Baby name consultant: Uebbing Baby Quattro

Do you all know Jenny from Mama Needs Coffee? She’s a hardcore JP2 girl, which is all I need to know (soul sisters and such). Also, she posted last month looking for help naming her fourth baby, which, you know, is what I live to do, and someone kindly suggested my blog (!!!!), and I followed up with an excited Yes please! and Jenny said Sure and here we are. So exciting!!

Jenny had provided all the relevant details (I almost wrote “deets” and then decided I’m neither young nor cool enough) in her post, like …

… her other kiddos’ names:

Joseph Kolbe

John Paul Francis (born a whole year before the election of the current pope — nice job with the middle name!)

Genevieve Therese nicked Evie (or “Evie doll,” which is the sweetest)

(Aren’t they wonderful!)

… and names they’re considering for this wee beb (with her own commentary):

Francesca (“for Frances of Rome, Francis of Assisi, and dear Papa Francesco“)

Rose (“for Rose of Lima, my Confirmation saint. And because her godfather is a native Peruvian from Lima, so how can we not?“)

Zelie (“Dave will never let me get away with this one but I’ve loved it for years and now she’s gone and is getting herself canonized the same year our baby is due. COME ON. And yes, I’m aware there is going to be a Catholic ghetto baby boom of little Z’s running around as a result. But I still love.”)

Elizabeth (“my sister’s name, and my best friend’s. I’m not in love with any particular St. Elizabeth, but I could cultivate a devotion to the Son of God’s Aunt, I suppose.”)

Grace (“A little popular, but it’s just such a sweet name. And it looks pretty next to Genevieve.”)

Luke (“meh. I’m fading on this one. But I’ve loved the name since I first saw Star Wars at age 12, and what child doesn’t want that kind of honor associated with his moniker? Plus, the Gospel of St. Luke is my fav.”)

Benedict (“we love our retired Papa“)

Reid (“family name on my side, Dave hates it, probably not a real contender“)

Anthony (“we love St. Anthony of Padua, our boys have an inexplicable devotion to him all their own, but I just don’t love the name. Daddy is a bigger fan than me. I’d consider Antonio because Italy, but then I’d punch myself for giving some poor kid the name Antonio Uebbing for life.”)

… and her due date:

Early August

… and her gut instinct:

I think the girl’s names are a much more realistic list of actual contenders at this point, which means we’re probably definitely having a boy.”

(Hehe!)

And then we had a nice little email back and forth, in which she also said:

I’m leaning more toward Francesca Rose after reading everyone’s comments, but still totally stumped for a boy. (and it’s probably a boy, all I want is green chile and salsa verde doritos and hot sauce on everything and I’m gaining like a freight train. ha.) … I’d name another kid after [Pope St. John Paul II] if I could get away with it – Karol maybe? Ha.”

So this is what I have to say about all this:

Okay, first off, a couple thoughts about her current ideas: Jenny said she’s leaning toward Francesca Rose for a girl after reading everyone’s comments. It’s beautiful! And so meaningful, with the Frances of Rome/Francis of Assisi/Pope Francis connection and the St. Rose of Lima—Jenny’s-Confirmation-saint-and-baby’s-godfather-being-from-Lima connection. And her love of Italian! (She loves Italy.) Francesca Rose is just great. But since she said she’s “leaning toward” it rather than fully embracing it says there’s an opening for new thoughts … first, I wondered if the Italian Rosa would pique her interest as a first name? Or maybe Rosana/Rosanna?

I was also very intrigued by Jenny’s love of Zelie and Elizabeth, as my first thought was — Zelie as a nickname for Elizabeth! And I was totally patting myself on the back for coming up with the best most unique idea ever … and then I read in the comments on her post our own dear reader Mandi at 3:59 on 4/11: “Maybe a more formal name with Zelie as the nickname” and Kate at 10:34 on 4/12 suggesting Zelie as a nick for Elizabeth. So I’m not as unique as I thought BUT it’s also great support for a great idea! What do you all think?? Is it too weird?? I just love this idea and it totally works! Ellie is a nick for Elizabeth; Z is in Elizabeth; shuffle up the letters … And this way Jenny honors her sister and her best friend and Zelie Martin all with one name; she gives her husband a longer name he can use or nick as he likes, and Jenny can have as her nick a name he otherwise wouldn’t go for. Seems like a win-win to me!!

