Lucky Number 7
Lucky Number 7 by Ganesha.Isis via Flickr

I heard the most fabulous name for a girl yesterday: Cimarron, like the Edna Ferber novel adapted for the big screen in 1931.  The word ultimately traces back to an old Spanish word cimarra thicket, and so cimarron implies the wilds.  It’s been used for plenty of place names.  Cimarron also means something along the lines of runaway, and is the name a group of runaway slaves adopted for themselves when they escaped to the wilds of Florida.  I wasn’t able to ask the parents for the story behind the name, but surely there must be one.

  • My guess for Marissa Mayer and Zachary Bogue’s kid?  Max.  Maybe Maxwell.
  • From Marginamia’s latest round-up of names from The Glow, how great are the names Stellan and Leif for brothers?
  • Petra, Opal, and plenty of other great ideas from British Baby Names if you’re expecting a baby in October.
  • A sibset spotted at DIY blog extraordinaire, Young House Love: Edison and Elsa.  You really couldn’t call a kid Einstein, but Edison works, doesn’t it?
  • I’m fascinated by this Swistle post on Lucy versus Lucie.  I like both spellings, but I can be quite irrational about others.  To me, Tilly is correct, and Mollie is just wrong.  Wait, maybe I’m just partial to the letter y …
  • Could Semper be a really cool modern virtue name that ends-in-r?  It’s such a rich category.
  • Speaking of ends-in-r, did you see this sibset at For Real Baby NamesAlec, Pepper, Ginger, and Anouk.  Intriguing …
  • If you had to choose between London, Eden, and Brooklyn, which would you use?
  • A confession: I’m not fond of the name Benjamin.  Nothing against it.  But he’s so universally appealing to everyone except, I think, me.  Benedict, on the other hand, seems like a real possibility.  There’s Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, and now there’s Benedict Cumberbatch – isn’t that a deliciously English name? – as Sherlock Holmes.
  • This is a great thread at ParentsConnect: I loved the name _______ until ____________.

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.

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What do you think?


  1. Not a fan of Cimarron, but Cimarra I would like (see mahrr uh for the spanish prn. or ‘sim ah ra’ for an English interpretation). I like Edna too, even though you weren’t really commenting on that.
    I like Edison and Elsa (or Ailsa, I don’t really like the matching initial thing, and I like this spelling better, or Ilse).
    I do like Lucy, Tilly, and Molly best, but I don’t mind Lucie, Tillie, or Mollie. They seem like old-fashioned spellings to me. But then my niece is Rubie.
    REALLY not feeling Semper as a name, despite the cool connection to ‘semper fi’ and marines and old nobility or clan mottos.
    Alec, Pepper, and Anouk or Alec, Ginger, and Anouk would be cool, but Pepper and Ginger in the same sibset I don’t like at all. Otherwise, they are great names and a cool set.
    Eden – I don’t like Brooklyn or London at all as first names (I could see London as a middle name with the right first name, though)
    Well, here we part ways for sure, I love Benjamin, it’s wonderful. I suggest it as a name to people every chance I get. I like Benedict too, it’s just not at all usable here in the US or in modern society (with nns that would just be too much). Love the couple Benedick and Beatrice – very cool for sure.
    For the last thing, I loved the name Eilonwy until I learned the proper pronunciation. I was pronouncing it ‘EE lun wee’ but it’s ‘ee LAWN wee’. It’s still nice, but I can’t warm up to it enough. I like Branwen and Bronwen is just ok to me, so I think it’s the ‘awn’ sound. Except I love Ondine, so I don’t know.

  2. Think Benzion is very cool. Wonder if anyone saw that Jackson Douglas (from Gilmore Girls) and Alex Borstein (from Family Guy) named their baby HENRIETTA. So cute! And Celeb Baby Scoop says her brother’s name is BARNABY:)

  3. I think Leif is quite a stunning name, I really like it.

    London, Eden, Brooklyn? Well depends on the sex. London for a boy, Eden for a girl, and Brooklyn for either imo. Out of the 3, Eden is the prettier name, and even though it’s unisex I do enjoy it more on a girl.

    I don’t like Benjamin or Benedict. One is way too overused, the other to clunky.

  4. Anyone familiar with the Marine Corps would not find Semper to be all that unusual. “Semper Fi” is a well known phrase used by Marines, meaning “always faithful.”

    1. Yes, but to me that’s what pushes Semper to the Cannon/Maverick/Beretta/Blaze territory. Sort of a neat sound, really, REALLY macho.

      But the military ruined Cadence for me, too, so I might be a bit odd.

      Kimber and Remington both sit in the gun-names pile for me. But Kimber and Semper remind me of each other.

      1. see, I think the military connection is one of the few things I like about Cadence, which I otherwise don’t like.

  5. I’m really fond of the obscure oddity Benzion, with the Yiddish pronunciation of ben-ZEE-un, but I can’t say that, despite the sexy Kenneth Branagh Benedick in Much Ado, that Benedick/Benedict does anything for me.

    Opal is really appealing. Polly, as a NN?

    1. I like Polly for Opal!

      Benzion is interesting. Is it a mash-up of Ben and Zion, like son of Zion?

      1. Yes, it is, but it’s not a real modern mash. It flickers around my family tree a bit but mostly 5+ generations back.

        Since I have a family that would be cool with Benzion, it probably isn’t surprising they’d be completely weirded out by Benedict.

  6. There is a boy in my class (8) called Benedict — he mostly goes by Ben, which he prefers, which does mean he gets mixed up with the Benjamin-Bens. It suits him, in a quirky way. He has an older brother called Ewart.

    1. And really, what else would you call at Benedict for short? “Dict” would just go. . .wrong. Of course, we still call Alaric by his full name. We say it pretty quick with the emphasis on the first syllable, so it doesn’t sound long.

      1. Ned, actually, would be fun. Or Benny. Which is also a name that would make me think of Benjamin, and Ned would make me think Edward, etc.

  7. Cimarron is indeed a fabulous name. There’s some good nicknaming potential there too.

    The only problem I see with Semper is its similarity to simper. But really, what name doesn’t has its drawbacks. I think a kid named Semper would get a lot of comments about it being a cool name.

    I love both Benedict and Benedick and have for a long time (Benedick and Beatrice has got to be one of the most fabulously named couples in literary history). My concern is that Benedict in particular might be seen as having too much baggage. What do other people think?

    1. I do wonder about that with Benedict. We’re Catholic, so it would seem like we were naming a son after the current Pope. And, um, we’re not THAT Catholic. So it would be a no for us. But I agree – forget Romeo and Juliet, Beatrice and Benedick have always been my favorite Shakespearean couple.

      1. doesn’t she mean Benedict Arnold? for Americans, anyway, it would be a Bad idea, since calling someone a Benedict Arnold is to say they are a traitor.

  8. Hehe. I knew you’d love Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s so good it sounds like it’s a Harry Potter name.

    Who the heck are these Mayer and Bogues people? I never heard of them until this crowdsourcing business.

    1. She’s the new CEO of Yahoo!, appointed while 5 months pregnant. Hence, the hullabaloo … and perhaps why she hasn’t had a minute to find a baby name herself …