audio tour number 12
audio tour number 12 (Photo credit: Leo Reynolds)

I live pretty close to Goddard Space Flight Center, close enough that many of our neighbors work for NASA.  While I’m dimly aware that I dwell amongst rocket scientists, I only remember it when some fantastical achievement takes place in the skies.  File the August 6th landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars in that category.  And yet, it wasn’t until I saw Anna’s post on Gale that I connected baby name news and this latest celestial achievement.  She makes a convincing case for Gale as a boy’s name, and I’m officially adding it to my list of names I wish would come back for boys, along with Kelly and Clare and Cary.

Elsewhere in baby names news this week:

  • I’m loving the responses to Lurker Week!  Other than Shark Week and Christmas, it really is one of my favorite celebrations of the year.
  • Angela makes a nice point in her post on Emma: The Comeback Queen.  ” … most revival names weren’t really that popular the first time around … they were popular enough that they were imaginable on our great grandparents’ generation.”  Vintage revivals are a style, not a literal revival of the last century’s Top Ten.  Otherwise, Mildred and Harold would be on everyone’s shortlist along with Evelyn and William.
  • Nancy tells the story of Anne Rice’s use of Lestat for her world-famous vampire.  Turns out Rice thought she was using a traditional name, but she was off by a letter.  Does that happen to you – you’re convinced that a name you love is dripping with history until you realize you were a few letters off?
  • Euanthe takes the prize for Best Lists of the Week with Names for that Family Who Live in the Old Decrepit Castle.  Except I can imagine meeting Rosamund, Odilia, Birch, and Silas in my ‘hood, which is mostly intact urban rowhomes.
  • Having ventured to Wyoming, I’m now curious to visit Alaska.  Here’s hoping I can go, and park myself on a playground.  This list at For Real has me fascinated: the stunning Blythe Endicott, the puzzling Malia Thalia-Emily, the intriguing MinSun Keightley and Ilaisaane Alopa.
  • Did you catch Laura’s thoughts on Biblical Style, Without the Bible?  This one sent me for a loop when I wrote about Jadiel all those months ago.Elizabeth at First & Middle recently posted a snapshot of a birthday cake for an Alekziel on her Facebook page.  Is -iel the next -den/-ton for boys?
  • What do you think of Clarion?
  • How about Xyla?
  • Or Glimmer?  I’m amongst those who dissed Glimmer as unwearable.  Isadora makes a convincing defense of the name.  One of my hesitations is that glimmer means to shine, but faintly, which seems to pale next to, say, Lucy or Lux.  Then again, Glimmer is at home with Harper and Piper, so I’m willing to be wrong on this one.
  • I love Swistle’s answer to this question about middle names.
  • Here’s hoping this mom doesn’t name her baby boy Kilo I get it, but the associations are just too much.

A few quick notes for the upcoming week: you’ll notice that posts will start to appear with the featured name in front.  “Hepzibah: Baby Name of the Day” as opposed to Baby Name of the Day: Hepzibah.”  Just some harmless search engine optimization, or an experiment with it, at any rate.  Oh, and all of this month’s Fetching Names posts are “Getting to” posts.  No real reason – I just realized that I had bunches piled up in the drafts folder and this month of five Fridays felt like a good one to use them up.

That’s all for this week.  As always, thanks for reading!

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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. Glimmer reminds me of The Glimmer Twins – Mick Jagger and Keith Richard’s name for their musical collaboration. The phrase is quit often used here (mockingly) to denote any (usually male) duo who promote themselves and their ideas as being brighter and shinier than others (eg in politics). So to me it seems a bit strange. (It’s also the name of a Rolling Stones cover band).

    I must say, the Kilo thing just bemused me. I’m afraid I DON’T get it. It doesn’t even seem to be a name, just two syllables she sort of liked the sound of and heard once on the radio?