As far as patrons, there are so many great Sts. Elizabeth, but I’m just crazy recently for Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur. What a woman!!! Since Elisabeth was French, Elizabeth could be in her honor as the English variation of her name. Or maybe stick with the spelling Elisabeth? Especially with having French Genevieve already? Elisabeth loses the obvious Zelie connection, but there are so many other great Eliz/sabeth nicks. Tess and Liddy are two of my favorites, and I have a sister Elizabeth who goes by Betsey. Another traditional Eliz/sabeth nickname is Lily, which is my second Eliz/sabeth thought for Jenny (after Elizabeth/Zelie) — Genevieve and Eliz/sabeth nicknamed Evie and Lily? Such sweet sister names! I love that Lily is Marian too. Whew that’s a lot packed into one name. 🙂

Another thought about Zelie — if not for a first name, I’d make a strong argument for a middle! Either Zelie or Azelie because, like Jenny said, COME ON, it’s her canonization year!!!

Finally, Grace — it is so sweet, yes popular, yes pretty next to Genevieve. It’s Marian and virtuous and Catholicky Catholic. It is quite a bit shorter than Genevieve, which maybe Jenny and her hubs like? My aesthetic sense tends to prefer a longer name especially for a girl, since their one girl has a longer name, but my aesthetic sense matters very little here of course. If Jenny was concerned about this too though, she could easily do something like Mary Grace, even if she only ever calls her Grace or Gracie. Sisters Genevieve and Mary Grace called Evie and Grace or Evie and Gracie are lovely together and a bit more balanced length-wise.

As for the boy ideas … Luke is hard to beat! The Gospel and the Skywalker are of course amazing reference points (reasons why it’s one of my faves too!), and it’s such a good match as a brother to Joseph and John Paul. Benedict I love for Papa Benny, like the Uebbings do. I want to give that man all the love I possibly can! I’ve found for myself and for others who consider Benedict that it’s not so easy to pair a middle name with it, as middle initials F, M, and J are really out unless you’re willing to saddle your boy with dirty initials. (So unfortunate!) That’s one of the reasons I love Reid on Jenny’s list — it screams “middle name” to me, as it’s a family name that she loves and her hubs doesn’t. The middle is the perfect spot for such a name! And there’s nothing wrong with initials B.R. Benedict Reid is very handsome! Benedict is like a forty ton Catholic wrecking ball, and Reid prevents the building from being blown to bits. (Does that make sense?)

Finally, Anthony. Jenny’s the second mama I’ve done a consultation for recently whose husband and kids love St. Anthony but mom’s not feeling it! I would totally put it in the middle, and if it’s in the middle, I would totally switch it to Antonio per Jenny’s preference.

Alrighty! The Uebbings have great taste and some great ideas here, but I can always come up with new ones. 😉 I have four for girls (I usually shoot for three but the last one snuck in there at the last minute), and I actually came up with six for boys, which I thought seemed appropriate since she said they’re having a hard time with boy names.

Girls
(1) Caterina or Catherine

As you all know, when I do a consultation, I often rely heavily on the Baby Name Wizard and its amazing feature where, for each entry, it lists boy and girl names that are similar in style/feel/popularity as the entry. It’s usually the first place I start when looking for ideas, and one name that showed up often for names the Uebbings have used and ones on their list of possibilities as well is Catherine/Katherine. I’m loving Catherine-with-a-C for them, after St. Catherine of Siena; it’s long, like Genevieve; and it’s got great nickname options (Cate/Kate, obviously!! 🙂 And Cat is sweet too). But I’m also loving Caterina, which was Catherine of Siena’s actual name, and Jenny loves Italian everything right?? Caterina is gorgeous. Genevieve and Catherine or Genevieve and Caterina? Lovely!

(2) Chiara or Claire/Clare/Clara

Okay, so I made a case for Genevieve needing a long-named sister, and now I’m suggesting Chiara or Claire/Clare/Clara. These names are just too good to pass by! Chiara especially, as it’s Italian, and what St. Clare of Assisi’s actual name was, and Bl. Chiara Badano Luce is ah-MAAAZing, a great great patron for today’s little girls. And even though it looks short, it’s actually three syllables like Genevieve, so … looks can be deceiving and all. I think it’s a great possibility. But if they like the idea of a Clare name but not Chiara, I also love Claire, Clare, and Clara (or Claira, as was used by one of our reader mamas recently).

(3) Karolina, Karoline, Caroline, Charlotte

Jenny said, “I’d name another kid after him if I could get away with it – Karol maybe? Ha.” I’m saying, nothing funny about that! Do it!!! I personally don’t recommend Karol for a boy, not for a first name — in the middle is fine (I know a little Peter Karol and a little Joseph Karol) — but what about for a girl? I’ve seen Karoline and Karolina storming up the Catholic name charts (I know one little Karolina, said like the state), but I also know an adult Karolina who’s from Poland (she says karo-LEEN-ah), and Caroline-with-a-C is totally legit as a JP2 honor name, since Karol is Charles and the Carol names are feminine variants of Charles. Charlotte is nice because it’s French, like Genevieve, but (though not necessarily “but”) it’s the new Baby Princess and loses a good deal of the visual and audio connection to Karol.

