Baby name consultant: Baby #8, gender unknown, not popular name please, and girls end in -a

Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!! I hope you love and are loved today! (Let me remind you, in case you’re having a hard time remembering: You’re always loved, always, even if people let you down — you’re loved intensely and without end. ❤ ❤ ❤ )

Before jumping into the consultation, I just want to let you know that I’ll be mostly off the blog for the coming week — my kids are home from school and we’ll be vacation-ing it up together! 😀 I’ll still be moderating comments and answering emails, and I’ll post my February CatholicMom column on Wednesday, and I’ll be back to cracking on Monday Feb. 22.

The mama whose consultation I would normally have posted tomorrow made a special request to have it post today — what a lovey day to talk about a lovey baby! ❤

Jenn and her husband are expecting their eighth baby, a little green bean (=gender unknown). Their older kiddos are:

Joseph Albert III, called Joey
Theresa Rose, called TT
Michaela Grace, called KK
Nicholas Daniel, called Nick
Hannah Faith, called Hanni
William Thomas, called Liam
Gianna Marie Noelle, called GG

The one name they’ve discussed is:

Vincent Michael

Alrighty, so I’ll start with their boy idea of Vincent Michael: I love it. It’s one of those names that, weirdly, says “Irish+Italian” to me, which is funny that Jenn’s hubs is 50/50 that exact mix. But of course it works with all ethnicities because of it being a saint’s name — I love that the saints’ names are used everywhere, in every country. My only hesitation with Vincent Michael is that they already have Michaela, but I’m sure they thought of that and if it doesn’t bother them it doesn’t bother me either.

So as you all know, I almost always start a consultation by looking up all the names that have already been used and that are liked in the Baby Name Wizard book as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. Doing so, and picking through my own namey head, I came up with a few suggestions for each gender that I think fit Jenn and her hubs’ taste and criteria (including girl names ending in the –a sound):

(1) Sarah, Julia
Sarah was a big winner for this family, and it’s my top suggestion. It’s Biblical like Joseph and Hannah but it totally holds its own with the other kids’ names, which are all classics. Sarah used to be quite popular, but it’s dropping quickly — it was #5 in 2000 but has dropped each year since and was at #50 in 2014 according to the Social Security baby name stats. So I don’t think Jenn and her husband need to worry that it’s too popular. They have great nicknames for their girls too, and the traditional Sarah nickname Sadie would fit in well I think.

I grouped Julia with Sarah because it’s also a biblical name, and I think it goes great with the big sibs, I just wasn’t sure they’d want to follow Gianna with Julia — too much J sound? It’s on a downward popularity arc, at #86 in 2014. Following their nickname style, I could see something like Leelee, and I’ve also seen Jilly for Julia, which I think is adorable. Or JJ?

(2) Clara, Eliza/Elisa
St. Clare is always a great patron for a little girl, and at first I was going to suggest Chiara, which is the Italian version of it and goes really well with sister Gianna … but it just seemed too Italian — Clara seemed a better fit to me. (#108 in 2014) Not sure about nicknames though? Kiki seems like it would work because of the hard C- beginning of Clara, but they already have KK. Maybe Clari, in the style of Hanni?

Eliza is because Elizabeth was a big style match for their name taste but it doesn’t end in –a. Eliza has the same sweet classic feel as their other girls’ names. A similar option in this same vein is Elisa, which is also really pretty and gets closer to the style of Gianna. (Eliza: #212; Elisa: #498) (I considered Isabella and Elisabetta as well, but Isabella seemed too popular [#4], and Elisabetta too Italian. Both gorgeous though! And I read recently about Ven. Elisabetta Sanna …) Ellie would be a great nickname with their other girls (and Izzie for Isabella, or Lizzie/Lissie and Betty [!] for Elisabetta).

(3) Maria, Olivia
I know they used Marie for Gianna’s middle name, but if they’re okay with using Michael as a middle even though they have Michaela, maybe Jenn and her hubs would be okay with Maria as a first name? It was the first idea I had for them after reading their email. All the other girl’s have names that could be considered Marian — Rose, Grace, Faith or Hannah (with Hannah being a form of Anne and Anne being Our Lady’s mom), and Marie — so it makes sense to have a Marian first or middle for another girl. And Mimi totally rocks as a nickname, and totally fits in with the other girls; Mia’s another great option as a nickname, a la Mia Farrow, whose given name is Maria. (Maria’s #115)

I wouldn’t have thought of Olivia for this family on my own, but the Baby Name Wizard said it was a style match for them, and it reminded me that one of our mamas named her daughter Olivia after Our Lady under the title Our Lady of Olives — a title I’d not been familiar with, but how great is that? And Livi! One of my favorite favorite girl nicknames! (Unfortunately Olivia’s the most popular of my suggestions—#2 in 2014! So maybe I should have included Isabella in my official suggestions, since I included Olivia …)

(4) Cora, Cecilia
Cora is totally drawn from my own life, because I know a family with a Michaela and a Nicholas, and they also have a Cora. I love it for this family because it ends in -a and we’ve had some discussion of Cora on the blog recently as a name for the Sacred Heart or the Immaculate Heart of Mary — or both! (Check out the comments on this post, as an example.) A Marian and a Jesus name in one! (#103) Coco would be a really fun nickname, or Cori.

