Sunday Summary 6.25.17Here’s a #namespotting question. Is Jackson John too repetitive? They’re both forms of the same name, and both can be called very popular indeed. Or is this the kind of thing that only the name obsessed among us would ever notice?

Something tells me that it’s the latter.

Elsewhere online:

  • Cue the nostalgia. This post got me thinking about Cabbage Patch Kid names. Once the initial craze faded, and you could actually walk into a store and buy one off the shelf, I remember standing there, reading all the birth certificates. And by “remember,” I should clarify that I’ve done that as recently as last year, I think. I’m not sure if their first-middle name combinations are still unique, but back in the day, creator Xavier Roberts sourced them from a 1930s-era baby name book.
  • Though that got me thinking – there were baby name books in the 1930s? Reference books of some sort, I’m sure. But would parents have actually picked them up to find a name for their child? Anyone know? The one my parents used dated to 1963, and was updated periodically for at least twenty years. My mom bought some re-issue of it sometime in the 1970s and kept it while naming four children over the course of a decade.
  • I have a minor obsession with one-syllable, distinctive names, partially because I think they make such smashing middles. My latest find? Swyn, courtesy of British Baby Names’ latest birth announcement post. Elea tells us that it comes from a Welsh word meaning spell or charm. Pretty sure it rhymes with Finn, which makes it quite wearable. (Though it might be more of an ‘uh’ sound in Welsh – anyone know for sure?)
  • Also recently spotted as a middle: Praise. Love this one, too, especially as a spiritually meaningful choice.
  • Love Sophie’s celebrity baby names predictions? Here’s a new batch.
  • More boy names like Miles and Brooksfrom Baby Name Wizard. Love Ives, Rhodes, and Gates.
  • Great suggestions from Duana for naming a sister for Eleanor and Hazel, but I’m mostly intrigued by the parents’ problem: did you go into the hospital with a shortlist of names, only to find that none of them were quite right? If so, how did you proceed?

One more thing before we go: I’ve added two new services to my Private Baby Name Consulting practice, aimed at helping more families with their big decision. Please visit the page here, and if you have any questions, drop me a line at appmtn (at) gmail (dot) com.

That’s all for this week. As always, thank you 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. Swyn is a beautiful Welsh name, meaning charm and enchantment. It is a unique name and also not too difficult to pronounce, It’s pronounced as Sue-in

  2. I read Swyn and all I think of is Wayne’s World “schwing!”. Doesn’t appeal to me.
    My CPKs were Bianca Orielle and Orville Victor, but we called him Victor.

    1. Oh, I didn’t think of that, Katie – you’re right. I think it reminds me of retired WNBA player Swin Cash. Just looked up her full name – it’s Swintayla!!

  3. My parents say they picked my name from a 1930’s or 20’s baby name book they got from the library. I was born in 1981.

  4. The year I was 7 all I wanted for Christmas was the AG Felicity doll. I gave my mom lots of details – red hair, etc. But I never showed her the ad from the back of my library book! (AG was still pretty new back then). I ended up with a cabbage patch instead. Carrot red hair, green eyes – she was exactly what I asked for and I have never been so disappointed. Lol.

    Anyway, her name is Olive Annette, but I always called her Annie. She ended up being a good “friend”, and now my girls play with her.

    1. That is SUCH a great story! And Olive Annette is the quintessential CPK name – hopelessly out of favor then, quite stylish now.

  5. I have a book called Naming Baby, published in 1954. It is 66 pages long and the names are listed alphabetically with boys and girls mixed.

    The names are very on trend with the wonderful Dulcibelle, Inigo and Thomasina.

  6. Swyn is great, isn’t it! It’s the second one I’ve come across in the last few years. It’s part of the new wave of vocabulary names in Wales.

    Yes, Swyn rhymes with Finn. ‘w’ in Welsh is an ‘oo’ sound and the ‘y’ here is an ‘ee’ so “OO+EE” quickly like the French oui. When said quickly, the OOEE sounds pretty much the same as the English “wi” in win.

    1. Interesting, Elea – thank you! It’s always good to remember that vocabulary names are happening beyond English, isn’t it?

  7. Charlotte Mary Yonge wrote ‘History of Christian Names’ in 1863. So, yeah, there were baby name books in the 1930’s.

    1. I’ve heard her name before … now that is one I’ll have to track down. Thanks!

  8. I have a baby name booklet from the early 1940s that my great-grandparents used to name my grandma. It lists the name, origin, and meaning, plus has cute illustrations. I can scan and send it to you if you’d like!

  9. Oof, Swyn seems like a minefield in the US. I’m imagining a lifetime of “…swine?” Also: my CP was Barb Alicia. Always in full!