Sree Balakrishna Swami Temple, KuzhuppillyHappy September!

Let’s start with a quote from the quirky Where’d You Go, BernadetteHave you read it?  I’m not finished, so no spoilers, please.  But it is strangely engaging.  Bernadette’s daughter answers to Bee, and sometimes Buzzy.  But early on, we learn what her full name is:

You’ll see on Bee’s passport that her given name is Balakrishna Branch.  (Let’s just say I was under a lot of stress, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.)

I haven’t unraveled all of the name’s significance in the novel, but Bala Krishna means divine child – it refers to the worship of the child form of the god Krishna.  (Do I have that right?  I’m a little rusty on Hinduism.)  There are legends and temples aplenty.

It’s been a week for intriguing names covered in the blogosphere:

  • My favorite from this list of five: Music.  It’s not for me – I am not a shred musical – but can’t you imagine it as a great middle for the right family?
  • I’m not a huge fan of two-syllable, ends-with-a names for girls, but Petra is one that makes me swoon.
  • Loving Millie McGregor.  There are great ways to get to Millie, many of which I would use.  But I do love alliteration, and Millie McGregor sounds straight out of a storybook.
  • This couple ended up with a great name for their son, despite some debate.  And some fanciful suggestions from dad.
  • Welsh names can have so much appeal: Seren, Indie, Cai, Vaughan, Taliesin.  Bonus points if you’re an architecture buff with that last one, as Taliesin is also the name of a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Wisconsin.
  • These rare royal names for girls are dazzling.  Loving Sigrid the Haughty.
  • It’s been way too long since I checked in on Kristin Rushowy’s baby name stories at The Toronto Star.  She does not disappoint.  Here’s a little girl called Arwynn Geneva Sari Valentina and another named Beatrix Strawberry.  Better still, Arwynn has a big sis called Tanys Aurora Alexandra Piia.
  • Can another season of Teen Mom launch more names?  Gannon is interesting, as is Nova.
  • Townes for a boy – it’s an ends-with-s preppy surname name I hadn’t thought of, but I kind of love it.
  • Philippine, Gaspard, Isaure, Sixtine, Augustin, Côme, all from a birth announcement round-up at Jolis Prénoms.  How delighted am I that Clare at has discovered French baby name blogs?  Le Figaro publishes online birth announcements, but you can only see a few in their style section without a subscription.  I did spot a Capucine while I was visting.
  • Atlas is really growing on me.  It once might have seemed like too much of a name, but now I think he would wear well.
  • EirRhymes with rare.  Or maybe it doesn’t, but I can’t imagine another pronunciation sticking in the US.
  • While we’re at The Art of Naming, I’ve enjoyed voting in the polls.  This one – where Isadora beats out the heard-everywhere Isabella and the super-obscure Isabeau is interesting.  Kara’s conclusion matches something we’ve talked about before.  We like unusual, but a relatively small number of parents are comfortable with totally-out-there choices.
  • And oh, isn’t Rosamund lovely?

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

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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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  1. We have friends who named their baby girl Atlas Elizabeth! 🙂 They were going to use Atlas regardless of if they had a boy or girl–they had a girl, but I do think it would be cuter on a boy. 🙂

    1. Interesting – I can see it … all those girl Addies, plus lots of feminine ends-with-s names: Lois, Doris, Maris. I once thought Mary Atticus would be the coolest name for a girl … kind of over it now, but I still like the idea.

  2. Beatrix Strawberry is … delicious! No other word for it.

    I love Rosamund, but not only is the pronunciation a point of contention, but somehow I don’t feel able to pull this name off. We did consider it though!

    1. I loved Beatrix Strawberry when I saw it too.

      Couldn’t you do Rosamond in the middle? Ella Rosamund or something

      Also liked Townes – I think I must have liked it long ago and somewhat forgotten about it. But it’s awesome.

