Sunday Summary: 8.5.18Do you remember when Lisa Kudrow was really pregnant on Friends? On the show, Phoebe was carrying triplets as a surrogate for her brother, Frank. But Lisa really was expecting son Julian during the show, and they wrote it into the storyline. I loved this memory she shared, about her fellow cast members talking to Julian – by name – during filming.

We tend to tell expectant parents to keep their names secret. And there’s wisdom in that, at least some of the time. But if you’re certain you’ve chosen your child’s name, there’s real joy in sharing it, too.

Did you keep your child’s name a secret? We shared, both times. And we definitely ran into a few raised eyebrows, especially with our daughter’s name. But we knew that our minds were made up – and that our reasons for the choice outweighed any possible criticism.

Of course, this is a know-thyself kind of moment. If you’re not feeling settled with your choice, you’re under no obligation to tell.

Elsewhere online:

  • This list of old-fashioned double names from Nancy has me fascinated! Some, like Sallyann, seem more predictable. But a few are really surprising. It points to how much names change. This list comes from girls born between 1880 and 1930, meaning that at least a small percentage of the women given these names might still be alive today. And yet names like Wandadean, Walterdell, and Velmagay strike me as coming from another planet, not just an earlier century.
  • Erm … what’s with the crazy snarky comments on this post at Baby Name Wizard? It’s a great list of names that are big in Italy. And, no, they’re not all Italian. Because just like we’re busy borrowing names from Ireland and Mexico and where-have-you, so are Italian parents. Also, my (very) Italian great-grandmother, great-aunt, and aunt’s names all appear on this list, so I got a kick out of it for that reason, too.
  • I think Bix is now my favorite nickname for Beatrix, thanks to this Swistle post. A must read for lovers of unconventional nicknames. I might just need to update this list!
  • While stumbling my way through French-language baby name websites, I found this slideshow. Bertille, Domitille, Ombeline, Priscille, Sybille, Victorine! Any native French speakers out there? Because I’d love to know if these names really are trending. They don’t make an impact in the data, but then, I’d say that’s true for ahead-of-the-curve trending names in the US, too. The header seems to promise names that are both “classic and trendy,” but maybe I’m getting lost in translation?
  • For names that truly are underused in the US, see this list – some real gems here!
  • Ooh … what do you think of Noel for a boy? It comes up in this letter to Duana, and I really like the way she talks about it.
  • Laguna Beach alum Alex Murrell Johnson welcomed a second son with husband Kyle. I think lots of parents will identify with her sentiment: “Levi has such a strong name, so we felt a lot of pressure to give this baby the same type of name.” They eventually chose Kase for their new addition. The feeling that sibling names need to match in some way is definitely one of the reasons it can be tough to name a second – or third! – child.
  • For no particular reason, these are the names from this summer’s Share-a-Coke labels. (Why do I hold on to them? I assure you, I mostly pitch them sometime around Labor Day.) Anyway, they are Lauren, Julia, Sylvia, Sara, and Courtney. Am I drawn to labels with fellow mom names on them? Hmmm …

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

Boy Names 8.5.18 Girl Names 8.5.18

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.

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What do you think?


  1. My 16-yo daughter and I just got back from visiting family in Oklahoma. My daughter was taken by the name of a nearby town, Bixby, and thought it would be a great name for a dog with the nickname Bix. 🙂

    1. HA! There was a kid in our neighborhood named just Bix, after the jazz musician. I always thought it was a really cool name …

  2. The only one of the French names above that I have heard in use is Sybille (but for 30/40-year olds, not babies). Among my children’s classmates, we have some girls named Victoria and Victoire (and a LOT of Victor’s for boys), but no Victorine. My niece attends an elite school and there I’ve noticed a lot of children with Latin names… Perhaps that will be a trend?

  3. Great Post Abbey,

    We Shared both times also and have no regrets I think its lovely giving them their identity rather than when is “it” or “he” “she” (shudder) due?…
    Each to their own I suppose but we will always give them their name in the womb.