First Day 2012 Aly et Clio
First Day of School 2012 Aly & Clio

Happy Labor Day weekend to all of our American readers.  This marks the end of the summer season in the US, and the official return to school.  Aly and Clio actually went back last week.  Their classes are packed with fantastically named kids, but hey – this is metro DC.  Internationally eclectic is our normal.  It’s interesting, because I find that names from cultures completely foreign to me take a while to really stick in my brain, but the kids seem unfazed by it.

My favorite name-spotting comes courtesy of Clio’s lunchbox.  She has it behind her back in this pic, but it is Delancey Doggie from the Big Apple Buddies line at Built NY.  The other lunchboxes are Cornelia, MacDougal, and Astor.  I’d be charmed to hear any of those names on a real life kid.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the longer I write about names, the more tolerant I become.  Four and half years in, I’m less convinced that there are any rules at all, and more convinced that many attempts to define rules can easily become snobbish, even cruel.  (Insert any variation on your child will be teased with the name Deklin/Ranger/Celestia/Ryanne/Loveday here.)

But then I hesitate, because if you’re really stuck for a name, it would be nice to have some guidance.  I’ve been kicking around starting a series on this topic, but I fear it will too easily become rather negative.  Maybe over the winter … which will be here before we know it!
Other baby name news from this week:

  • Fielding and Linneagreat sibset!
  • Did you see this story about how Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard settled on Gloria for baby #2?
  • Briar, Wilder – lots of great finds at Eponymia from her trip to Sonoma.
  • I have a real weakness for day names.
  • Anberlin is completely new to me.  Anyone recognize it from a book or television show?  Google tells me it is the name of a rock band – could that be the origin?
  • Best quote of the week goes to Isadora’s post on the musical Bluesette: Technically it is made up, but some people equate “made up” with “thoughtless and meaningless” when it comes to naming children.  Well said!
  • I really like the combination Olive Avalina at Names For Real – and isn’t Slade Horace just the wackiest pairing?  Must be a story there …
  • The Alfibert – HA!  D is my favorite letter.  How can you go wrong with Dexter and Dulcie?
  • Hurricanes – destructive, terrifying, and nicely named.
  • Amethyst, yes.  Fandango, please no!  But I could easily name triplets with this list of names related to the color purple up at Baby Name Pondering.
  • Ending on another funny note – loved this post from Anna on Odd Google Searches that have led to her site.  There are no hiking maps of Appellation Mountain … and Sally is a good name for a pet turtle.

That’s all for this week!  There’s nothing in the pipeline for tomorrow, as in true Washingtonian fashion, I am closing for the federal holiday.  I’ll still be over at Facebook, though, so you can head there for your name fix.  Thanks, as ever, 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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What do you think?


  1. I actually have a friend/acquaintance with a daughter named Anberlin. I always thought it was Amberlyn until recently (just a few days ago!) she posted something on facebook about Anberlin’s fifth birthday. I thought it was an interesting and unique choice. A spin on Amberlyn? A smoosh of Anne & Berlin? I’ll have to ask her if Anberlin’s name was inspired by the band.

  2. Love that idea for a series. Please consider it some more!

    Re: made up names. I’ve been doing in my whole life with my writing. I like to think I’ve come up with really nice ones. But there seems to a fine line between something interesting and intriguing verses something really silly and sometimes ridiculous-sounding. I don’t know it, though… maybe this can be the theme for a future post?

  3. Like everything else in life, there are no rules, but everyone must find their own or else it becomes anarchy and therefore empty and meaningless.

    And like everything else in life, you think you are tolerant of other people’s rules, until you see a name that just makes you go NOOOOOOOOOO.