tale. And yet … there she sits in the Top Ten. It surprises me every time I look at the rankings.

      1. I agree. It all started with Splash, no doubt. At the time, it had a quirky surname feel, as well as presidential and New York history. I think it was embraced also as an alternative to Allison and Madeleine. Then it just exploded–new parents liking it because they heard it on another child, not directly from the movie.

      2. I didn’t realise that was the history behind Madison. It’s interesting, but it doesn’t make the name any more endearing. However, I do prefer Madison to Addison, which always makes me think of the disease.

    2. Whenever I meet an older-than-the-trend Madison I think “Someone’s parents like Darryl Hannah.” Now I think “Better than Briynnleighh!”