You guys! Today’s name consultation is for our very own Grace-with-a-small-g (red hair)! And I’m really excited about it, because she has bold taste so I was able to suggest some really fun names for her. She’s not currently pregnant but, like all of us, loves to think about names and would love some thoughts/ideas/suggestions for a possible Baby #5.
Her amazingly named kiddos are:
She actually recently left a comment explaining how John got his name — so moving!
“So, quite a few of these are family names … and of course three of them have New Testament first names but that’s not a requirement at all. No one goes by a nickname in our house … I guess I’d say we’re not nicknamers, but I might consider the right nickname if it came along.
I consider our naming style to be traditional, and I prefer names that have sort of an English flavor. As time goes by, I find that names with a more “hip” Brit feel appeal to me more and more.
I’ve had other name nerds say that because we used the “s” spelling for Elisabeth that we have a more continental style but I feel they didn’t have a good pulse on our taste, “s” spelling notwithstanding.
If we have another baby, we have middle names picked out, Xavier for a boy and the mouthful Catholicky Catholic Maria Thérèse (possibly spelled without a space, not sure) for a girl!
We have girls’ names likely narrowed down to Edith or Iris, although I still like Aurora, too. Other girls’ names that have been serious contenders for us are Rosalind and Winifred.
For boys, I love, love Jasper, but not sure about a THIRD “J” boy! And I’m pretty wed to Xavier in the #2 spot, so Jasper Xavier is probably out. Another boy choice we like a lot is George. Henry feels like the “safe” choice for us but I’m not head over heels in love with it.”
I was really intrigued by this: “I’ve had other name nerds say that because we used the “s” spelling for Elisabeth that we have a more continental style but I feel they didn’t have a good pulse on our taste, “s” spelling notwithstanding,” and I really wanted to try to make sure I took it into account.
Grace and her husband have a bunch of rules about naming as well:
-Anything that ends with a “B” because I’m against elision with our last name
-Probably also wouldn’t use a name beginning with “B” for the same reason
-Despite my girls’ names listed up above, I don’t like the more common floral names (Lily, Rose, Violet), or anything that points to another language specifically (such as French, Italian, etc.—with the obvious exception of that middle name!)
-Names with a very strong glottal stop (such as Martin)
-Hugh/Hugo or anything else reminiscent of words for size
-Names beginning with the letter “L”
-We are not super into Old Testament names though we wouldn’t 100% rule them out
And a bunch of names that are on the no-go list for various reasons:
And I know she was worried about being too picky but, please. I LOVE picky! Challenging name dilemmas are my jam. 🙂
My very first thought was about their choice of middle names — I love them! Xavier and Maria Thérèse/MariaThérèse make any first name juuuuust fine since they’re so saintly and spectacular.
Edith, Iris, Aurora, Rosalind, and Winifred are all fabulous, they totally give me a good sense of the kinds of names Grace and her hubs like, as do Jasper (!), George, and Henry. It’s funny because when I was coming up with ideas, given that “continental” is not their style but rather “a more ‘hip’ Brit feel,” though I did use my trusty Baby Name Wizard book, I really felt like my approach with this was more of a “close my eyes and jump” gut-feeling kind of thing. We’ll see how I did!
I’m starting with Zara because I’m thinking Grace won’t like it, but maybe she will? It’s 100% influenced by her interest in the monarchy (as she’s told me), and also Fiona’s name. Elisabeth, James, and John on their own are your basic, amazing, handsome, traditional sibling set. But you throw Fiona in there and pow! It’s like sprinkling glitter over the whole set. So I tried to let Fiona’s name influence me quite a bit. Without her I might lean more toward Thomas, Mary, Jane-type names; with Fiona, and Jasper too, I felt like having fun. Zara totally strikes me as that kind of name. And the letter Z?? To die for. But I’m still going to guess that it’s a little too un-traditional for Grace and her hubs … (I love love love Zara Maria Thérèse.)
I love Gwendolyn and Gwen—the mom of Baby Beatrice, whose birth announcement I posted in January, has a Gwendolyn, as does DMNES’ Sara, and Haley Stewart has a Gwen, and I’ve really been feeling it recently. Never mind that it’s a style match for both Rosalind and Winifred! And also Bernadette and Rosemary, which I found surprising, in a good way. Gwendolyn Maria Thérèse has a gorgeous rhythm, what a name.
Clementine is very British to me. Am I right about that? I feel like it’s used more there than here. I love it—the full thing is so fun, and I actually love the song reference and the oranges (what a fun avatar for a little Clementine!), and I love the nickname Clemmie. So cute! And it’s a Year of Mercy name! Clementine Maria Thérèse. Yum.
I know Grace likes Olive, so I was surprised to not see it on her list! It’s totally on my radar because of Our Lady of Olives, what a cool Marian connection. Olive Maria Thérèse is really hip to me (though we have established that I’m neither hip nor hipster so maybe I have it all wrong 😀 ).
