Sunday Summary 4.16.23For years, I dutifully logged into TurboTax to complete our annual taxes. Eventually, we decided to hire an accountant. It’s expensive. It duplicates skills my husband and I both have. But we had a few reasons for outsourcing that haven’t changed, and so we happily pay an accountant.

But here’s why this particular accountant will always be my accountant.

As many of you know, I’m Abby – but that’s from my middle name, Abigail. My legal first name is Amy. Obviously, my accountant needs to know my legal name to file our taxes. But he’s people-savvy enough to know that I strongly prefer – and really only use – Abby.

The other week, at the height of tax season madness, he sent me my docs to sign. And called me Amy. (Just like it says on the legal forms he sent.)

Within a minute, he sent an apology email.

Noticing matters. It takes time and energy and caring about people – and my accountant is, obviously, peak busy. Of course, I’ve shrugged off a dozen more annoying cases of being mis-named. And for me, this is a preference – not an existential denial of my humanity. It’s not a big deal.

And yet it IS a big deal for someone to get it right. That’s why he’ll always be my (pricey, overworked, in some ways unnecessary) accountant.

Call people what they want to be called.


Emily is everywhere. The life cycle of a former #1 name in the US. (New York Times gift link – I hope.)

Oh gosh, no don’t name your baby Charles if your last name is Manson. Yes, even if Charles is THE name in your family and honors a loved one. You can remember that person another way and spare your child a lifetime of raised eyebrows. (Because while many references fade quickly, I feel like the pure evil associated with “Charles Manson” is likely to linger another few decades. And several members of Manson’s cult remain in prison, promising that the story will resurface periodically.)

Conventional wisdom says that once a “boy” name is used for girls, it’s forever left the pool of potential male names. British Baby Names highlights the new Scotland data for proof that unisex names don’t only move from boy to girl. It might feel like that for a narrow stretch of years, but look at a few decades’ worth of numbers, and it’s rarely that simple.

Yellowstone features some amazing character names. Surnames like Dutton and Wheeler; first names like Teal, Wade, Tracer, and Laramie. The actress who played Laramie? Her name is Hassie Harrison. I’m fascinated by this Cassie-with-an-H name. It appears to be Harrison’s real given name. I think I need to make a list of all the show’s names to check when the new data is released …

Question from a discussion board: In your opinion should “season” “month” or “days of the weeks names” only be used if the kiddo is born that season/month/day of the week or is it WORSE if they match? There’s a real range of responses, from “August has to be born in August” to “it’s awful if Wednesday is born on Wednesday.” Also, plenty of “it depends on the name” and “either way is fine.” I’m pretty much team “either way is fine” but I can imagine plenty of people will ask June if her name reflects her birthday.

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That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!

Girl Names 4.16.23 Boy Names 4.16.23

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 have an August who was not born in August. It’s a family name – as are all my children’s names – and his due date/arrival date were not a factor in his naming. I’ve never assumed that those names would or should match the day/month/season of a person’s birth.

  2. Thanks for sharing the NYT article link – I’ve always loved the name Emily, so it was a great read. Your Sunday Summaries are always so interesting.

  3. I wouldn’t really wonder if a May, Summer or Winter was born at that time of year! I love these either way.