Baby name consultant: First baby!

Jackie and Mike are expecting their first baby, a boy! Jackie writes,

We are at a stand still when it comes to boy names. Early on I was convinced that the little one was a girl, and picked the name Felicity Marie — I loved its meaning, it had family connections and I just fell in love with it. but then we found out its a boy after all. And though I am really excited to have a boy, We haven’t found a name that seems to hold up to the girl name … [It’s] important to note that faith, prayer and the holy spirit definitely played a huge part in our journey, and we are so excited to share our faith with our new family, starting with an awesome name.

As for naming style — we agree strongly that we want a saint’s name, and that a family name would be great as well. My husband likes simple names (his term), whereas I like names that are traditional and familiar, but I get worried about being too ordinary or too popular. I’m also struggling because I soooo felt like Felicity was perfect (it means happy) and Marie has been in my family 500 years….

(Haha! “500 years”! I laughed out loud the first time I read it, and I laughed again now as I typed it in here. 😀 )

Additional considerations: we have a very German surname … which has been difficult to match with. Also we both come from large families which leads too lots of name would rather not repeat as first names, but would consider for the middle.”

The names that Jackie and Mike are considering include:


And family names they love but wouldn’t use as first names:


Alrighty, the first thing that jumped out at me was that Jackie noted that “faith, prayer and the holy spirit definitely played a huge part” in their relationship, which reminded me that I’d done a post a while back on names to use as a nod to the Holy Spirit. I took a look at the ideas listed there and thought some of them might interest her and her hubs:

  • Hugo—According to Behind the Name it comes from “the Germanic element hug, meaning ‘heart, mind, spirit.’” Hugo’s actually one of my top choices for them, as I looked up all the names on their list, including Felicity, in the Baby Name Wizard book, which has, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in style/feel/popularity, and Hugh was a pretty big match. It could also be a “Holy Spirit” name, as Hugh and Hugo are variants of the same name, but for some reason I felt like Hugo was more Jackie and Mike’s style. It seemed more similar to Felicity’s style to me.
  • Jonah—Jonah means “dove,” which is the tie-in to the Holy Spirit. It’s similar to Gabriel, Zachary, Simeon, and Jacob from their list, so I thought they might like it.
  • Colum—this is another of my top suggestions for them. As a Holy Spirit name, it also means “dove,” from the Latin columba, which is also an Irish saint’s name (St. Columba), and Colum is a variant. Malcolm also popped up in my Baby Name Wizard research as similar to their taste, which literally means “follower of St. Columba” in Irish—“mal” + “colm” (Colm is another spelling of Colum), so I saw that as another sign to include it in my suggestions for this baby.
  • Abel—The word “spirit” comes from the Latin “to breathe,” and Abel means “breath,” so I thought that might work. It’s also heavy duty Old Testament like some of the other names on Jackie and Mike’s list, I really like it.
  • Ignatius—Maybe, for Mike’s sake, this should be considered only as a middle name? 🙂 Ignatius can be related to the Latin ignis, meaning “fiery,” like “tongues of fire.” It’s a bold choice for sure, but it has some great nickname potential—Iggy, Nate, and Nash. And actress Cate Blanchett has an Ignatiusactress Cate Blanchett has an Ignatius!
  • Kenneth—this is also a fire-related name, from the Irish Cinaed, which means “born of the fire.”

So those were the Holy Spirit names that I thought might appeal to Jackie and Mike, but I have other non-Holy Spirit names to suggest as well. I gave heavy consideration toward names that I thought fit the feel of Felicity, and also the feel of Gavin, which was so different from their other names that I thought it revealed something about their taste. I also think all these would count as “simple” names (well, maybe not Sebastian as much) in keeping with Mike’s taste?

(1) Colin (Nicholas)
I was kind of blown away by how well Nicholas and Colin matched up with their taste in names! Especially since Colin is a medieval diminutive of Nicholas! Nicholas was listed as similar to Gabriel, Zachary, Julian, Anthony, and Andrew, and Colin is similar to Gavin, Simon, and Felicity. Given that Colin is similar to both Felicity and Gavin, both of which I really used as markers of their taste, you can see why Colin is my predominant suggestion here! It pairs up nicely with several of their family names too—I think Colin Anthony might be my favorite, and I also love Colin Michael.

