Clio & Aly at Franklin's
Clio & Aly at Franklin's

Every once in an odd while, it occurs to me that you might enjoy a glimpse of Aly & Clio. Yup, they’re sitting in a hand chair. Nope, it’s not at our house. It is our fabulous local brew pub/restaurant/general store Franklin’s. Happily, it’s just a few blocks from our house. It was Franklin’s that convinced us to move to this neighborhood, and it was Clio’s first restaurant outing when she was just a few weeks old. Time flies!

But the more things change, the more they stay the same. I still eagerly await each time Heidi Klum declares “This is Project Runway!” Season 8 features some dazzling appellations: Peach, Mondo, Ivy, and Casanova. Really, Casanova. Plus a pair of Michaels and a McKell.

In other news:

In starbaby news:

  • Mad Men’s Rich Sommer is about to be a dad again. I noticed the post at People, but what really caught my eye was his daughter’s name: Beatrice. Remember a season or so back when his character, Harry Crane, became a new dad? His fictional daughter was also called Beatrice;
  • And, of course, Diablo Cody welcomed a baby boy called Marcello.

Lastly, Reader Baby Name Stories will take a break for the month of August. But please do submit your stories – I’ll be posting another call for them in a few days. They’ve been the most fun to read, and I very much appreciate each and every one!

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. your children look adorable in that picture abby! that chair is very cool too. the sarah-bella mash makes me thinks of cerebellum but i think that’s just my science head working overtime. if the baby name stories are going to be a regular feature i will definetly send one in when we name this little one if you’re interested 🙂

      1. I did think cerebellum, too – but I’d be willing to overlook that! 🙂

    1. Fran, I would LOVE it if you would send in your story when you decide on a name!

  2. I’ve always been a lurker, but I must comment, I know a Sybella (who is a teenager) and I’ve always thought it was a beautiful name, original, but pretty, in spelling and in sound, and didn’t seem to follow the trend pattern, in my opinion. I really like it (and the variations you spoke of).

    1. It is an interesting name – an actually, Sybella is even closer to the medieval Sibylla. It’s related to the modern Sibyl, but I like it quite a bit.

  3. My roomate was a huge Wallflowers fan in college (yep…that tells you exactly when I went to college). They had a song with a ____ine name. I was thinking it was Clementine but looked it up and it was Josephine. Cute name… but re-reading the lyrics as a mom I’m a little weirded out. Why are grown men singing about a school girl??? Eeew. Anyways, I still love the name, so I was sad to see it didn’t make the Rock’nRoll Baby Name Dictionary.

  4. I’m sorry, I guess that was a little vehement; I do have a tendency to kind of react that way. What I don’t like are the baby naming “rules” that she tends to blog about, they never make sense to me and seem a little judgmental, but everyone has a right to their opinion and maybe I’m just reading into it too much. My mom’s German and her name is really torn apart in one of their books, so that could be another reason I have trouble with her stuff… but as I’ve never met her as a person, I’m feeling quite sheepish. I didn’t mean that she was necessarily a horrible person.

    1. No apology needed, Bryony – and actually, thank you. I’ve probably said similar things about people I don’t know in RL online. And I’ve been attacked in an online forum by someone who probably wouldn’t think the same if they knew me in person.

      This whole online experience is very difficult to figure out!

      Incidentally, I once checked out an old copy of one of the Nameberry duo’s books out of the library. It was one where they panned Ruth – and the librarian was NAMED Ruth and was absolutely on fire about how awful the books were. I had no idea what to say. I think I just blinked stupidly. 🙂

  5. You’re kids are too cute and I love their names especially Clio. 🙂

    I’m intrigued by Hannil

  6. Your kids are absolutely adorable!

    I’ll miss the naming stories while they are on hiatus.

    Loved your you-picked-em birthday week names! Thanks for the treat!

    Gypsy – no thank you. Kashtyn – *big* no thank you. Sabella makes me think of sebaceous glands or scabies or something – no thank you. Bliss Caroline and Saskia – yes, those work for me! Lux, Tamsin, North, Win, et. al. – those are definitely for someone else (and I wouldn’t mind if it were a minimal number of ‘elses’!).

  7. Hmmm … confession time. I’ve known Pam in real life since before I had a baby name blog. Or a baby. Or, come to think of it, a driver’s license.

    So that’s REALLY hard for me to read, as I think she’s lovely. And she and Linda are good enough to include AM at Nameberry because I write for them from time to time. (As does Elisabeth at YCCII and a few others.) I don’t think there’s any disrespect implied towards Laura Wattenberg. Who I don’t know, but would love to meet. 🙂

    And yes, Oakley Ann is kinda of cute!

    1. Pam’s original book, Beyond Jennifer and Jason, inspired my whole outlook on naming, so I agree with you, Abby. I don’t follow her current blog or most recent books, but I love the national conversation she started about naming your children…thinking about initials, monograms, repetitive sounds, uber-popular names, unisex names, taboo names, nicknames, etc.

      Ah well, to each her own. I can’t stand Rachael Ray, who many people think is adorable.

      As for Project Runway, do you think that creative names inspire their owners toward creative pursuits, or is it due to being nurtured by obviously creative parents?

      I may have mentioned this in the past, but I’m liking Day as a nickname for David.

      Finally, no commenter has come out and stated it, but Oakley Ann IS a corruption of Annie Oakley, right? Or, I guess it could be an homage to sunglasses and stereo speakers.

      1. I assume Oakley Ann’s parents thought about the Annie Oakley association … if not, I’m sure they’ll hear it dozens of times a day from now until … well, from now on!

    2. That is so fascinating that you know her! Did she influence your passion for names? Personally, I am a big Nameberry fan (as well as Baby Name Wizard!). I think she makes many great points in regards to naming, and is entertaining as well. This is the second time today that I have read criticism of her work. I feel like people might be taking her opinions a bit more seriously than she intends them.

      1. Caroline, she’s a good friend of my aunt, but she lived in California for years. I was name-obsessed before I met her, and when I finally did meet her, it was a little bit like meeting Elvis.

        What I’m always impressed by is how someone can take an existing thing and completely re-imagine it. Pam & Linda did that with Beyond Jennifer & Jason, and Laura Wattenberg certainly did, too. I love plain old name dictionaries, but I can honestly say both of their approaches fascinate me.

      2. Yes, I guess the problem is that by doing more than simply listing names, she has to make judgements about them, which will inevitably put her opinion at odds with others’ sometimes.
        Your kids are gorgeous, BTW!

  8. Ugh, I can’t stand Pamela Redmond Satran. Full of set-in-stone naming rules that don’t really apply; ready to judge at the drop of a hat; doesn’t take into account that “Eh” and “Hung” are probably ethnic names; hates anything German; suggests that people name their daughters “Tanaquil”… I also hate that while she recognizes Appellation Mountain, she refuses to acknowledge the Baby Name Wizard on her site, as though she thinks it’s below her or something. UGH.

    Rant over.

    I’m fairly pleased that it’s only 5% “Jayden” type names for boys though. I don’t mind it if it’s such a low percentage, I was thinking it must be something like 20%… so maybe they actually ARE unique to an extent.

    I’m also actually liking Oakley Ann, and that’s not the sort of name I normally like. Very cute choice.