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Image by holeymoon via Flickr

Between writing about Scarlett the other day and finally reading The Help, I’ve had Southern names on the brain. Kathryn Stockett’s characters answer to names like Raleigh, Constantine, Eugenia and Mae Mobley – the “Southern double name” idea referenced by Nicole Kidman when explaining that her youngest daughter is called Faith Margaret, not just Faith. There’s also a minor – but critical – character called Lulabelle, an intriguing smoosh of a name that brings to mind Breakfast at Tiffany’s Holly Golightly’s birth name, Lulamae.

This past week also saw a lively conversation about gender-bending names in the blogosphere this week:

Beyond the debate, it was a really interesting week. I thoroughly enjoyed:

In celebrity baby news, we learned that yes, Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied named their newborn baby boy Aleph. Cue the Have Celebrities Gone Too Far With Crazy Baby Names articles.

We’ve also heard that both Kate Hudson and Victoria Beckham have welcomed their children – a second son for Kate, and Victoria’s first daughter after three boys! No names announcements – yet. Something tells me next week is going to be exciting, too …

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. Where have I been this week? I hadn’t seen ANY of those gender-bending discussions, including yours, Abby!

    I remember being surprised when reading The Wife of Bath’s Tale to find that, not only was her name Alisoun, but that her narrative includes two other women named Alisoun! Now whenever people complain about Allison being a boy’s name I say that the English speaking world has had quite a few centuries to get used to the name on a girl.

  2. I have a cousin named Wells, which I believe is a maiden name from mother’s family tree. It’s feels odd to think of that name on a baby, instead of just my 50-something cousin.

    It’s not celebrity baby news… Yesterday, the brand-new South Sudan gained independence and it’s the first baby born on Independence Day is named the very fitting Independent.

    Did anyone else see the premiere of the new Torchwood series? I instantly thought of Lola when I realized Mekhi Phifer character is named Rex. Other interesting character names included Esther, Oswald and Anwen.

  3. Did you also see that Rebecca from GGC told us her twins’ initials? R and B, nicknamed Rhythm and Blues. What do you think their names are?

    I’m voting Reverie or Revelry for R and Blossom or Bloom for B.

    1. I’m trying not to speculate, Kayt – but I saw that, too! My favorite R is Romy … Archer, Fable, Romy … probably not, but who knows? Do you think she’ll go with four noun names? She had lots of them on her lists.

  4. Aleph is almost certainly a nod to Portman’s Jewish heritage. Not so out there, IMO. Plus it sounds very similar to Alex. Compared to stuff like Audio Science, I think it’s downright tame.

    1. I agree, Iris! I wouldn’t be surprised to see Aleph on the list of not-so-out-there names, either – unless the kid is named something as enduring as James or something as truly startling as Puma, it can be tough to guess which list any given starbaby name will land on …