Baby name consultant: Sporty, uncommon, traditional, ethnic — help!

Cailan and her husband are expecting their first baby, a boy! Cailan writes,

I tend to prefer uncommon names that are somehow linked to our heritage (Irish and Portuguese for me, Polish and German for him), but my husband prefers traditional names … We are both Notre Dame graduates (that’s where we met), Catholics, and huge sports nuts. One of the tests for any name we come up with is how conducive it is to cheering at future sporting events! … I am mixed race — my mom is Irish and my dad is from Macau. My heritage has always been something I’m very proud of, and our child will carry my last name as a second middle name as a testament to his beautiful mixed race background … I am partial to Irish names, but my mom’s side is a big, Irish Catholic family and a lot of favorites are already taken (Kellen, Brian, Liam, Kieran, Beckett). Our family is really close so those names are automatically off our list … The baby’s middle name will be Francis because Steve has loved that name forever and always dreamed about it as his son’s middle name. I’m okay with it, and like the idea of naming him after Pope Francis.”

So many awesome things to take into consideration!! Cailan shared the list of her husband’s favorite names:

Charles (Charlie)
Edward (Eddy or Teddy)
Daniel (Danny)
Thomas (Tommy)

And her current favorites:

Patrick (Patch)
Finian (Finn)
Theodore (Theo)

She also notes that, “In the past we’ve also thought about Henry and Anthony, but couldn’t come up with a nickname besides Tony.”

This was a fun dilemma to work on! I especially love how important it is to have a name that “yells well” at sporting events! 😀 And all the lovely family considerations, just wonderful.

First, some thoughts about their current ideas: it seems to me that Cailan and her hubs already have a few options that are a good mix of both their tastes, like:
— Patrick Francis, “Patch” — Patrick absolutely has the same feel as her husband’s favorites, so I’m surprised he’s not okay with it. Patrick Francis as a full name is stunningly handsome and traditional, and Patch is the kind of nickname I go for — something a little offbeat that can jazz up an otherwise “normal” name.
— Theodore Francis, “Teddy” — Theodore/Theo’s on Cailan’s list, but Edward/Teddy is on her husband’s — what about combining them into Theodore/Teddy? Or, if she just hate Teddy, but can get her husband on board with Theodore/Teddy, maybe they can both agree that Cailan will call the baby what she wants (Theo) and her hubs can call him what he wants (Teddy) and I bet it’ll all eventually shake out to one nickname that they both like equally.
— Anthony Francis, “Ty” or “Ace” — Cailan said they’d both talked about Anthony but don’t love Tony — I thought Ty could easily be a nickname for it, or even Ace, with the A of Anthony and the -s ending of Francis.

I did come up with a few more ideas though — usually I shoot for three, but in this case there were five I thought were promising:

(1) Francis as a first name, nicknamed Finn
This is far and away my favorite suggestion. They’ve both agreed to use Francis already, and Cailan loves the nickname Finn, which I totally think could work as a nick for Francis (just like I suggested for Grace). One of the fun things about putting Francis in the first name spot — a substantial nod to Cailan’s husband’s taste — is perhaps the middle could be all hers! I’m loving the idea of Francis Finian (Finn makes double sense here as a nick!), Francis Cillian, and Francis Liam (a nice way to use an otherwise unusable but loved family name).

(2) Michael, nicked Milo or Miles
Michael is totally like the other names Cailan’s husband likes, and is totally traditionally used in Ireland. I’d suggested Miles as a nickname for Maximilian for Grace, but when I’d looked into Miles’ history, I discovered that one theory is it started as a nickname for Michael. How cool! And Milo is even jazzier. I just love interesting nicknames for formal, traditional names — this is one of my faves for sure.

(3) Timothy, nicked Ty (or even Tadhg?!)
Timothy’s another, like Michael, that’s traditional and traditionally used in Ireland. Ty could work as a nickname here, like I suggested for Anthony, or — if they were feeling really bold and Irish! — Tadhg! It’s probably my favorite Irish boy’s name — it’s used as the Irish form of both Thaddeus and Timothy. It’s said like the first syllable of “tiger,” like Ty with a hard G on the end. Awesome name. (I’m SURE Cailan’s husband will hate this though! Haha! That spelling’s killer too.)

