Sunday Summary 12.6.15Hello, December!

The leaves are off the trees, and the Christmas lights are up, but since this is Washington DC, we haven’t really had a cold snap yet.

I had such a good time putting together my second unconventional Best Celebrity Baby Names of the Year post, and I’m thoroughly enjoying pulling together my trends posts, too. I’m getting a little stuck on exactly how to break up all of the information, though – I might still be writing trends posts into January 2016 at the rate I’m going!

For the first time ever, I shared the Best of Celebrity Baby Names images on Instagram. Appellation Mountain has only been on Instagram for a year, and it was such a delight to discover the active community of baby name fans there. I’m planning to do something similar for the March Madness Baby Names contest coming up in just a few months, too.

Enough about me. On to the name news:

  • Time for the Pop Culture Baby Name Game! I think Denali will definitely see a boost.
  • Ever since I first saw Four Weddings and  a Funeral, I’ve had the sense that “toff” isn’t exactly a good thing. But I’m kind of in love with this list of names from Tatler, and would cheerfully use Caradoc for a son, if only my husband wouldn’t mind. (But I bet he would.) Hat tip to my London correspondent for the link.
  • It’s nicknames month for the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, and I’m SO excited. Doubtless they will be myth-busting and light-shedding for all the 31 days.
  • Sophie has some great Italian names for girls on this list. How gorgeous is Domenica?
  • By now, you’ve probably read the stories about Oprah naming the son she lost while just a teenager. It’s heartbreaking to think of what she went through. The name she gave her son many years later is Canaan, chosen because it means “new land, new life.”  It’s another example of how naming is a powerful act.
  • I tend to watch a lot of television. (I feel like this might be obvious.) At the moment, I’m binge-watching Lie to Me, and I find it interesting that the main character’s name appears to be Cal. Just Cal.
  • And sometimes an act of protest, too. I’ll be curious to hear how many children are really named Sveta and Generator in response to the crisis in Crimea.
  • Oh, how I hope this family goes with Consuelonickname Coco, for Harriet and Hugo’s little sister!
  • What a sweet way to reveal the name of a baby due around Christmas!
  • A man named Bud Weisser was arrested for trespassing at the Budweiser Brewery. It makes North West look like a perfectly reasonable name!

That’s all for this week! Thank you so much 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. I knew a Bud Weisser growing up. I think he got the nickname because of, not in spite of the beer though. And he was a teetotaler, which may have added to the amusement.

    1. Custard is all dessert to me! I’ve never heard it used as a name … is it on your family tree?

  2. There’s a blogger who’s first son is Cal. Her other children are Mack and Nina. I love them as a sibset.

  3. I hope the family on Swistle goes with Consuelo too!! With Paloma and Hugo, she’s already almost there.

    I like Cal but haven’t really loved the formal options. I kinda like just Cal.

  4. Toff is a derogatory term often used by the working (or blue collar) and middle (or white collar) classes use when talking about the upper class (particularly the aristocracy) especially those of that group that can still afford to send their children (mostly their sons) to very expensive boarding schools (Eton and Harrow being the most well known). When used by young people however it can become even harsher than that because it’s used against a former ally from the state (public in US parlance) school system who earned (usually by doing the 11 or 13+ exams, the former being used by girls only and coeducational* and the latter being most used by boys only although occasionally used by coeducationals that have a traditional prep** or junior***, middle,/ senior, high school divide) and a place at one of these elite educational institutions.

    *= Some local authorities (mostly Home Counties*+1, Kent being the obvious one) use the 11+ to see which children should be sent to grammar school*+2
    **= Prep schools to the British understanding are schools (often boarding) where 8-13 year olds are taught (prepared) to take the 13+.
    ***=Junior school (middle school in the US) is the upper part of primary (elementary) school, this is from 7-11 years old usually (although it varies). Some newer public (private) schools, often those founded after WW2, do call the prep school junior instead.

    *+1=Home counties is a term used to describe those south eastern English counties that directly surround London.
    *+2=Grammar schools have been around Britain for many hundreds of years but the most recent and contentious incarnation are those Grant (given by Westminster) funded schools set up after WW2 to make the education system more fair.