Karra and her husband are expecting their fourth baby, a little green bean (=gender unknown)! 🙂 Their other kiddos’ names are:
*Happy sigh.* Lovely. And I love the Hope and Faith middles shared by the girls, even though Karra writes,
“For the girls middle I do not like love or charity so I’m letting my theme of the virtues end with this baby (if it’s a girl). Although I do like mercy or verity (found on your blog-thanks) as a middle name. I’m not a huge fan of nicknames unless I like the nickname (my son is Sam). I like really catholicy sounding names, my husband thinks we need to stick to normal names because our other children have normal names.”
Fortunately, there are lots of good Catholicky Catholic “normal” names! Woo! 😀
The names they’re considering for girls are:
Susanna (“I do like the nickname Susie“)
Cora (“this and Mary are my husbands top choice“)
Mary (“I really wanted a Mary combination name but cannot find one I like. I for obvious reasons cannot use Mary Clare which I LOVE. Also out are Mary Anne, Mary Jane, and Mary Lou (too close to Lucy-who sometimes gets called Lu). Mary Ellen is the new American girl doll so I wouldn’t use that. We’ve thrown around Mary Therese but I feel like people would drop the Therese even though she would have a middle name as well“)
Zelie (“we debate the pronunciation, I say zay lee, my husband wants zellie which is why I don’t think we will ultimately pick this name“)
Note: “Cora and Mary are my grandmothers who have died recently. Francis is also a family name on my side and Frank is on my husbands. It goes without saying that if the first name isn’t a saint, we would use a saint name as a middle to be their patron“
Their list for boys includes:
Christian (“pretty much out because my husband insists he will be called Chris and I do NOT like Chris, his name would be Christian“)
Francis (“nicked Frankie — my husbands top name but not my favorite and I’m really leaning towards the others“)
Caleb (“goes with Old Testament first name for boy“)
Micah (“again with Old Testament“)
Emmaus (“my husband does not like this name but I love it and I will always keep it on my list“)
Okay, so first off, as I said, I do love that they used Faith and Hope already for middle names for their girls, but I totally get not wanting to do Love or Charity. I wonder though if they might like the idea of something like Amor? I’m so glad that they like Verity and Mercy — those are some of my favorites too. I thought Grace and Joy might also work, and Charis means grace and is contained within the word eucharist and is related to Charity, so I thought I’d offer that suggestion as well. Or Caritas? I’ve also seen Cora used recently as a nod to the Sacred Heart (cor in Latin) — maybe Cora could be their “love” name? Kind of two birds with one stone — Grandma Cora and “love”?
I LOVE their girl list! Susanna and Felicity are favorites of mine too, as are Zelie (but yes, the pronunciation!) and Helena. Beautiful!
Mary doubles are so great, I always love them. Mary Kate and Mary Grace both have a similar feel to me as Mary Clare, I wonder if they’d like either of them? Mary Grace is kind of cool because then they could get a virtue name in there like the other girls. Or Mary Cora? I know a couple Mary Elizabeths also, and one of them goes by M.E. (sounds like Emmy), which is sweet. Re: Mary Therese, I think if they always call her Mary Therese, and immediately and firmly correct anyone who drops the Therese, it should be okay. If it’s still feeling troublesome to them though, I wonder if they might like Mary Tess or Mary Tessa? There was a mama recently who named her daughter Tessa for St. Therese. I think either of those combos is great because they’re unexpected (I’ve never heard of a Mary Tess or Mary Tessa) but familiar at the same time. Or Mary Charis? Too close to Clare?
As for their boy names, they’re also some of my favorites! Blaise and Xavier are super saintly, which I love. Caleb and Micah are awesome, and Micah is definitely a name we need to reclaim from the girls. I’ve always loved Christian too, but if Karra doesn’t care for Chris (which is probably one of those mostly inevitable nicknames, especially if Dad likes it) maybe she’d like to find a different nickname for Christian? I’ve seen Kit used recently for it. Francis nicked Frankie is one of my husband’s faves too, funny – maybe it’s a guy thing? It would be really cute on a little boy.
And Emmaus! Ooh I love it! I’ve never seen it used as a name, though I’ve long thought it has potential as one. (I wrote about it here and here.) This might seem totally out of left field, but Emmaus and Christian both made me think of nouns-as-names in general (as I wrote about in those two posts), and Fisher came to mind — like Jesus telling the Apostles they would be fishers of men — and also St. John Fisher, who’s such a great saint. It shares some sounds with Francis so … maybe? And Fisher makes me think of Fulton, for Fulton Sheen — maybe that would interest Karra and her husband? (Also, I kept thinking Fulton and Samuel go really well together and then I remembered that this mama used that very combo!)
