Sunday Summary 9.17.23My little girl who loved scouts and soccer has turned into a teenager with a passion for something very different: music. She’s traded her middle school clarinet for drumsticks and has lately been begging to go to her first concert.

The upside: it’s always fun to hear what’s on her eclectic, decades-spanning Spotify playlist.

The downside: it has been a long time since rock concerts were part of my life. I mean … I’ve actually heard lots of live music, the pandemic years notwithstanding. But it generally involves a ticket and an assigned seat, at least since I turned thirty. So I was a) rusty. So. many. apps. b) slightly intimidated by what would be safe for my still very young teenager.  Crowds thrill me, but, well, there are all kinds of different crowds.

Long story short: we ended up at a Blondie show. It was amazing – exactly the right choice.

And I found myself wondering: to what extent has Debbie Harry’s long tenure as the tough, cool, boundary-smashing woman at the head of Blondie changed our impression of names like Sadie and Goldie?

If that sounds far-fetched, consider. Blondie has been a background hum, scoring hits beginning in the 1970s, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, still touring nearly twenty years later.

They’re not Rolling Stones-level famous, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the English-speaking world who hasn’t heard a Blondie song. Lots of 20-somethings in the crowd knew the words.

Because it’s hard for me to hear Blondie and not think powerful woman. Surely some of that influences how I hear Elsie and Edie and Dulcie, too.


Justin, Brittany, and the rest of the Most Millennial names.

Antony, Teo, Marta, Artur … turn a TH into a T, and it’s interesting how names change. I’ve long loved Antony over Anthony, but I think it would be a hassle. Are there other names that change completely when the H is dropped?

A friendly reminder that not everyone will love your child’s name … and some of them will say that in public. Which is absolutely unnecessary. And yes, when you’re sleep-deprived and dealing with the roller coaster of parenting a newborn? Really hurtful and upsetting. But I feel like this is a case of managing expectations. If you go into naming your child – and parenting in general! – knowing that lots of people have opinions and you’re free to ignore the vast majority of them? It’s a little easier.

This week’s Name Wordle is here! Enjoy the puzzle! PS – Apparently this tool never tells you the solution, so here’s a link if you get stuck, or just want to skip ahead to the answer.

Do your pets have human names? If so, what kind of human names? Do they have names that you would consider for children? Because now I sort of want to name a kitten Kevin.

That’s all for this week! As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!

girl names 9.17.23 boy names 9.17.23

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. One of my cats started out as Lita. It was the name the shelter gave her and we just kept it until she had lived with us for a while. Over time she became Ish and now that is her name. As I was writing this I realized all my previous cats had human names starting with Sorcha, on to Tasha. Then I married into owning Onnie short for Anastasia, Cerri short for Cerridwen, and together we got Mao which was because her meow sounded like “mao”. Now a lifetime later I have Ish and Monster.

  2. My pets are Lily and Jasper, and while I might not have chosen those exact names if I’d had children (especially not those two together), I think they’re generally representative of the names I might have picked if I’d had kids.

    I actually noticed a few months ago that I knew an astonishing number of people who’d had a pet cat die this year, then listed the names to myself. It sounded like I was rattling off names from a high school graduation program (Sophia! Henry! Mia!), and I realized that the seeming trend just means that I know a lot of middle aged women and that the cats we adopted in our 20s are now in their late teens.

    I also wonder if pet names ever anticipate baby name trends. If so, we might be seeing the beginning signs of mid century names coming back into use. I’d be curious if there are some baby Kevins in a decade or so, when the name isn’t so associated with men of a specific age.

  3. All my pets have had human names! We’ve had cats named Aley, Celia, and Luca, and dogs named George and Leo. (Interestingly, none of these were on my list for kids, even though most of them would fit in pretty well with my kids’ names). My son recently told me he wanted to get a cat and name him Brad, and I am absolutely on board with that!