Swan with cygnets on here back..
Swan with cygnets on her back by LC Nottassen via Flickr

Happy Mother’s Day!

First up, an announcement: if you somehow missed the post pinned to the top of this site, Sarah of For Real Baby Names has a new eBook – and it is up for grabs to one lucky reader!  Hurry off to the original post to enter – I’ll wait right here.

Now, back to the baby name news.  Let’s start with the whole hitchhiking-cygnet theme.  Am I the last person to know this factoid about mama swans and their young?  All of a sudden the photos are everywhere.  And I’m wondering about Swan as a whimsical middle.  It’s a nature name, nods to Swan Lake, and I’m rather fond of swans – they’re beautiful and brutal all at once.  Except there’s the whole Twilight connection, thanks to Bella Swan Cullen, and that gives me pause.

Speaking of the Twilight connection, finally – the graph I’ve been waiting for!  Visual demonstration that Jacob and Isabella may be wildly popular names, but they’re not linked to the wildly popular novels.  Thank you, Jay Livingston.  It’s a little something to savor as we prepare for headlines about the new US Top 1000 data, headlines which will mostly get it wrong.

Or not, because Nameberry may have scooped the Social Security Administration with the announcement that Sophia claimed the top spot in 2011.

Regardless of which name hit #1, there are plenty of intriguing possibilities out there:

  • Beyonce’s baby name is taking top honors in the PopCrush poll so far.  Blue Ivy is way ahead of other outlandish starbaby appellations.  My guess?  Ivy will climb for girls, while Blue will become a go-to middle name for parents who already used Ray for their firstborn.
  • Hmmm … I do think of Laila as a very international name, but I had no idea she was Norwegian.
  • I really like Wallis, Upswing’s latest Failure to Launch name.
  • This surname sibset at Swistle is fascinating – and I agree that naming a daughter after five boys is going to be tough!
  • Chrysanthe – along with Jacinta, one of my favorite elaborate-yet-subtle botanicals – is profiled at Waltzing More than Matilda.  Is she wearable?
  • Boys named Buck, Coy, Oakes, and Roy in a single ForReal post.  Kind of reads like the cast of a rebooted Dukes of Hazzard, doesn’t it?
  • Lastly, I’m on Pinterest, with boards filled with lovely names.  The button above doesn’t work just yet, but if you follow this link, you’ll be there.

That’s all for now.  Can’t wait to see the promised data on the Top 1000 names tomorrow!  I’ll probably confine most of my remarks to Facebook, and then I’ll have something up at Nameberry on Tuesday.

Have a great week – and thank you for reading!

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. Thanks for the mention, and hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day.

    Jacinta seems to be a name everyone is in love with, a very ordinary name in Australia, so I must cover it some time.

    I know everyone seems to say “go girly” for a girl after many boys, but girls with lots of big brothers aren’t usually the most princessy of girls. I wonder how suitable a frilly name would be for someone raised in such a testosterone-charged household.

  2. I have loved Swan ever since I watched Living Dolls, but at the same time I can’t help but think the connotations of Swan Brooner are just a little depressing; a shame, it’s such a beautiful name!

    I am such a geek that not only do I have a running list of my favourite baby names in my head, I also have one for my favourite surnames. At the top of this list is the last name of Victoria’s Secret model, Candice Swanepoel. I don’t generally like the name Candice but combined with Swanepoel it suddenly seems quite attractive.

    Thanks for another fantastic Sunday Summary, Abby.

  3. I was wondering about that pinterest link since the update!!! Thanks for the link.

    There’s a food blog I read and the family just had a daughter after 4 sons. (I don’t know the names of the sons, as I’m not sure they’re all on the site. I think one of them is Jackson.) Anyhow, they named their baby girl Camryn. I would have predicted something more traditionally girly for a first daughter after 4 boys. I did like the advice from Swistle commentators to go girly after 5 boys with surnames.

    Very much agree on Ivy rising as a first and Blue rising as a middle.

  4. I love Swanhilde. For some reason, Swan has becoming trendy for boys in France. I much prefer it on a female.

  5. Speaking of Swan, Swanilda is a recent discovery that I’ve been mulling over this week. I’m not exactly sure if I like it yet or just find it incredibly intriguing. Either way it’s likely not to eclipse Brünnhilde, a recent favorite. But Swan is sweet, as is Chrysanthe, very wearable.

    Coy is rather cute, too. I’m really digging Southern names right now, especially double names. One of my favorites is Cash William for a boy. 😀