I did a private consultation for Veronica not too long ago, and she emailed me to let me know the baby’s been born: Her baby #2 is a little boy named Jack James! He joins big brother Jerome Michael. (Now, come on — can you get any more handsome or classic than Jerome and Jack?? She actually said, which I just absolutely loved, that she and her husband “both love the sweet meets cool factor of Jack” — is that not a bang-on perfectly exact description of Jack?? So great!!)
Veronica also said she wouldn’t mind if I shared the suggestions I’d offered her, which were focused on girl names, since Jack James was their chosen name for a boy from the beginning. She’d written,
“We both prefer traditional Catholic names but are willing to mix in a little trendy so long as the name still has a nod to our Catholic identity. So for a girl I am incredibly stuck between Vienna Marie and Genevieve (unsure of a middle name here). My husband loves Vienna and I’m only struggling because it was our #1 pick for Jerome Michael if he turned out to be a girl and I almost feel like my love of it came and went with his birth! My grandmother was Marie and so the middle name would be to honor both her and the Blessed mother. So I’m considering Genevieve Marie as well but I don’t know how well that flows together. I like Genevieve Therese a lot more because of my husbands grandmother and my mom’s late twin sister(both of whom are Patricia) and my love of St Therese of Lisieux … I’m hoping basically for some feedback on the name Vienna to maybe make me fall back in love with it. If you could find a Catholic connection I’d be sold! I should mention that both Vienna and Genevieve don’t particularly resonate with us for any reason other than how they sound/feel. Well and I love that they both have a “v” in them.”
As I told her, I actually love the name Vienna, and I wonder why it doesn’t get more use? It’s a place name, which is a popular style right now, and it begins with V and ends in A, both of which are also big hits right now.
I love Genevieve too, one of my personal faves, and I think Marie flows fine with it. Genevieve is such a French name that I think most French-y names would pair well with it, like Marie or Therese as she’d mentioned. Veronica also said her husband’s grandmother and her mom’s twin sister were both Patricia – I could see the French Patrice flowing quite well with both as well. Vienna Patrice or Genevieve Patrice?
In hoping to come up with some ideas to maybe make Veronica “fall back in love with” Vienna – one idea I had was Genevieve with the nickname Vienna. It totally works! Almost all of Vienna’s letters are in Genevieve! Or if she needed something just a little more obvious, maybe Genevieve Ann (Ann is Veronica’s middle name, so a nice nod to her!) or Genevieve Anna? Then there’s Vie- from Genevieve and –nn or –nna from Ann/Anna, and she wouldn’t have to choose between Genevieve and Vienna. And if she felt like she just couldn’t warm up to Vienna still, her hubs could still use Vienna as a nick, and she could use the full Genevieve always, or have her own nick for her, like Evie or Vivi or Genny.
Another idea is the name Vivienne. It’s so similar to Genevieve, with all the V’s and N’s and I’s and E’s, and it’s also French, and Vienne or Vienna makes even more sense as a nick for Vivienne than it does for Genevieve. Or they could consider Vianne instead (like the character in Chocolat), which is kind of like a mashup of her first and middle names, and kind of sweet since Jerome shares his first name with his dad.
However, I did actually come across a Catholic reference to Vienna that I suspected Veronica would love! I’d never heard of St. Francis of Paola until I was doing this research, and his is a beautiful story – but what really caught my attention is this bit:
“His parents, Giacomo and Vienna d’Alessio, were remarkable for the holiness of their lives. Remaining childless for some years after their marriage they had recourse to prayer, especially commending themselves to the intercession of Saint Francis of Assisi. Three children were eventually born to them, eldest of whom was Francis.” (source)
How lovely! The mother of a saint, who herself was known for her holiness. A lovely namesake for a little Vienna.
Veronica had also asked for other suggestions for girls (and I can always come up with suggestions!), so I took to my Baby Name Wizard book which lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar to the entry in style/feel/popularity – I looked up all the names they’d used and were considering, as well as some other ideas of my own. I always shoot for three suggestions, and I did so here, plus a bonus one that I’ll list first:
(1) Other V names
Because Veronica had specifically said that “both Vienna and Genevieve don’t particularly resonate with us for any reason other than how they sound/feel. Well and I love that they both have a “v” in them,” I thought some other V names might be of interest to them, especially the super Catholic ones, like:
— Evangeline (this is pretty popular in Catholic circles these days, and is often listed as similar to Genevieve and Vivienne … Evie is a sweet nickname for it, and I’ve seen Lina too)
— Avila (after St. Teresa of Avila of course … I actually loved this one for them because it’s a place name, like Vienna, and has the V in it too, and is super Catholic)
— Vesper (I was working on a consultation recently for a mom who is considering Vesper for a girl because of its “evening prayer” meaning. I love it!)
— Verity (this means truth, which of course is as Catholic a meaning as you can get)
— Evelyn/Eveline/Evelina (the Evelyn names actually stem from a variant of Avila – cool right?)
— Violet (such a sweet name, and can be considered Marian: “The lowly violet was associated with humility and became known as Our Lady’s Modesty. It was said to have blossomed when Mary said to the Angel Gabriel, who had come to tell her she was to bear the Son of God, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.”” (source)
— A couple others that I thought she might like: Viva, Avalon, Evienne
(2) Eleanor nicked Ella
I’m always interested when I see overlap in style of names in the Baby Name Wizard, so when I saw that Eleanor was similar to Genevieve and Ella to Jack, I thought it was a potential winner.
(3) Susanna nicked Anna
One of the names that was listed as similar to Jerome is Yvonne, which I noticed right away because of the V. I didn’t think Yvonne was quite right though, so I looked it up to see what names were listed as similar to it, one of which was Suzanne. I also looked up Yvette, and Suzette was listed as similar. And Anita was another listed as similar to Jerome, which is a diminutive of Ana, so with all that I thought maybe they’d like Susanna, perhaps with the nickname Anna?
(4) Adrienne, Colette, Margot
These last three sort of jumped out at me, not because they overlapped with a lot of their names, just because for whatever reason I thought they might like them. Probably because they’re French, and for some reason I’m hung up on Veronica and her husband liking French names because of Genevieve, and because I suggested Vivienne, which is also French. Weird is an understatement for how my namey mind works! Anyway, I thought I’d mention them. Adrienne is saintly via St. Adrian, which is also the name of several popes. Colette is a sweet name, and the name of a saint as well. And Margot has recently been on my radar as kind of fun and funky. It also makes me think of Jerome for some reason, not sure why!
Thanks to Veronica for giving me the okay to share all this with you! Congratulations again to the whole family, and happy happy birthday Baby Jack!!