Amanda and her husband Vince are expecting their fifth born baby, a boy, and his firstname-middlename(s) combo has to equal five syllables. How I love a good name challenge!! 🙂
Their other kiddos are:
Elizabeth Joan (“Ellie or Ellie Jo … I sometimes call her Betty just because I can. 😉 “)
Theodore William (Theo)
Henry John Vincent
As you can see, the firstname-middlename(s) combos equal five syllables, which is, like, Master Class naming. Especially since they did it so well — such great names, all! And, as Amanda explained to me, each combo is full of saintly and family significance.
Names they’ve discussed for this baby boy include:
Sylvester (“my maternal grandfather’s name [and Vince’s top choice] … we really like Sylvester for the middle name and are pretty positive we want to use it there (unless there’s some nickname I’m not thinking of [other than Syl, Sly, and Slivy, which is what her grandfather went by] so that we could use it for a first name“)
Felix (“my top choice. St. Felix and the Spider is one of the books the kiddos received for Christmas, and I love the story … [but] there’s the reference to a cartoon cat… along with Sylvester the cartoon cat… I don’t really care – should that be an issue?!?“)
Declan (“It’s Irish, and I know it’s a saint’s name but I don’t know his story. I like it because it is different and I know no one by that name [but it’s] not as “soft” sounding as our other names… We don’t have any hard D or K sounds“)
Aidric (“Again, it’s an Irish saint’s name but I don’t know the story. Same with Declan on being different and obscure“)
Ivan ([Vince’s other top choice.] “I don’t know the saint story… I think it’s Russian, so it doesn’t go with our Irish/British thing, but it is regal sounding, like Elizabeth“)
And others that aren’t as serious as those listed above:
Finally, Amanda doesn’t want to repeat any names already used by family or close friends, which knocks off:
Whew! Amanda concludes,
“Again, we really like Sylvester for the middle name and are pretty positive we want to use it there (unless there’s some nickname I’m not thinking of so that we could use it for a first name). Vince is almost sold on Felix, just can’t see it for a baby. We used to really like Raphael, but it goes over my 5-syllable limit if Sylvester is the middle name. We’re open to more suggestions but I think those five we have go well with Sylvester as the middle name. Which of them fit best with our other boys, or is there a better one out there we haven’t found yet?“
So first off, a couple thoughts about their current name list:
Sylvester is a NAME! Whoa! I’ve never known anyone considering it! Kudos to Amanda and Vince! Syl and Sly I’ve heard of, but not Slivy – that’s interesting! The only other nickname I came up with that might be doable is Sully. Maybe? I agree it’s a great middle name with the other names on their list, though it does lock them into a two-syllable name. Not that that’s a bad thing at all.
Felix is definitely getting a lot of love among Catholic families these days — I see it on people’s lists a lot, and there’s one Catholic family on the Baby Name Wizard forums that has three boys: Felix, Xavier, and Raphael. So it’s definitely out there, and at least among young Catholic families I don’t think the cartoon characters are an issue, like Amanda said. Although … even as I typed that and reread her Felix paragraph … Felix Sylvester … all of a sudden the two-character-names thing is really hitting me! I don’t know, I think it could go either way. Totally depends on who’s hearing the names. I think a deciding factor would be if it bothered Amanda and Vince if people pointed it out a lot after they’d already named the baby? What do you all think?
I personally love Declan. I know a few, including my cousin’s 2yo, and she’d chosen the name 15 years ago when she and I were in Ireland together and she heard it for the first time – that’s some name love! I actually didn’t know his story either, other than he was a saint, but because of Amanda’s email I looked him up, and while you can certainly get his basic story from Wikipedia and similar sites, I loved this one the best – it was written in 1914 and translated from the Irish (!); it has a long explain-y intro; and the main bulk of it is the life of St. Declan – he was preaching when St. Patrick arrived! And he seems quite beloved in Ardmore. It’s definitely an authentic Irish Catholic name!
Aidric I’d actually never heard of, but when I googled it, a post by Abby at Appellation Mountain came up – she does a great review of the name as both a saint’s name and a boy’s name in today’s America. I’m only seeing that he was French though, not Irish? Though it definitely sounds Irish, like a mashup of Aiden and Patrick.
Ivan, another WOW name! I think immediately of both Ivan the Great and Ivan the Terrible. It’s Russian for John, so when I googled it I saw references to both St. Ivan Rilski and St. John of Rila – same guy. It’s a cool way to honor a John, if you like heavy Russian names.
So of all those, I think Declan Sylvester is my favorite. It continues their Brit/Irish theme, and it’s got the right number of syllables, very handsome!
Okay! On to my suggestions – I can always come up with some! And holy cow – alllll the names that are off limits!! I think I did okay though – I always shoot for three suggestions, but came up with a couple more than that (they’re all two syllables, to go with the three-syllable Sylvester):
As far as I can tell, neither Patrick nor Brendan (below) has been used by someone in Amanda’s friends/family (fingers crossed!). I know they’re pretty basic as far as Irish-y boys’ names go, but I like them both with Sylvester, and there are some great nicknames for Patrick too: Patch and Packy are my faves, but I know a couple little Patricks who go by Paddy, which is beyond darling.
(2) Brendan or Brannoc(k)
St. Brendan is certainly a great Irish saint, and St. Brannock is a British/Celtic/Welsh saint as well — I like that Brannoc(k) has similar sounds as Brendan but is more offbeat/unusual.
(3) Ian or Ivo or Hugo (or Conrad!)
Ian and Ivo were inspired by Ivan, but I thought Ian especially fell within Amanda’s taste better. It’s a Scottish form of John (the Irish Sean doesn’t have enough syllables), and I like it with Sylvester. Ivo is definitely an offbeat choice, but it’s the name of several saints (more familiar under the forms Yves or Ives). It’s not an Irish or British name, but I believe it’s well used in England, which is why I thought it might work for this family. Then I thought of Hugh, but it doesn’t work because it’s only one syllable, but the variant Hugo is the perfect length. (My husband kind of loves this name, and really wanted me to suggest it to Amanda!) (Incidentally, two of the names we considered for our youngest were Hugo and Conrad – which reminded me immediately that Amanda shared that Vince’s middle name is Conrad – I’d be a big fan of adding Conrad to the list! Conrad Sylvester is so cool!)
(4) Robert nicked Rory
Finally, I thought of Rory, but it didn’t have a formal enough feel to me, to go with the other kids’ names. Robert might work though – St. Robert Bellarmine is great – and I’ve long thought Rory could be a nickname for Robert. Robert Sylvester is very handsome.
Those are my ideas! What do you all think? Amanda and Vince would love suggestions, so go ahead and fire away!