The stats are here! Nameniks rejoiced as the US Social Security Administration unveiled the 2008 name data. Here’s a quick round-up of discussion posts:

A few celeb births to report, too:

  • Tampa Bay Ray baseball player Gabe Gross welcomed a daughter named Allie Lee. I’m can see the appeal of Allie, but I’m puzzled by that middle pick – isn’t it like naming your kiddo Anna Na? Or David Vid?
  • Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough chose a nicely classic appellation for his firstborn – James Hoke Dorough. (Hoke is a family name.) Sounds more poet laureate than boy band, doncha think?
  • Broadway actor Jonathan Cake and Law & Order: Criminal Intent’s Julianne Nicholson welcomed a daughter called Phoebe Margaret. Big brother is Ignatius.
  • Television’s Julie Bowen had twin sons – Gus and John. I suspect they have more formal names, yet to be revealed, as big brother is Oliver McLanahan.

A few more newsy bits:

  • The most recent Toronto Star What’s Your Name article was among the most thought-provoking yet. The parents chose Matheson for their daughter, noting that the name “just didn’t sound like a boy.” To them, anyhow. We’ll have to agree to disagree, and I must say that their daughter’s full name – Matheson Mary Isabel – is lovely, and the nickname Mattie is being worn by little girls called Matilda everywhere. And that’s what really surprised me – the parents landed on Matheson as “something that when she went to kindergarten, the teacher would say her name and five hands wouldn’t pop up.” Hmmm … Matheson, Madison, Madeline, Matilda … if the parents wanted something distinctive, they’d have been better off calling her Mary.
  • Over at Nancy’s Baby Names, poll results suggest that the vast majority of parents would stick with a name that is “very significant to you, but could be a burden to your child” versus something more mainstream, but without meaning. She doesn’t break it out by gender, but I wonder if that would a make a difference?
  • It’s not exactly name news, but McDonald’s McCafé ad campaign threatens to unleash extraneous diacritical marks on the American public with their claims that one iced mocha from the Golden Arches can transform your daily drive into a commuté and your workspace into a cubiclé. I will be hiding under my dešk, rockiñg baçk and forth untíl someone mâkes it stöp.

Wow – quite a week in baby naming, and that’s without the Jolie-Pitts adding to their brood!

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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  1. Matheson is so unique! (groan) I’m pretty sure it means son of Matthew or similar…

    Love what you said about McDonald’s – you put my thoughts into words!

    Gus (!?) and John? Not quite matchy-matchy. One is distinctive, and one is bland. Surprisingly, they each go with Oliver, but they just don’t seem to go well with each other, IMO.

    That poll at Nancy’sBaby names seems to have left out categories like “names you like that have no real significance, but you just like them”, etc.