Sunday Summary: 10.2.22I’m an expert on names.

It feels weird to write that, but … well, I am. While I learn new things every day – and make mistakes, of course – I know an awful lot about names. So do lots of amazing AM readers.

But that does not actually mean that I (or any of us) know precisely what you should name your child.

Because you? You are an expert on you. You know more about your family than anyone else can begin to understand.

Putting together my deep knowledge and your instincts? That can be powerful.

A comment during a name consultation the other day made me realize that I don’t say this enough, though:

Sometimes the best service I can provide is to strengthen your resolve to use the name you love.

That name might be stuck in style limbo, a little tough to spell or pronounce, not quite right with your surname, or suffer from any one of a dozen more flaws. I can tell you on paper that it doesn’t work all that well.

But I’m also going to add this, every time:

Breaking the rules can be the completely right choice.

If it works for you and your partner and your family? Then it works.

Naming is, ultimately, more art than science. There’s no formula that tells you a name succeeds or fails. Sometimes you just know that you’ve found The Name.

And being confident in your choice is what matters most of all.


Would I suggest that you name your triplet daughters Ida, Iva, and Eva? No, but I’m fascinated by this story of the Hanna sisters.

Is it ever appropriate to share hurt feelings over a loved one’s choice of name? This question came up at Swistle. She broadened the scope a little to commenting on a name generally. The answer is a fascinating “99 times out of 100, no, but then again …”

Okay, I’m (mostly) holding off on commenting about Nick Cannon’s many babies, but number ten has a name that I really love: Rise! It’s a great purpose name.

Speaking of celebrity baby names, ooh … I didn’t notice this about Scarlett Johansson’s kids’ names either.

And while we’re in Hollywood … I haven’t seen The Woman King, yet, but I’m intrigued by the main character’s name. Viola Davis plays Nanisca. While the movie’s plot is fiction, the women warriors were very real. In fact, the name Nanisca comes from a real-life member of the Agojie. I’m putting it on my list of names to watch …

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

Boy Names 10.2.22

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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