Baby name consultant: Finn’s little brother or sister

I’m popping back on to post today’s scheduled consultation, and thank you for your kind words and prayers for my mother-in-law and our family!

Kate and her husband are expecting their second baby! Their older son is:

William Finn, who goes by Finn

Love love love. I adore Finn, and it’s SO cool that it’s a middle for William.

Kate writes,

Finn’s first name was a no-brainer because it’s a meaningful family name on both sides … [however we] could not agree on a nickname for William (I like Bill or maybe Will, he liked Liam but I didn’t) so we decided to just call him by his middle name. I don’t even remember how we came across Finn, but [my hubs’] family identifies strongly with their Irish heritage and I thought it was cute, so it was a winner.

This baby is probably a girl (per an early ultrasound), but we’re looking for both a girl and boy name in case he/she changes her mind at the anatomy scan. 😉

My husband and I have very different naming styles — and personalities altogether — which made it a miracle we decided on Finn’s name and is making it very difficult this time around … my style is a little more “hipster”, his is a lot more plain-Jane (his words, not mine!) We are both leaning towards a French name for a girl this time around (my family is French and Polish.)

For girls,

our top contender for Finn was Geneva Eloise. Geneva is a family name on Jeff’s side, a great-grandmother he was very close to. I still like it, but I’m not sure I love it. We were/are considering the nickname Vivi or Gemma.

For middle names with Geneva, I like Stellamaris and Azelie, but am open to more ideas. I’m not sure they sound quite right. I/we are also open to new first name ideas though Jeff says he’s very attached to Geneva. Other family names are Margaret (my side), Aileen (my side), Helen (his side.)

And for boys,

we have literally zero ideas. I love Francis and Walter, my husband does not like either. We have no new ideas. Anything would help.”

Okay! Not to fear! I can always come up with ideas! 😀 I love Geneva Eloise with the nicknames Vivi or Gemma, so sweet! I also love Stellamaris and Azelie as middle names. I have nothing more to say, they’re just great ideas.

For those who don’t know, I almost always start my consultations by looking up all the names the parents have used and liked in the Baby Name Wizard book as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that match the entry in terms of style/feel/popularity. It’s uncannily accurate! Between that research and other, and my own namey head, these are my suggestions for boy and girl names (I tried to be heavier on the boy names but ended up with seven suggestions for each gender!):


(1) Genevieve or Vivienne
Geneva made me think of Genevieve right away, so Kate and her hubs probably won’t like it, since Geneva’s a family name and Genevieve loses that, but I had to suggest it. Or maybe it could be seen as a nod to Geneva while giving the baby her own name? St. Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris, which is great! And Vivienne also has the strong V sound and the French spelling, and both Genevieve and Vivienne can take the nicknames Vivi or Evie. So cute!

(2) Juliette
Juliet’s one of my very favorites, and Juliette’s a beautiful French variant. Lovely!

(3) Sylvie
When I saw Sylvia pop up in my research, I immediately thought of Sylvie and thought it was a great suggestion for this family! It’s got the V of Geneva, and it’s kind of like Sophie but not nearly as popular. This reader named her baby Sylvie Regina, which I just about died over! It sounds so like the Marian hymn “Salve Regina,” so cool!

(4) Beatrice
This also showed up in my research, and it reminded me of the family I did a consultation for recently whose mom is from France, and all the girls have French names. Beatrice made me think of it because it’s the mom’s name, and Bea is one of my favorite nicknames for a little girl.

(5) Clementine
Clementine is actually a style match for Eloise, I love it! Not least because it’s a “mercy” name — perfect for a baby born during the Year of Mercy!

(6) Helene
I wondered what they’d think of Helene? Kate said that Helen and Aileen are family names, and Aileen is sometimes considered an Irish variant of Helen, and Helene is the French variant. That same French family I mentioned above has Helene as one of the girls’ middle names, it’s a beautiful name, and St. Helena is great. Nell is a great nickname for Helene, a la little Helen Borobia, who sometimes gets called Nellie Peg (for Helen Margaret! I die!)!!

