Happy Easter! If Sunday Summary 3.27.16you observe the holiday, I hope your day was full of celebration.

We’re in Michigan for the weekend, where it is cold. I’d say unseasonably cold, but that’s not quite true. Chilly Easters here are pretty normal, or so I’m told. But we’ve still had a lovely celebration, and a bunny even hopped through my in-laws yard on Friday afternoon, which made it seem like spring really is almost-just-about-finally-here.

On our travels, I spotted a great set of sister names: Nadia and Agatha.

And I also found myself pondering this: why do we use feminine names as insults? We went to see the Detroit Red Wings play the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens’ captain is the enormously txinted Sidney Crosby. He’s also controversial, in the way that major sports figures can be, and his critics call him Cindy Crysby. I don’t pay enough attention to know exactly why he’s controversial, but I do wonder about calling a man by a woman’s name as an insult. It seems deeply problematic – the kind of thing that ought to be absolutely unacceptable.

On a lighter note, I always enjoy going to the stadium where the Red Wings play. It’s Joe Louis Arena, and it’s on a first name basis with everyone. It”s “The Joe.” I can’t think of another major stadium that’s known by a given name, but maybe I’m missing something. Are there any?

Now, on to the name news:

  • A girl named Tybee in Tennessee! That’s the second time I’ve heard the name. Author Bruce Feiler is dad to twin daughters Eden and Tybee, and has shared that the unusual name came from Tybee Island, where his family has vacationed for years. I love a personally meaningful place name.
  • Nancy demonstrates that borrowing the creative names chosen by celebrities is absolutely nothing new.
  • This HuffPo piece from Rhiannon Giles was lovely, because we’ve all been the Mom Who is Totally Screwing Up. I mention it here because her daughter’s name is Lorelei. When I first heard Lorelei, I thought it was too romantic, too extravagant, just plain too much for anyone other than a Gilmore Girl. But it’s gone mainstream in recent years, proving to me (again) that I really shouldn’t dismiss names as unwearable. It’s a mistake I’m trying not to make, especially because Lorelei now sounds all kinds of gorgeous to me, a sister for Juliet.
  • Of course, that also makes me think that I can continue to champion names that might seem way too outdated to ever make a comeback. Because if novel names eventually feel ordinary, then antiques can once again seem like obvious choices. Which is a long way of saying that British Baby Names covered Roscoe this week, and my heart skipped a beat. Roscoe!
  • And while I love the name Mavis and think it’s definitely making a comeback, I agree with Duana here (as usual!) – it’s just a style mismatch with Emilia as a sister name. (Except maybe the lovely Nadia-Agatha combination I cited earlier would also strike some as a style mismatch? Hmmm …)
  • X, Y, and Z rarities from the bottom of the Social Security list at Baby Name Obsessed. Zella is my favorite, and I agree – shouldn’t the name be more popular?
  • Speaking of the letter Z, Kara made it to the end of the alphabet! I’ve so enjoyed this series. (My apologies – I misattributed this one when I first published the post. It’s the fabulous Kara at the Art of Naming who has just taken us through the alphabet in such style!)
  • Love those wacky, what! That cannot possibly be his real name stories? Then you need to check out this website.
  • Vowels are huge in baby naming nowadays, and Laura has the numbers to prove it.
  • Can’t get enough Scandinavian names? Here’s another list, this time from a German site, found via the marvelous Name News on Scoop.it. Oh, how I love the internet!

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. The slur on men by using feminine names is to demasculinize the man. Men think differently and respond differently than women. Their honor, intelligence and manhood capabilities, be it reproduction or business, are being rejected and mocked. This is an old medieval European practice that still carries on in use in 2016. It isn’t slight towards women at all, as men are built physically and mentally different. All it manages to do, towards women, is shine light on the obvious difference between men and women. Men not only like these differences in women 😉 but benefit from them as well, at least until they are called one.

  2. What? I live in metro Detroit and it was absolutely gorgeous and even unseasonably warm on Easter! Saturday wasn’t so lovely, but we still spent plenty of time outside that day, too.

    1. HA! It’s all about what you’re used to, isn’t it? You’re right – it did get MUCH nicer on Sunday, but I usually write the first draft of these the night before, so ’twas dark and windy when I was putting this together. And we went to church early enough Sunday morning that we wore our winter coats!

      Of course, I am a cold weather wimp. It rarely gets REALLY cold in our part of Maryland. We’ll have a few weeks where the highs are in the 30s. If it gets really cold – like 10 degrees – it’s not unheard of to have two hour school delays. There are so many things I love about Michigan – hello, Hockeytown! – but I think adjusting to the winters would be a challenge.

  3. I’m not Alexia Mae but thanks for enjoying my A-Z series! Finally made it to the end! 🙂

  4. The Ted Constant Convocation Center, a multi-purpose arena in Norfolk, Virginia on the campus of Old Dominion University, is known locally as “The Ted”

    1. It’s not really the same, but I’m reminded of the Old Vic Theater. Named after Queen Victoria, of course.

  5. I know it was total vowels, not initials, but the fact that my daughter’s kindergarten class has six A-initals out of 26 students still floats my name nerd boat. (they match up, too- Aidan and Al0n, Ava and Av1er, and Alex and Axel. 5 boys, 1 girl.)

    And right there with you on the gender thing – giving girls boys’ names is seen as edgy and cool, but calling a man a woman’s name is an insult? grrrrrr

  6. Argh, I feel your pain in regards to the use of feminine names as insults. Our local hockey team, the Canucks, has been lucky to have the Sedin twins (Henrik and Daniel, from Sweden) on the roster for a number of years now. A common insult was (perhaps still is) to call them the Sedin sisters. Infuriating, but also misguided, considering the Canadian women’s olympic hockey team often outperforms our men’s team. Regardless, it’s sad that this sort of thing still happens, and frustrating that people who use feminine names as insults genuinely don’t seem to understand why such a thing would be insulting to women. Or maybe they just don’t care.