Sunday SummaryMy daughter is all about Lalaloopsy these days.  I like the stitched-together look of the dolls.  And I’m fascinated by their names.  A smattering: Mimi, Marina, Jewel, Rosebud, Prairie, Peggy, Bluebell, Blossom, Holly, Goldie, Winter, Sailor, Ember, Opal, Alice, Petal, Harmony. There are a handful of boy Lalaloopsies, too, with names like Forest and Ace.

It makes me wonder – didn’t dolls used to have names like Betsy?  Have doll names become more daring in the post-Cabbage Patch Kid era?  And could it be that those of us who grew up with Xavier Roberts’ uniquely named creations are taking a similar approach to naming our children?

With dolls from Monster High and Lalaloopsy taking names in ever more daring directions, will the next generation of parents follow?  Someone searched the blog for Pirouette the other day, and I found myself thinking “hmmm … that could work in the middle.”

Elsewhere online:

  • Welcome, baby Orion!  And how great are Atticus, Elm, and Orion together?  P.S. Elm is a girl.
  • I sometimes think my fascination with French names is crazy, but then I see lists like Bree’s round-up of Team France.  Anemone, Clemence, Aurore, Perrine, Mirabelle and Cyprien, Cyril, Loic, Florent, Sebastien, Sylvain.  Nope, totally justified.
  • Hello, data!  How great are Elea’s charts on rising names in the UK?  And the names themselves are fascinating: Nancy, Darcy, Lottie, Lena along with some more elaborate choices, too, like Aurora and Arabella.  Can’t wait for a boys’ edition!
  • Speaking of Aurora, did you catch auroradawn’s post at Berry Juice on Secret Identity Nicknames?  This has always struck me as a great strategy – unusual given name, popular short form.  And Lillemor and Bartolomaea strike me as very wearable with nicknames Lily and Mae.
  • The Stroop Effect and baby names – so true!  Though I tend to notice it in fiction far more than in real life.
  • I liked Duana’s answer to this question: the mom wants to consider a name from Game of Thrones, but considers dad’s suggestion from Mortal Kombat to go too far.  And yet, part of me thinks that Thrones has a little more credibility as a name source – they’re fantasy novels, which seems a smidge more respectable than video games.  Or is it just that I like the idea of Arya but find Rayden an uninspiring choice in our Aiden/Braeden/Kaiden age?
  • The opposite of uninspiring: Queen Victoria wanted one of her grandchildren to be named Diamond!  Zeffy has the scoop here.
  • This is curious.  So Simon Cowell’s new son is Eric Philip Cowell, and some have noted that Eric’s final ‘c’ sound runs into Cowell’s ‘c’ sound and make the name sound like Eric Owl.  For the past week, there has been a definite uptick in searches leading to AppMtn for things like “owl names” and “baby name owl.”  Could it be?
  • Do you like these names better for a boy or a girl?  I find that I just plain like the name Rowan, for either gender.  And while I’m surprised to see Milo on a girl and Juno on a boy, it pleases me that parents are willing to be daring with name choices for daughters and sons.
  • More sneak peaks from Waltzing More than Matilda’s new bookInternational Names for Girls.  Safiya is quite pretty!
  • This sentence sums up what parents are loving about Bodhi, I think: “… the ultimate peaceful nature name …” Part-tree, part-spiritual choice, lots of history, but a modern sound.  No wonder we’re hearing a lot of him.
  • March Madness starts March 1st – just SIX days from now!  If you’re new to the site, AppMtn March Madness pits the sixteen most popular boys’ names posts against each other, and does the same for the girls.  You’ll have lots of chances to vote: opening round, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and then the big match-up for the crown.  Can’t wait to see who wins!

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. I think maybe Cabbage Patch dolls started the trend towards interestingly named dolls – if I recall correctly they all had a first and a middle name and they were often names you don’t hear very often (I think I had one named Dunstan). It would be interesting to learn about how they went about naming dolls, don’t you think? I wonder how many different combinations were generated, all told.