(7) Magdalen(e) or Madeleine
Magdalen(e) just seemed like a name Kate and her hubs would like, and I have no real reason except my gut feeling! The French variant is Madeleine of course, but I don’t know, I was just feeling Magdalen(e) for this family. I love that you can get Maggie as a nickname, which is always so darling. But I’d be 100% happy with Madeleine too, and if they liked the combo Madeleine Sophie,after St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, I’d be even happier!


(1) Robert nicked Rory
I was really excited to get into the boy names! William Finn is just the greatest combo, so I feel like it has some big shoes to fill. The first one I thought of right off the bat was Robert as a first name with the nickname Rory. Robert is a style match for William and Rory is a style match for Finn and I just totally love this option.

(2) George nicked Geo or Geordie
Can you all see that I’m going for a solid, traditional first name with a more offbeat nickname? I love that! I love the nickname Geo for George, so cool! Another possibility, which is really fun, is Geordie (pronounced Jordy), which I believe is a Scottish diminutive of George. (Fun fact: I have ALWAYS been in love with the nickname Jordy and tried to get my husband on board. I was never successful.)

(3) Theodore or Leo
Theodore matched up with Geneva and Francis style-wise, so of course I had to suggest it, and I’d actually already scribbled Leo in my notes for this baby before I’d even started doing research, because my brother and SIL — whose taste seems to me to be pretty similar to Kate and her husband’s — named their son Leo. Theo and Leo share sounds, so I’d say it might be a matter of do they prefer short (Leo) or long with a shorter nickname (Theodore/Theo)?

(4) Jude (Julian?)
Jude and Finn are amazing brother names in my opinion! Jude also has that Catholic cachet that’s so great. I’ve seen Jude used as a nickname for Julian, and the Beatles’ song Hey Jude was written for Julian Lennon, so there is precedent for doing so, and I thought Kate and her hubs might like that option.

(5) Owen
This is another one informed both by the style of Finn, and by my brother and SIL, who named their Leo’s little brother Owen! St. Nicholas Owen is an awesome patron for a little Owen.

(6) Conrad or Connor
Conrad probably seems a little bit out of left field, but it’s a style match for both Geneva and Eloise, so I thought it deserved a mention. I love the name Conrad, and my hubs and I actually considered it for our youngest! I could also see Conner used as a nickname, which is pretty cool and pretty similar to Finn. Or maybe Connor as a first name? I love it!

(7) Arthur nicked Archie or Abe
Arthur is totally because they like Francis and Walter! And Archie and Abe are nicknames I’ve recently seen used by parents of Arthurs, who were total hipsters. I love Archie, I think that’s brilliant for Arthur; the Arthur who’s Abe has a B middle name, so it makes sense, so perfect.

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the little brother or sister of William Finn?

May she rest in peace

I did a spotlight of the name Ludmila on Feb. 26 — saintly grandmother of Good King Wenceslaus — and asked at the time for prayers for my mother-in-law, my boys’ own faith-filled grandmother. This morning she passed away, and any prayers you could spare for the respose of her soul and our family during our mourning would be much appreciated. ❤

I’ll be off the blog probably for a week or so, though I’ll be checking email regularly (those who are waiting for consultations needn’t worry — I find them therapeutic to do so there shouldn’t be any problem getting them to you around when I said I would.)

April CatholicMom column up today

My April column posted today on Names “foreign to Christian sensibility.” You’ll recognize it as a slight retooling of this post, and I’m like 99.99% sure that when I wrote that original post Canon Law said “Christian sentiment” but when I went back to double check before submitting to CatholicMom, it was all “Christian sensibility.” Weird!


Birth announcement: Luke Gordon!

