Let’s start a handful of picks from pop culture: first, True Blood’s werewolf Alcide. He joined the cast in Season Three and will be back in Season Four. If Sookie recently attracted attention, how about this romantic French spin on the Greek Alcaeus?

I’m also intrigued by Katniss, the heroine of the bestselling young adult trilogy The Hunger Games. Her name is taken from the name of an edible plant, not just in her distopian fictional universe, but here on Earth, too. Stephen King panned the name in a review, but I find Katniss pretty clever. And what’s more, I can imagine Katniss catching on – she’s almost a blend of all those Kate names and the vintage, ends-in-ess choices, like Frances and Alice.

And let’s not forget TLC’s latest entry about families with lots of kids. This one has lots of wives, too – yup, they’re profiling a polygamist family in Sister Wives. The faces in their very crowded family portrait belong to:

  • Dad Kody;
  • First wife Meri and her daughter Mariah;
  • Second wife Janelle, and her kids Logan, Madison, Hunter, Garrison, Gabriel, and Savanah;
  • Third wife Christine and her kids Aspyn, Mykelti, Paedon, Gwenelyn, Ysabel, and baby-on-the-way Truely;
  • Fourth wife-to-be Robyn, who brings three kids to the bigger-than-Brady bunch: Dayton, Aurora, and Breanna.

It’s interesting to see that you can share everything, and still have very different taste in baby names.

Elsewhere online:

  • Speaking of family names, Laura Wattenberg’s article about A New World of Namesakes challenges readers to imagine the feminine form of today’s most popular boys’ names. Will Connor’s granddaughter be called Connie? Connorine? The mind reels. Apparently Joshlyn is already surfacing;
  • A comment in that post led to these addicting Sporcle games. Maybe I’m a geek, but I nearly didn’t get the laundry done thanks to these;
  • Sebastiane’s post on Gregory includes a long list of feminine variants, including Jorina. Which gives me hope that we won’t be meeting girls called Connorine;
  • Spotted in Montana: Huxley. ON A GIRL. For Real reports a Huxley Isabella was born in Big Sky Country;
  • This one is for Claire. During our discussion of Endellion, she wrote: “What if we dropped the ‘n’? Endellia is nice.” Guess what popped up in the new names at Namipedia just the other day? Wait for it – Endelia. She may or may not stay there – Wattenberg has some criteria for determining which names can be listed – but other people are thinking the same way;
  • Check out the Class Rosters list at You Can’t Call It “It.” I was traveling for work when her post came out, so I couldn’t put my hands on our lists, but the biggest surprise I’ve heard so far? Aly has a classmate called Ovid. I’m not sure if I’m misunderstanding a foreign name or if he really is named after the poet.

In starbaby news, besides Winnie Cooper’s baby dragon, there’s:

  • Mario Lopez’ new little girl, Gia Francesca. Is Gia the new Mia?
  • Rachel Dratch’s new son Eli;
  • Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney welcomed daughter Raquel Blue, a little sister for Jagger Donovan. Raquel and Jagger feels like a mismatched sibset, but when you throw in the middles, it seems a little more matched.

Lastly, I was curious to see the upcoming Easy A for tons of reasons – it’s a spin on The Scarlet Letter, Malcolm McDowell plays the principal, the reviews have been great. But best of all? The heroine’s name is Olive!

That’s all for this week. If you haven’t already, leave a comment on this post for a chance at choosing the five names to be featured the week of December 27! 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. Sporcle eats up entirely too much of my time… and I’m always depressed when I don’t do well on a name game…

    3rd wife Christine has chosen some, uh, interesting names.

    My kid’s preschool roster is a sleeper – yawn! Paxton is as “exciting” as it gets… lots of top 100.

    Gia is nice… I’ve heard several Giannas recently too.

    A colleague recently married and got a new surname… Song… and I thought, there’s a surname that I could live with migrating to the fn spot!

    1. Song is already a name in some languages! The Sanskrit name Gita (somewhat popular in hippie circles) means song.

  2. Endelia/Endellia is quite pretty, so I hope it catches on. As for Huxley on a girl? No, please no.

    I knew two Gia’s growing up, one was named after the other. The name always seemed very pretty and unusual, especially in India. I’m not sure what I think about the name rising in popularity.

    Gregory is a smashing name! But Greg, meh. The female variants? Yick!

  3. EnEdelia is a indeed a name used in Mexico; don’t know if it’s used anywhere else in Latin America or in Spain. It isn’t a saint name, I don’t know of any famous ones, but I do recall meeting one many, many years ago.

    Thanks for another wonderful week in Name Land.

    1. Now that’s interesting, Christina – thanks! Endelia is quite pretty, but I’d never heard it until Endellion made the news.