      Also thought Music, interesting. Not my favorite word name, but I like it better than Lyric and some of the other ‘ends in a k sound’ word names (Lake comes to mind). Now I’m having trouble thinking of any that I do like.

      quick, my thoughts on a few others:
      Isabella/Isadora (Isidora)/Isabeau – lovely all three, I have no complaints on any of these, but would probably pick Isidora. If Isabel were an option, though, I’d pick her over the others.

      Eir – my sister in law has so wanted to use this as a child’s mn. Since they haven’t yet, I guess they need to have baby #6 still!

      Phillippine, Gannon, Bernadette – love these and was so excited to see them posted about! I’ve been thinking about Phillippine/Phillippina more since finding it in my genealogy research.

      Atlas – I think it’s cool. Brave to use as well. But now that I have a nephew Atreus and recently met an ‘uh ray us’, I’ve decided all those Greek names I love and thought were too strange are not anymore. People are just using all sorts of names!

  3. I love Sigrid the Haughty’s name too, that’s why I used Sigrid as my daughter’s middle name. I hope

    Townes makes me think of the singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt. Jewel gave her son the middle name Townes in his honor.

    My late aunt’s name was Janet Rosamond and surprisingly none of her granddaughters or great-granddaughters were given Rosamond as a middle name… which is a pity because it’s lovely.

  4. I adore Rosamund, but sometimes I worry that it sounds as if it’s trying too hard to be posh or classy. I don’t think it’s very rational on my end, but it turns me off it a bit.

    Music as a name reminds me of Gwen Stefani’s “Harajuku” phase, when she employed four Japanese women as props/accessories to silently follow her around. The names these four women went by at the time were Love, Angel, Music, and Baby, allegedly Gwen’s four favorite words. (They also spell out the name of her clothing line, LAMB.) There’s a line in one of her songs referring to them that goes “I’d dress them wicked / I’d give them names / Love, Angel, Music, Baby …” That paragraph just proved that I probably know too much about Gwen Stefani and I think it’s unlikely that many other people remember the names of her Harajuku girls or even realize that they had names, but that was my first association. It honestly makes the name feel sort of icky to me.

    1. Ette, now I’m wondering if the parents of the babies called Music are Gwen Stefani fans?!

  5. I love Seren and Sigrid. And I like Isabeau much better than Isadora. It says Is-A-Door-Uh for heaven’s sakes. And it just seems too precious.

  6. I think Isidora is more appealing than Isadora. I have no real way to justify that though. It just looks… slimmer… and more directly related to Isis and further from Isabella?

    I’m ridiculously heartened you don’t mind first name-last name alliteration! I have an M last name and I still love so many M names for both genders.

    Oh, and I love Rosamund and the “rosa mundi” imagery. But I admit, for years and years I read it with “rose” sound on the front, akin to Rosemary, which is apparently wrong-wrong-wrong and makes British people’s hair fall out. And I’m still kind of sad that’s not right.

    1. I grew up in California near a town called Rosamond. Per wiki: “Rosamond was originally established in 1877 as a townsite which was owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad and was named ‘Rosamond’ after the daughter of one of the railroad officials.” Everyone calls it “Rose-ah-mond”. So even though it might be “wrong” to British ears, it’s not to me, and I can’t help but pronounce the name Rosamond/Rosamund the way I am used to. At least at first. 🙂

      1. what’s the ‘correct’ way? I know Rosalyn is ‘roz ah lyn’, is Rosamund/Rosamond ‘roz uh mund’?? Ugh. Rose uh mund is lovely. That’s how I say Rosamund/Rosamond.

        If I ever publish a name book it will be filled with all the names I love but only because I pronounce them incorrectly. Once I learn the correct prn. on many, I’m no longer in love.

        But I don’t necessarily say a name the way the British do – they put an r on the end of Olivia when they say it and say ‘sear uhl’ instead of ‘sigh ril’ (Cyril). Is ‘roz uh mund’ the correct way to say Rosamond even in the U.S.?