Sunday Summary: 12.9.18Happy Sunday! After talking about Abcde last week, I was determined to be upbeat this week and avoid headline-grabbing controversy.


There’s a story circulating about a mom-to-be who cancelled her baby shower because her friends and family are mocking her baby-to-be’s name.

It’s Squire. Squire Sebastian Senator. And if the post is to be believed, the mom insists that her son will be known by all seven syllables, no nicknames.

And so, while I don’t why to dissect the expectant mom’s social media rant, I do want to offer a few thoughts about naming your child something truly unusual.

  1. Some people will like the name immediately. (I think Squire is all kinds of awesome.) Others will warm to it over time, and forget they ever found it weird. And some will still be commenting about how awful the name is, years and years later. It so happens this applies, to some degree, no matter what you name your child, but it’s far more pronounced when the name is rare.
  2. No matter how much you love the name, you need to be comfortable with questions about the name, too. If you don’t like explaining why you chose Antares or explaining that Sublime is a family name, well … then move a little higher up the popularity list.
  3. Not everyone will like the name. This is true whether you choose a popular name, traditional one, or something less common. People should be polite, but YMMV.
  4. Your child may or many not like his name. That’s completely out of your control. It’s likely his attitude towards his name may change over the years.
  5. Speaking of things out of your control, your kiddo may very well have a nickname. At some point, their identities become their own. That nickname might make things so much easier, allowing a shy kid to avoid having to answer questions about his unusual name, or maybe giving him some space to carve his own identity.

I’ve shared some more thoughts here.

In general, unusual names can be great. But, as with any name, it’s important to be thoughtful about how that decision will play out over time. And much of that? It will be out of your control, and sometimes beyond your knowledge.

Elsewhere online:

That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!

Girl Names 12.9.18 Boy Names 12.9.18

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.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. I feel for the pregnant woman who is clearly deeply invested in her child’s name and has had a bad response from family. I’d assume this is her first child. I think when your children are very young it is hard to conceive just how much free will comes into their behaviour in later years. You just assume your child will like the same things you like and have a similar world view to yours. This tends to lead to you assuming they will like the same aspects in a name that you like. Reality soon hits when they start high school and you can see the type of person they have become is nothing like what you pictured. This is ok. How many of us share our own parent’s taste in fashion/music/homewares/names? While it is possible that her son will continue with the unusual name convention she has chosen, I think that outcome is unlikely and his friends will probably call him Squire or ‘S’ or Squizzy or by his surname or whatever. I wish she hadn’t chosen this hill to die on because it will make it much harder to let go in later years. Also, I wish her friends had just gone along with it or been nice because this probably would have gradually faded over time.

  2. I didn’t chose based on whether particular social media handles weren’t used, but I did check to see how many other people had the name on Facebook and generally online. As someone with an entirely unique first/last combo, a little anonymity isn’t a bad thing to me.