Ah, September. The leaves change color, apples of every possible variety can be found in stacks at the Farmers’ Market and me?

I’m glued to the television:

  • Okay, not really. I missed the debut of the rebooted Melrose Place the other night. (Though I was sorry to miss Bronx‘s mom in action.) This edition includes an Ella and a Violet, as well as a female Riley. On the masculine side, there’s Auggie and Jonah;
  • Also on TV, I hear that Glee’s characters include Finn (a boy) and Quinn (a girl). Of course they’re dating;
  • Before there was Twilight, there was The Vampire Diaries. Now a series on the CW, Elena is torn between blood-sucking centuries-young, suntan-challenged brothers Stefan and Damon;
  • Technically this is big screen news – So You Think You Can Dance alum Kherington Payne has a lead role as Alice in the big screen remake of Fame. But will Kherington catch on for girls? Or the Dynasty-esque original, Carrington?

Also on the big screen, there’s Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Stand by for boys called Aldo, after Brad Pitt’s hyper-masculine hero. (The character was named after a real-life tough guy actor from the 50s and 60s, Aldo Ray.) There’s also the heart-breaking Jewish-French Shosanna, a name memorably yelled by the creepy Nazi Sicherheitsdienst officer Hans Landa, and her alias Emmanuelle.

Onto starbaby news:

  • Yup, Nicole Richie and Benji Madden named their boy Sparrow. He’s sure to fly to the top of worst celeb baby name lists. Some rumblings suggest that Sparrow was inspired by a Simon & Garfunkel song, but the parents have yet to confirm the theory;
  • Ioan Gruffudd and Alice Evans welcomed a daughter named Ella Betsi Janet. Ella is fine and I adore Betsy. Janet is engagingly retro. But Ella Betsi together seems like a deconstructed version of Elizabeth. What’s next? Ella Noor? Nia Cole? The mind reels;
  • Country music’s Zac Brown and wife have welcomed a daughter named Georgia Sloan, little sister to Lucy and Justice – both girls, too;
  • Katherine Heigl has confirmed that she is about to follow in a family tradition and adopt from Korea. (Hat tip to Photoquilty.) The baby on the way is to be named Naleigh. It’s a smoosh of family names – mom Nancy and sister Leigh. It’s a lovely thought, but all of a sudden, Sparrow seems perfectly reasonable.

Should you find yourself in a pediatrician’s office this month, pick up the current issue of Parents Magazine – there’s an extensive article on baby naming. For true name aficionados, it is not exactly news. (Though the report of one couple’s use of a name consultant was interesting and it was among the better coverage I’ve seen in a mainstream publication.) But the big takeaway? Laura Wattenberg contributed her Top Ten picks for the most popular names of 2019:

GIRLS: Lila, Peyton, Lucy, Violet, Aubrey, Amelia, Piper, Ruby, Juliet and Harper.

BOYS: Miles, Rowan, Lincoln, Eli, Jude, Cooper, Wyatt, Ryder, Lucas and Henry.

I’ll have to do some thinking about her lists – some strike me as spot on, others … maybe not so much. But seriously, if Laura Wattenberg is touting them as the likely hot names of 2019? That alone might be enough to make it so.

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. Uh oh. 3 of my top name contenders for our unborn babeh are on Laura Wattenberg’s list. These are the things that make me crazy and cause me to lose sleep over what we will name this child.

  2. Love the 2019 top 10! I wonder if it will prove true. Most are names I really love but probably wouldn’t use. Lincoln/Link is my husbands favorite though, maybe this will help persuade him against it.

    Does anyone have a name that’s not popular among your age group, but became mega popular among people several years younger than you? Does it help to know that you were first? Or is it still as annoying as if they were your age?

    1. My name, Jade, is pretty uncommon among the 30-something set, but became pretty darn popular in England in the late 90s, where I was living at the time. It was a little odd to hear moms admonishing their “Jades” one aisle over at the supermarket, but it wasn’t awful or anything. I still like my name – the experience didn’t put me off, but it wasn’t quite “mega” popular. It was my assumption that people might think I was younger than I actually was and that was fine by me!

  3. Just thought I would share this article with you, the kids had pretty interesting names.

    The family had five daughters and were celebrating the birth of their first son.
    The girls are called: Edith, Agnes, Constance, Gwendolyn and Katharine.
    The named their son John which seems boring in comparison.

  4. Naleigh? Yuck.
    I hope the 2019 name list isn’t a correct prediction, I love both Violet and Juliet and hope they won’t reach top 10.
    Same goes for Jude.
    Thanks for keeping us up to date!

  5. In theory, I really like the 2019 girl list…but they’re almost too hip for me to do. I think with a husband like mine (ultra-traditional, name-wise), I have to play it safe and stick with my current list. 🙁

    Nayleigh. Well. Gross. I’m glad and yet not glad I found out about this one. Her sister is adompet from Korea, too, if I recall the article I read correctly, but I think she has a normal name. I’d rather see Peyton or Kaylaover Naleigh!

    Elena is gorgeous. I’m rather partial to all Helen-related names, for some reason. I just like them. Stefan and Damon? Not so much.

    Thanks for sharing! I love Sundays. 🙂

  6. Ella Betsi Janet is just not working for me (in fact, if Ella were Ellen, it would read as a list of some of my aunts)… and I agree that the ‘deconstruction’ aspect of it is not appealing either.

    As for Wattenberg’s top 10 list for the future – phew! I am just happy our candidate boy names are not present on the list! With our 3 top names (currently) occupying spots #2, #12, and #33 on the English 2008 lists, I’m slightly wary that one or more might end up seriously common on this side of the pond, too (I prefer them to stay at the 100+ point – where they are now).

  7. Oooh, thanks for sharing Laura’s lists. Let’s see, in 2019 my Henry will be 12 (he would have been Lucy if he was a girl). I knew Henry was heading up the charts, I’d rather it didn’t go that high though. 😛

    Ruby & Amelia are in the current top 10 in England and I know Lucy is much more popular there too – so I can see those getting more popular in the US.

    “But Ella Betsi together seems like a deconstructed version of Elizabeth. ”

    I hadn’t thought of that! Very true!