Sunday Summary: 2.24.19Happy Sunday!

It seemed like the news this week was chock full of family drama:

Elsewhere online:

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

Girl Names 2.24.19

Boy Nanes 2.24.19

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 have loved the name Vada since I saw My Girl as a kid. My husband and I couldn’t agree on the spelling, so we didn’t use it for our own daughter. I’m surprised it isn’t more popular.

  2. A parent’s authority or control over a person’s name ends as soon as the name has been given: After that, the name belongs to the child. Parents don’t get to dictate what other people call their child, only the child gets to.

    (I actually ended up adopting someone else’s spelling of my daughter’s nickname when she was younger; I’d always mentally spelled the nickname -nie, and was amused to find once that my dad at least mentally spelled it -ny. But the type of nickname wasn’t a common one in Germany, so they simply spelled it phonetically, which was -i! I thought that spelling was super cute, and I still use it whenever I use that diminutive.)

  3. I don’t think it is ok to object to people giving your child nicknames. I think part of parenting is letting your child build relationships with people on their own terms. My daughter is my sister’s niece. They have a relationship independent of the one that either has with me. To me this means that if my sister gives her niece a nickname that is between them, I can’t demand that she ask my permission. Common courtesy comes into play though, it isn’t ok for a family member to passive-aggressively avoid a name they don’t like via nickname. However, it is ok for a nickname to organically grow between them. This is a sign of closeness and affection in a relationship.

    The element of ‘organic growth’ is important to a nickname in my opinion. I think if you say ‘her name is Mary but her nickname will be Maisie which we will use exclusively’ then Maisie becomes her name. In this case a person building closeness in the relationship may start calling her Mays, or Zi-Zi, or M, or whatever. Parents being too prescriptive about ‘nicknames’ often push family and friends further out from the formal name. Of course this is all just my opinion! My own kids have their formal names, their family nicknames and the names they use for themselves, all different!

  4. I have a relative named Ghislaine. I love the way it sounds, but I suspect it would be butchered here in Australia – I can imagine it being pronounced giz-layn or jiz-layn, neither of which capture the delicacy of the name (to my ear)

      1. There are regional differences, but Ghee-Laine comes close. You can hear it here. I’m guessing Guylaine, mentioned earlier, is a phonetic/modern spin on Ghislaine that reflects that pronunciation.