The SHAN-ick Family has a little boy, Dominic Paul, and is expecting baby #2, due February 19. They’ve decided on a boy’s name — similar feel and style to Dominic Paul, with your basic Catholic first and middle names, nothing crazy (like Athanasius) — but girl’s names are giving them a hard time. Mom says:
“While I’d like at least part of the name to have a saint/Catholic meaning, I’m not obsessed with having both be saints names … my husband would really like a Marian name if it’s a girl. He was into simply “Mary” but I couldn’t get into that … We are sort of toying with a form of Rose: maybe Rosemary … We both love St. Therese of Lisieux but I think the French pronunciation will be too complicated. It stands out as a favorite for middle name. We don’t like Theresa … Lindsey was also a finalist for no particular reason … I have a problem with super popular names: Lucy is nice but I know four. My husband likes Gianna (because of the pro-life connection and because he’s a doctor) but we know SO many Giannas. Maybe I just need to let that go. Gianna may end up a middle name.”
(I like to generally shoot for three suggestions, if I can [as I did for Simcha], and I was able to do so here.)
Okay, as I understand it, it seems that for first names the three contenders/ideas you mentioned are (1) a non-Rose Marian name, (2) a Rose name, and (3) Lindsey. Middle name options are Therese and Gianna. Do I have that right?
I went to both Nymbler and Name MatchMaker and entered Dominic, John, Rosemary, and Lindsey as inspirations, and between their results and the general feel I got from your email I have the following thoughts as a sister to Dominic Paul:
(1) Marisa/Marissa or Molly
There are so many gorgeous Marian options, I wasn’t able to pick just one, but these two particular ones seemed to jump out. Behind the Name says Marissa is a variant of Marisa, and Marisa is an Italian/Spanish/Portuguese combination of Maria and Luisa; Namipedia says it’s a modern elaboration of Maria. Its peak of popularity was the 1990s, which is the feel I get from Lindsey (it peaked in the 80’s, but I think Marisa/Marissa and Lindsey share a general “throwback” kind of feel). A friend of mine recently named her daughter Marissa, for Our Lady, which I found a pleasant surprise. I quite like Marisa/Marissa Therese or even Marisa/Marissa Rose.
Molly too seemed like it might suit. I’m related to two — one born in 1979 and the other in 1984 — which is why I think it has that same “throwback” feel to me as Lindsey and Marisa/Marissa — but Name Voyager shows it’s been pretty popular from the 1980’s on, enjoying two pretty comparable peaks in the 1990s and 2010 (by “peak” I mean #84 in 2010 and #94 in the 90’s, so never super popular). It’s a diminutive of Mary, which makes it Marian, and it has definitely become its own name, but it could also work as a nickname for Mary (I know a Mary who goes by Molly). Molly Therese, Molly Gianna, Molly Rose, Molly Rosemary (or replace Molly with Mary on the birth certificate and still call her Molly) all strike me as lovely.