Sunday SummaryA few days ago, I started a group board called Our Favorite Names on Pinterest, and was so delighted that some of you joined me! You don’t need to be a baby name blogger (though I’m so pleased that Sophie and Kara are there) – all you need is a Pinterest account. It’s so fun to see what everyone else pins!

You can see the board here:

Follow Appellation Mountain’s board Our Favorite Names on Pinterest.

If you’d like to join the Pin party, there are a few options:

  • Leave a comment here. I’m pretty sure this will only work if the email address you use to comment is the same you use for Pinterest. (When you leave a comment, I can see the email address that you enter – but no one else can.)
  • If that doesn’t work, shoot me a message at appmtn (at) gmail (dot) com.
  • Or follow Appellation Mountain on Pinterest, and shoot me a direct message that way – I should be able to find & invite you!

Now, on to the name news:

  • Well, one more note from Pinterest. This post from The Art of Naming might be favorite list of girls’ names, ever. They’re unusual and quirky middles – and I think a really bold namer could embrace some of these and make them unusual and quirky firsts! Meet my daughters, Thisbe Sunshine and Allifair Swan. It’s been around since 2013, but I just discovered it thanks to the Our Favorite Names board.
  • Speaking of quirky: The Stir rounds up a list of quirky Q names. They don’t have my favorite: Quilla.
  • Speaking of letters: Sophie picks up on a few of my favorite V names for girlsVivecaVesper! And best of all, Vrai!
  • Sophie also took on a fun challenge: If I Could Name 100 Girls. This kind of list would take me some time – but it would be so much fun!
  • Did you spot the siblings called Izzi, Mille, Jack, Hetty, and Georgina in Design Mom’s latest Living with Kids installment? It feels like such an English sibset to me – in a good way. Especially Hetty. I really am addicted to the interesting variety of names in the series.
  • Namespotting: I think Eleanor Vail is a great combination, and I’m charmed by Rocco Elvis, both found by Names for Real.
  • Yes to so many of these blues-inspired baby names at You Can’t Call It “It.” I remain astonished that Halle Berry’s choice of Maceo hasn’t boosted that name more. Then again, Maceo was born in 2013. Maybe we’ll see a rise when the 2014 numbers come out in May?
  • This Baby Name Wizard post, on the Most Flexible Baby Names, makes an excellent point. Parents … want to send their kids off into the world knowing that every teacher, every friend will call them by the exact names that the parents prefer… Yet there are virtues to the wide-open nickname approach, too. Nicknaming lets kids adjust a name to fit different stages of their lives, or different social situations … An openness to nicknames also puts control of the name in the hands of the person who bears it. That can help offset the fundamental dilemma of baby naming, that we’re choosing a name for someone we’ve never met … Laura writes that the most flexible names are the classics with lots of nickname options. I think she’s got a good point, and I tend to think that nickname-rich is a virtue, even while I can see the reasons to skip the formal name.
  • Duana knocks it out of the park with her answer to this letter: What’s wrong with popular?  
  • Do you think Liv Tyler is bothered that she stole Vogue Williams’ baby name? While there are some heart-breaking tales of name theft, gosh, they can sound sort of silly, too.
  • Any list that includes Gerard, Clive, Morris, and Leopold deserves a mention. Found via the always excellent Baby Names list by Clare.
  • Waltzing More than Matilda’s take on the most popular baby names in Australia.

Lastly, have you voted in March Madness yet? I’m so surprised to find both of last year’s champions back in the final round again! If you haven’t yet, please take a minute to vote in the boys’ final and girls’ final.

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. I’m so honored that you and Clare would make mention my Uncommon Vintage Boys Names article! It totally made my day! I’d love to participate in the “Our Favorite Names” board too!

  2. “everyone understands that naming your child Celery is an advertisement of your douchery” LOL! We had a “no top 100” rule for our baby names. I have an uncommon but not unusual name, and I think that’s the best of both worlds. Everyone knows how it’s spelled and pronounced, but I don’t have to be one of five in my class/team/college dorm floor/work department. My husband has a top ten name and is more insistent than me that we stay out of the popular zone.

    Having said, that however, we gave our daughter a name that jumped in popularity from SS ~200 to #50 in our state the year she was born. We expected to see her all over, but it turns out the name, though popular, is “invisible” because it seems like all the other parents use a nickname and we don’t. In fact, as she grows, the only trouble she’s had is teachers and other authority figures trying to use this nickname on her, and she doesn’t even recognize they are talking to her. Which is another argument for flexible and varied nicknaming.

    The Vogue Williams article is bizarre. There’s no such thing as “stealing” unless it’s your best friend (and even that they’d better live in your town) or your sibling. My best friend lives across the country. She gave her daughter one of the popular nicknames of our daughter’s name as her full name. It didn’t even cross our minds as problematic, and I’m a name nerd.

  3. Thanks for the mention! I in turn found it via Ren’s blog. I’d like to join the Pinterest fun – this email address should work, or else my username is clarebeorhte.

  4. I don’t even understand that Vogue Williams article. She’s mad that Liv Tyler used a baby name that Christie Brinkley used like 20 years ago? And she’s not even planning on having kids for a few years? What?!

  5. The new “Our Favorite Names” board is so fun! Thanks for having me! And I’m glad you like my list of unusual and quirky names, I love it too! At the time I meant it for middle names, but now I agree that so many would be great in the first name spot too.