As you all know, I looked up all the names Karra and her hubs have already used for their other kids in the Baby Name Wizard book, which has the amazing feature of listing, for each entry, boys and girls names that are similar in style/feel/popularity. The results inspired some good ideas for this family, I think (that book is uncannily accurate!). I always shoot for three suggestions, but I came up with four for each gender here:
I mentioned Tessa above as the second half of a Mary+ name, but I think it would be smashing as a first name for this baby all on its own. I mentioned above the mama who recently named her baby Tessa for St. Therese, and her older daughter is Clara, so it seems an extra good fit.
(2) Juliet or Annabel(le)
I suggested Juliet for this little girl recently, and her parents ended up using it, and that particular family was in mind for me a lot while doing this consultation because their style feels similar to Karra’s, to me. They have a Tessa too! Juliet is a French diminutive of Julia, so St. Julia could be the patron, or St. Julian if they prefer.
Annabel(le) seemed to be in every list Juliet was in when I looked up this family’s names in the BNW — it reminds me of Susanna, but has its own spin as well. It’s not as obviously saintly, but behindthename.com says the spelling Annabel is a variant of Amabel, which comes from the male name Amabilis meaning “lovable.” So that’s kind of cool, right? A “love” name without it being love? St. Amabilis was a 5th century priest BUT even better is the Marian title Mater Amabilis (Mother most amiable=lovable). Or it could be Anna + Belle=St. Anne and St. Isabel(le) or Elizabeth, or St. Anne + “beautiful.”
(3) Camille or Camilla
I was surprised by this one, but Camille/a showed up over and over again in the BNW as similar to names this family likes: Clare, Hope, Helena, Xavier, and Blaise, as well as my idea of Juliet. There’s a St. Camilla and a St. Camillus (which is where Camille/a comes from).
(4) Elizabeth/Elisabeth, Eliza, Elisa, Elise
Variants of Elizabeth were all over their lists in the BNW! I love the full Elizabeth (Our Lady’s cousin, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton), or Elisabeth (like Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur, amazing woman), but I suspect the shorter Eliza, Elisa, or Elise might appeal to Karra and her hubs more, given the shortness of Clare and Lucy’s names.
I would have suggested this for this family anyway — right away it seemed like a good fit for them, being biblical like Samuel and well used among Catholic families as well — so I loved seeing it listed as similar to so many of the names they like: Samuel, Faith, Susanna, Caleb, Micah, Xavier, Christian.
(2) Benjamin or Bennett
Benjamin has a similar feel to me as Gabriel, and it’s a great match for all of the biblical names they like, including Samuel — Samuel and Benjamin/Sam and Ben are brother pairs that I see quite often. They go together so well! I wavered on whether or not to suggest Bennett as well and decided to go ahead and do it — it’s got the same great Ben nickname as Benjamin, but it’s a medieval variant of Benedict, so it’s more saintly than biblical. The family I referenced above who has a Juliet and Tessa also have a Bennett, which is where I got the idea for this family from, and then it was listed as a style match for Hope and Clare and my ideas of Juliet, Elise, Camilla, and Annabelle. There is the slight issue of Benjamin and Bennett starting with the same letter as Karra and her husband’s last name, but I actually really like the sound of Benjamin B./Bennett B./Ben B.
Isaac is a personal fave of mine, top of my list if we ever have another boy. It’s super biblical and super saintly at the same time — not an easy combo to come by! St. Isaac Jogues is one of the North American martyrs and he was martyred at the same place St. Kateri was born (Auriesville, NY). St. Isaac was French, which fits in well with Blaise and Xavier as well.
(4) August or Austin
I didn’t think the full Augustine would suit this family, but I thought August might — it’s trimmer, but still as saintly and with the same nickname possibilities as Augustine (Augie, Gus). It’s a style match for Clare, Verity, and Mercy as well. And Austin, like Bennett, is also a medieval variant — of Augustine. I know a little Austin who has a brother named Christian, so they seem to go together to me. Actually, that family’s naming style might appeal to Karra — there’s some similarity style-wise (the first eight kids’ names here and the ninth here).
And those are all my ideas for this little Miss or Mister! What suggestions do you all have for Karra and her husband?