Sunday Summary: 1.13.19

We often hear studies report that certain types of names result in lower grades from teachers, or fewer calls from potential employers. And this is often cited as a reason we should avoid such choices for our children.

The topic came up in a recent edition of Nancy’s name quotes.

But the problem – as the researchers stress – isn’t the names. It’s the bias.

And I think that’s really important to remember.

If you love classic names, then yes – use them! But don’t believe that choosing something unorthodox means your child will never get into med school or win election to Congress or be promoted to partner.

The topic comes up all the time, but it seems to be mentioned more often we talk about naming daughters. While Eleanor and Alice and Ruth do great things, women with names like Kamala and Geisha reach the top of their fields, too. (Read the story of Geisha Williams’ name here – it’s fascinating!)

It reminds me of what Alexia Mae said here. It’s possible to be honest without being cruel.

Elsewhere online:

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

Girl Names: 1.13.19 Boy Names: 1.13.19

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 am so excited to see Linus on Laura’s list. It’s the name we’ve chosen for our little boy due in May!

  2. Oh! Ulf and Leif ate great!

    The Geisha Williams story was fascinating. Who would have guessed?

    And now the names Bob and Lynn seem so fresh!

  3. I think the internet ate my comment so apologies if this is a double post. Our son is named Leif! I think that’s your favorite name, because I have been reading your blog for a long time and remember you mentioning it before. It’s after my Dad who is Swedish and has a phonetically similar name: Ulf. I think Ulf is an undiscovered gem- rare, Norse heritage, easy to say and pronounce, nature connection, only three letters but packs a punch! I’d love to see Ulf as Name of the Day!

  4. Our son is named Leif! I think that’s the boys name you like- I’ve been reading your blog for a long time! My Father is Swedish and has a phonetically similar name: Ulf- another fabulous, completely underused name with a nature meaning- would love to see it as name of the week!