SSMemorialDayMemorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer in the US, and, thanks to warmer-than-average temperatures, it feels like summer here, too, after a few weeks of cool and gray weather.

All of the cookouts and fireworks can obscure the holiday’s solemn purpose: to remember those who gave their lives while serving in the military.

Lately I’ve been pondering unexpectedly patriotic names. I think Remember has potential as a middle name, but I don’t know that it would be seen as specifically tied to Memorial Day.

Of course, plenty of names do start out as tributes – only we forget. Nancy’s great list of World War I-era names at Nameberry pointed out that Irene – the personification of peace – was popular following the war. My grandmother was born in the years following World War I, and her name was Irene. Was her name inspired by the meaning, or something else? I suppose I’ll never know.

  • Lots of Lucys in the newest British Baby Names birth announcements round-up, plus a Ludo Thomas Bairnsfather, a brother for Charlie and Rory – swoon!
  • This list of multiples from Australia is fascinating! Anna starts her list with twin names that are close. (Actually, I think some are way too close! Can you really name twin brothers John and Jack?) And then she works her way to those that seem so different they don’t sound like siblings at all – surely there’s a story behind twin sisters called Florence and Snow!
  • A long list of great names for girls, all outside the current US Top 1000, from Sophie. Some of my favorites, including Theodora and Constance, made her list.
  • On a similar note, The Art of Naming has a list of Barely Used Boy NamesBridger is my favorite from this installment, but happily, it’s just the start of a series.
  • I’d be so curious to know what makes Iceland reject names that seem perfectly Norse, like Swanhildur and Einarr, while Susie and Manuel get the greenlight.
  • Middle names for Margotfrom the ever-wise Duana Names.
  • Which reminds me: I’m slowly working my way through The Name Therapist – it’s that rare book that is so good I want to read every syllable, slowly! – and will have a review up soon. In the meantime, if you love names and need a good read, order her book!
  • Can you name a girl Justin Junior? An intriguing Q from the Name Lady. I’m inclined to say yes … but I’d much rather be Justine.
  • Oh, I love the name Frederica – and even more with the nickname Edie!
  • Love the names on this list of NYC’s newest additions to creative families. Gemma Sloane, Lillie Sol, Levon Sparrow, and more great names – though, if anything, they’re a little less bold than you might expect. (Thanks to Leah for the link!)

Now that summer is near, I’m working on two fun things for the long, lazy days. First, we’ll be revisiting the Out There Baby Name series. I stalled out at L last summer! Starting tomorrow, look for the chance to add your very favorite Out There Names beginning with the letter M. Madrigal, Monsoon, or maybe Mirabelle, anyone? Look for chances to comment on Twitter (@appmtn), Facebook (/appmtn) and Instagram (@appmtn).

Lastly, I’ve promised to bring a March Madness-style tournament to the month of July, but I’m still trying to narrow down all of the possible ways to go about it. I think I’ve almost got it, but suggestions still welcome!

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.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. I have The Name Therapist on hold at the public library. I read a free preview of it online and it looks pretty interesting. I can relate to Duana with regards to being a first-generation Canadian and feeling self-conscious as a child about having an uncommon name.

  2. Victoria is another name that’s unexpectedly patriotic – it only became popular in the years immediately following World War II to celebrate the Allied victory.

    Some of the different-sounding twin names actually sound quite cool together, but I think Jayden and Etienne is one that really threw me … and for some reason, Darren and Olivia. They’re both “normal” names, and they were both popular in the 1970s, but somehow they just don’t gel in my mind.

  3. One of my favorite discoveries working through 16th parish registers was the amazingly beautiful and meaningful Memorantia. That would make a wonderful given or middle name in the 21st C.

  4. Maybe Remembrance or Memory would tie in better with Memorial Day than Remember? I imagine “Memorial Day” itself could be a combo.

    Thanks so much for including my Frederica post! 🙂 Wanted to say though that the link to Nancy’s WWI names article actually links to my site instead.