The Nameberry 9: A girl named Arlo and a boy named Drummer

This week for her Nameberry 9 report, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel looks at baby name regret and at new celeb and  blogger babies.

Do you regret your child’s name?  If you could go back, would you choose something less common?  More mainstream?  Would you use that out-there option that others dismissed as too weird?  Or maybe embrace something from your family tree that felt too old-fashioned to bestow on a newborn?

Every so often a study grandly announces that a percentage of parents – in the most recent article, it was a whopping 8%, rounded up to “a tenth” for the headline – wish they could get a do-over on their child’s name.  While plenty of parents report disappointment that their choice turned out to feel too ordinary, reports and comments tend to focus on the extreme cases:  “Yes, I knew a couple who called their son Bullet and really wished they’d stuck with Bill.”

But I can’t help observe that parents who have picked out-of-the-box baby names seem more satisfied than those who gave it less thought.  Rowan at Eponymia summed it up perfectly: “It hardly matters what the name turns out to be, but I believe naming someone is an honor, one that requires effort and thought.”

Which brings us back to one of my new categories of favorite names – blogger kids.  It comes as no surprise that writers put extra care into picking names for their children.

Ottilie Valentine – The deliciously frilly, but still edgy, name of Rowan’s daughter.  Her tale of spotting a related name on an athlete during the Summer Olympics, then thumbing through a short story collection and seeing it again is a great example of how, as she puts it, “the right name will find the right person.”

Coraline Audrey – She could be Ottilie’s sister, but instead Coraline Audrey is the newest addition to the Jodilightful family.  She joins four sisters – Philippa Violet, called Pippa; Romilly Alice; Beatrix Joanna; and Juniper Lucy. They make for a fascinating combination of vintage and modern, classic and unexpected, and Jodi tells great stories about choosing names, too.  What would they name a boy?

Drummer Zion – Speaking of naming a boy, the No Big Dill family recently welcomed kid #6 – their first son!  After some thinking, the parents settled on a meaningful and inventive choice, one that fits with big sisters Divine, Pearl, Olive, Azure, and Clover.

Juno Francesca – Another blogger birth announcement, this one from Anna in New Zealand, who writes at Babynamelover’s Blog.  Modern and romantic at once.

Ends-in-o continues to be quite the stylish category, with two high-profile parents welcoming –o babies this week:

Arlo – Now on a girl, thanks to Johnny Knoxville and wife Naomi.  The Knoxvilles have an older son named Rocko Akira.  Bothered that one of Nameberry’s top picks for boys is now on a girl?  I hear you, but Knoxville is fond of borrowing.  He also has an older daughter named Madison.  Call Arlo more evidence that it isn’t just ends-in-o, but ends-in-lo choices that are hot: think Marlo/Marlow, Lola and Harlow, too.  I’m just waiting for a girl called Carloe.

Marcelo Alejandro Ali Landry welcomed a son, Marcelo Alejandro, a little brother for Estela InesAlejandro is after dad, Ali’s husband, director Alejandro Monteverde

In other starbaby news:

Emmett Emmanual – Second-generation actor Spencer Grammer, daughter of Kelsey, breaks from her family’s preference for gender neutral names with her firstborn, son Emmett.  It is quite the homespun, understated choice – the kind of name that makes you wonder if Spencer might have always wanted to be known as Sarah.

Genoveva – This summer’s birth announcement for Kimberly Stewart’s daughter Delilah neglected to mention her exotic middle.  The Spanish appellation combines the best of Isabella and Genevieve.

Hattie MargaretTori Spelling and Dean McDermott have welcomed a daughter, and prompted cries of “no!” from name nerds everywhere.  Sure, most of us would put Harriet on the birth certificate, but many of us were planning to be the first on the block to bring back this vintage gem.

Odds are we’ll hear something about the name choices over the next few weeks.  Here’s hoping they all have great, thoughtful stories to tell.


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15 Responses to “The Nameberry 9: A girl named Arlo and a boy named Drummer”

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augusta_lee Says:

October 17th, 2011 at 12:41 am

Coraline is a beautiful name — definitely one of my top 10! Unfortunately, a quick glance at the linked “Jodilightful” blog reveals that it has an extreme religious bias. It’s disingenuous — not to mention disappointing — that a supposedly secular, apolitical site like Nameberry would affiliate itself with such an explicitly Christian blog. :-/

ilovenames Says:

October 17th, 2011 at 12:43 am

Just fell in love with Ottilie Valentine, Coraline Audrey, Juno Francesca and even Drummer Zion thanks to that adorable little story about the Little Drummer Boy christmas carol. Damn me and my easily swayed name preferences.

pam Says:

October 17th, 2011 at 7:33 am

Augusta Lee, noting an interesting baby name in the blogosphere doesn’t mean we’re affiliating ourselves in any way with the beliefs of the blog, just as noting a celebrity’s or politician’s name choice doesn’t indicate that we support their lifestyle or party. We’re talking about names here and the discussion is focused on that.

