Sunday Summary: 11.3.19Let’s say you have a favorite name. Maybe it’s always been the name you imagined for a child. Or it could be something you’ve discovered recently.

But you can’t quite commit. It strikes you as a little too popular, or maybe a little weird. The rhythm isn’t perfect with your surname, or it sounds kinda close to an actor/athlete/brand name that others might recognize.

How do you resolve your dilemma?

Here’s one thought: play King of the Mountain.

Remember that game? Someone is at the highest point on a hill, and everyone else rushes that person, trying to knock the King down and claim the peak. A successful challenger becomes King, and the cycle repeats.

When it comes to names, crown that long-time favorite name King. But then go on a search for something you might like better. If your search comes up empty, then there’s your answer: your first choice is The Name. But if something does knock your favorite from its lofty perch? Well then, that’s another kind of answer, every bit as valid.

I think it works well because:

  • It allows you to acknowledge that yes, you DO have a favorite. And that might be your child’s name, and you’d be pleased if it were to be your child’s name.
  • But you’re done looking yet. So it’s reasonable to still search name sites, flip through books, and ponder possible combinations.

I’ve seen a few families do this without really articulating their process, and it seems to work well. You’re not rushed into a final, final choice, but you’re also not left feeling like you don’t have a good option, either.

Does this approach resonate for you? Did you have a favorite that you measured other names against?

Elsewhere online:

The Modern Family twins have names! At the end of last season, Haley Dunphy Marshall welcomed boy/girl twins with husband Dylan. Their names weren’t immediately revealed, but we learned them a few weeks ago: Poppy and George. Yes, I’m late to the party. But I find these names fascinating – I think they may help mark the new mainstream. Could both names be headed for the US Top 100? Maybe …

Did you notice this comment in a recent Swistle post? They’re looking for help naming a sibling for Boston, Scarlett, Isla, Raider, and Miller. But what I leapt out at me was Raider. It felt a little extreme, and indeed, the mom wrote, ” … I have extreme name regret over Raider’s name … I worry about his future trying to get a job and being taken seriously.” She notes that they considered changing it to Rider, but her husband wasn’t convinced it was a problem. I’m of two minds: yes, I think it will be perfectly fine; and yes, I would raise an eyebrow if I met a person named Raider.

Did you follow Ren’s Halloweek posts? They were so fun! My favorites were the mythical creatures list – I mean, how great is Qirin? – and Halloween-inspired place names. I was just thinking about Gatlin

I keep thinking about the continuing popularity of raindrop and liquid namesdoes it mean that in another generation, we’ll be crazy about names with strong consonant sounds? I mean, I’d love for Gertrude to make a comeback …

This list of Regency Romance Character names just plain made me smile. Looking for a name for a reformed rake or a woman of character? This list has it all!

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

Boy Names: 11.3.19 Girl Names: 11.3.19









Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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 like both Poppy and George, but I can’t help but think of Peppa and George from Peppa Pig. I’m sure this is just because I have a 4 year old who has watched too much Peppa Pig.

  2. Unfortunately, whenever I think of Gatlin, I think of American track and field sprinter Justin Gatlin who was banned TWICE for steroid use in his career! If he makes it to the Olympics in Tokyo next year, his name will be in the spotlight.

    As for Raider, maybe the parents are Oakland Raiders fans?