Diwali lanternsAnother week has gone by with a whoosh!

In all of my weekend wanderings – dinner at a local restaurant’s patio for the last warm-enough night of the season, a class brunch for our third grader, a pumpkin patch for the final weekend of harvest festival, as well as the usual errands – I realize that I keep hearing Finn.  It’s the every-boy name in this part of the world, though variations abound.  My daughter has a classmate called Fintanwhich I quite like.  It makes me wonder if Finnick will prove to be the break-out name from The Hunger Games trilogy, just like Luna has been the biggest of the Harry Potter borrowings.

On a different note, I am captivated by Diwali lanterns.  Diwali follows a traditional Hindu calendar, so it can begin anywhere between late October and mid-November, and it lasts five days.  In some places, it is a new year’s celebration, too.  Diwali is often called the “festival of lights,” and lighting all of the lanterns and firecrackers and lamps symbolizes, at least in part, the triumph of good over evil.  (Though this is a vast oversimplification of a cultural celebration with deep and varied roots.)  I love the idea of a celebration like this falling at the beginning of our winter season, just like I love the way Mardi Gras breaks up the last of the cold weather with a party.  Naturally, I was able to dig up a post on Diwali baby names, too – Arya and Zain are probably the most wearable, but Kanti and Navin appeal to me, too.

Elsewhere online:

  • Loving the name Delphine.  She’s been on my list since I was a teenager, but Delphine Sandel is a non-starter.
  • What do you think of double names?  Some of them I prefer as two separate names – Anna Grace – while others I like smooshed together – Miabella.  I actively dislike hyphens, but I can’t explain why.  Then again, I’m a punctuation minimalist.
  • The initial jewelry here is great.
  • So exciting to learn more about Clare of Name News on Scoop.it in her Waltzing More than Matilda interview.  I so appreciate Clare’s curation of all things name-related, and I often find myself bookmarking her scoops as well as the original articles.
  • Did you read Laura Wattenberg’s article on Carrie?  So interesting … She also points out that Carrie was the better choice than Kerri, because Carrie feels like the timeless choice.  She’s another everywoman name.  And if you’re a Carrie who isn’t wild about the victim-bloodbath link, I recommend Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie.  It’s not exactly a happy ending, but she’s more turn-of-the-century Carrie Bradshaw than anguished adolescent.
  • Jimmy Fallon might deserve an award for best celeb baby namer of the year – and now cutest Halloween costume on a newborn.
  • Over on the AppMtn Facebook page, I’d asked if anyone had chosen a name-based Halloween costume.  Clio went to school dressed as Cleopatra this year.  (It was not successful.  She hated her headdress, cried when the plastic gems fell off her belt, and insisted on switching into a ninja costume for Trick or Treat.  Oh well …)  But I remembered that this is actually her second name-inspired costume.  When she was just a few weeks old, I stuffed her into a goldfish costume, because the goldfish in Pinocchio is Cleo.  She didn’t like that costume, either …
  • Ryatt.  Really.  Spotted by the sharp-eyed For Real Baby Names, in Oklahoma.  I’ve softened towards Maverick and lots of other boy names that seem so very masculine that they’d be tough to live up to.  But choices like Cam Gigandet’s Rekker and now Ryatt … gosh, they still make me think they’d be hard to wear.
  • And yet Rex seems completely reasonable to me.  Elea has a great write-up on the name’s history.  Here’s a truth: I perceive newer names as riskier.  This might be my bias.  Or maybe it is because, with a name like Rex, your child is adding to the story, not bearing the weight of creating the name’s story from zero.

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

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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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  1. Diwali also known as Deepavali and the “holiday of lights”, is an old Hindu festival celebrated in fall every year.

    The festival spiritually signifies the triumph of light
    over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and
    hope over despair. The festival preparations and rites generally
    go over a five day interval, but the key festival night of Diwali coincides with the dimmest, new moon night of the Hindu luni solar month Kartika.
    In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali nighttime falls between mid-October and mid-November.

  2. Rex is my son’s name! When his father and I were just beginning to date, we were watching Cats 101 on TV. The show was featuring the Devon Rex breed of cat. For some reason I turned to my future husband and said, “I’ve always thought Rex would be a nice name for a boy.” he looked at me with a peculiar look on his face and I wanted to kick myself for talking about babies so soon, lol! Then he reached down and he pulled up his pant leg. On his calf was a tattoo of a cowboy with the name “Rex” under it. I was stunned and he said, “Rex was my father. He died of cancer. It is a great name for a baby boy.” We had only been dating a short time and I had no idea this was his father’s name! I still get goosebumps thinking about. We looked at each other and I knew he was the one and we were going to get married and have a son named Rex! That’s exactly what we did! I adore his name! My little king named after a man he and I sadly did not get to meet, but must have been a wonderful man to have raised my amazing husband! Now my only concern is how in the world will we ever have as meaningful a “how we picked your name” story for any future siblings!