I’m including Cecilia with Cora because both are my own ideas (i.e., not listed in the BNW). I thought of Cecilia mostly because of the nickname option of Cece, which so fits what they’ve already done with their other girls, and isn’t too popular (#206). And actually, CC could work for something like Cora Cecilia or Cora Clare or Clara Catherine. I’m loving that!

(1) Francis nicknamed Finn
I had a harder time with boy names for them! Joseph, Nicholas, William/Liam, and Vincent are all great, classic names, but the names that matched style-wise didn’t seem to work for them for one reason or another (Thomas has already been used as a middle; James is a great name but would they want to repeat the J of Joseph, especially after Gianna? Edward just didn’t seem … right, even though it’s saintly and masculine). But the fact that William goes by Liam made me think of one of my favorite suggestions, which you all know I’ve tried to push on lots of people (haha!): Francis with the nickname Finn. I think it totally works! And: Pope Francis! (Francis: #234, Finn: #234, though sure to rise because of Star Wars. Which I don’t think is a terrible thing. At all. 😉 Especially with Francis as the given name.)

(2) Dominic
Dominic is another name that says “Irish+Italian” to me, like Vincent. I actually did a post a while ago about non-Italian Dominics, because I’d heard some people say Dominic didn’t work for a fair-haired boy. I don’t know what Jenn’s kids look like, but, as I noted in my post, I first fell in love with Dominic in Kindergarten Cop — he was the little blond boy. 🙂 I’ve seen Nick used as a nickname, which obviously won’t work for this family, since they already have Nicholas, but I’ve also heard Dommy for a little boy, which is adorable. The full Dominic is really my favorite though. (#69)

(3) Andrew
Andrew seems the most likely to be a name Jenn and her hubs would like, I think. It’s classic and biblical, and has the great nicknames Andy or Drew. Or even something like Ace, if they paired it with a C middle name (Andrew Charles? Andrew Christopher?). (#22)

(4) Charles
Speaking of Charles, it’s my last suggestion for them — I’ve been seeing it a lot in honor of St. John Paul (birth name Karol=Charles), and the day before I did this for Jenn was the feast of St. Charles Borromeo (and I read that JP2 was actually named for St. Charles Borromeo! Can anyone verify that?). Charlie is a great nickname, but they might not love it with their last name, so there are some other fun ones too, like Cal, Hutch, and Huck, among others. (#51)

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for a little brother or sister for Joseph, Theresa, Michaela, Nicholas, Hannah, William, and Gianna?

+ xoxo ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ xoxo +


47 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: Baby #8, gender unknown, not popular name please, and girls end in -a

  1. My top for girls are Cora, Clara and Julia. Classy and beautiful. But actually not very popular anymore and don’t have any of those names in my daughters’ classes! For boys I love Francis called Finn. Finn is so cute but also ruggedly manly and puts a nice little “exclamation point” on the family!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great ideas! I would suggest Vincent Andrew or Vincent Matthias since they already have a Michaela.

    For a girl, I think Francesca is absolutely beautiful. A not common girl’s name ending in “a” is Britta. We have a Britta and love her name! St. Maura and St. Britta were martyrs together, but nothing else is known about them.

    All the choices are pretty. They can’t go wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny how things can jump out to you…whem you wrote Sarah, it just seemed like a perfect kick-off! Then Elizabetta hit such a sweet note…you mentioned nicknames of Clari ( nice!)…then Finn for Francis…& little Dommy…these just popped off the page for me…so many fun namesters here! Nice work!
    Happy St. Valentine’s Day to all!
    Sacred Heart of Jesus, please bless each of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love all these names and the suggestions! I think one of my favorites of your suggestions is Clara 🙂 This one was surprisingly difficult for me to come up with names for.

    Amelia is one idea that came to mind for girls for me.

    Also Olivia and Sophia, just because they’re lovely and end in A. I also love the meaning of Sophia.

    I feel like for a boy Gregory nn Rory would fit really nicely with their names.

    And maybe Henry or Theodore.

