If there were any doubt that I’m deeply shallow, here’s a random thought that crossed my mind as I was monitoring the swine flu outbreak for my day job: Hmmm … wonder if this will hurt Olivia’s standing in the rankings when the 2010 stats come out?

  • While I’m still on my wildly inappropriate streak, here’s a list of famous pigs compiled by a porcine booster in the UK. I suppose Petunia and Noelle might also take a hit;
  • And one more – I’ve often enjoyed some of the names from Ian Falconer’s Olivia books. Besides her brothers Ian and William, her family has a dog named Perry and a cat called Edwin. Friends include Francine and Julian. Ever since Peregrine was Name of the Day, Perry has really been growing on me;
  • Here’s a question that plagues me: when does a name become a name? I thought Rielle was a one-off appellation best thought of Franglais for “this generation’s Donna Rice.” But a Canadian couple quoted in the Toronto Star’s column chose it for their daughter. And wow, is their kid cute! The proud parents landed on the name after watching a documentary about female Canadian fighter pilots – including one named Riel. I still wasn’t sold until the mom mentioned that, when reversed, the name becomes elle rit – she laughs – en français. Which I’ll admit, has some appeal;
  • Speaking of games to play with names, I keep forgetting to ask: after the Astrid Name of the Day post, Emmy Jo and Photoquilty weighed in on the proper term for the type of mistake discussed in the post. (Astrid was famously misinterpreted as Astird on TV’s The Office.) Besides running through all the available terms and coming up short, I found myself wondering if any terms (malapropism, eggcorn) are ever properly applied to personal names. If you know, please leave a comment!
  • Elisabeth at You Can’t Call It “It” did a great post on The Sweet Spot – you know, names that are fashionable without being trendy, familiar without being common? It’s a great article, and I’m over the moon that she included my screen name, Verity;
  • A few starbabies to report: CBS’ Worst Week star Erinn Hayes welcomed a daughter named Lilah Grace;
  • Boston Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara welcomed a daughter called Elliz Victoria. He and his wife are Slovak, but I couldn’t puzzle out if Elliz is related to Elizabeth or Alice;
  • Speaking of Alice, Patton Oswalt – Remy from Ratatouille – welcomed a daughter named Alice;
  • Over at Nameberry, there’s a fun post on Gone with the Wind names – besides spotting Eulalie on the list (I had forgotten, too, Lola!) I was pleased to see Clark Gable making another appearance.

That’s all the name news for the moment. And despite my fanciful reaction to the flu epidemic, I really am hoping that you and yours stay safe.

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 also like Perry; a colleague of mine named her daughter Peri, which I like even better. The word “peri” shows up in my crossword puzzles all the time meaning a Persian fairy, but I had never thought of using it as a proper name until I met her daughter.

  2. Rielle is super pretty… too bad my first association is “opportunistic skank.” I want to say Rielle Hunter (formerly Lisa Druck) made up the name based on some new-age reference, I read about it but can’t remember. Anyway, it’s lovely and feminine sounding to me; I’d be interested in whether it’s legit or made up.

    1. I looked up Riel/le on Meilleurs Prenoms and they “n’existe pas.”

  3. OF COURSE I included Verity. Very pretty, underused, underappreciated. You may just single handedly change that though!

    Alice is another lovely, one I rarely hear being considered.

    Riel the reverse of “she laughs”? Well, this one here certainly is, if that’s the reasoning there. It seems to me like a shortened version of Ariel maybe.

    Not sure about “pig” names being avoided. Bird Flu didn’t take Ava down any notches.

  4. Wow. I’m surprised that Patton Oswalt had a kid – shows how shallow I am, I guess.
    Lilah Grace. Well that’s a new one. (that was heavily laced sarcasm, if you couldn’t tell.) Oh, wait! Worst Week – she was actually pregnant? Wow. I didn’t realize that.
    Hooray for Clark! Clark Gregg is one of the stars of The New Adventures of Old Christine. I think he brings something nice to the name, too – and he’s Jennifer Grey’s husband, which has nothing to do with this.
    If you’re sure that Astird isn’t a spoonerism, then I’m out of ideas.

  5. I’ve always liked the Olivia books, but Josie just doesn’t like them. I’ll keep trying but I bring out Olivia and it’s a battle of wills to get her to sit and listen, nevermind participate. “Hungry Harry” on the other hand, is a winner for her, she’s got it memorised in less than a month, just like with “Bears in the Night” (which is a favorite of mine). Perry, Edwin & Julian are favorites from the series too. Isn’t Perry spiffy? 🙂

    My favorite of the famous pigs are Squealer, Napoleon and Snowball. As if Napoleon wasn’t ruined by the Short Man himself, the pig sealed it. But “Animal Farm” is by far one of my favorite stories. Poor Boxer! (but he’s a horse).
    Piglet’s a favorite around the house, Josie refuses to belive little pink Piglet is a boy. But she’s got three stuffed ones and half a dozen items with him on it, including the backpack I use as her “diaper bag”. Another favorite pig around here is “Pig” from “Kipper”. Pig and his little brother Arnold. 🙂 They’re cute and I want to find Kipper on DVD, prefreably blu-ray, if I can.

    If Clark wan’t the name of the town next to the one I grew up in, I’d happily use it becaue it also remnds me of Superman, and anything that comes from a superhero is fair game in my house! Except Clark 🙁

    Of the new starbabies, the only one that charms me is Alice. But Alice Oswalt seems a bit of a mouthful.

    And Eulalie? She’s back on my list, but I need to work on middles, Eulalie Frances charms me but Eulalie Frances Pearl seems a bit stiff. Gotta think! 😀