Sunday Summary 4.3.16It’s been an amazing few days for baby name stories, hasn’t it?

First came Seth Meyers’ hilarious story of his trip to the hospital with wife Alexi, and the arrival – two weeks early! – of new son Ashe Olsen. He’s named for Alexi’s maiden name and Seth’s mom’s maiden name. Love!

Then there’s this tale from Heritage High School in Palm Bay, Florida, where the high school baseball coach has promised his team that they can choose his new baby’s name if they have a winning season. Happily, the team has decided on Benjamin, as in Benny from The Sandlot.

And one more: this photographer captured the exact moment this couple shared their son’s name with grandma: Miles Frederick. We too often hear about grandparents disapproving of their grandchildren’s names, so it’s doubly joyful. Miles Frederick honors new mom Amy’s late father.

So many stories! I really do love hearing the reasons behind the names we choose.

In other news:

  • If you’ve been following the recent saga of three sisters, each who wanted to name their new baby Sylvie, you’ve probably also heard protests that the story cannot possibly be true. Swistle’s response to the matter is absolute perfection.
  • Ambrose, Graham, Harvey, Linus, Lois … there are some lovely antique revival baby names in this round-up at Names for Real.
  • While I was in Michigan, I went ice skating (as one does), and found myself looking at posters of the local high school hockey teams affiliated with the rink. Among the predictable names – Josh, Luke, Logan, Nick, Jacob – there were plenty of outliers. Tavish and Daunte, Joal and Stone. While I didn’t stop to count the ratio of popular to unusual names – and I don’t know enough about the schools or the area in general to hazard a guess – I’d say that this is probably like what we see everywhere in the US. Kids’ names are a mix of current favorites and some names that you could never have predicted. And that’s just fine.
  • Did I mention this already? British Baby Names recently covered Roscoe – a name that I really, truly love and think should make a comeback pretty much right now.
  • Now here’s one that I have never given much thought, but I think I could love: Amaris, as profiled by Beloved Baby Names.
  • Would you use a Star Wars baby name? I talked myself out of it in this Name Sage post. Though I kind of hope they use it as a middle.
  • Check out the Top 100 baby names in Australia and even more in Waltzing More than Matilda’s newest eBook!
  • The Rio games have mascots, and those mascots? They have names! And I kind of love them.
  • These lists of the most common middle names for boys and the most common middles names for girls are fascinating. Kara acknowledges that her data is limited, but there’s no reason to think that it’s not representative. I’m not at all surprised to see James on top for boys, but the girls’ list surprised me – or at least the top name did! I would’ve expected Rose to take the top spot, easily.
  • My son is studying the American Revolution, and his teacher does a truly brilliant job of finding assignments that make the kids think. My favorite? Political cartoons! He was just working on a political cartoon for the Battle of Yorktown – and I’m getting to the naming bit, promise – so I pulled up the appropriate song from Hamilton for inspiration. Now, the naming part: Do you think Hamilton will catch on? A few of my favorite name enthusiasts have been predicting it, but the off-Broadway production only debuted in February 2015 – it didn’t make it to the Rodgers Theater until August 2015. So it might be ages until we see an uptick in the name’s use. In the meantime, Lin-Manuel Miranda has given me a new reason to love my son’s first name, Alexander.

Two quick PSAs – first, after being horribly inconsistent, I’ve finally managed to find a way to send out the Appellation Mountain weekly newsletter every week. Miraculous, right? (More on that in a future post.) I’m still experimenting with what to put in the actual newsletter, but if you’d like to follow along, you can subscribe here:

Secondly, I’m debating holding a second March Madness-style tournament, based on the new most popular baby names data when it comes out in May. (Or, more likely, over the summer.) Would you be up for a second competition based on the most popular names in the US?

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 would come down on the other side of using Kylo, especially if it’s a family name. It melds so easily into Kai or Kyle that if the Star Wars reference becomes an issue, nobody need know, and it makes for a great story.

    There is a professional at my child’s school named C@rdiff Hamilton, and good grief, I get mixed up every time. I have to keep thinking, alphabetical order. alphabetical order, because my instinct is to call him Hamilton.

  2. LOVED Swistle’s response – it just summed up my own feelings perfectly.

    I covered the name Hamilton on my blog: it’s an aristocratic surname getting chosen more often here. But it was actually one of the least popular names, and people said all they could think of was the ham part. Maybe it’s time is still coming?