Sunday Summary: 12.7.19I spend a lot of time thinking about names that go together. Liam’s sister should be Maeve, not Arabella. If you like Sadie, you’ll probably like Edie, too. Maybe Max.

And it can be helpful, right? If you’re stuck, then starting anywhere is better than hoping your kiddo comes out wearing a name tag.

But it can also be supremely unhelpful.

It can make us doubt our instincts. We might reject exactly the right name, because it doesn’t seem “like us” or doesn’t “complete the sibset” very well.

On a forum the other day, a couple had narrowed their list to Celeste, Miriam, and Clover.

I mean … one of these things is not like the other, right? It feels like two traditional, graceful but tailored feminine choices versus one modern, almost unisex and certainly quite rare word name.

Except that who knows? If I’d listened to the family talk about the how of narrowing their list, maybe those three names would feel exactly right. Maybe Clover would stand out as the obvious choice. Or maybe it would, indeed, feel like the outlier.

Few of us like a perfectly matched set of names. And that’s perfectly fine! Over time, Liam and Arabella can sound exactly like sibling names.

Your list is a mess, when judged by some arbitrary outside standard. But your family? It’s just fine.

In all things onomastic:

How gorgeous is India Louisa Elizabeth Echo? Also, is three middles the new two middles? It seems like they’re showing up more + more often in the British Baby Names birth announcements.

Nancy has some amazing name quotes rounded up. My favorite from this batch? The Seth Godin note on middles. So true.

No sooner do I compile my best celebrity baby names list and some more great BAs come out! A baby Bartholomew! And then a baby boy called Patch. Those are both pretty fabulous … and I’ll admit I’m also a fan of the new Duggar granddaughter name, Maryella.

Spelling questions like this one fascinate me: Zoe or Zoey? It’s one of the reasons that it’s best to open to different spellings. And why sometimes the spelling that seems most obvious isn’t my favorite – or the best for you.

Are you watching Watchmen? We don’t have HBO, so I’ve yet to see it, but I’m intrigued by this analysis of the character names at Ava to Zeke. Note: LOTS of spoilers! Does it seem far-fetched? Maybe. But then again, there’s Game of Thrones

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

Boy Names 12.7.19 Girl Names 12.7.19



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 see the association made between Celeste, Miriam, and Clover. I mean… Clover and Celeste both strike me as soft, feminine names. Miriam has a quirky cute ring.

  2. When it comes to the three middle names thing, I can give you some British insight: a lot of those names will be from the Telegraph name announcements, which is where traditionally a lot of upper class/aristocratic English families will choose to announce a birth. And as the names of the royal family might suggest, multiple middle names is a posh habit going back centuries! So my guess is that it’s less of a ‘new’ thing and more of a class thing.

    I’ve been wondering recently if my kids have mismatched names: M@rgot J0sephine and N@thaniel Fr@nk – I feel like if you include middles they work well, but maybe the firsts aren’t an obvious combo? But it was so hard to pick a boys name I have no idea what else we could have chosen!