    I have much more trouble remembering common names that fit with my perception of age and ethnicity than I do remembering names that seem incongruous, especially if the former are very common names. Ella, Ava, Emma, Lily, Bella…my brain just groups them all into ‘popular names of the 2000s’ and I can easily mix them up if an acquaintance has a child with one of those names. Now, someone with a preschooler named Eulalia, that I’ll remember! (There is actually a little Eulalie at my son’s preschool, as it turns out.)

  2. Good point about the Stroop Effect in literature. There have been times when I’m distracted by a name in a book — like a teenage Linda or Susan. What? It’s also a little like trying to imagine a name on yourself. There are some lovely names I like, but couldn’t imagine on me/my husband, so it’s hard to see them as our children.

    I also wondered if you saw these articles this week. One is on babble, the other buzzfeed. (I sort of hate buzzfeed, but it was an interesting point for people interested in names: and I wonder if reading something like that would maybe turn someone off picking an unusual name for their child?

  3. Raeden Greer is a female actress who is getting popular now. Her father is character actor, Stuart Greer. I’ve seen several people online planning to name their daughters some form of Raiden i.e. Rayden, Raedan, Raeden. I don’t get naming a girl after a Mortal Kombat character, named after the Japanese male god of thunder and lightening. It’s like naming a girl Zeus. I knew it was going to start showing up a lot when I saw Raeden Greer’s name. Besides it being a video game character and a male god, it just seems like a another boring spinoff of Aiden.

    1. Thanks, Rain – and forget Raeden, I love her LAST name. Here’s hoping for more girls called Greer …

  4. Thanks for the shout out! Once of your nice readers has already stopped by for a visit.

    I haven’t found that the “Stroop Effect” works in real life in regard to obvious things like gender, age and ethnic background – I think it’s much EASIER to remember someone’s name if it’s completely unexpected, such an elderly woman named Aria or a boy named Rainbow.

    When I find it hard to remember someone’s name is when their name doesn’t seem to “fit” them, based on preconceived notions. For example, I know a lot of women named Vanessa, and none of them are thin (they’re plump, voluptuous, sturdy, muscular, or average – but not thin). If I met a skinny Vanessa, I’m sure I would fumble to remember her name, because she wouldn’t “look like a Vanessa” to me. I’d want to call her Natalie – because all the Natalies I’ve met have been slender.

    And to me Brendans are darkish in hair colour – a fair Brendan would really throw me off. Although somehow I could cope with a redheaded one!

    It’s daft, but I bet everyone else has got similarly daft ideas too.

  5. RE Stroop Effect:
    I noticed this while I was reading the Ramona Quimby books the last time. I was thinking the books must the author must either be a man or an old woman, because, the names don’t fit with the time the books take place in.

    1. Really? The 1950s seem right to me for Beatrice (named after her aunt) and Ramona, Howie, Henry, parents named Bob and Margaret.

  6. I would have to agree, the Stroope effect is right on. We all have ingrained perception, even prejudice towards certain names, and her experiences in life really lend to our evaluation of them as adults. I do however, think that the stroope effect can be broken though, more parents are getting more daring in their choices. I however, LOVE bluebell and think it would pair well as sibset to Snowdrop. As for GoT, I would choose it of MK, it seems to have a more realistic earthy-element that blends or feels as if it blends seamlessly with history. Mk, seems just daring and out there in get your attention sort of way, its more raw.

  7. Safiya is such a lovely and feminine name. It means “pure” or “purity” in Arabic. I think it’s a lovely name to the more common (and super popular!) Sophia. It also makes me think of the poetesse Sapho…Thanks for all the links, as usual!

  8. The Stroop Effect in literature – yes! I just started reading a mystery and the characters’ names seem like, forgive me, an “older” person’s idea of what “nice” names are for children.

  9. I find the overall style of Mortal Kombat names less appealing than the feel of Game of Thrones. GoT names feel like subtle twists on classic names, compared to MK. And I have a co-worker who named her daughter Raeden after that video game. She’s a week older than Fi.