(2) Jude
Jules and Julian on Jackie and Mike’s list both made me think of Jude (the Beatles song “Hey Jude” was written for Julian Lennon and was originally “Hey Jules”), and I love Jude as an idea for them. It’s so saintly and biblical, a great option, and really similar to so many of the names on their list. Jude Anthony (wow, what a one-two saint punch that name is!), Jude Edward, Jude William, and Jude Michael are all jumping out at me as really nice combos.

(3) Conrad
Conrad showed up a couple times, mostly as matches for the names on their middle-name list (specifically Cornelius and Edmund), and I decided to include it because it goes really well with a German last name, and I’ve recently been loving St. Conrad of Parzham, who was a German Franciscan. Cord is a traditional nickname for Conrad, and I could see it turning into Cordy, which I love—it reminds me of Gordy and Jordy, which have always been favorites of mine, nickname-wise. I would LOVE something like Conrad Cornelius, wow!! 😀 They could maybe even consider Conrad an honor name for the Cornelius in their lives, as the first four letters of Conrad are the same as that of Cornelius, just in a different order (I wrote about that kind of thing this morning here). Conrad Eugene also has a nice rhythm, and Conrad Michael would be so nice for Mike.

(4) Oliver
Simon, Julian, and Felicity all had Oliver as a style match, and I love it for this family. St. Oliver Plunket is a great Irish saint, and Our Lady of Olives could also be the patron. Oliver William, Oliver Anthony, Oliver Michael, Oliver Steven, Oliver Edward, Oliver Edmund, Oliver Andrew, Oliver Eugene all flow really nicely, it’s easy to work with!

(5) Sebastian
I was surprised to not see Sebastian on their list! It’s a style match for Felicity and Julian, and one of those heavy-duty saints’ names that often show up in lists like Jackie and Mike’s. Seb/Sebby and Bash are great nicknames for it, though I love the full Sebastian. Short middle names go really well with long first names imo, and I think Sebastian Neal Schubert is very handsome; I also love Sebastian Michael.

So those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What would you suggest for Jackie and Mike’s baby boy?


42 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: First baby!

  1. Love your suggestions. Jude Anthony has been high on my list as a potential combo if my little one ends up a boy (Anthony is a family name for us as well). I’ve joked that we would then have both the patron of lost causes and the patron of lost items.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Your suggestions are all great! Colin is my favorite for them.

    My suggestion is Felix! Since she was really excited about Felicity’s meaning and saintly pedigree, Felix really seems the perfect alternative to me! Popular in the UK, Spain, and Germany, it definitely has a hip, continental thing about it while not being unusual or hard to pronounce, and the x-ending makes it flow very well into middle names beginning with either a vowel or a consonant! I think it’s super awesome for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this: “it definitely has a hip, continental thing about it while not being unusual or hard to pronounce, and the x-ending makes it flow very well into middle names beginning with either a vowel or a consonant” — great argument!

      Liked by 1 person

      • We did this with our first. We loved Natalia for a girl, but he was a boy. Naming him Nathaniel kind of nixes a future Natalia. That said, we loved Nathaniel enough to where there are no regrets. I think it just depends on how much they love Felix. If it hits all the right notes, great. If Felicity still makes their heart sing and Felix is just okay, then I say save Felicity.

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      • My only worry with Felix is that it knocks out Felicity for the future … which brings up a whole other issue, which maybe I’ll do a post on sometime — what are all your thoughts on reserving names for possible future babies? Have you/would you and why or why not? Felix now at the expense of Felicity later (potentially) is a perfect example …

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  3. You know I’m partial to Simon of course 😉 But for them, I love Simeon or Jude. So many potential middle name potentials. And they both have such a classic feel to them. With that in mind, I’d suggest Patrick. Classic, simple and goes with a lot of middle names

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  4. A name that came to mind for me, for them is Emmett. I know it’s not a Saint name, but it has some awesome faith-y connections, and really seems like their style. Some of the faith-y connections are:

    1. It means “universal” and to me that it a particularly awesome meaning because it reminds me of God’s love and power and how the Church is universally accepting of all.

