27 by Cappellmeister via Flickr

First, I’m incredibly excited to see who wins March Madness! Thanks to everyone who voted so far, and if you have not, please remember to weigh in: Boys’ Final and Girls’ Final.

I thoroughly enjoyed compiling Rock’n’Roll Baby Names for Nameberry last week. This week’s list is equally edgy. Here’s a hint: Buffy is on the list.


  • I haven’t seen Just Go With It, but I’m fascinated by the names. Nicole Kidman plays a not-so-nice character called Devlin. Brooklyn Decker plays a girl named Palmer. The 2011 film is based on a 1969 movie, which was based on an American adaptation of a French play. Up until now, Palmer’s character called was Toni. I’ve no idea why they opted for such an unconventional choice in the remake;
  • Swistle posted a reader question about the name Story. Comments suggested Astoria as a formal name. I’m torn – Astoria is an undeniably pretty sound, but have you been to Queens? Then again, a less-than-idyllic setting hasn’t hurt Brooklyn;
  • Which leads us to Nancy’s note about baby boys named Travolta. More than you’d think, less than you’d fear;
  • From Nomes e mais nomes: which do you prefer Carolina or Catarina? It’s the kind of question that makes me want to say “twins!”
  • Step into the Wayback Machine. In 2009, the featured name was Lana. Last year, it was Orla;
  • I always enjoy her birth announcements, but this one really surprised me: For Real spotted an unusual combination, which just happens to be my cousin’s name;
  • She also spotted Jaxlen McCade, Riggen Joseph, Brawk David, and Dash Ayden. Oh, and a Dollie Michelle. I adore Dolly as a nickname for Dorothy, but I think it would be tough to answer to Dolly at 25.

On to Hollywood. There’s been much chatter over Rachel Zoe’s new son’s name, Skyler Morrison. It’s not the stylish choice I would have expected, but what really stunned me was a comment in New York Magazine. The writer congratulated Rachel & Rodger on their healthy baby boy and “also for naming him normally. Baby names shouldn’t be trends.”

I’ll be curious to hear Rachel’s explanation for choosing the name. Maybe she’ll have the kind of backstory that makes me regret every snarky thought I’ve had about her choice.

In other starbaby news:

  • The conversation of the week should really be this: How did Luca and Matteo become the sibset of moment? Top Chef’s top chef Tom Colicchio and wife Lori welcomed a son, Mateo Lev. Mateo joins big brothers Luka Bodhi and Dante at home. Impeccable Italian heritage picks, right? Masculine without going overboard, classic but not plain. Last month, E’s Kristin Dos Santos welcomed a son, Matteo Tomaz, a little brother for Luca Alexander. And Colin Firth and his wife Livia Guiggioli are parents to Luca and Mateo, too;
  • TLC’s Design Star Vern Yip welcomed a daughter, Vera Lillian Beatrix. He and partner Craig Koch are also parents to son Gavin Joshua Mannox;
  • Quarterback Eli Manning is a first-time dad. He and wife Abby welcomed a daughter, Ava Frances.

If you’re looking for more talk of celebrity births and general name talk, check out my Facebook page.

That’s all for this week. As always, thank you 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. First, I think family names trump all. And I do mean that sincerely.

    Mostly I was reacting to the fact that Skyler peaked in the 1990s, for both genders.

    I wouldn’t have been shocked if Rachel Zoe had picked a trendy name that is rising – Easton or Bryson or Camden or Jameson or Beckett. I was surprised that the name had been around for a few decades, but was no longer fresh and fashionable.

    That’s the trouble with Skyler, except I’m not really sure that it matters in your case. You’re not naming for style. You’re choosing the name for family connections, and those matter more than anything.

    Now, as for feminine versus masculine, the reality is that Skyler has hung on for boys – even pre-Zoe birth announcement. You might want to look at the comparison charts at Behind the Name (https://www.behindthename.com/top/name/skyler), though I should say that I’m not sure if they’re updated when SSA revises their data. Still, it will give you an idea – Skyler is fading fast for girls, holding steady for boys, probably because the -er ending is so current for boys’ names.

    So, while I wouldn’t love Skyler on a boy out of Every Possible Name in the Universe, you’re not choosing from the entire universe. You’re choosing from your family tree.

    Would you consider using the Schuyler spelling? It seems more obviously masculine to my eye, even if it is a little bit confusing at first.

    The only other thing I would say is that an impeccably classic boys’ name in the middle spot can ease any concerns – Skyler James, Schuyler William – or even Edward Skyler, E. Skyler …

    American parents are in a moment when boys’ names are more varied than ever, yet we still tend to be very worried about our boys being mistaken for girls. My son Alexander refused to answer to Aly after his classmate told him that was a girls’ name. His classmate, BTW, is a boy named Delaney – currently #208 for GIRLS in the US. Ahem.

  2. I’m late here, but I wanted to ask you about your comment above about Skyler – do you dislike the name? You said you had “snarky thoughts” about it, but i wasn’t sure if that was because of Rachel Zoe or because you don’t like the name. My husband really likes it for our Baby Boy (due end of August), and it’s actually a family name (in the Schuyler form), but I am having difficulty getting behind it 100% because it feels so feminine. So I am trolling message boards to see what others think…just curious to know what your opinion is because I value what you have to say!

  3. @SkyeRhyly, actually Malin is related to the Madeline/Magdalena family. It’s a Scandinavian diminutive – not sure how common it is, but it is definitely feminine. The Biblical Mahlon is male – but I assume there’s a completely unrelated origin for Mahlon.

    @Lemon – Garrett Wade! Not so uncommon now, but I still remember the reaction when my aunt chose it in the 1980s. It’s quite the handsome name, I think, and he’s a great guy.

    @SadieSadie – Victoria nicknamed Story is clever!

  4. The “Just Go With It” names are hilarius because they’re so not age appropriate. I would expect two girls named Devlin and Palmer to be, at the oldest, five.

    1. That’s true. I like that Gavin and Vera share a v, but Vern and Vera are pretty close.

  5. I went to school with a girl named Victoria with the nn Story so that might work
    I adore Ava but it is becoming over played.