This is kind of a joke! It’s cracking me up that I put this in here! 😀 When I was in the midst of doing this for Grace I read a comment she left that she doesn’t care for the feminine variants of George and so my namey mind immediately perked up and thought Ah! Georgiana! It’s SO perfect for anyone who loves Pride and Prejudice and Colin Firth, as I know Grace does, and I loooove Georgiana anyway. So I’m keeping it on the list. 😀
I feel like I talk about Juliet a lot here on the blog, and I don’t ever remember Grace chiming in one way or the other, but it seems to me like a perfect bridge of sorts between Elisabeth and Fiona. It’s one of my very favorite names. I do realize Grace and her hubs have Julian represented already, and of course all the J names, but I thought I’d add it in anyway.
(7) Sadie, Daisy, Millie
Finally, the nickname names. So British right now! These are my favorite of those kinds of names for Grace and her hubs. Sadie is sweet, and it’s Jude Law’s ex-wife’s name, which is a really twisted but fun connection (I had Jude Law on the brain working on this because of Grace’s love of Iris, which is one of his daughter’s names. He also has a Rafferty, which I was tempted to put on the boy list, but I stopped myself. But if Grace likes it, I love it!). Though Sadie’s a traditional nick for Sarah, it can stand on its own, and Sarah doesn’t seem like Grace’s style at all.
Daisy is a huge deal for me right now, I am love love loving it, it’s definitely my current favorite of the Margaret names. I also watched The Great Gatsby recently and liked seeing Daisy on a grown woman.
Millie is influenced by two things: first, Millicent was listed as a match for Winifred, which made me think of my cousin Millicent who goes by Millie … and then Millie made me think of one of my Brit-pop-culture go-tos, the Shopaholic series, where the main character Becky and her amazingly named husband Luke Brandon named their baby Minnie. Just Minnie. So British. So I thought Grace and her hubs might like Millie?
Owen is all St. Nicholas Owen, and I’m not sure it really fits in with Grace’s taste, but I think it could—St. Nicholas Owen was English and Fiona is Celtic and so: Owen! I love it, and I think Owen Xavier is fun because of the XO thing.
(2) Alistair, Alasdair
I love that the BNW says, “Alistair has had an uber-genteel image in the U.S., courtesy of longtime Masterpiece Theatre host Alistair Cooke. In Scotland it’s simply an everyday classic”—I love that combo of genteel and common! When I first saw this name in my research, I thought of the Hugh Grant movie About A Boy—if I remember correctly, the girl he liked introduced him as Ali, which I assume meant Alistair or a variant, so I feel like it has that Brit cachet they’re looking for. (Though I guess it has the same problem with Xavier that Jasper does.)
(3) Arthur or Albert
So I was thinking about the whole nickname-as-given-name thing that’s popular in England, and I thought of Alfie, which made me think of Archie, which reminded me that I’d seen somewhere recently that someone named their son Arthur and decided on Archie as a nickname, and as soon as I thought of Arthur I thought of Grace. Arthur!
Arthur and Archie also made me think of Albert and Albie, and St. Albert the Great’s one of my faves, and Albie’s super cute.
Elliott was included in the list for Aurora and as soon as I saw it I thought ooh! I love that it’s a diminutive of Elias, I love the sound and spelling (all forms), I love that it can be literary (T.S. Eliot), and I love it with Xavier. Elliott Xavier.is.awesome! I know it’s gotten some use by girls recently, but I still really like it for a boy.
I’m surprised Grace and her hubs don’t have Edmund on their list! It’s Narnia, it’s St. Edmund Campion, it’s got a little bit of a fusty-musty feel that I think they like (Edith). (In a good way!) It’s got really cute nicknames, but the full Edmund is my favorite I think. Edmund Xavier is fab.
(6) Louis or Lewis or Linus
Louis is de Montfort and Martin; Lewis is C.S. Either and both are such great connections! I personally love the nickname Louie, but the full Louis/Lewis is quite nice too. My boys go to school with a Louis and he’s such a good kid—respectful, friendly, cheerful—he’s really made me love it even more.
Linus is kind of a dark horse but I love it’s papal connection AND it’s a style match for Iris and Casper (which I consider to be nearly as good as Jasper in terms of determining style), as well as Flora, Felix, Hugo, and Beatrix, all of which I thought were decent markers of Grace’s style.
Finally, Malcolm. This is mostly influenced by Fiona, but also by its meaning: “follower of St. Columba.” I love that! I know a little Malcolm, brother of Liam, who has effectively severed the Malcolm-Jamal Warner association for me, and Mac is one of the greatest nicknames in my opinion. They could even do Max if they wanted with the middle name. Malcolm Xavier is gorgeous.
Alright! Moment of truth! How did I do? What would you all suggest as a brother or sister to Elisabeth, James, Fiona, and John?