Sunday Summary: 1.1.23Happy 2023!

As the old year drew to a close, I spent time looking back at the most popular posts. Some of it is just housekeeping. After all, the lists of the Most Popular Girl Names on the Site and the Most Popular Boy Names on the Site will fuel the March Madness Baby Names 2023 tournament quite soon!

But it’s also a source of inspiration. What you’re thinking about helps inspire me to decide what to write about for the next 365 days.

I’ve looked back at the Most Popular Lists of 2022, but I thought I’d devote this post to the Most Popular Advice from the past twelve months.

Here we go!

The Nine Types of Unusual Baby Names I used to get all sorts of huffy when someone asked for unique names, and then said their current favorites were Ava and Liam. But then I grew up a little and asked myself: wait, what does that person mean by unique? It turns out that there are LOTS of things we might mean with that word, and in some cases, yes, Ava might just satisfy.

In Praise of Boring Baby NamesBecause so often when someone hears about my site, they will turn to me and say “oh, my kids’ names are really boring.” Not so! I know families who have chosen classics like William and favorites like Mia, and they are the most meaningful, lovely, and definitely not boring names for their families. We are not all Nick Cannon, and that’s perfectly fine.

Names with Lots of Nicknames: Ten Reasons They’re Great – There’s always been some tension between “name them what you’ll call them” and “give them options.” Neither approach is fundamentally right. Both offer challenges and advantages. But since I’m a personally a fan of names with multiple nicknames to consider, this is my impassioned defense of the style.

Boy Names on Girls: Stylish and Controversial – I try to only share this one when I have plenty of free time to spend in the comments section. In brief: it’s not a new practice, and it’s not really that easy to draw a hard, bright line. Though it reminds me that when we talk about naming, we’re actually talking about our assumptions about far, far more than whether Isabella is a better name than Sloane.

Creative Honor Names: Ten Ideas That Work – I love that this piece of advice is the most popular on the site! Yes, for some families, the only way to honor grandpa George is to name his grandson George. But parents are more open to inventive possibilities than ever before, and it really can be the best of both worlds. It gives your child a forward-looking name of their own and a name that connects them to their heritage.

And the most popular Name Help post of the year? That distinction goes to:

Name Help: Classic Boy Names That Aren’t Already Taken

I feel like this is a problem for plenty of families! (And they’re due in January, so hopefully we’ll have an update soon.)

If you’re also expecting a new addition in the next few weeks, and feeling like some neutral advice could help, my calendar is open for phone consults into mid-February.

Book a Quick Call here.

And if you’d like more name-focused talk? Then subscribe to the newsletter, sent every Tuesday:


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That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and Happy New Year!

Girl Names 1.1.23 Boy Names 1.1.23

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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1 Comment

  1. I only just noticed the other day that your Alex wrote a great post on Californian baby names and you told us he helps you with the blog now! That is so wonderful. Happy New Year to you all!