Sunday Summary 2.5.23But so does 5 plus 4.

And 7 plus 2.

Also 8.1326 plus .8674.

You get the idea.

The same is true in naming: there’s more than one way to think about things. Your way is right for you; someone else’s way works for them.

That’s not to say that 6 plus 4 makes 9, because it just. plain. does. not.

Still, the stakes are lower when it comes to naming. Even if you know someone has a fact wrong – like Mary doesn’t really mean “beautiful butterfly princess” or Ava isn’t an unusual name or Maddilynne isn’t the most common spelling – well, it’s often best to move on.

No one is going to overdraw their bank account or take the wrong medication dose if they mangle a few name facts.

When it comes to what other people name their children? Mostly, it’s best to be curious.

Not outraged. Not certain that their child will hate them for it. Certainly not cruel.

Just aware that the world is vast. Opinions vary.

And there are many, many ways to name with love and joy and good intention.

And that is a wonderful thing.


Morgan Radford of NBC News Daily welcomed a daughter. She and husband David Williams named her Adelana, a Yoruban name meaning “the conduit by which more good things are to come.” I didn’t pay much attention to Adelana until I read that name meaning. Is it right? It’s not quite what I found on sites dedicated to Yoruban names; and my (limited) knowledge suggests that most Ade- names mean crown. But then again, a) Radford has lived and taught in South Africa; b) I don’t speak a word of Yoruban; c) Yoruban names often do carry sentence-long, strongly positive meanings; and d) see my comments above. It’s a lovely name. Wishing them joy!

I love this approach suggested by Swistle: If you’re agonizing over whether or not a name is right, table it. Imagine you cannot possibly choose that name for this child at this time. How do you feel? As she puts it, “If you feel DESPAIR AND GRIEF, then use [the name] and stop worrying about it. It’s a useful thought exercise.

The Well-Informed Namer is resurrecting lots of antique gems, and I am here for it. The latest: this post on Myrtle, which has me thinking: yes, yes, this does have the makings of an overlooked ecovintage gem.

Having just poured through the names of the royal family of Monaco, I appreciated that Nancy posted the actual most popular names in the tiny nation. Mostly, it’s a lot of Emma, Leo, and other names you’d expect to hear pretty much anywhere in the Western world right now. Not a Pomeline or a Tancred in the bunch.

Lyle! Zevi! Jones! Allison Lee at Eventide Pennant Co appreciates the many unique names she’s asked to add to her pennants, which is a bonus – because I love her creations. (Oh, and her 2022 year in review is fascinating …)

Can’t wait until next Sunday for more name news?

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That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!

Boy Names 2.5.23 Girl Names 2.5.23

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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