Sunday Summary 1.24.16Hello, we have snow! After a winter that’s felt more like an extended autumn, something like two feet of snow dropped in a mere 24 hours. I am beyond grateful that we’re all safe and warm, and that my husband likes going outside in the snow. (He’s from Michigan, and can speak with authority on what makes a good snow shovel.)

The winter storm responsible for all this loveliness that’s soon to be slushiness is semi-officially called Jonas. Storm names haven’t really caught on in DC, but then, the practice is pretty new. Still, it had me curious about the process of choosing the names, and I found this explanation on The Weather Channel. Turns out that the 2015-2016 list was submitted by Bozeman High School’s Latin class, which explains the classical bent of the names (Ajax, Hera), as well as the nods to pop culture (Yolo, and, yes, Jonas.)

  • How gorgeous are the top names in Portugal? Nancy has the list here. If you’re as addicted as I am, you might want to read Filipa’s fabulous blog. It’s fun just reading which names have been added to the official list of approved baby names in Portugal. (Yup, it’s one of those countries with a list!)
  • Love Z names, but think that Zoe and Zachary are too common? Alternatives galore at Baby Name Wizard. Though Raz just makes me think raspberry, so I have a hard time with that suggestion.
  • This is an incredibly powerful piece on unisex baby names. At first glance, I agree with so much of what the author says. And yet, I do think the way we name boys is changing – slowly. Creativity is encouraged, softer sounds are allowed. Is there more freedom in naming a daughter? I would say yes. But our ideas about what makes an acceptable name for a son are less rigid than ever, and that reflects broader cultural changes. Also, I am watching a small number of names cross back from all-girl to acceptable for boys, like Kelly. (Incidentally, in the poll on that post more than 83% of respondents expected Kelly to make a comeback for boys.)
  • On a much lighter note: Joy left this comment on a Facebook Q way back in December. Will Jessica make a comeback?I’d asked if Jessica would ever make a comeback, and this was her so funny response. Love!
  • And another quote that is so very, very true: The low number on the popularity list that ‘Arlo’ hits is no guarantee that there won’t be three Arlos at your Whole Foods. Beautifully said by Duana in this post.
  • A Top Ten list that includes Beatrice, Arthur, Wilfred, and Matilda? British Baby Names makes my day again!
  • Holly Madison is pregnant with her second child, and I may have to Twitter-stalk her between now and her August due date. Why? She posted clues to her daughter’s name via the social media site. And really, with a firstborn called Rainbow AuroraI cannot wait to hear what she names her second. And I honestly think that some of these suggestions are pure genius.
  • These Saturday Jams posts always make me smile. Nothing Like a Name takes on the musical riffs on Michelle this week.
  • Olivine is just gorgeous! I saw a list of getting to Liv names the other day, but now I can’t find it! Maybe on Instagram? It also included Olivet and Lively, and I’m really crushing on Lively lately.
  • A good poll from KateAnn or Anne? I default to Anne, but I cannot say why.
  • Double middles? Yes, please! Loving Milo Chase Everdean and Santana Stella Lou.
  • Let’s end as we began, by talking about the season! I love Janvier and cannot wait for the next eleven installments of this series from Bree. (No pressure!)

That’s all for this week! As always, have a great week – and thank you so very much 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. About named winter storms, well, here in the UK and Ireland, the Met Office and Met Éireann are currently running a project on naming wind storms for the autumn and winter of 2015/6, thus making these named storms official, as opposed to The Weather Channel’s named storm being SEMI-official. We’ve just had Gertrude and now, we’re faced with Henry.

    The link is:

    That being said, looking at the winter storm names for the United States, they certainly are, in my view, a bit more eccentric than the list for the UK and Ireland and I particularly like a couple of them (Delphi being one).

  2. Abby, you are always so lovely! Thank you very much for your kind words regarding Nomes e mais Nomes! 🙂

  3. I couldn’t agree more with the article on naming daughters “traditionally male” names. Although I think most non-name-nerd parents choose them because it’s in style or maybe purely sound and are not consciously saying all things male are superior, that’s all I thought of when I met a 1 year old girl named Declan recently. Personally, unless I was willing to name a son Sarah, I would not name a daughter James. The differences in men and women should all be celebrated and embraced.

  4. I know I should leave it alone, but I can’t handle articles like the one you posted. There is some truth there–we aren’t naming boys girl names (thank heavens) but as to the rest it reads like all would be better if we did did name boys girl names. That somehow, that would demonstrate that women are valued equally to men. I don’t see it. Instead, why don’t we stop pretending that a post-gender world is a possibility and/or a good thing and instead, stop naming girls boy names? Do we really want boys to be more like girls? First off, it isn’t possible biologically and NO because boys are awesome because they are boys and so different from girls. Do we want girls to be more like boys? No–because girls are awesome and their very nature is so different from boys that they would lose too much if we tried to change them into something else.. I think naming girls a boy name is a trend–not a political statement. Very few parents want their girls to be more like boys. I also think that this article makes a political point that isn’t valid. Average, every day people in the USA (not talking middle-eastern countries here) and Canada (where I’m from) and other, similar, countries are quite happy with girls being girls and boys being boys and understand that the two are completely different species–which is good. A few “intellectuals” and ultra-feminists (I don’t know what to call them anymore because I’m a feminist and their views are so different from mine) make these huge social claims, like we should want to be post-gender???, and then we’re all supposed to fall in line with their bizarre thinking. Anyway,there is still inequality in the world and problems that need to be addressed with gender inequality. Getting rid of gender–or pretending to–isn’t the answer. It just demeans the strengths of both genders.

  5. Thanks for the shoutout 🙂 I’ll see how many Abby and Abigail songs I can find for next Saturday…

  6. Most of that “comeback for the boys” with Kelly is due to attrition as the name falls on the girl’s charts rather than a significant increase for boys. I could also see it being used more as an honor name (e.g. the baby boy on Grimm) – particularly in the coming years as the first wave of female Kellys are becoming grandmother-age.

    In response to Lindsay’s article: No I wouldn’t name a boy Clara, but yes for something like Avery or Shannon (more common for girls but still known for boys). (Likewise I wouldn’t do as she did and name a girl Bradley – no offense to her though – but something that does have some significant female usage like Dylan or Ryan I would be okay with.)

    1. I don’t think it’s Kelly per se that is going to swing it mostly masculine – it’s the proliferation of Kell- names in general. Kellan, Keller, even Killian (which really,should read feminine, but doesn’t) are all working against the feminine Kelly.

  7. I default to Anne because of Anne of Green Gables. To be fair I think L.M. Montgomery had a lot to do with my love of names. So many lovely names in that series and the other Montgomery books.

    1. I default to Anne because it’s my mother’s name – she was a massive fan of the Anne of Green Gables books growing up, and bequeathed her entire collection to me.