    I think that might be all I’ve got…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Of your suggestions, my favorites for their family are Vincent or Charles for a boy, and Cecilia nn CeCe for girl.
    How about Louisa nn LuLu? Or Lucia (LuLu), but I think Louisa goes better with their other names.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this family’s taste and their easy-breezy nicknames for all the kids! Great suggestions, Kate. I loooove the name Sarah despite its popularity in my generation. And Sadie or Sally would definitely lessen the popularity even further. I’m so obsessed with my own kid’s name–ha–but I want to suggest Martha to them too. Underused, Biblical, ends in a-, and they’ve got a touch of the mid-century with Theresa that Martha would continue. Emmy or Mimi for a nn? I like Lucia that Krista suggested above, too. I could imagine it fitting best if they used the English “Loo-sha” pronunciation. Lu or Lulu would be adorable. Ooh, and I also love love love Susanna/h for them! Zuzu!!! Done. 🙂 And I’m such a fan of Vincent I almost want to just consider the boys’ side done for them. So strong yet artistic with consonants that are fun to say.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oooh, that’s true–I hadn’t thought about Susannah and Hannah rhyming. Maybe the nicknames and the age spread would make it less of a deal, or maybe not. I still love it for them because it’s one of those rare names that sounds very feminine but also kind of down-home and practical. Mattie could be another Martha nickname–Mattie from True Grit is actually a Martha. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I initially thought of Marta, not Martha, as a, funnily enough, now more contemporary-sounding alternative. “Mattie” as a nickname would be precious.
        I have a Cecilia in my class whose nickname is “Cici.” She wears it quite well. Her sisters are Regina and Lillian (could be Liliana for this family) nn Lily. “Lily” would be a nice nn gap-closer I feel between Hanni and the other girls’ double consonant nn’s. And though Lily is perpetually popular, Liliana is uncommon and very melodic. Hannah, Micaela, and Liliana just sound so nice together to me.


  7. I love your idea of Andrew! That’s perfect for them! So saintly and masculine… and awesome nicknames available!

    For a girl, I thought of Patricia. Since they have a Michaela, it seems that they don’t mind that a girl has a male patron saint, and Patricia sounds Italian and it’s obviously Irish! Great nickname options, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Angela or Monica! Great saints, very Catholic names, but neither are very high on the charts.

    Rebekah. Benedicta. Paula. Paulina. Rosa. Natalia. Evelina. Gloria.

    And they might just need a Maximilian. Which makes me think of Alexander.

    Paul. Silas. David. Edward. Clement. Joshua. Benjamin. Nathan. Luke.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was a bit thrown by their request for “not a popular name” since the names they’ve used seem very familiar and are mostly in the top 100, I believe. So I’m assuming that either they mean “top 100, but not top 10” or “can be high on the charts, but must have a long history of use (ie. not trendy),” OR that their taste has changed in recent years to become more eclectic/ethnic as reflected by Gianna. The last scenario didn’t occur to me until after I posted, but if it *is* the case, I would suggest names more like:

      Ivan (after St John)
      Irina (St Ireneus)
      Katrina/Catriona (St Catherine)
      Emil (after Emil Kapaun)
      Annika (maybe not with Hannah)

      To me, those are “not-popular” names. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess I was assuming the first — “top 100 [is okay], but not top 10” … I do find it to be somewhat true that parents get more adventurous the bigger their family is! Ooh, that’s a good topic for a future post!


      • Katrina/Catriona leapt out at me, too! Has anyone read the miraculous medal story Ana of timeflieswhenyourehavingbabies posted the link to a while ago? There’s a Catriona nn Tree who is a powerful character. But lots of other nickname potentials! I like the very recognizable names with less common/unique nn’s. I have a Hanna and the Hanno nn is so sweet, but I’ve never heard of it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kate, here’s the original Soul Gardening article:

        I always wondered where Hope and Justin’s Tree came from, and this story explains Triona/Catriona. Also, branching off the Madonna comments in the other thread, I believe they have another child named Ind!go M@donna, as in the Blue Madonna! !!! ! I tried to find out on their website, but the About page only tells about their band, not their family. I’m thinking they might need to be profiled on Sancta Nomina!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I love Vincent with this sib set. I also like Gregory (rory), Peter (Pete), and Philip (Pip).

    For girls, I like Bianca or Sabina with the nickname BB. Bianca Mercy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m totally biased because it’s my son’s name but Vincent seems like a perfect fit. We’re only partially Irish and not at all Italian but we get tons of compliments on Vincent. I love that because of the charitable organization, many people, even non-Catholics, are familiar with St Vincent. It just ups the holy factor for me.

    Other names you might like: our older son is Zachariah but Zachary might be a better fit for your family. I love Zachariah because it is in both the Old and New Testament. We’ve also considered Dominic (but may be too similar to your Nicholas), Marco and Xavier. For girls, I think some great suggestions have been made already. Maybe Angela or Angelia, Monica, Alexandra, Lucia.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have three girls that end in “A” sounds: Emma, Selah (from the Psalms), and Eliana (meaning my God has answered me). I wonder if she would like any of those names! We also just had a baby boy named Luke. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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