Sunday Summary 3.4.18There’s another mom at school. We serve on a committee together, and we’ve chatted about this and that, but we never really talked. Then she found out about this blog, and she admitted that her first thought was: Is she secretly judging my children’s names?

The absolute, gospel truth?


I think you should use the name you love. Even if it’s a Top Ten name that feels all too familiar. Even if it’s a wacky, out-there name that even I’ve never heard before. (Because even though I know lots and lots of names, I’m surprised on the regular, and thank goodness for that!)

And if you love the name? I love it, too.

Loving names doesn’t mean judging them. I have my favorites, and there are even a few names I irrationally dislike. But my affection for all things onomastic isn’t about holding up a scorecard for every possible choice.

Now, elsewhere online:

  • The Oscars are tonight! I haven’t paid close attention to this year’s contest. I need to go through the names of the characters and nominees more closely, because there are always a few gems. The ones I’ve spotted at a quick glance: Reynolds, Elio, Annella, Clementine, Elisa, Zelda, Katharine.
  • Um, Archie as a nickname for Richard? So brilliant! An instantly reinvention for both names, IMHO.
  • Speaking of movies, I agree with Laura: Black Panther baby names are coming. Call it the wave from Wakanda. The only question is which ones. She has her guesses, and I agree. But how ’bout Chadwick, as in Boseman, the leading man? It has a good run in the 1960s and 70s, so it tracks with Boseman’s birth year. But it never became wildly popular. Will it rise in the rankings now?
  • The 113 girls’ names that have never left the US Top 1000. A few surprises here, but mostly a list of rock solid names for a daughter.
  • Everything that Swistle says about family surnames here is worth reading. Though I will add this: I don’t have a second of regret about dropping my surname. But if I get to make my choice, for my own, deeply personal reasons, then I think everyone else should, too. (Which is what the wise Swistle says in the end, too.)
  • Swistle also uses this phrase: Emmeline will occasionally be mispronounced/misspelled, but within normal range. That’s an excellent way to think about such things. There’s an ordinary amount of correction that takes place with many names, and that’s fine.
  • Baby names inspired by Girl Scout cookies? Delicious! Also, seriously, Araminta deserves to be heard at least a little more. I’m warming to Thane, too.
  • Duana invokes the Novogratz principle for a blended family naming question. There’s no rule sibling names need to match, and there’s much to be said for embracing your favorites, even when the styles don’t seem to be at all similar.
  • “We’ll still love her regardless of her name” and other awful reactions from the ones we love the most.
  • Because I know you all love French names.

Don’t forget to vote in March Madness baby names 2018!

Voting stays open through Thursday, March 8th, and the next round follows on Saturday, March 10th.

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

PS – The beach picture is one I took myself – yesterday! Thanks to ice hockey, we ended up just about half an hour from the Atlantic. It’s cool – and SO windy, but I can’t resist the ocean.

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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