For those of you in the US, I hope you had a firecracker of a holiday!

The big starbaby news of the week was the reveal of Tobey Maguire’s son’s name: Otis Tobias, little brother to Ruby Sweetheart.

Other celeb news:

  • Cobie Smulders of How I Met Your Mother welcomed a daughter, Shaelyn Cado;
  • Baywatch/Playboy alum Gena Lee Nolin posed in a bikini for PEOPLE magazine with baby Stella Monroe. Stella is the new Ava – everyone in Hollywood has one;
  • Kelli O’Hara, of Broadway fame, welcomed a son named Owen James;
  • Country music’s Josh Turner welcomed a son named Colby Lynch.

Elsewhere in the blogosphere:

  • Looking for an Independence Day appellation? Check out Xanthe Linnea’s Patriotic Names post; Legit Baby Name’s post on Eleftheria and her post on Liberty; and my post on Liberty from 2008;
  • Onomastitrix mentioned that Bruce seems to be rising down under. Could it be a Batman-influenced revival? Or, as she suggests, a simple fact of the many grandfathers named Bruce inspiring a next generation? Hmmm … ;
  • Inspired by the rise of Keaton – a “unique” name that was actually percolating in our collective cultural well for years and now stands at #371 – Swistle has been discussing possible names from the same mold: two candidates she’s mentioned recently are Brando and Schroder;
  • For pure, LOL joy, check out Teresa Strasser’s rundown of her Top Five baby names. That’s Nameberry’s Pamela Redmond Satran in the name expert role, giving Shane the big thumbs down;
  • Nymbler posted the Top Ten June search names. No surprises there, but I always enjoy the Top Five Brand New Names. Last month, it was Aveline, Milly, Cedar, Jordanne and Odette. Fascinating!

Next, a few things on my mind:

  • The following question keeps popping up in searches leading to this site: Can I name my daughter Kylie and my son Kyle? Yes, yes, you can. But you just flat out should not do so. It’s too close, too cutesie and if you ever had a third child, you’d be forced to choose from a very small list of names indeed. (I think she’d have to be Kyla or Skyla, and he’d be Kyson or Kyler. Or feel horribly left out.);
  • My vocabulary keeps expanding, thanks to name sites. I’ve recently discovered the Aussie slang word bogan, the equivalent of the British chavvy or American trashy. I think. Apparently, phonetic spellings like Taylah for Taylor are a thing, or so blogs a Doc Down Under during her pediatric rotation;
  • A UK blogger mentioned that a BBC3 documentary on a 14 y.o. mum called Kizzy mentioned that she named her son Kaylib. Not Caleb, not Kaleb, but Kaylib. As if having your childhood immortalized on reality TV wasn’t bad enough;
  • Could the name Merlin make a comeback? That’s right, a comeback – he appeared in the US Top 1000 regularly from the 1890s through the 1960s. It first crossed my mind while watching Bravo’s The Fashion Show, with the Honduran Merlin. Even if he doesn’t strike it big in the design world, there’s the BBC’s Merlin, now showing on NBC this summer. If Arthur can make a comeback …
  • Another Bravo-influenced thought, couldn’t they have found better-named kids for their real-life-Gossip Girl, NYC Prep? The cast includes PC, Sebastian, Kelli, Taylor, Jessie and Camille. I realize you can’t rename full-grown human beings, but I’ll take GG’s Rufus, Lily, Serena and Blair anyday;
  • Lastly, a look back – on July 5, 2008, the Name of the Day was Jasper.

That’s all for this week! Tune in next week for Flannery, Dahlia, Gregor, Brisa and Clifford.

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’ve always liked Merlin, since I love the story so. My husband’s beloved [by him] boss is named Merwyn, with the nickname Merle, so these names come up every time we have a baby name discussion. I adore [the name] Merwyn, but I wouldn’t be able to give my child the name of someone that I’m not personally close to, and see frequently. If he moved away forever [which could happen soon], or if [goodness forbid] he were to pass away, I might consider it for a middle name.