Sunday Summary 7.9.23Meghan Trainor named her baby Barry.

Barry Bruce!

I laced up my roller skates as my brain went to three places:

  1. Greg Brady, as played by Barry Williams. Real name: Barry William Blenkhorn.
  2. Barry Manilow. Copacabana is now on repeat in my brain.
  3. So what is Meghan’s dad named?

Seriously, I want to talk about this. Not because I’m throwing shade at Meghan. (I’ve thought she was fab since the very second I heard “All About That Bass.”)

But because she did something truly bold.

She chose a name for, presumably, her own reasons. With maybe zero regard to fashion. Or possibly with the confidence that she is perfectly capable of ignoring such considerations and forging her own path.

And since I’ve now scanned all of the lots of stories on Meghan’s life, I can confirm that a) she and actor husband Daryl Sabara appear refreshingly down-to-earth; b) they had the name picked out well in advance; and, c) Meghan’s dad is named Gary and Daryl only mentions his mom on his official bio.

Their older son’s name, Riley, is solidly mainstream. Will Meghan speak to why they chose something so different for baby #2?


But here’s the take away: if you want a name that stands out, maybe don’t try to find something no one has ever heard before. Instead, check out the 1960s Top 1000. Review this list of Contrarian Baby Names from Nancy’s site. Or just go with your gut instinct.

Because maybe naming our kids Janet, Roger, Sharon, Wayne, and – yes! – Barry is the boldest move of them all.


While I’m catching up on celebrity baby names news, Matthew Davis and Kiley Casciano welcomed daughter Dorothy Lavender early in 2022, a little sister for Ripley Nightingale. Dorothy Lavender Davis has me swooning. Whatever the high water mark is for middle naming, they’ve exceeded it.

And Al Roker has a new granddaughter … this time, recently. Al’s daughter Courtney Roker Laga and her husband, Wes Laga, named their daughter Sky Clara Laga. Now that’s a fitting tribute to her grandfather … and a stellar example of out-of-the-box honor names.

Sophia and Sofia, Jacob and James are big in the Philippines. But so are Princess and Zion. There’s no such thing as a normal name.

Okay, I’ve heard of grandparents not loving their grandchildren’s names. And I think it’s best to be gentle, tolerating nicknames if it helps smooth things over. But completely re-naming them? Their names are Esme and Ezra, but their grandparents are calling them Winifred and Douglas instead. That’s next level.

Where to find me that isn’t here: The Appellation Mountain Patreon, AM Baby Names. And now Threads, as @appmtn. (That was a very big leap for me – I’m pretty much never an early adopter.) And, of course, the weekly newsletter, sent every Tuesday. Subscribe below!

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

Boy Names 7.9.23 Girl Names 7.9.23

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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What do you think?


  1. Barry is Barack Obama’s nickname. Maybe an homage to him!

    This name doesn’t strike me as terribly out of style. I like it. Bear as a nickname.