Sunday Summary: 9.30.18Happy Sunday!

A friend of mine – who lives in a super-stylish kind of neighborhood – told me a neighbor’s story*. When they were expecting their firstborn son, they caved to family pressure and gave him a grandfather’s first name: Thomas. But they agreed to never use it, instead calling him by his middle: Bodhi, a name that struck them as distinctive and meaningful.

Somehow, when their son started school, his new teacher missed the whole call-me-Bodhi memo. She referred to him as Thomas. It was the name on his desk and his coat hook. When his parents realized the mix-up a few days later, their son insisted that he was happier being Thomas.


Because he liked having a different name.


We’ve reached a moment where Paisley, Skylar, and Kinsley rank in the US Top 100. If you want a name that’s different? Skip right past Aria, Addison, and Piper, and name your daughter Mary. There’s a good chance she’ll be the only one.

*I changed a detail or two to protect the family’s identity.

Elsewhere online:

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

Boy Names 9.30.18Girl Names 9.30.18

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. I can see the Thomas thing happening. When my son was in kinder he came home crying because a boy was making fun of his name. His name is James. He’s in high school now but he still is the only James in the school (except he calls himself Jimmy now).

    1. Depends on where you are. I keep seeing Michael way up there in the data, and I know zero Mikes or Michaels under the age of 30. I know one Bobby, but thre Hudson’s.

    2. Yeah that was my thought! I know of several kids named Thomas but I’ve never heard or seen Bodhi anywhere. Then again Abby did change the names, so maybe it was something more like Tobias and Bryson instead of Thomas and Bodhi. Just a mistake in translation!