Welcome to the shiny new home of Appellation Mountain. I apologize for keeping it light today – I’m still doing some heavy lifting behind the scenes to get all of the content chivvied into its proper places.

A few quick, can’t miss notes, though:

  • Names4Real, now available in eBook form – squee!  And I promise to buy it and read it, cover to cover, the very minute I unpack the last box.
  • Saw this one scrawled into the sidewalk cement: Arick.  I don’t get it.  I get Erik and Aric and Alaric, but Arick feels overdone, like the Viking hero of a romance novel, not a real boy.
  • A link from Voornamelijk’s weekly round-up introduced me to this Dutch family with five children – all of whom share names made up of the same four letters.  Sounds impossible, right?  Think on it for a minute.  The answer is below.  (Other things I’m going to do immediately post-unpacking: see if I can duplicate their feat.  But only on paper.)
  • This post on the meaning of a name from Laura at Baby Name Wizard?  Very, very true.
  • There will be no Monday post – I know, I’m heartbroken, too! – so I can keep on shuffling content between the old and the new sites.

Now the big reveal: the five names made up of just four letters are Alex, Axel, Xela, Lexa, and new baby Xael.


Back to moving posts … thanks for your patience.

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 once saw a sales clerk with the name tag, Aeric. I laughed, because AERIC is the acronym for the computer system I used to use at work.

    I played the 4-letter game with my Grandmother’s name in trying to come up with a name I might use on a baby in real life. Her name was Edna, for which there are a lot of variants. My favorites were Neda (which I came *thisclose* to using) and Dane. Other ones that might be usable are: Enda, Ande, Dean, Edan, Nade (like Sade), Dena, and Aden.

  2. The only-four-letters trick is quite fun, though I must confess to wondering what they’ll do if they have Baby #6…

    If I’m permitted to try it with five letters, what about this lovely set of girls:
    Alice, Celia, Lacie, Calie, Ciela

      1. Ooh I like Elcia! You could pr. it El-see-a too. I thought about Elica (Elisa), but I think it would be mispronounced all the time.

  3. I agree Arick’s wrong…somehow. I know a 25 year old Aric who doesn’t mind his name. Next time I see him I’ll ask what he thinks of Arick. 🙂
    I’m thrilled with the new space too, I can wait!

  4. Julie, your second group of sibsets would work in India, although Rima’s a bit of a stretch.

    I don’t think I’m very good at the rearranging game, but every combination I come up with seems to look like this: Lena Nela Lean Elan Alen Neal. I don’t know about you, but most of those “names” appear to be missing a few letters to me.

    I’m also not an Arick fan. It doesn’t help that, particularly here in NZ where my accent gets in the way, it’s not uncommon for people to both mishear how I’m pronouncing Alaric’s name and how I spell it. We’ve had Arick quite a few times, and also Alrick (not so bad) and even Arlick (yuck!).

  5. I have met two “Erica”s in my life with strange spellings that I think can compete against your Arick/Eric. “Aeryka” and “Aaricha”.

  6. The new site looks excellent.

    I ended up with multicultural sib-lists, but here’s what I came up with:
    Aron Rona Nora Roan Orna
    Amir Rima Mira Rami Mari