What have I been doing with my life? Because until a few days ago, I was not on FaceBook. Clearly, I need to rethink my priorities. Within minutes of joining, I’d discovered that an old friend is now the proud parent of two wonderfully named daughters – Esme and Eleni.

Elsewhere online:

  • Jen of Blissfully Caffeinated, mom to Caroline and Avery, writes of her quest to find the perfect baby name for daughter #3 over at Nameberry. I do think that naming your first is easier than the encore performance;
  • Nymbler July stats are out! Their Top Ten remains stable, but check out the Top 5 Brand New Names: Elia, Shepherd, Torin, Wynter and Berlin;
  • EcoSalon has a just-for-laughs A-to-Z of what to name your EcoBaby. At least, here’s hoping Prius and Yurt don’t bust into the US Top 1000 anytime soon;
  • On the other hand, Bewildertrix has spotted Reef. More than once. I suppose it is a logical outcome of Rhys and River;
  • Legit Baby Names brings us Milica, one of those delightful Slavic choices that will be butchered in these parts. The pronunciation is meh LEET sah – but much like we rhyme Danica with Annika instead of the more authentic dah NEET sah, I imagine Milica would find her name rhymed with Alicia;
  • On to my favorite list of the week: Hipper than Hipster at Nameberry – and yup, Fern is on the list;
  • If you follow Mad Men, know that Betty and Don Draper are expecting #3. It’s not exactly the kind of show where we’ll hear the happy couple discussing baby names, but I am curious to hear what Sally & Bobby’s little sib is called;
  • The Toronto Star gives us possibly the best-named baby they’ve ever covered – Jade Violet Alisa. The story is lovely, too;
  • If you have lots and lots of free time, go play this game.

In celeb baby news:

  • Tom Cavanagh, who was working to revive Edward as a bowling-alley-lawyer well before Twilight, has another classically named child – James Joseph, a brother for Alice Ann and Thomas Patrick;
  • I neglected to mention this one earlier. Let’s say you were the frontman for an indie band called The Killers. Would you name your son Gunner? Brandon Flowers and wife Tana did. Big brother is Ammon.

Lastly, have you heard of the Portia Hypothesis? It suggests that female attorneys with masculine names are more likely to succeed in their profession. You can read the abstract and download the most recent working paper here. It’s an interesting theory – and the researchers do indeed find evidence that supports the hypothesis.

But I’m not sure it has much to do with naming a child. Before you decide that your Francesca really ought to be called Crosby so she can get into Harvard Law, remember this – the study applied to women of an age and professional stature able to be considered for judgeship. Odds are they were born in the 1960s or earlier – as were their male colleagues. Your daughter, born in 2009, will face a very different world in countless ways. But surely one of them is personal names – instead of Bill and Bob, the bench will be filled by Josh and Noah. That should make space for girls with many different types of names – the frilly, the no-nonsense, the classic, the nouveau. Surely someday there will even be a judge named Nevaeh.

That’s all for this week – thanks for reading!

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. Hey, thanks for the promo! Suggestions are welcome, because we are having an awful time coming up with a name. 🙁 Probably stressing way too much about it.

    Congrats to Photoquilty!

  2. I read that article about boys names on girls and I just hope that this doesn’t push more people to give boys names on girls. We already have enough Madisons and Ashleys (no offense to the people with those names) but I fear there may be a day when no name is usable for a boy because it has become a girls name.

    Congratulations Photoquilty! How exciting.

  3. I just wanted to add that it seems like Brandon keeps sticking oh-so-very-masculine names on his kid, to outweigh the fact that their last name is Flowers. Ammon Flowers, Gunner Flowers… Makes it look like he really, really wants his boys to be boyish.

    1. Mookie, you definitely have a point! But he really is so hot; I hate to blame him. Maybe it’s the wife that picks the names. Isn’t that usually how it is? Maybe she’s the one who thinks Flowers might sissify her guys.

  4. Brandon Flowers is hot but his taste in names is not. Also, I thought Gunnar was a name, but gunner is just a guy who plays with guns…

    Milica looks more like MIL-eh-kah to me than anything else. I like the pronunciation meh-LEET-sah, but it does rhyme with pizza. Or maybe that’s a plus?

    Just wanted to promote myself here and tell everyone I’m 8 weeks pregnant, so finally have a legitimate reason to be thinking (okay, obsessing) about baby names!

    Are you adding readers to your FB account – or are you keeping it personal?

    1. Woo-hoo! How exciting! Is there anything more fun than getting to name a new person? I don’t think so! I just started Facebook, join me: last name is Lansdowne.

      1. Photoquilty, congrats!

        I find it a bit weird/funny/ironic that he named his second son Gunner when his first son’s name is one letter away from ‘ammo’.

    2. Congratulations, Photoquilty! I’m so excited for you.

      And d’oh. I really am new to FB – I hadn’t even thought of it. I’m Abby Sandel – if you friend me, I’ll friend you back. (Is that the right terminology?)

      1. Okay, I’ve friended (that’s awkward sounding) you, Abby. Watch out, because Facebook is the easiest way to waste time I’ve ever found.

        To everyone else, thanks for indulging me – I mean congratulating me. 🙂