Baby name consultant: Middle name for Lucia’s sister

Mandi from A Blog About Miscarriage and her husband are expecting their sixth (second born) baby! Their older daughter on earth is:

Lucia Rose

And their babies in heaven are:

Francis Michael
Julian Gabriel
Adrienne Rafael
Christian Michael

(Mandi blogged about all her babies’ names here, including explanations, which is helpful when coming up with suggestions.)

She writes,

I’m looking for some help with a middle name … We aren’t going to find out whether we are having a boy or girl, but we have a boy’s name already chosen … We also have chosen the first name for a little girl, Cecilia, but I’m having a hard time coming up with a middle name I like with it. Our daughter’s name is Lucia Rose … I love her middle name for a few reasons — it’s a family name, a Saint name, very traditional and I like that it’s short coming after a several syllable first name. I’d love to find something similar for Cecilia (and in fact, I’ve thought quite a bit about just using Rose again), particularly a one syllable name, but I haven’t found anything I particularly like. Cecilia is a family name, so I don’t necessarily need the middle name to have a family link but I can’t seem to find any one syllable girls names that I like even remotely as well as I love Rose. Anne doesn’t seem to work because Cecilia ends in an A, I’m not a fan of Ruth or May or Jane or virtue names like Grace, Faith, or Hope. And I really don’t like more modern or trendy names like Elle. (So maybe I just don’t like anything?) I’d love if I found a Marian name or a name with a significant meaning, but I’m not sure that there is one that will fit our needs. Just for reference, two of the middle names we do like are Paloma and Miriam (we LOVE Miriam because it means “wished-for child” and this little one is coming after four miscarriages in a row) but they both seem too lengthy coming after the already lengthy Cecilia.”

I just sigh and swoon over sisters Lucia and Cecilia, so lovely!

This was an interesting dilemma, because so many of the names I thought of as I was reading Mandi’s email turned out to be unusable per the end of her email!

First off, I don’t hate the idea of possibly using Rose again as the middle. As I posted about recently here and here, it’s a common (or not uncommon) tradition for all the girls in a family to have Mary as part of their name, for example, or for all the girls to have Mom’s maiden name as a middle, that kind of thing — sisters having the same middle is totally normal and not that unusual. It’s kind of a nice link between them, and Rose is like an updated Mary — still Marian, but not Mary. Cecilia Rose is beautiful.

I did come up with a bunch of other ideas though, in case Mandi and her husband really don’t want to repeat Rose:

(1) Pearl
This is hands down my favorite option for them. I feel like Pearl used to have a really old lady feel, but I’ve been seeing it more and more recently on little girls, as both firsts and middles (I mean, not so much that one needs to shy away because of trendiness! Just that it’s losing its old lady image), and I wrote a while ago about how it can be Marian, so I love it for this family! Lucia Rose and Cecilia Pearl. Really beautiful!

(2) Normal one-syllable names
I’m calling them “normal” because they’re just that:

  • Kate — I often love just Kate in the middle
  • Beth — Beth could also honor any Elizabeths Mandi may know/love
  • Claire — I like that Cecilia Claire would have the initials C.C.!
  • Joan — Mandi said she didn’t like Jane, I wondered if Joan would be different enough?
  • Jude — A super feminine first name like Cecilia would pair well with the usually more masculine Jude

(3) More offbeat one-syllable names
Here are the ideas that might seem a little crazy, or a little cool (some may be too modern/trendy feeling for Mandi and her husband’s taste?):

  • Fleur — I really like this option. It’s literally “flower,” which is a cool connection with Rose, and the fleur-de-lys is a Marian symbol too!
  • Nan — Mandi mentioned Anne not working because of Cecilia ending in -a … if she really wanted Anne, Nan is a variant
  • Quinn — Ven. Edel Quinn has been showing up kind of a lot recently (I wrote a bit about her here), and I know another Catholic family that used Quinn as a middle in her honor
  • Belle — it means “beautiful,” and is so much less common than its sister Bella, especially in the middle. Lovely!
  • Reine — French for “queen,” which makes it Marian! I would say “rain,” but behindthename says it’s pronounced “ren,” which I also quite like …
  • Wren — … so I thought I’d suggest Wren as well, in the off chance wrens are meaningful to Mandi and/or her husband. I like the sound of it with Cecilia
  • Tess — I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Tess as a middle name, which makes it kind of a cool spunky choice. It would be great for any Theresa they might want to honor
  • Sage — maybe too much “s” with Cecilia? But I read that the herb sage has been referred to as “Mary’s shawl.” The meaning of “wise” is also pretty great
  • Mair — a Welsh form of Mary. I would say it like it’s spelled, like “mare,” but behindthename says “mier,” which could also be cool
  • Mim — I know a Miriam who goes by Mimsey, so I thought — maybe Mim? One syllable for Miriam?

