Baby name consultant: Baby M-rhymes-with-Mary

Meaghan’s expecting her fifth baby, whose gender she’ll find out in early May. Her other kiddos are named:

Caleb James

Magdalyn Elizabeth

Evangeline Grace

Silas George

Gorgeous, right?! This is her dilemma:

We like our girls to have a longer formal name that has a cutesy nickname. (Maggie and Evie.) For a boy I really like Levi. Middle name would be Thomas or Joseph … The problem is we can’t name a baby girl. We thought about Seraphina, but I don’t like any of the nicknames.  We also thought about Eden but it seems short compared to the other girl names. And hubby thinks it sounds like “eating.” My husband also doesn’t like any girl names that were boy names first, such as, Josephina (which I love.)

(Oh husbands!)

We were also thinking about Angelica because we love Mother Angelica from EWTN. But I’m on the fence about it. We love the rose association with Mary and I love the nickname Rosie. I’ve thought Katharine but my husband doesn’t want a Katie. Just today I thought of Seraphina Rose and we could call her Rosie but then I realized it’s a celebrity baby name after I googled it.”

The ideas I came up with I thought might be helpful either in and of themselves, or perhaps sparking other ideas for Meaghan and her husband. I really really like their preference for long girl’s names that can be shortened to cute nicknames, so I kept that in mind. As always, I shoot for three suggestions, and in this case they were more categories rather than only one name each:

(1) Long and Biblical-ish

The first thing that jumped out to me is how all Meaghan’s already-born children’s names are Biblical — Caleb and Silas are obvious; Magdalyn is Mary Magdalene’s “last name” of course, and Evangeline=evangelist, like the writers of the four gospels. I really like that theme, especially with their twist on it for the girls (alternate spelling of a last name; Biblical word transformed into a name), so my first suggestion is to try to stay with that idea. Susanna(h) was my first thought — the “h” in Susannah makes it seem extra long and certainly very Biblical; no-h Susanna has more of a saintly feel while still being Biblical. It’s got great nicknames too — Anna/Annie, Susie, Suki, Zuzu (like Zuzu’s petals in It’s a Wonderful Life!).

My second thought was Julia, but given that they like longer names, I thought Juliana or Julianna might be more their style. Certainly Julie is a natural nickname, but Ana/Anna/Annie could work, or maybe Jude (especially with a D middle name?). I’ve also seen Jilly as a nickname for the Julia names, which is really cute.

Lastly, Rebecca or Rebekah. Magdalyn, Evangeline, and Silas are all New Testament names, so it might be nice to get an OT name in there for Caleb? I recently saw Ruby as a nickname for Rebecca and immediately fell in love with it, even though Rebecca was never one of my favorite names. Ruby is adorable!

(2) Double first name

Meaghan mentioned liking Rosie as a nickname, so my mind immediately went to long Rose- versions, which led to the doubles: Rosemary or Rosemarie or Rosamaria or Rosanna. I like all those! And the Marian connection is awesome.

Then I thought of the Mary- doubles, and since Mary rhymes with their last name, I thought about Maria: Maria Teresa, Maria-Therese, and Annamaria (I just finished a book with a great character named Annamaria and I was struck by how pretty it is. Besides the Anna/Annie nicknames, I could even see using Amy as a nick for this. So sweet!). Maria Teresa actually has a traditional mashup-type nickname that’s Spanish but I know it’s used by other cultures as well: Maite. It’s pronounced MY-tay, and is one of my favorite nicknames. There are really a million ways to pair Marie or Maria with another name and come up with an interesting nickname! I was going to suggest Maria Seraphina with the nickname Maisie, but Maisie’s a traditional Gaelic nickname for Margaret, so it seems too similar to Maggie to me. Marie Angelica is another option, based on their discussions about Angelica — maybe nicknamed Molly? Or Mia? Actually Mia’s a pretty standard nickname for Maria, so that could work for any of these options.

(3) Miscellaneous

I had a couple more ideas and I wasn’t sure how to categorize them — so “Miscellaneous” it is! First I wanted to make another argument for Seraphina/Serafina. I just love that name! And it’s so perfect with Meaghan’s other girls … she said she didn’t like the nicknames, so I just wanted to be sure she’s considered them all: Certainly Sera and Fina (especially with the Serafina spelling), and Fia (I know a little Sophia who goes by Fia, so cute!), or even Sophie/Sofie, or something cute like Sunny! I personally wouldn’t worry about it being Ben and Jen’s celebrity baby’s name, especially if Meaghan’s Seraphina always went by a cute nickname, but if it’s still not feeling right then maybe …

Annabel? I looked the other kids’ names up in my trusty Baby Name Wizard book, which lists boy and girl options for each entry that are similar in style and feel, and Annabel showed up in the lists for both Caleb and Silas. It’s a gorgeous name, spelled that way or Annabelle. I love all the Anna/Annie names anyway, and Belle is also a really sweet name (Bella could work too). Some others that came up as matches with the other kids, or just out of my head, were Emmeline, Karolina, and Caterina (which reminds me that Meaghan likes Katherine — Katie isn’t the only nickname! Kat is quite stylish right now, great for Katherine, or I know a Kateri who goes by Kat, or Cat for Caterina).

