Sunday Summary 10.22.17I’m not watching Ten Days in the Valley, but the daughter’s name caught my eye: Lake. It’s crisp and clear, an alternative to the wildly popular River, but reminiscent of more traditional picks like Claire and tailored moderns like Quinn.

The show seems like it’s pretty dark, so maybe it won’t be influential. Around 100 children – boys and girls – received the name in the last few years. Like River, it’s given to more boys than girls. But actress Lake Bell puts it squarely in the girl column, too.

I’ll be keeping an eye on Lake to see if it jumps in the rankings. What do you think? Are there other new shows with great names I should be watching?

In other name news:

  • On nickname tyranny. The bottom line? People should be called what they want to be called. Though I think Duana and I are on opposite sides of this one … I love, love, love nicknames.
  • While we’re visiting all things Duana, an excellent piece of advice regarding middle name choices: … don’t … think that if you’re being ‘creative’ with the first name that you have to choose a middle that’s ‘easier’. You don’t. Well said!
  • Here’s my list of reasons to opt for a bold middle name – especially if you’ve chosen a more traditional first, but even if you’ve already gone the daring route. And here are a few of my favorite bold middle name suggestions.
  • Fascinating name story from Scott and Jaclyn Stapp.
  • Little names are getting bigger. Another generation’s Sue and Pam have been eclipsed by Zoe and Mia – sure, all four names are three letters. But this generation manages to pack two full syllables into our mini names. It’s true for boys, too, with picks like Lee and Ray making way for Eli and Leo.
  • Then again, not all mini names are long. Bar Refaeli named her second daughter Elle, a sister for Liv. Lovely and rather elegant, without being too much to wear, I think.
  • So many appealing possibilities on this list – including my long-time fave, Lorna!
  • Speaking of great lists, I really love the latest set of British Baby Names birth announcements. Swooning over Cassia Mary and Oscar Gabriel de Trasenter.
  • Redding, MacCoy, Marston, Strader – there’s a bottomless supply of surname names to choose for our children. Proof here.
  • Ooh .. and how ’bout Ingram? I had no idea that musician Gram Parsons was born Ingram Cecil Connor III.

Lastly, if you’ve yet to vote for your favorite Witch and Vampire names, the time is now.

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. We’re nicknamers here too, mostly because I grew up with an uncommon name and desperately wished for something easy to use in loud social situations. I was on the shy side, and nothing made me want to disappear into the floor more than introducing myself at a party or giving an order in a coffee shop and the person yelling “what?” over and over again. I’ve always otherwise liked my name, just wished for a simple nickname for those awkward times meeting boyfriend’s grandma and she cannot understand what I’m saying.

    My own kiddos are William nn Will, Verity nn Vera, and Alastair nn Ace. Currently trying to name baby #4. And speaking of Alastair, his middle name is Ingram ☺️

  2. I am a fan of nicknames. Whatever nickname the bearer and their fami/friends cook up. I’m also a firm believer that nicknames need to follow the will of the subject. I don’t like adults who try to impose a nickname on another adult. It reminds me of Miss Bingley always calling Elizabeth Bennett “Miss Eliza”. We had to stop using the nickname my brother bore all his childhood because he asked us to when he got old enough. This is life.