(4) A couple two-syllable options
Wait! Don’t disregard my two-syllable ideas just yet! Two came to mind that I thought sounded really nice with Cecilia and had great meaning and weren’t overly long (as far as two syllable names go):

  • Mercy — the Year of Mercy is starting soon, and the Divine Mercy and Our Lady of Mercy are amazing connections. Cecilia Mercy?
  • Caeli/Coeli — this is definitely one of those put-it-in-the-middle names that no one would know what to do with otherwise, but it’s so lovely and Catholic and Marian. I say CHAY-lee, but I know of a girl from a super Catholic family named this and they say KAY-lee. And again, I love the C.C. initials! Cecilia Caeli?

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What preferably one-syllable middle names would you suggest for Mandi and her husband to pair with Cecilia?


41 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: Middle name for Lucia’s sister

  1. I noticed that Mandi says that Lucia is a “several syllable name.” How does she pronounce it? My sister is named Lucia, but we pronounce it Loo-sha. I know that other possible pronunciations are loo-see-uh and loo-chee-uh, but this name always causes me to stumble, since I can never figure out what people intend for pronunciation!

    I really like the idea of reusing Rose as a middle, or using Pearl. Cecilia Rose or Cecilia Pearl are just so lovely and lyrical!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I had the same question regarding the pronunciation of Lucia! I have it on my list pronounced Lou-sha. It’s lovely either way.
    If Mandi is firm in wanting just one syllable for a middle, I thought Cecilia Claire (or Clare) was perfect. But I adoooore your suggestion of Cecilia Mercy. The internal alliteration is so beautiful! I also have this weird thing where I like the meaning of the first and middle to correspond–and I love how Mercy makes the somewhat negative meaning of Cecilia, “blind,” into the wonderful “blind mercy.” Wow! I’m practically talking myself into adding it to my own list here. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lovely suggestions Kate, but after reading their letter I would strongly urge the family to pick Miriam. She said they would LOVE to use it and the meaning is so awesome plus it’s so very Marian. It’s going to be hard to trump that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All so beautiful, all suggestions are beautiful, too! I’ve seen a few lists of one-syllable middle names online recently and there were some great ideas, but I was thinking floral theme and went to look — dreadfully few one-syllable flowers out there! Well, that would be music to the ear — Hebe isn’t that pretty 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Claire!!! Yes, love that so much!! or the Clare spelling 🙂 Cecilia Clare is very visually appealing to me.

    Personally, I would save the name Miriam to use as a first name, because if this baby is a girl, and then they are blessed enough to have another girl, Lucia, Cecilia and Miriam would be the most perfect set in the world to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pearl was my first thought (love it!!), but another option: Cecilia May?? It’s Mary’s month and almost sounds like an abbreviated version of her name.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oops, I might have typed my email address in incorrectly! I basically said “Pearl” was my first thought, but I also like Cecilia May, with May bring Mary’s month!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oops, posted too soon. While I used to wish I had my own name, I enjoyed the connection shared with my family. If not Rose, I love Mercy and Pearl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh I LOVE Rue! It reminds me (because of Rue in The Hunger Games) of Prim, which is short for Primrose — but using just Prim would likely lose the flower connection, call to mind uptightness, and seem too Hunger Games right? Hmm … now that I think about it … does Rue read too Hunger Games now too? Or does it not matter, since she was a good character?


  9. Cecilia Ruth!

    Or stick with the sibling pattern and use Gabrielle.
    Cecilia Gabrielle!

    And I agree with the above commenter that Miriam must be used if they really love it. It’s not too long after Cecilia! But having a first name in their pocket if they are blessed again is nice, too. If the Ce-Mi is too rhyming, they could use the Maryam/Mariam version.

    Liked by 1 person

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