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 wouldn’t be surprised if Game of Thrones inspired more people – there are already a ton of babes on George RR Martin’s website that are named after characters. We’ve considered a few too – Bran and Aria, to be exact. There are some great names in that book. And, oh my word, yes, addicting series! It’s been years that we’ve had to wait for the newest, and while that makes me fume a bit, I still sit on the edge of my seat waiting for the release.

  2. Yardley? What kind of a name is Yardley? The lawn was looking very yardley that day, a place for barbecues and slip-n-slides… I had yardley hung up the phone when it rang again…. Seriously, is this in any way a legit name?

    1. Well, if you watch The Simpsons, Yeardley Smith has been the voice of Lisa for years. Very similar to Yardly, and she was given that name before names like that were trendy.

      1. Yardley, PA is an affluent Suburb of Philadelphia.

        It’s also an English surname. Like a lot of -ley surnames Yardley/Yeardley was originally a British place name.

  3. Oh, gosh, I missed the Country Names discussion, but Coy is amazing! Seriously, I love it. I’ve recently developed a little “thing” for Pace. Just so cool.

    Um, sibling for Homer and Dorothy “Dolly,” huh? Well, obviously another name from ‘October Sky,’ since both Homer and Dorothy are characters. So, perhaps Quentin or Leon for a boy and Elsa “Elsie” or Frieda for a girl? My picks are definitely Quentin and Elsie. Yep! That’s a fab movie, by the way. Jake Gyllenhaal is super adorable, too.

    I’m sorry, but I think there have been some awful celeb-baby names recently. However, I thought Andrew Firestone’s Anja Jasmine was a nice one, though I would’ve preferred Anya Jessamine. By the way, her brother is Adam Brooks (“Brooks”), whereas Yardley Evans’ brother is Edward Yates (“Yates”).

    And, speaking of celebrity babies, I can’t wait to see what Kate Hudson and Tina Fey choose for their second babies! I honestly think that Hudson Hawn Bellamy would make the perfect brother for Ryder Russell Robinson, but that’s just me (even though her brother, Oliver, also used Hawn for his second son’s middle name). For a girl? No idea.

  4. I understand the Mannings desire for privacy, but a news blackout makes me wonder if something unusual or heartbreaking is going on (preterm birth, illness…) If they just announced the birth, (or adoption, or whatever) I honestly wouldn’t have cared for more than a few minutes, but I want to know what’s going on.

    I’ve often wondered if some of the celebrities whose children are named things like Pirate and Chaplin are actually releasing a pseudonym and meanwhile the babies are actually named Peter and Charlotte. But then I don’t think there really is a point to the secrecy, once the child reaches school-age the secret will be out. Neither Sara Gilbert nor Christian Bale released the names of their firstborns, yet their names have become public knowledge.

  5. Since Megyn’s son goes by Yates, I think Yardley works well, even if it is “matchy.” I wonder if they were trying to match with the initials, too: Edward Yates and Yardley Evans.

  6. First two kids are Homer and Dorothy nn Dolly? My suggestions for baby #3: for a girl–Edith, Mabel, Velma or Mozelle; for a boy–Alvin, Roy, Alfred or Stanley

  7. A bit of clarification on Yardley’s brother: He’s Edward Yates, not Adam Brooks (as mentioned on Nameberry).

  8. Viralei does look a little like a virus.

    I wonder if the Mannings were bothered by all the negative feedback about their daughter’s name. I know that would bother me. Guess it all comes with being famous though.

    Kexin totally reads “spin on Kevin” and “male” to me. So that’s a new surprising one for me.

    1. I wondered too, if maybe they put the blackout in effect because of the negative feedback on the names. It’s hard enough having people you know criticize a name you chose, but to have millions judging… well, the perils of fame, I suppose.

  9. I’ve got a royal bit of news for your summary – Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark finally christened their twins this week. Their names are Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander and Josephine Sophia Ivalo Matilda. Minik and Ivalo were given in honor of the country of Greenland, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

  10. OH MY GOD. Sweet Valley High is so awesome. Looks like I’m about to drop a ton of money on my Kindle! (A few years ago, I had two miscarriages in a row, hit a wall, and ordered the original 90-something SVH books from various Amazon booksellers and reread them all. I felt a lot better afterward. I cannot explain it.) And I never liked the name Enid! I think she was named Enid for a reason. And Lila from SVH (and SV Twins, the books for younger readers) was the first name that I associated with a feeling, I think. I mean, she made me think “snooty”. That’s the first time I can remember associating a name. And I still love the name anyway. 😉

    As for Madison v. McKenzie, I think I would choose Madison, too. But seriously? Not trendy? Denial is NOT just a river in Egypt.

    Avalei? Um, no. Viralei? I can’t say that’s attractive. I’ve seen Avalyn, which I think I like better…but is it Ava like in Avalon or Ava like Ava? I’m over Lorelei, anyway. Lauren Graham annoys the bejesus out of me and has ruined that name for good. Can’t stand her on Parenthood, either. She’s the reason I stopped watching that show!

    This was a great Sunday Summary.

    1. I’m so sorry about your miscarriages. I know I haven’t read all 90 (really?!) books but I loved what I did read of the SVH and SV Twins series. I also feel the same way about the name Lila; I still associate Lila with being snooty, but I love it 🙂 I also think Lila blows Leila, Lily, and Leela out of the water.

      I feel like Lila from SVH is a modern version of Lavinia from A Little Princess and those two characters, for me, are tied for the first time I remember associating a name with a feeling: snooty rich mean girl who turns out, if not nice, friends with the more sympathetic main character. I was jealous of Lavinia and Lila but I still wanted to be them in many ways 🙂

      1. Thanks. And there were more than 90 books in the series! There were also the super-sized books, the seasonal books, the mysteries, etc. All fantastic, superb, wonderful feats of 1980s oh-my-gosh-ness.