(4) James, nicked Jamie
Cailan has Jaime on her list, and Jamie’s a traditional nickname for the very traditional James, so I wonder if there’s a compromise there? I think it’s worth noting though that even though Jaime in Spanish is male, Jaime in English is considered feminine, so I would recommend changing the spelling to Jamie. James nicked Jamie is a great option I think.

(5) Connor
Finally, all my other ideas focused on balancing Cailan’s taste and her husband’s taste through formal, traditional names with quirky/unusual/interesting nicknames. But Connor was inspired more by Cailan’s taste — I thought Connor might just have enough of a traditional feel for her husband, and enough Irish for her. Connor Francis is amazing.

I think all these suggestions fit their “conducive to cheering at future sporting events” requirement, and “Irish” as a theme is totally appropriate since Cailan and her hubs met at Notre Dame!!

Those are my ideas! What do you all think? What other names would you suggest for Cailan and her husband?


19 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: Sporty, uncommon, traditional, ethnic — help!

  1. Ohhh…love Tadhg!!! and Finn!!! Actually, just heard another Irish nickname I thought was fun…you mentioned Patch as a nickname was being considered and I just heard Pacho as an Irish “Patrick” nickname!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the middle name Francis for a boy. So handsome.

    I like the idea of Colin! Also, I thought maybe Owen? Owen is pretty Irish, kind of classic, and just lovely. I also feel like Owen sounds like an athlete. And Owen Francis is ADORABLE.

    Cormac also came to mind, which might be a little out there for dad, but the nickname Mac is super cute, and super sporty.

    Captain of the football team my graduating year was a guy named Caleb who went by Cal sometimes, so maybe that? I also know a Henry who goes by Huck, and I feel like that could be a good compromise for these two, and Henry Francis is very cute 🙂 I know these aren’t necessarily Irish, but I sometimes feel like when partners have two different styles of names that they like, putting too many restrictions on a name might make it too complicated, and hard to find a name. I love double middles, so maybe if they can find a first name that they love that isn’t Irish, mom could pick a middle name that was Irish because dad picked Francis.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just reread and realized that they were doing a second middle name already! Darn, so my ideas of Caleb and Henry might not work, but I still like them for this couple.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You have some great ideas here! Owen Francis is indeed awesome, I love it! And Cormac/Mac — so great! I’ve loved Cal forever, and Caleb is great … and Huck for Henry! I’ve never heard that, but I like it! (Side question — I love the combo Henry Francis but I worry that people would always think “Mad Men” — does anyone else think that?)

      Liked by 1 person

    • I LOVE Cal as a nn for Caleb. We can never use Caleb because my husband (a teacher) had a horrible student by that name. (I can tell you, naming a child when your spouse is a teacher is no picnic. Seems like every year more and more names get added to the no-go list.)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I must have similar taste because Finian Francis was high on the list for my second son but couldn’t convince the husband. I like the Francis Finian option. We considered Francis as a first name with the nickname Frankie but it didn’t work with our last name. However, maybe you’ll like the name we did pick – Vincent. We love the saintly connection and we call him Vin which is close enough to the Finn that I wanted. He’s only 7 months but we’ve been very happy with his name so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh gosh, another neat post that makes me go, “wow, I never realized that!” Timothy was on our list when having DS, but I thought that in choosing that name, DS would inevitably go by “Tim” (which incidentally, rhymes with the other very, very used name in DS’s family, “Jim”). I never knew Tadhg was connected (and Thaddeus is an awesome name too, so that’s a bonus that it’s connected to Timothy). Anyway, um, this post wasn’t about me,but thanks. 🙂

    I love all the suggestions here, and am blanking a bit on anything more profound to add.

    Liked by 1 person

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