Sunday Summary 4.17.22I’ve been thinking lately about how to make good decisions.

Chiefly as it results to name choices, of course.

But all things name-related tend to trickle into my real life. And vice versa.

So this struck me as just plain brilliant advice:

imagine yourself in the future and that the decision you made did not turn out well.

Wait, what?

Think about it. You’re worried that your favorite name, Olivia, is much too popular. You use it anyway. And – sure enough! – there’s another Olivia in her nursery school classroom. Your new neighbors move in with a slightly older Olivia. And your colleague announces that she’s always planned to name her new daughter Olivia, too – and she does.

How much does it bother you? Really?

Or imagine the opposite course of action. You avoid Olivia, thinking that surely your second favorite name, Eliza, will be less common. Except Eliza surges in the popularity rankings and now your daughter is the only Eliza in her kindergarten. But your neighbor’s new baby is Eliza, and so is another colleague’s brand-new daughter.

Are you crushed that you gave up Olivia for a name that’s not really less popular?

Imagine you’re tempted to go with a really out-there name.

But now your daughter Cosima is three, and your Aunt Kathy still can’t say it right, the nurse at the pediatrician’s office trips over it every time you check in for an appointment … and so does the nursery school director and Aunt Mary. Your neighbor calls her Cosette and Colleen and Corinna, because she can’t keep it straight in her head, either.

Do you blithely accept that as the price of ensuring your daughter’s name is hers alone? Or do you find yourself thinking that the possibility of Olivia repeating isn’t so bad?

Whatever you’re worried about, lean into it. If it happens, will it really crush you?

As Positive Prescription notes, it’s a good way to think through your blind spots.

(Oh, and yes – apparently squirrels really are indecisive.)


One of the biggest factors in name choice? Mother’s age. Probably that should be parents’ age, but the data reflects only the mother’s age. And we don’t have it for the US, which is just such a loss. But we can learn a lot from Scotland’s data. No question that younger parents tend towards trendier names. As we mature, we tend to gravitate towards the classics. So the Under-25 Top Ten includes Aria and Jaxon; the 35-and-up column lists Alexander and Grace.

Ludo in Pakistan, Mirabel in Nigeria. Speaking of data, Nameberry’s international stats are fascinating. Some of these aren’t surprising – like Fiadh in Ireland – but others make me think I’m missing something. Why is Isolde trending in Italy, or Amadeus in Poland?

The tests described in this post are helpful for thinking through lots of naming questions. Imagine announcing the names; try writing them out; do any of the names rule out others? They’re cousins to lot the big, general question I mentioned earlier!

These quintuplets have pretty amazing names. Philomena, Evangeline, Gideon, Meredith, and Elliot. Middle names + name stories in the reel, too!

Every single baby name recorded in Liechtenstein for calendar year 2020 is in this post. No, really. 188 girls were born in Liechtenstein in 2020, and there are 98 unique names listed, along with a Top Five that accounts for another 90. That’s 188. On the boys’ side, 113 boys received unique names, plus 52 receiving a Top Three name, equaling the 165 births. It’s a fascinating list, from the nearly universal favorites (Sophia, Leo, Mia) to rarities that do seem rare (Loredana, Philomeno, Senada.)

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

Boy Names 4.17.22 Girl Names 4.17.22

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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1 Comment

  1. Amadeus is personal fave, and I’m very excited to see it catch on anywhere. I feel the unique name ragrets-with-an-a, but honestly I’m not sure I’d do it any differently.