(4) Bernadette

Bernadette is inspired of course by the French Genevieve, but also by Jenny’s thought of Elizabeth, because I know someone who was going to name her daughter Bernadette and call her Betsy! How great is that?!

Boys
(1) Charles

My very first boy suggestion goes to our Great John Paul — if Jenny wants to honor him again, and especially if she doesn’t want to it be really over-the-top obvious (since she already has a John Paul), Charles is the name for her! I love Charles. It’s so handsome and distinguished, and Charlie is a great, solid, boyish-yet-manly nickname. If they don’t love it as a first name, it’s a great middle, especially for Benedict — the initials B.C. are fine and Benedict Charles is amazing! And two papas in one! (St. Charles Borromeo is also pretty great.)

(2) Leo

Leo is an amazing name! It’s handsome and classic, it’s papal (Pope St. Leo the Great!), and I know of at least one (very Irish) family who loves it but won’t use it because it comes across as “too Italian” for them.* Um, do you understand “too Italian”? I’m sure you’re either (1) no such thing! Or (2) awesome, bring it!

(3) Dominic

Dominic has that same heavy-hitting feel as John Paul and Benedict — there’s no denying that a little Dominic’s a Catholic boy! It’s also, like perhaps Leo, one of those names that can come across as very Italian. St. Dominic is one of my personal faves (I’m a life-professed lay Dominican).

(4) Gregory

I love what the Baby Name Wizard has to say about Gregory: “Popes, saints, and Gregory Peck! Can a name get any more distinguished?” I love that! Not only that, but Gregory is a Pope St. the Great, like John Paul and Leo. Love it! I suggested this for Grace Patton, with the nickname suggestions Rory and Gus (especially if the full name was something like Gregory Louis or Gregory Stephen — all the G’s and S’s) … I’m not feeling Rory for Jenny, but Gus I love.

(5) Samuel

Samuel is biblical and handsome, and Sam is one of the most amazing nicknames imo. It’s also a name that showed up in my research as similar in style/feel/popularity to some of the Uebbings’ other favorites.

(6) Gennaro

This was a last-minute add-on after I did the spotlight of the name Gennaro and totally thought of Jenny. My only hesitation with it — and I guess it’s kind of a big one — is that it’s got the same soft-g/j initial sound like the other Uebbing kids. They probably don’t want to feel locked into that going forward. (But if they liked that theme, I could totally come up with a bunch of good names for future babies that start with soft G or J!!! :))

And those are all my thoughts for Uebbing Baby Quattro! What do you all think? Is there anything else you would suggest for them? Thanks to Jenny for letting me weigh in!

*Lest any Irish fams now think Leo is “too Italian” for them, please know that my family is super Irish and also super into Leo — there are several going back generations.


I love to do name consultations! If you’d like me to give your name dilemma a go, check out my Baby name consultant tab.

33 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: Uebbing Baby Quattro

  1. I love the idea of some sort of additional JPII reference. What about Emilia for a girl, to honor his mother? Genevieve and Emilia would be lovely sister names and something like Emilia Karoline would be an incredible JPII name for a girl.

    Or somehow incorporating Lolek? We know a little boy with Lolek as a middle name, or I think it could be a great nickname. Luke doesn’t really need a nickname in my opinion, but Luke called Lolek would be cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My suggestion is Beatrice. Probably came to mind because of the suggestions of Clare and Catherine. Saint Clare had 2 sisters – Catherine and Beatrice. It has the Italian flair but also French enough to match Genevieve. The meaning of course is lovely.

    Oh and Katr I nearly jumped for joy when you described Grace as “Catholicky Catholic”. I adore the name and it’s probably my top choice for a future daughter but with all the Protestant churches around here with Grace in their names my husband and I have wondered if Grace felt like a Catholic baby name.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am loving the Caroline/Karoline/Carolina option. I would totally choose that if I had another girl. If only to be able to sing “Sweet Caroline” to her or play Neil Diamond’s version at full blast. Actually, Carolina Rose is making my ovaries ache right now.

    I don’t really see Zelie as a nickname for Elizabeth. Maybe it’s because I have an Elise that is short for Elizabeth. But also because Zelie is one of those names pronounced a bunch of different ways. We used it as a middle name for child #5 and my husband’s french co-worker told us it was pronounced “say-LEE”… that’s right… the Z makes more of an S sound. But his friends in Australia pronounced it “ZEE-lee” while only a few people (mostly others from Texas) actually pronounced it “zellie”. Anyway, I think you’d be fighting with people to call her “Zellie” as a nickname for Elizabeth. Most people think nickname for Elizabeth and they think “Beth”, “Eliza”, “Liz”. We sometimes have a hard time getting people to understand that Elise is a nickname for Elizabeth. Everyone wants to make her name Eliza. I think if you like Zelie enough, just name her Zelie or Azelie… or just keep it as a middle name.

