Sunday Summary 11.21.21J Frances recently sent me this:

Dermatologist called Rash, a rheumatologist called Knee’: How names might impact your life outcomes

I hesitated to open the link, assuming it might be one of those ha-ha, funny-names kind of articles that I rarely find amusing.

Instead, it was just SUCH a lovely take on the theme.

Some of the linguistic experts suggested that nominative determinism – the idea that your name shapes your choices – is a thing, except not in a snarky way.

In fact, the neuroscientist Rick van der Zwan had the best take on naming I’ve heard from an academic in ages:

“It’s all about choosing something that is meaningful for you, as positive for you, and that positivity can cascade down through the course of the child’s life,” he says.

I am here for cascading positivity. Maybe that’s something religious or spiritual, a link to your personal or family history, or something that just resonates for you and your partner.


It’s time to nominate Names of the Year! Laura Wattenberg always does a fantastic job distilling twelve months into a single name. (My pick is already mentioned in the comments.)

Nancy looks at the influence of Mexican comic books on naming in the US. Fascinating. Even when you think you’ve got it all figured out, there’s an entire category you’ve never considered. And I’m so glad to have Yesenia explained – that one always stumped me.

I’ve never compiled a gift guide, but if I did? This would be included. Am the only one who geeks out over personalized everything?

At the end of 2021, I’ll be hitting publish on my very last Name Sage column for Nameberry! So glad I had the chance to champion Ambrose in this column. (And grateful for the chance to write for the site from its early days.)

I really like the names Colleen Ballinger chose for her twins: Maisy Joanne and Wesley Koy. Colleen – know for her YouTube character Miranda Sings – and husband Erik Stocklin explained that Wesley’s W is a nod to her grandfather, Wayne. Maisy was inspired by Colleen’s middle name, May. The new babies join big brother Flynn Timothy.

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That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading + thinking of you!

Girl Names 11.21.21 Boy Names 11.21.21


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. Did you hear about Kieran Culkin’s new son’s name that they announced this week? Wilder Wolf. Joining sister Kinsey Sioux. 🙂