She’s yet to crack the Top 1000, but could she be the next Isabella? Friends of friends recently welcomed their second child – a daughter called Esme, 2008’s most popular search name at AppMtn. What’s more, their firstborn is called Finn, 2008’s second most popular search name for boys here.
In Namespotting News:
  • My mother recently dropped me an email about a colleague’s new son. His middle name is Hades. And no, it isn’t a family name that just happens to sound like the dark lord of the underworld. The colleague informed my mother that they chose the middle name because it means dark lord of the underworld. Wonder if they’ll want to reconsider their choice during the terrible twos?
  • Photoquilty reports coming across a girl called Asher, another girl called Morrissey and a third named Brennan, plus a boy named Bey.
  • The cover story for this issue of Washington Parent is all about baby names, and included an interview with a mom who named her four girls Tse Iris, Sloane Ivy, Blake Ocean and Chase Blossom. I love Sloane Ivy. Chase Blossom sounds like a command. Tse Iris seems unnecessarily complicated – Tse is pronounced “Say” – and yet strangely appealing. The mom goes on to note that “On paper – with the middle initial – my girls can be any American. Their names give them the choice to say if they are female.”
Each snippet is really about the same thing – the urge to give our children distinctive names. It’s obviously something I think about, too, and yet I can’t help but notice that we so fall short – Tse, Blake and Chase, with that “ay” vowel sound – don’t really stand out too far from Grace, Kate and Jayden. Now that Chloe is in the Top Ten, Clio sounds downright ordinary, too.
A few other thoughtful posts:
A few celeb notes:
  • Actor James Gaffigan and wife Jeannie welcomed daughter Katie Louise. He’s already the proud papa to son Jack and daughter Marre. Anyone know anything about Marre? It’s an interesting pick – I don’t think I’ve heard it before;
  • Comedian Wanda Sykes and her wife Alex welcomed twins Olivia Lou and Lucas Claude;
  • I’m fairly certain that I heard an interview with Charlie Sheen about his twin boys, in which he noted that his sons are named Max and Bob – not Maxwell and Robert or Robinson and Maximillian or … you get the idea.
It’s not exactly name news, but I recently spotted an obituary for Venetia Phair – the only woman to ever name a planet. Hearkening back to my earlier mention of Hades, she’s the person who christened Pluto.
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.

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  1. I would assume Jacoby is popular in Massachusetts due to Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox (in addition to being a cool take on Jacob). He first came up late in 2007 and performed pretty well for them in 2008. I wonder if any other stars for the Red Sox have names more popular in MA – Dustin (Pedroia), for example ?

  2. Aha! Bradley is still in – at 201, though falling yearly. The less formal nicknameis out, but that’s to be expected, I guess.

  3. Okay, it has to be said that I like Brennan on a girl, particularly the little girl named Brennan whom I know. She’s a charmerr, and the name suits her. I feel like it’s an updated Brenda. Some people think the name skews male, but it’s a last name, so as long as it doesn’t end in -son, I think it’s fine.

    Morissey (I think was a girl based on a photo) is odd. I immediately think of “How Soon is Now” by The Smiths. It’s unavoidable. Asher…it’s not Ashley, but still odd. I like it for a boy, though.

    Max and Bob. Yuck.

    My cousin has twins Olivia and Luke (they’re 8, so Marlo – their mom – was a trendsetter) and I think he might actually be Lucas. I can’t remember. At any rate, I’m partial to this pairing. We call them Luke and Livy, and I think Olivia and Luke/Lucas is a great sib-set.

    Brad left the top 1000? Is Bradley still there? Brad is a nickname, IMO, but maybe people are still using Bradley. Maybe? I can’t believe that in this age of Brad-and-Angelina-madness people are not using the name anymore. Is Brett still there? I have to go check.

    Anyone ever find out what Jason Lee’s second-born was named? You know, Pilot Inspekotr’s little sib. Anyone? It’s no wonder they might be publicity shy, but I’m curious!

  4. I’m not touching Hades with a ten foot pole but wow! people mock me because I like the sound of Lucifer which was Satan’s Angel name, he lost it when he was cast out of Heaven. *sigh* I fail to grasp the logic.
    Tse Iris is my favorite. Sloane is greasy for me. And Tse Iris is easy to remember once you figure out Tse (which I ran into long ago) And I agree with you, Chase is a verb, not a name.

    Wow, thanks for mentioning me! 🙂 I was just looking around and noticed those few oddities, which *literally* surprised me. Jacoby is one that made my middle lists because I hear it often enough for it to be intriguing when I hear it (once or twice a month). I think it’s a neat twist on Jacob.

    I liked that Namberry post, but dislike unisex names for the most part. When I do like them, they’re always for boys! Heck, my #2, Remy, is a “predicted” for the girls! And still it stays on my Boys list.

    I wonder of Marre is a trendy Marie? Looks like it could be. *shrug* Looks like a kreative spelling to me. Katie makes me weep, Why not Katherine? Heck, even Kate ages better.
    Olivia Lou & Lucas Claude are interesting. Lucas Claude especially. I adore Claud/e! I wish it had been Olivia Louise or Olivia Lucy or something like that. Lou is so nicknamey to me.
    Charlie Sheen is a lousy namer in my book; nicknames don’t serve capably in my eyes. Blah. They may be refreshing in Hollywood but they bore me to tears. There are better ways to be creative.

    Venetia? Wow! There’s an old timey name for someone! Very cool sound, too bad it reminds me of venetian blinds. But naming Pluto, very cool. I wonder if she mourned it’s declassification? I still am.

    Nice summary, Verity, Thanks! 😀

  5. I love Lola’s post on popular names in Massachusetts. It prompted me to spend the last hour analyzing popular names here in California. My results? Spanish names and “dated” names (like Amy, Stephanie, and Michelle) rank significantly higher in California. Traditional Victorian names (like William, James, Charles, John, Julia, and Katherine) rank significantly lower. And there are some surprising finds in California’s top 100, including Giselle, Diana, Delilah, Daisy, and Ruby. (Giselle is ranked #36!)

    I know exactly what you mean about trying so hard to be distinctive and yet falling short. I still love Clara (and it’s almost certain to be the name of our first daughter) but it does sound an awful lot like the Caitlin/Kayla/Callie/Chloe/Kylie bunch — in sound if not in feel. And even though my names aren’t quite Aidans or Madisons, they’re still mostly on the rise, so they’re a bit trendy in their own way.