Sunday Summary: 10.13.19Confession time: my calendar? It’s a mess. And we can’t talk about my inbox. You know those episodes of Hoarders, where everyone in the television audience recoils at the absolute chaos? That’s my situation, right now. Digitally speaking.

It’s a privilege and an honor to talk to families deciding what to name their children – or struggling with a decision to change a newborn’s name. But if I’m being honest? There’s far more demand than I ever anticipated. And so I didn’t build a system that would handle it well.

In other words: if I haven’t returned your email, I’m a) terribly, horribly apologetic; and b) if it helps at all, I’m suffering from massive guilt over the situation. Because I’m truly grateful to everyone who lets me into their lives.

For the moment, I’m closing written name consultation reports, and trying a new system for scheduling telephone calls.  You can find my current calendar here.

Now, on to the name news:

Nancy rounds up more pop culture nuggets connected to names. I mean, where else can you read about K-Pop, Haribo, cabaret singers, animation innovation, and gender stereotypes in just a few hundred words? So good.

I’m beginning to think that Sybil could be the Next Big Thing. As if on cue, there’s a Sybil Jane Velvet in the British Baby Names birth announcements. I mean how is this name NOT in the US Top 1000?

Even though I’m a big fan of family names, I completely agree with Duana on this letter. There are good reasons to choose family names, and equally valid reasons to go your own way. Just because lots of family members assume you’ll hand down a name? That’s definitely not a good enough reason. Your preferences matter, and even if it causes some hard feelings, you should evaluate whether a family name makes sense for you.

I love Ren’s list of names given to ten babies last year, in honor of October 10th! Also, along the lines of Sybil: seriously, American parents: Cressida. Yes, there was the Toyota for years and years and years. But the car manufacturer didn’t invent the name; it borrowed it from Shakespeare.

An Indian village where children are given a song instead of a name. The world is an amazing place, vast and varied. It also reminds me that we all name out of love, whether the names we choose are one-of-a-kind pieces of music, family names handed down over generations, or just something that feels right for this child.

In keeping with the something new theme, I’ve included a new graphic. The boy and girl names I post every week reflect names searched at Appellation Mountain; this new list reflects the post most often read here. There’s sometimes – but not always – overlap, so I think they’re both fun lists to read!

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

Most Viewed Names: 10.13.19 Girl Names: 10.13.19 Boy Names: 10.13.19









Image by OpenClipart-Vectors 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.

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What do you think?


  1. Some names from my littlest’s preschool: Shannon, Dita, Norman(!), Junah (a boy, and mine’s Djuna Bird—weird!), Ptarmigan, Rio, Chaya. For free! No reply necessary!

      1. Shannon’s a girl. Mama is Beth, and it’s just the two of them. I feel like it’s a really perfect little family name set!

  2. Another great summary Abby, and I hope you take some time out and find a good system to beat that digital overload. We love your advice and articles but you need to look after you! Have a great week