My week at the beach was spent listening for names (well, there was ice cream and sand and a giant waterslide called the Hippo) but I didn’t hear much. There was a Veronica nicknamed Vera, but mostly it was the pleasant Top 100 assortment of Ethan, Dylan, Emma, Riley, Noah, Chloe, Caleb, Jackson, Zachary, Ellie, and the like. I also heard a girl called Cooper and another girl named Gracen or Graycen or maybe Gracyn. Thanks for checking out Rerun Week while I was slathering on sunscreen!

In the meantime, a new neighbor has arrived and her kids names? Be still my heart: Nella and Arlo. I haven’t actually met them (she joined a listserv for local moms) but I might hug her.

Also in the real world, the incredibly talented Brooke at Dinkypopsnomore is now mom to two! The incredibly photogenic, more-stylish-at-3-than-I-am-at-37 Temperance is big sister to Verity Blythe. See the post about her name here.

Elsewhere online:

In starbaby news:

  • Let’s hear it for the double palindrome power of Ava Katherine Otto, a new daughter for country singer James Otto and wife Amy;
  • Actor Matt Walton – he plays Eli on One Life To Live – has an Ava, too, plus a brand new son called Greyson James. Greyson is the new Jayden. Add up all the boys called Greyson and Grayson, plus the girls wearing a variant of sound-alike Gracen, and you have the formula for a gender-neutral, hard-to-gauge usage name that every parent thinks is uncommon. Too bad, because I do love Gray;
  • Army Wives’ Catherine Bell has a new son called Ronan, a little sister for Gemma. That’s a nice sibset, a pair of names that are underused, but not outlandish;
  • And the big news is the birth of Florence Rose Endellion, a daughter for UK Prime Minister David Cameron, his wife Samantha, and three older siblings: the late Ivan, plus Nancy, and Arthur Elwen. For a humorous and insightful look on place names popping up on birth certificates, there’s this News & Star column. Capri and Dublin, yes. St. Bees Flimby Pie? Probably not;
  • Lastly, the best use of Twitter for baby naming since Erykah Badu live-tweeted the birth of her third child and claimed she was calling her Twittymilk surely goes to Neil Patrick Harris’ twins teaser. That’s an instant sibset I can’t wait to learn.

As always, 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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  1. Just a wee bit behind on my blog commenting, but I had a baby (who just happens to never sleep)! Thanks for the sweet mention above. I just love this blog 🙂

  2. Temperance & Verity are lovely together. 🙂

    I met a 2 year old Bernice yesterday at church. Came home and looked it up – it’s not been in the top 1000 since the 70s and I found it listed as “Uncool” in one book. It’s not a name I’d ever thought about before – but it was a nice change to see on a toddler.

    My husband spotted a newborn Vontarius a week or two ago. He wrote it down to tell me about. 🙂 And now he’s telling people that we’re going to call #3 (due in March) Vontarius. 😛

    1. LOL! Congrats on #3, and how fabulous is your husband to know that you would love to hear about baby Vontarius?

      I just met a tot called Langdon – I’m assuming he’s not named after the DaVinci Code character. It’s a neat name.

      1. Thanks ladies. 😀

        JNE – I thought of you recently. My husband’s name list consists of one girl name and one boy name. His boy name is George, which I remember being a favourite of yours. 🙂

        Hehe, yeah, hubby knows I eat up ‘name spottings’. 🙂

  3. I dislike Cooper as a first name, but on a girl? I don’t see anything remotely about it. Cooper has always reminded me too much of chicken coop.

  4. I can see how Grayson could appeal to girls, and even Cooper, but it sounds really bad imo. On the other hand, Blythe on a boy sounds sublime, just love it.

  5. As for those unusual names or tryndee spellings, I have said, “That’s really different, yet similar to X which is really popular. What made you choose it?” A question like that is vague enough for me to conceal my real thoughts!

  6. Vacation was great – thank you! It’s such fun to see the kids at the beach. We go back to the same place year after year, so Aly has a whole agenda mapped out by the time we check-in.

    That’s right, Caroline – your mother was FAR ahead of the curve! I love the sound of Grayson.

    Charlotte, if it is totally hypothetical – a possible name, not one they’re already embroidering on nursery linens – I *might* say something like “oh, I’ve heard that a lot lately.” I once said “I think Mikaylyn is unusual, but all those girls called Mikayla and Kayla! I hear it all the time.”

    But I’m a big believer in keeping my thoughts to myself once the name is chosen. (I take the same approach to new haircuts, tattoos, and marriages. If it cannot be easily undone, I assume my opinion is not going to add to the conversation!) Except for here. Which is why I’m so grateful that here exists!

    Do you say anything? Anyone? I’m always at a loss!

  7. Great summary as always! I’ve begun to grind my teeth when I hear parents-to-be discussing names and commenting on how they like “unusual and rare” names like Grayson/Gracyn. How do you respond to that without sounding like a know-it-all?

  8. Just wanted to comment that my 25-yr-old sister is a Grayson, spelled Grayson. My mom was pretty groundbreaking!

  9. How was your holiday? Hope you had a good time 🙂

    Cooper on a girl can sound cute, but I’m totally against boy names on girls, even oldschool unisex names like Vivian or Bonnie.

    Graysen/son/sin seems like a Aiden trend, same with Jaylin and Baylin. To be honest, I kinda like how they ayden-names sound like, but there needs to be more variety, especially for boys. Most of them end in “n” nowadays, kinda annoying.