Sunday Summary 10.8.17The simplest names can be the best.

A few days after the world learned of Tom Petty’s death, a mom-to-be told me that they’d settled on Thomas for their new son. I don’t believe it was motivated by the singer. (And they’d decided well before Jason Aldean’s powerful Saturday Night Live performance, too.)

But when she mentioned it – in a crowded room – the same sounded clear. Uncomplicated. Memorable and spirited.

If you’ve ever worried that choosing a classic name might be boring, know that the exact opposite can be true.

If you’re looking for a name every bit as handsome as Thomas, this list might be a good place to start. Expecting a girl? Check out this analysis of the most classic girl names, based on popularity data.

Elsewhere online:

  • Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen chose Lazlo, a paired-down spelling of the traditional Hungarian Laszlo for their new son. Could Lazlo be the next big thing? Arlo and Milo have long since gone mainstream, and the combination of a ‘z’ sound with an ‘o’ ending might be powerfully appealing. Or does the spelling just strike you as lacking? I can’t decide. Lazlo joins big brother Sid.
  • If Lazlo is the new It Name for boys, may I nominate Ramona for girls?
  • Much has been made of new dad Spencer Pratt’s insistence that he and wife Heidi Montag intended to find a name for their new son that allowed them to reserve his social media handles in advance. It seems painfully shallow – shouldn’t a baby know how to talk before he can snap? And yet, it also seems surprisingly practical. Parents often want to avoid choosing too-common names. Finding first-last combinations currently available on social media platforms makes some sense. They went with Gunner Stone for their new, sure-to-be social media savvy child.
  • The Name Lady offers an eloquent defense of popular baby names. Here’s my list of reasons I agree with her completely.
  • So many boys named Rory in British Baby Names’ birth announcements posts lately. Handsome!
  • More formal names for Wells than you would ever guess, but I think I like this one best on its own.
  • Ha! If you did take baby naming inspiration from the LEGO Ninjago movie, here’s your payoff!

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. Laszlo (this spelling) and Sid (nn for Sidney) are two of my favorites for boys! Love seeing this combo.