It’s springtime, and our family tree is blooming! My brother-in-law tied the knot last week, meaning that I now have a sister-in-law with the lovely name Solange. (She’s pretty fabulous, too.)

On the other side of the Atlantic, Alexei’s godmother, Paulina, is now engaged to Bartholomew. I haven’t met him yet, but I did learn that he has a niece named Ala. (They’re in Poland, so name trends are more than a little different.)

Now, on to the news!

  • I finally entered the Baby Name Wizard name pool, sliding in just under the deadline. I’m not sure my picks were terribly inspired, but here they are: for the three biggest gainers, I chose Emerson (f), Layton (m) and Adelyn (f). My three biggest losers were Tanner (m), Ashley (f) and Scott (m). And I guessed Bella as the tie-breaker at #132. Laura Wattenberg revealed her picks here;
  • Speaking of Ashley, one of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey, Jacqueline, is mom to teenaged Ashley and elementary-schooler CJ – and she’s got one more on the way. I’m not expecting a particularly exciting name. Compared to the New York wives, the kids’ names seem to be pretty ordinary;
  • But on the extraordinary side, I just read a story about actress Sarah Clarke – she was on 24 early in the series – is mom to daughter Olwyn Harper. I had a Great Aunt Olwen, so that caught my eye;
  • The Toronto Star profiled parents who chose the name Sapphire Ann for their new baby girl. She has big brothers Tyler and Chase. I go back and forth on Sapphire – I love Ruby, but somehow Sapphire seems outlandish. And the couple uses the nickname Fire which really puts it over the top. Or not. Because I do think lots of gemstone names should be valid choices;
  • Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, have welcomed a second son – but haven’t released his name! Too bad, because William Huckleberry – nicknamed Huck – is one of my favorite boys’ combos of recent years;
  • Singer Kelis (of Milkshake fame. Sorry if that’s now lodged in your brain) is expecting a baby boy with Nas. The proud papa-to-be suggests that he might let the fans pick Junior’s name;
  • I’ll admit I don’t recognize her name, but I like her naming style – Australian presenter Jessica Rowe and husband Peter Overton have welcomed a second daughter. New baby Giselle Charlotte joins big sis Penelope Allegra;
  • Lastly, two interesting spots at the Box Office – in the Zac Effron vehicle 17 Again, the school bully is named Stan. The actor who plays Stan wears the much trendier appellation Hunter in real life, and most recently played Silas on Weeds. Then there’s the animated Monsters vs. Aliens. Reese Witherspoon gives voice to the animated heroine Susan. Anyone think Susan could make a comeback, or is still all about Susannah?

That’s all for this week. Thanks 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.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. Oh, Solange was my favorite French name when I was studying French in school a million years ago. Very, very nice. Grats on the expanding family. 🙂

    I am ready for a Susan comeback, but it seems too early yet.

  2. I can’t help thinking they ought to of swapped Giselle for Charlotte; in my opinion, Penelope Allegra and Charlotte Giselle make a much neater pairing. Both first names have that old British feel, which I love, with a spicy middle to lift them up. But, again, far superior to Ashtyn Sareighna no matter how you look at it!
    Wow, I love the name Bartholomew, but it does have two big cons to it; firstly, a lack of likeable nicknames, and secondly, my best friend’s dislike. We walked past a van one time with Bartholomew writtn across it and she said “Wouldn’t that just be the worst name to have?”. I just nodded and smiled!
    I’ll stop now, but just want to say congratulations to Appellation-Mountain-in-laws!

  3. Oh some great names here!
    I love William Huckleberry, Penelope Allegra and Giselle Charlotte.
    Might I suggest the name Morwenna as NOTD.

  4. Just a quick pop in before I take Matilda swimming – Jessica Rowe & Peter Overton are well-known news presenters here. I don’t mind their naming style either, though there must be a typo in the article linked – their first DD name is Allegra Penelope, not the other way round 🙂

    I’m not a big fan of Sapphire at all. That said, I don’t really like Ruby either (she’s sitting at #11 in my state), Pearl I love though.

    Ooh – I love Hunter Parrish – weeds is one of my favourites and he’s just so good and I love Silas 🙂 hehe. Can’t say I like Stan though. He’s a skinny little mid-40s man with glasses to me, don’t know why! It’s an odd choice anyway. Though it reminds me – there was a Horace in my older brother’s year level at school (born in 1980), who always went by Ace (then there was Ace Ventura, so he never really won on the name front!)

    Anyway, I don’t mind Susan, I actually prefer her immensely over Susannah, which feels more outdated to me, except for her similarity to Savannah and Hannah, which get a fair bit of attention down here!

  5. I love the name Solange, and at least the one in your family is a grown young woman, but whenever I hear it now I dread that it will become popular. (Especially since pop star Beyonc

  6. Wow, what a lot of great names this week!

    Penelope Allegra and Giselle Charlotte are beautiful. I don’t mind Sapphire, but I think Sapphira Anne would have been much nicer. And Susan could definitely make a comeback. Though I love Susannah, Susan has the simple elegance of names like Katherine.

  7. Ooh, a sister in law named Solange who’s as fabulous as her name? Lucky duck! (I got dated Linda & Deborah who while fabulous themselves, hate their names).

    Polish name trends strike me as rather French-like: They’re going for short, spunky and L’s dominate the scene right now (or did that change in the last year and I missed it)?

    As for Susan, I think she’s got comeback potential with the now 12 to 15 year olds. Yeah. They’re the ones the recent movie Susans are aimed at and they’re the ones who have no Susans in their own classes. So yeah, it’ll be back. I just think it’s got about 10 years to go.

    Brad & Kimberly didn’t release his name? Bah, pox on them! William Huckleberry nn Huck is kinda cute. Huck makes me think of delinquents, that’s it. So it’s not a favorite of mine but it sounds cute enough with their surname.
    Sapphire Ann? Blah. Safira Ann would have been stunning by comparison. Still would lean towards Fira for a nickname (not fire, yeah, call *that* out in a movie theater somewhere and watch what happens)!

    I can speak from experience, as far as New Jersey namers go, there’s a handful of folks who are adventurous namers. I still remember Leo & Simon’s kindergarten class: 4 Jasons, James, William, an early Bradon, and a Thomas. And then mine. yeah. Not the most advenurous souls when it comes to naming. So Ashley & CJ’s new sibling will probably be Brandon, Lucas or Zachary. Nothing wrong with any of them, I’m just tired of hearing them, I hear them so often!

    And now I’m sad.. Stan is a bully’s name? Awww. Henter Parrish is TEH hot (if I read the teenge girls still surrouning Leo right) So maybe it won’t be that bad on poor Stan? I like Stan!