I had several other ideas that I ended up crossing off my list for one reason or another, so I thought I’d offer those too, just in case: Christiana (because of it starting as a boy’s name), Anastasia (if Seraphina as a celeb baby was too much for Meaghan, I assumed the main character in the horrible soft porn Fifty Shades of Grey would be too much. So unfortunate), Veronica (I love the nickname Via but thought it was too close to Evie. But maybe Ronnie, Nicky, or Nica?), Clementine (because of starting as a boy’s name), Genevieve (too similar to Evangeline), Penelope (neither Biblical nor saintly … but oh the nicknames! Penny or Nell or Pip/Pippa!). I also thought I should caution — again because Seraphina’s celeb connection bothers Meaghan — that Angelica is the name of the horrible older sister in the Rugrats show. I watched it only once or twice when I was younger, and vividly remember her, and I’ve seen her reference on other name discussion boards when the name Angelica comes up. It’s still a beautiful name, but it’s important to have all the facts!

Those are my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for the M-rhymes-with-Mary Family, if their baby-on-the-way is a girl?


I love to do name consultations! If you’d like me to give your name dilemma a go, check out my Baby name consultant and About the “Donate” button tabs.

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19 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: Baby M-rhymes-with-Mary

  1. Have you considered Sadie as a nickname for Seraphina? I just ADORE the thought of 3 little sisters, Maggie, Evie and Sadie! 😍😍😍

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  2. What beautiful names! Our oldest is Evangeline Grace as well. 🙂 Also, I love all these suggestions- Fia, Ronnie, Maite…so cute! Maria Teresa made me think of my confirmation saint- Ven. Maria Teresa Quevedo nicknamed Teresita (I like that as a name but my husband isn’t so much a fan). And I think the different spelling of Serafina is a great alternative to the same name dilemma. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Also, for some reason the name Fiona (which I know doesn’t match exactly with their style) kept coming to mind whenever I read Seraphina. What about something like Seri(e) (pronounced seh-ri)? I’m also strongly in favor of the Rosemary/Rosemarie names since I just adore the name Rosie. Would your husband feel as strongly about Josephine/a once he realized that Josie is also the cutest nickname ever (pussy cats references aside)? That’s totally what sold me on the name.

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  4. Hey everyone! Thanks for keeping the suggestions coming! I’m still trying to convince my husband on Josephina. I love the nickname Josie for it. He’s still not enthused. But I’m going to keep trying!
    I wish I liked Seraphina more. I’m not sure what it is. Some days I like it others I’m ”iffy.” But Seri spelt out it growing on me as well as the alternate spelling of Seraphina.
    And I still love Katharine. I’m positive that the middle name will be Rose if we have a girl. We love the Marian connection.
    Thank you all so much! We truly appreciate your input!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How do you do it? Seriously?! I am a name nerd who feels like I’ve read it all on other forums, and yet you routinely come up with these ideas that are lightbulb moments for me. Okay, sorry to be all weird and fan-girly. I am done now. 🙂 I never would have thought to nn Rebekah “Ruby.” My Dh loves the name, but I had nixed it because we have so many Becky’s in my family. I love, love, love “Ruby!” (and the lovely OT name itself). Susanna is also gorgeous, and Angelica… I really do love it too. Serafina nn-ed “Fina” or “Fia” makes my heart sing as well. So those are my votes. 🙂 You can’t go wrong with such a lovely style.

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  6. A couple of thoughts. Jilly was mentioned as a nickname for Juliana (which is AWEsome!), but could also be a nn for Angelica or Angelique. Great way to honor the Holy Angels!

    Secondly, Penelope is an Orthodox saint… close enough? Heh. http://www.orthodoxmonasteryicons.com/penelope-the-martyr-icon/

    Also, Natalie? Nickname possibilities: Nattie, Nannie, Talia, Lia.

    Or Elizabeth (and her 43 or more lovely nicknames).

    Annelise, Julliette, Marienne, Philomene, Colomba, Solange, Lilianna.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. – Annora: nicknames of Annie, any Ann variant, Nora. Magdalyn, Evangeline, and Annora. Maggie, Evie, and Annie;
    – Beatrice: nickname of Bea or Bess. Magdalyn, Evangeline, and Beatrice. Maggie, Evie, and Bea;
    – Salome: nickname of Mae or Sally. Magdalyn, Evangeline, and Salome. Maggie, Evie, and Mae.

    I’ve always been partial to the nickname Kit for Katharine.

    Liked by 1 person

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