The big news of the week? The birth of Bardot Vita Boreanaz, a sister for Jaden Rayne. Prepare to see Bardot featured in plenty of year-end lists of wacky celeb baby names.

In other news:

  • Did anyone catch the tiny baby name mention during last Sunday’s ep of Mad Men? When Jennifer Crane and Betty Draper talked babies at Roger & Jane Sterling’s vaguely awkward garden party, Jennifer mentioned her daughter’s name – Beatrice Grace. Non-name aficionados might find Beatrice a reasonable choice for the late 50s/early 60s. But you, dear reader, probably know that Beatrice was on the decline in the Mad Men era. In fact, it sounds just like the name of a baby born to, say, the writer on a hit television show. Who amongst the staff is enough of a name geek to slip in that reference? Or am I overthinking;
  • Legit Baby Names brings us the gently antique, but reasonably wearable Roswitha and Emmerich;
  • Bewildertrix spots a bunch of interesting appellations, including Kaine and Kaeleigh. And I was in a spin when she announced the birth of quintuplets (!) named Beyoncé, Tyra, Bobbi, Barack and Earl. Only they’re puppies – schwoo;
  • The rise of Asher continues – The Toronto Star profiles the parents of Nathaniel, Poem and Asher Aix Khadir;
  • Does this really qualify as news? Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are expecting baby #19. And need another J- name. I nominate Judah or Jacinta. Or maybe Julian or Jerusha. Swistle also suggested Julissa, June, Jasper, Jonas and Jeffrey;
  • Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel bestowed the restrained Walker Nathaniel on their son;
  • 311’s Nick Hexum and wife Nikki welcomed a daughter named Echo. I’ve been wondering about Echo ever since the debut – and renewal – of sci fi Dollhouse. It’s rich with teasing possibility, but still seems appealing;
  • Model Laetitia Acosta welcomed a daughter with the smart name of Athena. Athena joins big brother Orlando and sister Sahteene;
  • Golf’s Annika Sörenstam and husband Mike welcomed a daughter, Ava Madelyn.

And on a scholarly note, there’s Language Log’s article on Sino-American names. Apparently, while many Chinese men and women choose American names, they use them only with their Chinese friends. In America, it is increasingly common to use their Chinese names – or as close an approximation as can be expected in American English.

I’m taking Labor Day off, but I’ll be back on Tuesday.

Thanks for reading – see you next week!

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 love the name Echo. It’s the name of the protagonist in a great little play called Eleemosynary. I’ve always wanted to use it, but again, couldn’t even if my husband would agree due to it rhyming with our last name.

    On another note:
    We had our baby two weeks early on August 24th and named her Zoe Emmeline. My husband felt that the combination of an urban-sounding first name with a vintage-sounding middle was appealing. Plus she didn’t look like a Susannah when she came out, so we had to re-assess. I know Zoe is considered “trendy”, but we know no one by that name, of any age, so we felt it was all right.

    Zoe makes me think of a the first flower shooting up through the snow in winter – life emerging before the rest of the world even knows it’s spring. Don’t know why; it just does. I love that image. It is resilient, sweet, feminine, and tough – all the things my daughter has already displayed in and out of the womb!

    Thanks for such a great website – this was a lot of fun while looking for names and waiting to meet her. I love your “voice” and opinions.

    1. CONGRATULATIONS! I love your combination of Zoe Emmeline – it’s exactly as you describe it, urban plus vintage! I’ll be curious to hear if she turns out to be a Zoe over the years. (It’s such a mystery how they turn out, isn’t it? From the very first, they surprise us.) Thanks so much for reading!

    2. Ok so I haven’t commented here for ages but just wanted to say a huge congrats! Zoe’s a fantastic name – gorgeous meaning, will wear well throughout life and all of the Zoe’s I’ve known have been lovely. Works wonderfully with Emmeline too 🙂

  2. My husband has known both an Echo and an Echoe (pronounced the same). He briefly dated one and almost-sort-of dated the other.

  3. Really, they released their names. That is really a horrible story. I kinda like Starlite as a GP, but now is just reminds me of that whole story. I quite like Athena. Not a huge fan of Ethan, its so dull and common. Poem is kinda cute as a GP, I also like the Albanian, Poema.

    I noticed the whole Beatrice Grace thing last week too. I must say, I don’t know many women in their early 40s named Beatrice, I would expect the name to be more common among women of an older generation. The same generation as featured on Mad Men.

      1. Ooops, sorry I didn’t know. I thought you were referring to Laetitia Acosta, now I see you were talking about actually using Athena for yourself. For what its worth, I don’t think Athena sounds too bad with Ethan.

  4. I love Athena, but paired with Ethan, they become something of a joke. They’re almost anagrams. Sahteene has a nice sound, but I don’t like the spelling.
    Poem? Really? I think Soleil Moon Frye is allowed to do Poet simply because she’s a SOLEIL and a former child star, but anyone else should soooooo not.

    Speaking of being allowed to use certain names, Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped 18 years ago when she was 11, had two children by her captor. She they’re named Angel and Starlite. She is the only person I can think of that is allowed to choose names like this. Anyone else, I’d smirk. This poor girl can do whatever she wants, poor thing.