Sunday SummaryLast year around this time we were gearing up to host a guinea pig for the summer, the classroom pet of my then-third grader.

The guinea pig’s name? Princess Charlotte, named by the third grade class, meaning kids who were born in 2004.

That’s one the reasons I guessed that Charlotte would be the #1 name in 2033. My fourth grader and his classmates will be in their late 20s, primetime for having and naming babies.

But lately I’m thinking that Charlotte might have a shot at the top spot much sooner. Because this week? Charlotte ruled this week.

May started out with the arrival of Her Royal Highness, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, and general agreement that her name was just exactly right.

Then on Friday we learned that Charlotte now ranks in the US Top Ten.

So … what do you think? Will Charlotte be the #1 name in the US soon? Or will all the noise about the new princess push parents away from regal, literary, classic Charlotte?

Now, on to the rest of the baby name news:

  • Anna analyzes the most popular given names – with middles! – in some of Australia’s bigger newspapers. A few spoilers: Lucinda and Saskia are more common for girls than you might guess, and oh, Angus is tops for boys!
  • I’m a sucker for foreign language forms of Elizabeth. The version featured at Nomes e mais Nomes is one of my new faves: Elisabete.
  • Nancy talks about Ember, a name I like quite a bit. I think it does feel feminine, if only because we’re so used to Amber as a girls’ name.
  • There’s a really interesting comment from Swistle in this post about Franklin as a possible name for a girl. She notes, “So although half of me thinks Franklin for a girl is a justifiable decision, and a creative and interesting choice if shock value is one of your naming preferences (and that IS a familiar naming preference) …” Do you agree that parents name for shock value? Something about it feels accurate, but I’m not sure I’d use the phrase “shock value.” Mulling this one over …
  • Love this sister set at Design Mom: Ava, Perla, and Zosia! Of course, I’m a huge fan of names from Design Mom’s Living with Kids series.
  • Now THIS is a very bold baby nameRoman Osiris Thunder Slayer De Los Reyes, son of artist Anna De Los Reyes.
  • Another example of a double-nature name: Dandelion Rain, spotted by For Real in Pennsylvania. And check out those royal names! A Maya Empress and a Princess, too.
  • Thanks to everyone who sent this link my way! Time for Atlantic Hurricane Season! Check the batteries in your flashlights, and then go check out the list of storm names. My favorites? Ida, Odette, and Peter. I could cheerfully give those names to triplets!
  • English: Simplified image of arms of Poland; t...Kate talks Polish first names. It’s fascinating to see how names change between languages and cultures. Something that fascinates me is that there’s not really any concept of nickname-proof names in Polish. All of the Poles we know – from seniors to children – answer to diminutive forms of their name amongst family. Even foreign names take diminutive forms, at least if they’re used in Polish. (Though I’m also Abby – not sure if that would change if I was speaking Polish or living in Poland. Will be curious to find out when we finally visit!)
  • Oh my goodness, the NAMES in this latest birth announcement round-up from Elea at British Baby Names: Arlo Finnian, Hugo Joseph Dubois, Rufus Rex Wystan. Tremendous names for boys, and proof that it’s possible to find something edgy and traditional at the same time.
  • Kelli dives into the numbers on the new US data. She’s got the best explanation for why we were all surprised by the return of Emma. Emma fell in terms of total use, both as a percentage and in actual numbers! You’ll have to read her analysis for the details, but I think we’re continuing to see more volatility in given names, and a much flatter Top Ten. The days of any single name being given to 3% or 5% of all children born in a single year might be gone forever.
  • Names for twin girls! Rosemary and Theodora are still my top combination. And asking “What would you name twin daughters?” remains my favorite name nerd Q to ask – and to answer!
  • Kara points out that Maisie is up – way up! – in this year’s stats.
  • This list of old-fashioned Spanish names to bring back is great. Even better? Some of them are back! Check out Eliseo and Ximena!

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That’s all for this week! As always, thank you for reading – and have a great 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. Charlotte has already been #1 in Australia and New Zealand, so it seems very possible to me (wonder if it will go back up now?). It doesn’t seem to have reached the top spot in the UK, but it didn’t have a princess to boost it while it was in the Top 10.

    Love the energy of Roman Osiris Thunder Slayer, except that it spells ROTS. That spoils it somewhat.

  2. I have to say, while I’m not exactly after “shock-value” in my baby name choices, a part of me really yearns to select a surprising choice. I wouldn’t say I’m out to elicit envy, but as a name nerd, I don’t shy away from names that spark conversations.
    Before this year, I might have said that people would be scared off by Charlotte’s high profile post-royal birth, but after seeing what Elsa did in 2014 I’m no longer sure! I feel like Charlotte is perfectly poised to take over since it’s a name that was rising to begin with, just like Elsa had begun a subtle climb pre-Frozen.

  3. I agree that a lot of parents name for shock value, but that shock value doesn’t feel quite right. They want people to hear their child’s name and feel surprised, impressed, envious that they didn’t pick such a cool name for their own child. The thrill factor? Thrill-envy? LOL