SS 10.25.20My house is being overrun by plush.

At a conservative estimate, we will have close to one thousand stuffed animals in our house before our youngest leaves for college. My daughter adores them. They come home from vacations, church tag sales, well-meaning relatives and friends, random trips to the store.

And my husband? He’s a sucker for them, too. Last week, he came home from the grocery store with a Halloween-themed black cat that’s just so squishy and irresistible. She’s called Autumn.

I recognize that this just doesn’t count as a problem. Not by any standard, but certainly not by 2020 watermarks.

But here’s the thing … I will never be able to part with them because SHE NAMES THEM ALL. First, middle, last. I’ll have to actively re-home them, like Andy’s toys.

Because the act of naming them? It makes them real in a way I cannot completely describe. Or even understand.

Naming something is powerful. It transforms a garage sale deal, an impulse buy, an inexpensive souvenir into a full-fledged member of our family. Sometimes a stuffed bunny’s “birthday” requires cookies. Over the years, they have been featured in photo shoots for cards we’ve sent to cousins, assembled on the dining room table to welcome a sibling home from sleepaway camp, and dressed up for the holidays.

For reasons I cannot entirely explain, the Nativity set I inherited from my grandparents now features a panda. It’s possible he’ll still be hanging out with the donkey and the angels in the distant future when my grandchildren arrive. And yes, of course, he has a name.

Names change everything.


Two dozen optimistic names from a Jewish perspective, though many of these are mainstream favorites in the US with Hebrew roots. I love Kveller’s naming content.

Such fascinating new girl names, highlighted at Namerology. Plus, why they’re catching on – at least just a little – now.

Some lovely and dramatic finds in this edition of British Baby Names birth announcements. I mean … Arabella Fflur and Caspian Fitzwalter sound like they stepped out of a storybook.

Love the nickname Bam for Abraham! It’s the name of Jessie Cave’s – she played Lavender in the Harry Potter movies – new son.

A great story of a compromise name. Apologies if this is behind a paywall! (And thanks to C for sending it my way.)

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

Boy Names: 10.25.20 Girl Names: 10.25.20

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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  1. My love of names also began with an enormous collection of stuffed animals. The most special of which are now some of my children’s favorites. My kids have renamed a few of them, and that’s ok with me. ❤️