Etak_Llaw Says:

October 17th, 2011 at 7:54 am

I have to say Coraline, Philippa, Romilly, Beatrix and Juniper is probably one of the best sibsets I’ve ever heard!

tarat3232 Says:

October 17th, 2011 at 8:05 am

Augusta Lee, are you serious? I guess you have a problem with lots of posters on this site then, such as me. I have a “religious bias” even though on this site I only talk about names.

Lola Says:

October 17th, 2011 at 9:00 am

Jodilighful is a lovely woman, and I’m Wiccan. She’s never anything but polite, friendly & kind. If all Christians were such, I’d be pleased as punch! She has beautiful daughters with gorgeous names!

Ottilie Valentine is divine. Utterly. Nice to see Valentine in the middle. 😀

Arlo on a girl? Well, I now completely am dismissing Johnny Knoxville from my life. Arlo is awful on a girl.

I adore Hattie and don’t care if Tori & Dean used it. I can hope they announced Hattie because that’s what they’re using daily (and Harriet’s on the BC), but I’m keeping Henrietta, nn Hattie (or Etta) on MY possibles list!

And I’ll second the thought that Spencer Grammer might have preferred to be Sara(h). Her choice of Emmett is just beautiful!

And that’s it from me. 🙂


TracyLeighann Says:

October 17th, 2011 at 9:40 am

Ottilie is one of my favorite names ever. I can’t wait to have a little girl to name. No Big Dill is one of my new favorite blogs. Her girls are gorgeously named. Pearl is a favorite of mine.

Abby Says:

October 17th, 2011 at 11:33 am

@augusta_lee – I link to LOTS of bloggers, many of them representing perspectives that are slightly (or hey, maybe wildly) outside of the mainstream.

@Lola, lol re: Johnny Knoxville. Loved him as Luke Duke, though.

@TracyLeighann – I’m addicted, too! No Big Dill’s photography is great, plus and she’s inspired me to bust out my sewing machine … though I’m still more at the cloth-napkin-stage than cute-ruffle-dress. When I first heard Pearl, I thought “no!” and now it is one of my favorites, too.

lemon Says:

October 17th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

This is a great round-up, Abby! I’m struck by how well each one of these names flows, even the overly-melodic Marcelo Alejandro!

Ottilie Valentine is just so glamorous. And Emmett Emmanual? Really interesting and handsome! I’m intrigued by two moms with gender-neutral names (Rowan and Spencer) choosing decidedly feminine and masculine names for their children.

But, my favorite? Coraline Audrey! It’s just gorgeous! And Philippa, Romilly, Beatrix, Juniper, and Coraline are just a fun set – one I really like because each name is so well matched (three syllables, unique end sounds) but so distinct. I’d so go for Pippa, Romy, Trix, Junie, and Coco! Love ’em.

GracePheiffer Says:

October 17th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I’m really not offended by Arlo for a girl. If we can do Marlo and Harlow, why not Arlo? It’s not nearly as bad as names like Spencer, Mason, or Emerson for a girl.

And even then, who cares? Names have switched genders for years. It’s the way name evolution works. Any true name lover should be able to understand and respect that.

a.k.a. Says:

October 17th, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I came across another blogger baby name to add to the list. Alisa Burke, who is an incredible artist had a daughter this week and I’m loving her name: Lucy Matisse.

Abby Says:

October 17th, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it is offensive, but I did do a triple-take. Arlo seems VERY masculine – but you’re right. I love Marlo, I like Harlow, and Marlow/Marlowe – well, why not? Names do shift, but I think it must always be strange to be among the first to wear a name as it is happening.

Abby Says:

October 18th, 2011 at 12:40 am

Lucy Matisse – GORGEOUS! Thanks, a.k.a.

Jodilightful! » How Coraline Audrey Came Into the World: Part 2 Says:

October 30th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

[…] count it as final until I heard it from Trevor’s lips.  Now, of course, he loves it.  This blog post didn’t hurt (who knew there were people actually reading my […]

emilymaryjane Says:

December 27th, 2011 at 3:18 am

Ottilie Valentine – So cute

Coraline Audrey – Yuck Coraline is the ugliest name ever

Drummer Zion – Who would be so cruel? why why why?????

Juno Francesca – This name is okay. Love Francesca hate Juno

Arlo – So cute but I definitely prefer Harlow

Marcelo Alejandro – Marcelo is okay but Alejandro reminds me of the Lady GaGa song

Emmett Emmanual – Aww so cute love Emmett and Emmanuel reminds me of the inspirational Emmanuel Kelly. A surviver from the Iraqi war and a former contestant on Australian X-Factor

Genoveva – What’s wrong with Genevieve?

Hattie Margaret – The child must look like a hat. Yuck

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