Sunday Summary: 8.27.17I’m not watching Game of Thrones, but I’m watching the world watch it. And so I know that it’s hurtling towards a series finale. And lately I’ve even heard rumors that part of the big finish might just be a plot where one of the main characters could be expecting.

Since I’m not following, I just plain don’t know what to think of this. Fans might dismiss this as the most outlandish of a pack of rumors and theories. But what I do know? That’s one fictional name that I’d be eager to hear.

370 girls were named Khaleesi last year, and 101 more received the name Daenerys. That puts the former in the US Top 1000. Names borrowed from sci and fantasy can be deeply controversial – like this question about the name Vexahlia – but they’re becoming increasingly mainstream – see Anakin and Kylo.

Could a Game of Thrones baby could be every bit as influential as FriendsEmma in an earlier generation? It’s worth pondering.

Elsewhere online:

  • I got a kick out of this Name Puzzle from Baby Name Wizard. It’s only possible in a world where so many people have last names as first names.
  • Speaking of games, these acronym names based on Always Be phrases are fascinating. I’m partial to Abi, but hey, I’m biased.
  • A birth announcement for a girl named Chalice Helen! That’s a new one to me. I like the sound, but I’m still turning the meaning around in my head.
  • Honestly? I think I’m more surprised to find a birth announcement for a girl named Fannie Katherine. Fannie and Fanny started out as nicknames for Frances. Until the 1930s, the -y spelling ranked in the US Top 1000, and the -ie version lingered until the 1960s. They’ve fallen out of use – and hard – for obvious reasons. Could that trend reverse? The name fits with Sadie and company. But even if I loved the idea of Fannie, I’d put Frances on the birth certificate, just in case …
  • More proof that unusual, out-there, oh-no-they-didn’t names are verging on the ordinary? This Mumsnet article where at least some users defended the idea of naming a daughter Tinkerbell. Found via the marvelous Clare’s site.
  • When you learn the true meaning of your name. Powerful.
  • Wow – do families really do this?
  • Loving this list of Excellent Girl Names from the Art of Naming. The second half of the list is here.
  • Tony Romo named his third son Jones McCoy. I can imagine both names catching on.
  • Such an interesting Q – they love Hugh, but they’re having a girl. What’s the feminine equivalent? I love Duana’s suggestion of Blair.
  • I am unreasonably excited to read The Catholic Hipster Handbook. To be clear: I am Catholic. I’m not especially cool. But Kate from Sancta Nomina contributed a section on names and I know an awful lot of kids with names that probably qualify. I just met a little Flannery! Even if Catholic/hipster isn’t your thing, it promises to be a fascinating look at how we name to our tribes in 2017.
  • Emily from Nothing Like a Name is traveling, and she’s collecting name stories. A must read!

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. Hmmm.. I disagree with Duana about Blair being the equivalent of Hugh. I LOVE the name Hugh. I like how it lingers on the air after you say it. Blair has such a heavy start and end that it’s like a sack of rocks in comparison. Since Hugh is completely vowels, I’d look for another name that shares that trait, like Io. Or at least ones that start and end with vowels like Echo, Aoifa, Iona, Anna, Alma, Isla, etc. Or possibly one that ends on that lovely ‘oo’ sound like Rue, Prue, True, or Lou.

    1. I also looked at the The Great Long List of Excellent Name Ideas for Modern Girls that you shared, and Dahlia, Daphne, Faye, and Maeve all jumped out as breathy names that would also be good nominees for a female Hugh.

  2. Chalice is interesting, but I immediately think of the French word for chalice (câlisse), which is a swear word in French-speaking Canada.

  3. Way back in the eighties I went to middle school with a girl named Chalice, and I seem to recall her being the “coolest” girl in our grade.

    1. I think when you have a really unusual name and the confidence to carry it off, it’s a powerful combination.

  4. Thanks for the shoutout 🙂 Cool name story about Chalice – I used to work with a woman who named her daughters Chantal and Charisse (after Cyd Charisse). When Charisse had a daughter of her own, she continued the Ch-theme with baby Chalice! (Born in 2016).