Sunday Summary: 5.26.19My husband sometimes reads what I write. But he almost never mentions it.

Except yesterday.

“Okay, so maybe there’s no such thing as a normal name. But aren’t there some really wacky, weird ones?”

It gave me pause. Because I can think of lots of names that have made my eyes bug out. “They’re calling him WHAT?” Sometimes these names belong to celebrity babies. At other times, they’re in my wider circle of friends, people in the neighborhood, families I know to see, but only in the most general hello-isn’t-the-weather-nice kind of way. The names come out of the blue, and they surprise me completely, jaw-dropped and head-tilted. (Not kidding, either. I have no poker face.)

Except that I tend to keep thinking about the names. And after a few minutes – or a week or a month – more often than not, I find myself liking the name. Even the BIG names, the complicated ones from history, the impossible ones that I can’t remember how to spell.

Eventually, they all fade to normal.

And that’s part of the message in this post: names grow on us all. So if the grandparents are shocked, shocked at the weird name you chose for their precious grandchild? Take a deep breath and let time work its magic. Because it’s amazing how often that wacky, out-there name, the one that everyone thought was so WEIRD and tried to talk you out of back when you were expecting? It’s that Exact. Same. Name. that everyone says fits your kiddo so very well just a few short years later.

Elsewhere online:

  • I’m obsessed with Libby, the app I can use to borrow books from my local library system direct to my Kindle. For years, I resisted reading on my phone. Walking to the library brings me joy, and holding actual books? It’s a pleasure. Except lately, my calendar has been packed, and the library trips haven’t happened. Enter Libby, and I’m so grateful for it! It also reminded me that Libby has long been my favorite of the Elizabeth nicknames.
  • Which reminds me: I’ve just started reading Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things. It’s a tale of racism and hatred and life, and I can’t spoil it because, well, I’m only on page 55. The section on baby names, at the very beginning? I shivered. But I still think Davis is a great name … I think.
  • Love this list of Uplifting Baby Names from Nancy. I think Meridian works.
  • New name site alert: Ava to Zeke.
  • Pro wrestling isn’t my thing, but this (stage) name caught my eye: Bray Wyatt. Real name: Windham Lawrence Rotunda.
  • A closer look at how immigrant heritage impacts name choice. Or, why, Irish names still dominate so many popularity charts.
  • And more on this, from Kate. What name pocket are you in? I can answer this one immediately: Benedict. I know at least four, and I’m pretty sure the number is even higher, between high school and babyhood. For comparison, we know a single Benjamin. But … we live a stone’s through from the Catholic University of America, and lots of CUA faculty and staff live in our neighborhood. Our kids are in school together. Sure, it’s a pocket – but it’s a completely understandable one. (See also the number of kids I know named Augustine or some variation thereof, the plentiful Sophias compared to a single Mia and just one Ava.)
  • Swooning over this list of vintage nickname names for girls – and the multiple longer forms of each one – at Ren’s Baby Names. Really thinking about Adamina called Minnie this morning.
  • Is -lani the new -lee? Roses and Cellar Doors makes a compelling case.
  • Duana tackles sibling name complementarianism. (It’s totally a thing.) I agree with what’s she’s written about choosing a sister name for Serena, but I keep wondering: do we really have to match?
  • Is it time to bring back Joanna? I surprised myself by recommending this name recently, but British Baby Names makes me think I was right …

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

Boy Names 5.26.19 Girl Names 5.26.19


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. Tying into the main topic and professional wrestling, my son’s name is Bàlor after his father’s favorite wrestler Finn Bálor. I hated the name at first but couldn’t convince DH of any other names (I tried at least 40!). For the first six months I only called him by his nickname. I like his name most of the time now, except when people say Baylor or Ballard.

  2. He named his newborn son Knash Sixx Rotunda. He won’t need a stage name if he follows in dad’s footsteps; that name packs a punch

  3. I think Joanna’s lovely, she was never really in or out of style, was she? Nice to see Dove trending on the site. I’d never heard of the Libby app before, it sounds great!

  4. About the wrestler Bray Wyatt, his real first name is his mother’s maiden name and his middle name is his father’s legal first name. I just wanted to share that, as a fan of both wrestling and Bray Wyatt.