Sunday Summary: 10.18.20When it comes to naming our children, there’s no shortage of options. And while that seems like a good thing, so much abundance carries its own problems.

Psychologist Barry Schwartz calls it The Paradox of Choice in his 2007 book. While he’s mostly focused on consumer goods, it rings true for a great meany situations.


We can feel paralyzed. It takes work to make decisions. The more options to sift through, the more work required.

It’s easy to choose between vanilla and chocolate, but the more options? The more we fear we’ve missed out. Names come in way more than 31 flavors. Even if we like what we picked, it’s easy to imagine there’s something better. There’s a reason FOMO is a twenty-first century phenomenon.

Our expectations increase, and so does our feeling of responsibility. Because we have so many options, we begin to believe that we can get it EXACTLY right. After all, if we have access to everything under the stars, surely it’s just a matter of putting in the effort to find the perfect choice. The problem? If our ultimate choice falls short in any way, we feel like it’s our fault. If only we’d looked a little harder, surely we would’ve found something just a little better.

You can watch his TED talk here. It’s fifteen years old, but still rings true. With constant talk of baby name regret, I think it’s a really helpful perspective.

Elsewhere online:

Thanks to everyone who sent me the names of these triplets! Welcome to the world, Juniper Cinda J, Flora Rebecca Rae, and Birdie Anthea Mae. Oh – and big brother is Orion!

From this list of fascinating new boy names, I’m captivated by Candor. Dracarys, maybe not so much.

What’s big in Canada. Worth reading for the Québécois names alone!

And also in Spain. Because any Top Ten that includes Alba, Hugo, and Alvaro is worth a read.

Speaking of drool-worthy lists, how much do I love British Baby Names’ annual Telegraph names round-up? I can’t remember why I was looking at it earlier this week, but it’s worth a re-read.

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

Boy Names: 10.18.20 Girl Names: 10.18.20


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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