    For a boy… I think Jenny needs to stay away from a J name or else she will get stuck naming all of her boys with a J name because it will become a pattern (3 makes a pattern in my book). Or if she does use a non-J name later, it will look like she started a pattern that she didn’t finish. Unless she wants to go the pattern route, then Jeremy would be my vote. I don’t know why, it’s the only J name I like for boys. For non-J names, Samuel and Daniel are at the top of my list. Also Phillip. Kind of looks like I have a thing for boys names with L in them, I guess. I just really love the names Sam and Danny for little boys. Can’t wait to hear what she decides on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! The pronunciations. Ooh that is such a difficulty with so many names! You listed say-LEE, ZEE-lee (which is new to me), and Zellie (like Kelly), and I’ve also heard ZAY-lee.

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  4. We’re big fans of the “catholicky catholic” as well with Blaise, Augustine “Gus” and Rose “Rosie.” Blaise initially raised many eyebrows, but now he’s the Archbishop here in Chicago so we hear the name at every Mass. 🙂
    Happy naming, Jenny.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chiara – love it! Not only is St. Clare of Assisi a great namesake, but I love that you mentioned Bl. Chiara Badano as well. So few people know her story but every time I relate it, they are always so moved. Her witness is so powerful and modern and I think she is a fantastic patroness for young ladies.

    Have to go with Leo on the boys – I’m due in two days and if my baby’s a boy he’ll be named Leo, full disclosure – I may be biased. I’m pairing Augustine with it for the middle; I think another commenter suggested Augustine/Gus, so I second that nomination (pun intended) as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I smiled at your Benedict Reid (B.R.) suggestion because we have twin boys and one is B.R., Benedict Roland. Benedict because our last name is O’Brien and we have always loved the name Ben O’Brien, but wanted to give the baby a formal Christian name and didn’t love Benjamin enough. When I learned that Benedict means “blessing,” I was sold. Our Ben’s identical twin is Aidan and I learned after they were born & named that St. Benedict was a twin (St. Scholastica). So it was meant to be.

    Both of our boys are named after their grandfathers. Roland is my dad and Aidan is named Aidan Thomas. Thomas is my father-in-law.

    We knew we were having identical twins, but didn’t know if we were having 2 boys or 2 girls, so we walked into the hospital with 8 named picked out! To make it easy on ourselves, we decided if the babies were boys, their middle names would be each of our dads and if the babies were girls, their middle names would be each of our moms.

    Overall great name suggestions for Baby Uebbing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree that they should steer away from another J-name or they risk a pattern that might become difficult over time, and despite my own name being Grace, I think they should steer away from if for the same reason. “All the boys have J’s, all the girls have G’s”.

    I really like the name Peter for this family…it goes so well with Joseph and John Paul—all heavy-hitting New Testament saints!

    I also love Benedict for them, that to me is a super Catholicky Catholic name and Ben is a cute nickname. Maybe Benedict Leo?

    I also thought of Karl/Carl for them as I have been told this is basically how JPII’s name Karol would be pronounced, rather than like the English feminine name Carol.

    For girls, I love Elisabeth, Catherine, and Charlotte to go with Genevieve. Even though they all have nine letters, they all look and sound quite unique from one another, so they could be unified without being matchy.

    Zelie is not my fave, but I think if using it, going with the full name Azelie with Zelie as a nickname would be my preference. My understanding of French is that Azelie is a floral name (azalea), and Zelie is just a nickname.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. love the names! And Chiara! So pretty! We named our son Bennett- a derivative of Benedict, and get all sorts of compliments! He was named after his Irish grandpa 😀. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I forgot to say, I also think Chiara would be a good choice for them and it would be cool to get in on the ground floor of the Chiara trend, so to speak. I am sure that when Bl. Chiara Luce Badano is canonized, the name will explode in popularity!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Personally, I like “Lucy” 😉 And St. Lucy’s body is in Venice! As far as boys names go, I always liked St. Anthony, but have a brother with that name, so I didn’t want him to think my son was named after him. His head would get too big. 😉 We went with Samuel Anthony.

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  10. Our neighbors named their daughter Chiara and she goes by Kiki for short. I think Evie and Kiki sound sweet together. Chiara Grace has a nice ring to it.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I thought *I* came up with Zelie as a nickname for Elizabeth! ha ha ha! I have had my grandmother’s name, Elizabeth, picked out for as long as I can remember. And so far I’ve had 3 boys. But this summer a friend and I were chatting and we were pretty sure we were going to change the world with Zelie as a nickname for Elizabeth. ha! I found your blog through the Fountains of Carrots podcast and I’m loving it already!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhhhahaha Ashley that’s so awesome!! Great minds think alike! Seriously, it’s so hard to be unique and trailblazing these days, so many other people seem to get there first or have the same amazing idea at the same time!

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