    2. We talked about Emmaus in last weeks consolation and I really think Emmett could be a nod to the story of the Road to Emmaus (which is an amazing story. I just spend the weekend studying it.

    3. There are also a couple St. Emmas and St. Emilys and Emmett is derived from both of those (I also think it would be awesome for a boy to have a female patron saint, because so often girls have male patrons but guys don’t have females).

    I also think you could pair Emmett with some hard hitting saint name (Emmett seriously seems to go with every middle name) and have it be super faith-y. And in the long run, Emmett and Felicity are swoon-worthy to me.

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  5. I love your suggestions of Colin or Conrad, especially with their list of middle name possibilities. I wonder how they feel about Joseph. I feel like it pairs very well with several of their middle name ideas, and can hold its own with a strong last name.

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  6. From your list Kate, I love Jude. I like the strong one syllable with a hard ending. (I also like Jake/Jacob which I have and Luke which I couldn’t use, so it fits my personal preferences). It has become a current favorite and I have recently tried to promote it to two friends – one looking for a saint name that isn’t commonly nicknameable, and one looking for a one syllable saint name. Doubt either will go with it, but oh well. It was never a name I considered in my own naming days, but I love it now. My godfather/uncle is Jude, so I always associated it with older/one generation up name. But it is very interesting to me to look at the stats and see that it is more popular now than it ever has been – like going from usually fewer than 100 boys each year through mid-1990s, to now over 2500 annually. It wasn’t really ever common even in the “old days.” In looking at the SSA stats for 1928 there were only 10 Judes – so my uncle is one of 10 (or so) that year. Crazy. I never would have guessed. I also just realized that my cousin (his son) is also Jude (born 1964 when there were 107) but didn’t know that because he goes only by middle name.

    So anyway, I am really liking Jude currently – great name/sound, awesome patronage, worthy apostle namesake. In fact I am so into it right now, picked him as our “demo” saint to paint for our annual peg doll exchange –

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  7. And from the names on Jackie and Mike’s currently considered list, I like Gabriel best. I think it would go very well with a Felicity in the future. I am partial to the archangels as name saints for little ones – can’t get any more patronly protection than that? I would go with Gabriel Michael for the double whammy, but the two endings in “el” is too much, I think. So maybe Gabriel Anthony or Gabriel Andrew.

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  8. I get you Jackie and Mike, Felicity is such a perfect name! It’s hard to find another one that you can love that much… But I can think of names like: James and Philip (with Anthony as a middle name) and Vincent and Martin (with Michael as a middle name). I’m sure you will find the perfect name for your little boy, since you have already chosen such a beautiful name for a girl!

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  9. All this love for Jude! Maybe it deserves a name spotlight 🙂

    I met a little Jude in real life several years back and was complimenting his name to his mother and she shared with me that people don’t understand her when she gives his name. Sure enough, my husband did the Starbuck’s test and the lady at the restaurant was totally confused. That definitely scared us off — at least for that baby but it’s leading our current boy’s list for this baby.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the name Colin, because it is my husband’s name (also my husband’s name, although he spells it Collin). But really, I’ve loved it ever since I read The Secret Garden.

    What about Benedict?

    Regarding Sebastian, one of my friends named her son that, and they call him “Sebas” (pronounced Sea Bass) as a nickname (he’s an older teen, though). I think it’s hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The suggestions above are great! My high school exchange student from Germany has a brother named Johann-Felix and her father and brother are named Conrad, so to me those are great combos for a German surname 🙂 (exchange student is called Julia and her mom is Renate — this is a family of amazing names IMHO, not to mention all of her friends and extended family, but there’s no room for that here!)

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