I did a consultation for a mama who was scheduled to have it post here but then she went and had her baby earlier than expected! Fortunately Mom and Baby are both healthy, and the new little one, who was a gender surprise, turned out to be a boy! They gave him the handsome name of … Luke Gordon!

His mama writes,

I unexpectedly went into labor on Friday the 15th and with no complications our son was born that day! 🙂 We are both doing well, and we have named him Luke Gordon … Thank you again for the helpful and well thought suggestions, they certainly aided in our decision!

Isn’t that name so handsome??! I love Luke, and I happen to know that his parents wanted to work a Marian connection into his name — I always think Luke is one of the best ways to do so, as his gospel is the most Marian and contains Our Lady’s beautiful Magnificat. I know Gordon is a family name, and I love it paired with Luke. Nice job, Mom and Dad!

Luke joins older brothers:

James Pershing
Paul Raymond

So little Luke Gordon fits in just perfectly. Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Luke!!


Luke Gordon

Baby name consultant: Less common, meaningful name for third baby boy

Shannon, from the blog We, A Great Parade, and her husband are expecting their third baby and third son! This new baby boy will join big brothers:

Alyosha Daniel
Moses Emmanuel

Amazing, right? Handsome, unusual, and full of faith significance, love them. 👌

Shannon writes,

Our first son was adopted at 11 months old from Uganda … We chose Alyosha because of the main character in The Brothers Karamazov and also loved that it means “defender of mankind”. We chose Daniel because we wanted a solid, simple Biblical name to balance out the unusual first name. At the time we were Protestant, but now that we’re Catholic I like that his name is somewhat related to St. Aloysius.

Our second son (first biological baby) is named Moses Emmanuel … We chose Moses obviously because of the Biblical character but also because we just really liked the name. And I’ve kind of loosely made St. Moses the Black his patron 🙂 We chose Emmanuel because he was born during Advent.

So… we love names that are less commonly used but that also bear significance because of a person (even fictitious) that they represent. While we do love saints names, we couldn’t just pick a random one simply because we liked it. We would want the person to reflect a trait that is particularly dear to us, OR for the name meaning itself to do so.

We are devoted to the teachings of the Catholic Worker, so people like Dorothy Day or Peter Maurin are ones we have kept in mind in addition to saints. We’re trying to steer away from Biblical figures at this point since we already have a Daniel and a Moses. Additionally, since our oldest son is adopted and a different race than the rest of us, we ideally would like to avoid using the letter M in the first name … since that would subtly group together the biological boys and leave him out. That may be something we change our minds on, but is where we’re at right now.”

I really enjoyed thinking of Shannon’s three boys and her and her husband’s lovely desire that Alyosha not feel left out name-wise. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to learn more about Servant of God Dorothy Day, one of the four Americans Pope Francis mentioned in his Address to Congress in September, and Peter Maurin, neither of whom I’d known much about before Shannon’s email. All in all, this was a really great dilemma to work on!

Names that are currently on their list include:

Oliver (“I think it’s super cute, we love that it symbolizes peace, and my family is Irish so naming after St. Oliver would be a kind of homage to that… BUT we don’t know anything about him really.”)

Theodore (“Again a really cute name, great meaning (gracious gift), but again don’t know much about the saint“)

Brien (“only as a middle name… my maiden name is O’Brien and I’d like to pass it on“)

Maurin (“after Peter Maurin… we both love this one but we run into the problem with the M. Peter is just too common for our tastes. Any creative ideas for a nickname maybe?? We’ve also thought about Day for Dorothy Day, maybe too short and awkward though. Or Aristide which is Maurin’s first name, but my hubs says Aris is too weird“)

Basil (“my husband likes saint Basil, and favors this name, but I’m afraid it would come across as hipster to the majority of the world, along the lines of Sage, Juniper, Willow, etc“)

Tevye (“the Yiddish version of Tobias, another person we don’t actually know much about. My husband likes this one too but I’m not sold because it doesn’t mean anything special to me“)

Okay, a quick comment on some of the ideas on their current list before jumping into my ideas:

I love Oliver, and I totally agree that it’s super cute. St. Oliver Plunket is a great saint for a boy, especially an Irish boy, and one of the things I’ve learned about him recently is that he wrote about Divine Mercy — what a meaningful tidbit for a baby born during this Jubilee Year of Mercy!

