Can the end of summer really be so near? It feels like just yesterday, Washington DC was digging out of the February snowstorms.

Speaking of the February snowstorms, we were at the city’s summer concert series on Friday night and we’re anticipating A LOT of November babies. One expectant mom was kind enough to tell me they’re naming their baby-on-the-way Maxwell, but mostly I’m looking forward to a pre-Thanksgiving wave of birth announcements.

Speaking of waves of BAs, there were so many Hollywood births in the past week that I’m putting them first:

Is it me, or are gender-neutral names truly staying neutral? Conventional wisdom was that once a name had “gone girl” it would never be considered for a boy. But many of these celeb names are solidly ambiguous – and still used for sons.

Which reminds me:

I dragged a very reluctant Aly to shop for school shoes today and was delighted to overhear a father calling out Hasting. It was in the Nordstrom’s at the Annapolis Mall – you sort of had the impression the kid might’ve been Something Hasting Something IV. It’s possible I misheard, and he was Hastings, as in the Battle of, raising the possibility that his parents are experts on the Norman Invasion.

That’s all for this week. As always, it wouldn’t be worth writing if you weren’t here. Thank you!

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. Not a huge fan of Hasting personally, it just sounds extremely pretentious to me.

    On Capitol Hill I ran into a father screaming “Wilson!” over and over again at his rambunctious son. Had to roll my eyes because it just made me think of that scene from the movie Castaway.

    1. I would’ve had the same reaction! If you’ve ever been to the Nordstrom’s at the Annapolis Mall, Hasting fit RIGHT in. But hey, I was buying Sperry Top Siders for a 5 y.o. Those who shop in glass houses can’t lob insults …

  2. Hastings is a wonderful name! Besides the battle of, it makes me think of Captain Hastings, Hercule Poirot’s worthy sidekick.

  3. Remember how I mentioned when you were talking about the name Ryan I made a blog post on how it appears that every 40 years or so a previously taboo category of names becomes not so much anymore? I finally have it up at (I also mentioned the link under the comments at the Ryan NOTD):

    Good timing for that, considering the celebrity boys born this week with gender-ambiguous names.