Sunday Summary: 7.29.18Another year of the New Names Showdown has ended, with two brand new champions: Marlowe and Wells. I’m delighted and slightly surprised by the outcome. I was sure Caspian would carry the day for the boys, and I didn’t quite see Marlowe rising to the top for girls.

But we’ve got a pretty good track record of picking the Next Big Thing – at least on the boys’ side. Read more about the contest – and a review of the past winners – here.

Elsewhere online:

  • How do you spell Maisie? I always default to Maisie, because, well … Henry James. And Jacqueline Winspear. But the comments in this Swistle post remind me that there are good reasons to have prefer a different spelling. My take on spellings is pretty straightforward: if you don’t have a reason to choose one over the other, default to the most popular. Note I didn’t say correct. I’m convinced there’s rarely any such thing. But the dominant spelling – the most common one, statistically speaking, where you live at the moment of your child’s birth – is always a defensible choice. More on spellings here.
  • Do you follow Fitz and the Tantrums? I feel like every time I hear a really catchy song on the radio, it turns out to be courtesy of Fitz. Frontman Michael Fitzpatrick and his actor wife Kaylee DeFer surprised me when they chose the super-traditional Theodore Ignatius for their first son in 2013. Somehow I missed that they welcomed Sebastian Danger in 2017! Yup, another kiddo with the middle name Danger. I sometimes wonder if it’s right up there with William and James …
  • Oh, I love a good name game! My brain never quite wrapped itself around The Art of Naming’s Statehood Initial Challenge, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this wrap-up.
  • Twins named Bonnie and Beau? Is that the most fabulous thing ever, or a bit too much? I’m liking it. Also, there’s a big sister listed named Ptarmigan Rose. Now that is a bold bird name!
  • Yet another celebrity baby name announcement that just might make my best-of 2018 list: welcome, Vida!
  • I’m intrigued by Zeline. My brain keeps insisting there must a link between Zelie and Zeline, but so far, it’s just a wild guess.
  • Do you follow The Small Folk on Instagram? I keep meaning to share that they’ve welcomed son Arnhem Oak. She shared more about their naming process here.
  • What a great list of names hot in England, but still relatively uncommon in the US. My favorites are Edie, Pippa, Hugo, and Arthur.

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

Girl Names 7.29.18 Boy Names 7.29.18


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. I wonder if the name Cobalt was big on the site this week because of the BBC news article “The precious metal sparking a new gold rush” posted on July 26th.

  2. We currently have about 20 chickens and my spouse has named every single one. Earlier this summer, we had an issue with one of them. Her name is Maisie. But when my spouse wrote me a note about her, she spelled it Mazie. I was surprised and I told her that wasn’t how you spelled Maisie. But then I said it was her chicken, she could spell it Mazie if she wanted to. A few days later, while reading the NPR website, I discovered that Hawaii has a senator, Mazie Hirono. So, that ended the discussion on how to spell Mazie.

  3. Oh my, I LOVE Arnhem. What a tremendously wonderful nature name. Arnhem land is absolutely beautiful, rugged and pristine. I never thought of this as a first name but it would be a great patriotic pick for any Australian’s out there with adventure in their blood. This may be the male Matilda (beloved by aussie expats!).