Sunday SummaryThere’s a point every summer where it seems completely illogical that I’m not camped out on the beach, reading a book and watching my children cover themselves in saltwater and sand.

We reached that point last week, so hello from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware!

The namespotting isn’t extreme here – the urban parents in the wilds of Washington DC tend to be more daring – but I did hear Maddox and Lucy, and my ears are open …

Happily, when real life fails to provide exciting names to discuss, the internet never fails:

  • Oh, it looks like KM Sheard had a much better time namespotting in France!  Lilou is one of my favorites, and Aglae, Flavie, and Matisse all intrigue …
  • Maybe Ruth was an old lady name when Rachel had her Friends baby back in 2002, but today she’s in the first stare of fashion, isn’t she?
  • Then again, there’s Brunehilde – could you ever?
  • And on the other hand, there’s Nancy and Beverly.  No to Beverly – at least for me – but Nancy is a name I simply adore.
  • I’m on my third or fourth hand, but while we’re talking “old lady” names let’s say this – Dorothy is officially back.
  • Leaving that topic, let’s talk twins.  Nancy’s revised list of boy/girl twin names is so much better than the original.
  • Roses & Cellar Door’s post It’s Big Overseas is genius!  Why don’t we hear Olga, Joachim, Tecla, Emil – or their equivalents? – in the US?
  • Love this sister set: Ottilie and Esme!
  • Duana gives the assist to parents naming baby #2.  Big brother is Diego, and Dario is shortlisted if it’s a boy.  But Duana is right – Diego and Dario are a matched set, without much opportunity for naming baby three.  I’m always curious about situations like these, where the parents like a name, but it potentially sets a pattern that would be difficult to continue with future children – if there are any.
  • Hmmm … what do you call Dardanelles for short?
  • In favor of sharing your baby’s name before birth – very close to the way I feel.

Lastly, thank you for indulging me during my birthday week, while I chose the names, from the handsome Walton to the what-are-you-thinking Veruca.  Looking forward to returning to regularly scheduled programming on Monday!

That’s all for this week.  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 don’t find it very hard to explain why most of the names on Roses & Cellar Door’s list aren’t more popular in the US. Just a rundown of my guesses:

    Albin – looks too much like Albino
    Ambrose – the ‘rose’ and similarity to Amber may make it seem too feminine to parents in the US
    Aurélien – difficult to pronounce for English-speakers
    Constantine – the -ine ending is associated with girls’ names in the US
    Cyril – sound is too similar to cereal (as a friend of mine’s husband recently told her 🙂 )
    Emil – not entirely sure, but I’ve heard comments to the effect that people think it looks too much like Emily and would be mistaken as such
    Gaëtan – the ‘gay’ sound is going to make it a no-go for many if not most parents
    Gustav – I don’t think the ‘goos’ sound is attractive to American parents
    Ishmael – too exotic-sounding for many
    Joachim – pronunciation is very unintuitive
    Marius – this one I could actually see getting popular, in the wake of the other popular -us names for boys
    Rayner – ditto
    Urban – probably strikes many people as odd as a given name
    Valentine – sounds too feminine for most parents

    Apollonia – maybe too long and exotic
    Beata – the pronunciation is not intuitive for Americans, who automatically see ‘beet-ah’
    Daria – the similarity to ‘diarrhea’ is probably a factor, unfortunately
    Inga – I suspect the ‘ing’ sound isn’t considered attractive
    Isadora – this one might have potential
    Mireille – I think many people like this name but shy away from using it because the silent -lle ending is not intuitive for Americans. Ditto for Camille.
    Olga – I think this name has negative associations in the US and is seen as not very feminine.
    Ottoline – just a little too ‘out there’ for most people
    Petra – not sure exactly why this one isn’t popular
    Romana – I think Romy and Ramona have more potential to get popular – maybe this one reminds people too much of Romano cheese? I don’t really know.
    Sabina – maybe too similar to the much more popular Sabrina
    Tecla – I just don’t think many people are familiar with this name in the US
    Zita – ‘zit’ = not a great association in the US!

  2. I have always been name obsessed, sharing names of potential children as soon as I think of a good one. My boyfriend humors me, but does help me think of names for our Children, and then laughs at me when I get annoyed at peoples reaction, I think Joseph Richard and Julia Eleanor are wonderful names, and I am told I sound like a stick in the mud for the name, then I think of Micah Richard and Amelia Jewel and am told I am too trendy, there are no inbetweens, but with all this naming imaginary children practice, I might be ready to name a real one and not feel the sting from reactions soon haha

  3. I was just at Rehoboth Beach earlier this month! I took a picture for a family. I didn’t catch all their kids names but their girls were Meadow and Skye. It added to my beach day to meet kids with such natured inspired names.

  4. I know a Ruth. She must be around 7 or 8. I also know a 3 month old Dorothy. Her middle name happens to be Ruth. A British friend just had a Nancy.

    The kid at the grocery store checkout today was Maddox. His sister also seemed to be calling him Max too – I hadn’t considered that one as a nickname for Maddox before.

    As for announcing before birth – we just couldn’t decide on a name with our first two. Third time around my husband was picking and he did pick a boy name and a girl name and stuck with them. Maybe it’s easier for men?! (Or for people not obsessed with names!) He did mention the names to a few people before the baby was born.

  5. I love Nancy as well, and I have a friend with a toddler named Beverly. Dardanelles is a strait in Asia Minor. That’s where my grandmother was from and the name is familiar to me.

  6. My husband and I have always announced our name choices as soon as we knew we were set on them, usually around the 16-20 week mark when we’re sure of the baby’s gender. We’ve never had any problem doing that. We’ve also always announced our pregnancies as soon as we found out about them – way before the 12-week mark most people seem to feel comfortable with. We’re just not the kind of people that can keep good news a secret. LOL