Sunday Summary 3.5.23Here’s something that I didn’t know in my twenties that is painfully obvious to me now:

In any relationship, for any given issue, someone always cares a little more.

Sometimes the dividing lines are clear and obvious. Marry an interior designer, and chances are she’ll have lots of thoughts about which couch to buy.

But most of the time, we’re surprised to realize we care far more than our partner about something. Case in point: my husband really cares about holiday meals and wants to discuss them. A lot. In detail. Which is a good thing! But it’s not my thing. (When it comes to cooking, I prefer to make reservations.)

Names are exactly like this. Unless your partner is a linguist, there’s no reason to expect that person will be heavily invested in your children’s names.

Even writers, I think, vary quite a bit in terms of how much emphasis they put on character names.

But that begs the question:

Should the parent who is more interested in names get more of a vote?

That sounds wrong. And yet, a few times, when I’ve talked with parents about name regret, it emerges that the well-meaning, non-name obsessed parent has convinced their partner to use a third or fourth choice name, often because it’s more mainstream.

And it ends up being a mistake.

Compromise matters, of course. But sometimes compromise, I think, means accepting that your vote only counts for 20% of the decision, because this choice is going to matter SO MUCH MORE to your partner.

This feels like a radical idea to me, but I think there’s logic to it. But I’d like to know what you think.


Her husband isn’t all that into names, and she is. This Swistle post got me thinking about the issue above. I think it’s generous of her husband to cede much of the decision to her, and yet I can see how that might feel a little awkward, too.

I finally watched Catherine Called Birdy. It’s so, so good. There’s no specific explanation of how she got her nickname in the movie, but the celebrated 2022 film could be one more reason we’re hearing more of Birdie/Birdy lately.

Wow, there are an awful lot of ways to spell Caitlin. No, really. Name Nerds has the list.

Love the matter-of-fact way this article addresses changing newborns’ names. And yet, the challenge is figuring out what you want to change your baby’s name TO.

Some lovely Welsh names on this list from Clare, including Briallen and Swyn and Taran and Liliwen. (My great aunt’s name is on this list, too!)

Have a dilemma of your own you’d like to talk through? My calendar is open through March. See available dates and times here.

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That’s all for this week. Thank you for reading + have a great week!

Boy Names 3.5.23 Girl Names 3.5.23

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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