Sunday Summary 7.23.23When it comes to names, maybe we apply the wrong tests.

Forget whether you can imagine it on a CEO or neurosurgeon. Don’t even trouble yourself picturing it on campaign signs or in lights on a marquee.

Because Swistle has just suggested the acid test.

Imagine your tween or teen re-telling their name story to others.

As it happens, the high school-aged daughter of a friend of mine recently told me her name story. Afterward, kids out of earshot, my friend turned to me and admitted it wasn’t true. Their firstborn had a really cool name story … and they only realized later that their younger child did not. So they invented one after the fact. Which the younger kid apparently loves, shares often, and works for all of them, so … it’s still a great name story, even if it came later.

But it reminded me that the real test of names isn’t future achievement potential. It’s a mix of everyday perception and how it reflects – and shapes – your understanding of your family.

If you’re testing the final name choices, imagine how the story will be told in the future. By you and your partner, yes – but also by that child in another dozen years or so.


I love a great list of Disney baby names. Nancy compiled 100 great choices here. My favorites aren’t on her list, so I’ll add them here: Bay, for Bay Lake in Lake Buena Vista, around which the Walt Disney World resort was built. And Blair, or Mary Blair, for the legendary imagineer behind many of the earliest movies (think Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella) as well as attractions, like the iconic It’s a Small World.

Speaking of Bay, and as a Proud Marylander, I’m here for any and all Old Bay references. I got a kick out of seeing it mentioned on this list of beach-inspired names.

Are you a Frankie Rose or a Cosima Florence Isabelle kind of namer? Looking at recent British Baby Names birth announcements lists has me thinking that there’s a gap, and it’s often tough to explain why we fall into one category or the other.

Whoa! Should your child change their name, you have to respect it. And so, yes, these parents ought to accept that their child actively disliked the name they chose. Do you have to agree? No, of course not. But let me repeat again: RELATIONSHIPS MATTER MORE THAN NAMES. Ignore this at your own peril.

Now, can we talk about Luai? It’s the name of Lindsay Lohan’s new son. She and husband Badar Shammas currently live in Dubai, so an Arabic name makes a lot of sense. Plus it sounds almost like Louie, so it’s a natural cross-cultural choice, too. It seems like it means “little wild ox” – or strong – but lots of other meanings are mentioned, too. (Any native speakers out there? I’ve tried my unusual resources, but I feel like I’m not finding anything definitive.)

Looking for more name talk? Subscribe to the weekly newsletter, sent every Tuesday:

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Appellation Mountain:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.

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

Boy Names 7.23.23 Girl Names 7.23.23

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.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?