Happy Memorial Day weekend! Here’s wishing you fair skies for your weekend festivities. But if you do find yourself with a few spare minutes in front of a computer screen, here are a few diversions:

  • First, my question of the week: What goes with Henry? I recently met a family with teenage twins, Henry and Lucy. An article in this month’s Better Homes and Gardens profiles a decorator with a son named Henry and a daughter called Hadley. And, of course, celeb sibsets include Julia Roberts’ Phinneaus, Hazel and Henry and Heidi Klum & Seal’s Leni, Henry and Johan plus a baby-to-be. Henry was a contender if Clio had been a boy. Circa 2009, Henry goes with just about everything – that’s one of the hallmarks of a popular name. Given how very unfashionable Henry was in the 70s, he feels like proof that any name can make a comeback;
  • Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh and her husband have welcomed a son wearing the classic appellation Joseph Michael;
  • From the Department of Staggeringly Bad Compromises: The Toronto Star is reporting that a couple, divided over their son’s name, simply hyphenated their picks. The result? A boy named Jasper-Addison. While I believe Canada handles double names better than the US, this one feels like too much in any country. And it seems like all the parents have done is fail to resolve a dilemma many of us face when naming our children – going from a short list to a single name;
  • Green Baby Guide blogger Joy is days away from welcoming #2. Suggestions at their site for included Azalea and Edelweiss, Luna and Sage;
  • Over at Nameberry, I loved Linda’s post on Doll Names through the ages. It reminded me that I named my adopted-from-Germany Cabbage Patch Kid Nicholette Charyl. My little sister named hers Mary Lou – as in Retton;
  • From the Department of Onomastic Controversies: Nameberry also ran a post on new surnames names for boys. We know a male Marley and a female Tucker. And I’m definitely hearing more and more parents considering unconventional surname picks, from the super-fashionable Beckett to the soap-opera-starbaby Cruz. It’s a hot button issue, but there are definitely more and more kiddos wearing last names first.
  • Speaking of fashionable kids – and Henry, and Tucker – head over at You Can’t Call It “It” for Elisabeth’s article on Ohdeedoh Babies. Ohdeedoh is the Apartment Therapy section dedicated to all things for pint-sized style mavens. Her list of names culled from the site includes twin boys Henry and Tucker, as well a boy called Bix and girls named June and Helen Tallulah;
  • I loved Laura Wattenberg’s analysis of the popularity of the name Brady, and his ties to Tom Brady’s career. It’s the kind of fact that is often lost to history – I regularly find myself digging to figure out what sparked a name’s rise and fall over the ages and coming up empty-handed. As I remembered with recent Name of the Day Nedra, when you do find the answer, it is quite the thrill;
  • Xanthe Linnea did a great post on Girls’ Names not Currently in the Top 1000. Among her list – Cordelia, Amity, Clementine, Petra, Zora, Fern, Imogen, Lucinda, Mabel, Rosalie and Xanthe and Linnea. Amazing how easy it is to find an appealing pick that’s not ranked;
  • Speaking of Mabel, nameniks everywhere rejoiced when Chad Lowe and his wife Kim Painter recently welcomed a daughter named Mabel Painter Lowe.

I thought I might throw in a short list of summer names, but looking back I realized that a year ago, I penned a post on just that. So I’ll leave you with one from the AppMtn archives: Summer Names.

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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What do you think?


  1. thanks Laney 🙂 I adore Anya as well!

    Keep pushing your boyfriend!! Maybe it’s just an Eric thing – my brother Erich wasn’t too keen on Oliver when we named him either.

    1. Lol! Eric isn’t too keen on Oliver because of Bart Simpson’s prank call. He says the kid will be teased for it. I told him that by the time our son goes to school, the other kids most likely won’t even remember that joke so now he’s starting to consider it.

      I never used to like the name until recently, but since I saw Oliver Warbucks in Annie and that cute kitty from the Disney film, I gained alot of respect for it. Both are very appealing characters and good role models to name a child after.

  2. The hyphens bother me, although I don’t mind them if you’re joining surnames instead of the first names. Emma-Leigh drives me NUTS.

    I don’t like Brady at all either. The “braid” sound just doesn’t sound nice.

    Sophie, I LOVE your kids’ names. They rank high on my list, but I’m still trying to get my dear boyfriend Eric to consider Oliver. I loved that little kitty in Oliver and Company and that’s what it reminds me of.

    NOTD suggestions (my email doesn’t work, so I’ll post them here for now) :
    Zora (in honor of my friend’s soon to be born daughter, Zora Aislynn)
    Miyoko (my little cousin’s name)
    Derek (other little cousin’s name)
    Anya (my daughter’s name)

  3. Oh, I do adore Henry! He makes me smile, and, as Bek expressed, despite Henry’s popularity, he somehow avoids the ‘trendy stigma’. My grandfather is a Henry too, so that’s a plus. My best friend has a Henry Alastair, and is due with a girl soon, to be named one of Imogene Adele, Imogene Beatrice, Imogene Marguerite.

    I’d adore my next boy to be named Henry, as I feel he sits well with Matilda, Oliver and Iris, but none of my kids have immediate family names, so I’m a tad reluctant. The popularity doesn’t bother me – Matilda and Oliver are both much poular than Henry down here anyway!

    Joseph Michael is a respectable choice, but definitely not for me. Being born in 1982 (and I’m sure it’d have been the same in any other decade), I was surrounded by Michaels all throughout my schooling, and I still know and have contact with at least 5 now, so I find him a bit generic and tired, and I’ve never cared for Joesph at all for some inexplicable reason. It is a refreshing change from the Bronx’s and Cruzes though. Mabel Painter is just gorgeous though! I was wary of painter until I became aware of its significance, but Mabel is lovely indeed.

    Ugh. I ave a sort of pet dislike of hyphenated names. I agree with Allison – they usually just feel awkward and indecisive. Jasper-Addison is a wee bit awkward in that respect, but I really dislike it when they basically join two names together to make another, a la Emma-Lea or Dani-Elle. It really bugs me!
    Surnames are not for me either, largely. There might be a few exceptions, but none that immediately spring to mind. DH, amongst his love of Oliver, Ada, Sylvie Cassius and Violet sometimes surprises me with Harrison and Blake though!

    Brady’s fairly popular around my area – I’d hear him more than Brayden, easily! It surprises me that Imogen isn’t in the Top 1000 – here she sits at #30. But then again, Isla, Gemma and Matilda are all top 50 picks here too. From that lot, I do quite like Cordelia, Amity, Clementine, Imogen, Mabel, Rosalie, Xanthe and Linnea!