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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

How far would you go to find a truly stand-out name for your child?

Self-described geek dad Stephen McLaughlin has decided to let the internet name his daughter.  His wife insisted that they retain veto power, so the #1 name doesn’t automatically win.

Good thing, too, because as of Saturday morning, the wisdom of crowds had Cthulhu All-Spark as the top choice.

Other suggestions are very wearable, and a few of the most popular suggestions have ties to scifi that would make the geekiest gamer parents proud: Amelia, Luna, Zelda.

The full list alternates between the silly – Unicorn, Moonpod, Sprinkles, Fluttershy, and the truly lovely – Alice, Isla, Aria, Iris, Adelaide, India, Caroline, Claire, Elsa.  Odds are that baby McLaughlin will end up with quite the wearable name when she arrives in April.

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This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel talks about the almost-names that might have been if circumstances were just a little bit different. 

Do you ever imagine an alternate life?  Specifically, what you might have been named, or what you might have named your children if your life was just slightly different?

My husband’s taste in given names is buckets more conservative than mine.  From the color of their eyes to the shape of their toes, I cannot imagine our children even a scintilla changed.  And yet imagine just one twist in life’s journey, and all of a sudden they’re Dexter and Domino instead of Alex and Clio.

The given name that I so actively disliked as a child was chosen, in large part, because of a clumsy surname, poorly exported into English without harmonizing the improbable consonant clusters.  What if my parents had decided to overlook the glaring limitations of a let-me-spell-it-for-you last name?  Or what if my ancestors had blanded out their surname to something that accommodated any number of appellations?

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