Ferris Wheel on the boardwalk in Ocean City, N...

Natalie Babbitt described the first week of August as the top of a ferris wheel.

I love ferris wheels – irrationally, because I’m not great with heights.  And I love the first week of August, for the same reasons – it’s the peak of summer, and while the ride down towards the first day of school is exciting, nothing beats this moment at the top.

On to the name news!

  • This couple changed their middle names to Seamonster, and won’t share why.  I find it all daffy and charming.
  • Speaking of daffy, a friend of mine has a Starbucks alias: Duke.  He travels a lot, and reports that it is rarely mangled or misspelled.  But how does he give that name with a straight face?
  • Love this one from My Name is Pabst.
  • Do you use a nickname for one kiddo, but not the other?  I overheard a dad calling his girls Addison and Cammie at the beach last week.  Thanks to personalized tote bags, I gleaned that Cammie was actually Cameron.  They’re well-matched names, the kind that imply a lot of thought was given to finding compatible names for sisters.  But I was puzzled that the older girl was never called Addie … More evidence that while we choose our children’s names, the way they wear them is sometimes outside of our control.
  • ForReal spotted a Rowdey in North Dakota.  I don’t think the extra ‘e’ makes it feel more like a name.  And while I think this one is too much, I was wrong about Maverick.  Could Rowdy/Rowdey be the next mainstream power boy choice?
  • Varro is officially my new favorite secret Shakespeare name.
  • Octave and Ernest?  Swoon!
  • Midge – wearable as a given name?  My instinct is no, but in our casual age, maybe she reads as retro cool …
  • Do you think Circe is a likely successor to Chloe and Penelope?  I love the sound, and the fact that Circe could be an avian name?  Bonus!
  • Love the sound of Agata, from this post at The Beauty of Names.
  • This is a tremendously clever approach to finding a distinctive name.  Judith, Liv, Louise, Milagros, Hattie, Harper, Iris, Paloma, Parker, Monroe – definitely something for everyone.
  • Could Eleanor ever be the #1 name in the US?  Piper?  Violet?  Sadie?
  • Thoughtful words on “trendy” names – and a compelling case to stop worrying about whether the name you love is trendy or not.

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. I love, love Circe! Circe was the name of my beloved Sphynx cat who escaped from the house when I was on strict bed rest, during pregnancy, and unable to run after her. She ran out when I stupidly got up to retrieve a package at the front door. I thought she would be fine until my husband got home from work an hour later, but I was wrong…the neighbors came to tell me she’d been run over 15 minutes later. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself! I still adore the name and would be thrilled to meet a human named Circe!

  2. My sister just had a baby last week–number six for her. They named him Jubal Andres, which fills most of our family with great joy because we grew up on Louis L’Amour novels. My dad has always wanted a Jubal and now he has one!

    My sister thinks she is done having kids and I think she did a good job with naming her troop. Only one name I don’t like, but nobody calls him by his real name anyway. 🙂

    Ana, Elena, Isabel, Sebastian Nicolas (Lando), and Jubal.

    And if you are noticing a Hispanic flair, it was on purpose. My BIL is Colombian.

    1. Congratulations to your sister – and your whole family! What fabulous names, and oh – Nicolas called Lando is so handsome!

  3. All I can think of with Midge is the insect – some of them suck blood and spread diseases, like mosquitoes. There’s also the appealing-sounding “dung midges” who live in poo.

    Our back lawn always seems to have a cloud of them if the sun comes out, even if it’s cold (luckily not the biting, blood-sucking, disease-spreading or poo-living ones, just the regular kind).

    Definitely not recommended as a name if your surname begins with T!

  4. Midge always makes me think of my mum’s old Barbie doll that had Midge on her bottom as they used the same mould for Barbie and her friend Midge for a while. I don’t think I could bring myself to use Midge for a child. Or Barbie or Skipper, for that matter.

  5. We have a new baby named Marguerite, and my husband calls her Midge, mostly but not totally in jest. I believe his inspiration was The Simpsons–it’s what Moe the bartender mistakenly calls Marge.

  6. The hubs tried to get me to consider Circe if this baby had been a girl. It does have a pretty sound, but his inspiration was Cersei Lannister. Not exactly the namesake I’d want for a daughter. LOL