Theodore’s a great name too, but it feels a little tame for this family’s taste. I could see them liking the variant Fyodor more, but is that too much Karamazov Bros.? At the same time it could be really great — Moses and the new baby have the biological connection; Alyosha and the new baby would have a Russian/Karamazov name connection.

I was interested by Maurin. If it weren’t for the M, it seems like it would be a perfect name for Shannon and her hubs — offbeat because of it being a last name, and the name of a man they admire. Shannon asked about a nickname — Maury and Manny were the first two that came to mind. But that pesky M — I agree that maybe an M name wouldn’t ideal for this baby (unless they change their minds on that, and then of course I’d support their decision 100%!) … then I thought of Aury, which is a little bit of a stretch but not THAT much of a stretch. I looked it up to be sure it wasn’t considered a girl’s name (since I know how fussed any of my boys would be if they had what they consider a “girl’s name,” especially if the other brothers had explicitly masculine names), and though I couldn’t find much about Aury, what I did find ( had an entry for “Aury Estela,” a girl’s name, and behindthename had a user-submitted entry saying Aury is a boy’s name … had Aury listed as a boy’s name as well, but no other info) leads me to think there’s enough evidence that it’s not overwhelmingly considered to be feminine and therefore could easily be used for a boy. I kind of liked the idea of a given name Maurin — starting with an M like brother Moses — being called Aury on an everyday basis, which starts with an A like brother Alyosha. I thought that could be a really nice subtle connection between all the brothers, and not so obvious that they’d feel locked into anything if they were to have more children.

I like the idea of Day, and I saw it used recently as a middle name for a girl (for Dorothy Day) — so cool! As a first name it’s certainly short, but so is Todd, for example, so I don’t think that’s problematic. I guess I’m having a hard time thinking of it on a boy, since the two people I associate with the name are Dorothy Day and that little girl I know with the middle name Day … but of course last names are a great source of first names for boys … I’d love to know what the rest of you think of Day as a first name for a boy! I would love it as a middle name.

I have similar issues with Basil as Shannon does — I love it, and I think it’s a great, underused saint’s name, but I hate that most Americans would only think of the herb. I looked up its alternate versions in other languages, and wondered what Shannon and her Mr. would think of one of the Eastern European variants like Vasil or Vasyl? I assume they’re pronounced to rhyme with Basil, and the V and B are so similar that it’s almost exactly the same name sound-wise, but it loses the herb/hippie feel.

I was surprised by Tevye because it’s a biblical name and Shannon had said they wanted to stay away from them. So then I assumed she meant they wanted to stay away from biblical names that *sound* biblical to Catholic Americans, which I think is easier to work with than “no biblical names,” and I employed this in one of my ideas below.

Okay! So onto those ideas! You all know that I almost always start a consultation by looking up the names that the parents have used and the ones that they like in the Baby Name Wizard as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. Taste like this family’s, which is more creative and offbeat, tends not to be served as well by the BNW, but I did get some ideas from it, as well as from my own mental archives:

(1) Julius or Julian/Julien
The BNW actually came through in a big way with this first suggestion—Julius was listed as similar to both Moses and Theodore! And Julian is a style match for Oliver! So of course I had to suggest these names. But then—I was researching Peter Maurin a little bit and discovered that he was born in the village of Oultet within the community of Saint-Julien-du-Tournel! What! I got goosebumps when I read that!

(2) Ciar(an)
I was thinking of various ways of naming Shannon’s third boy that would make sure Alyosha didn’t feel left out in any way, and one of the ideas I had was to make sure this baby boy had a name completely different from either of his brothers’ names in terms of first letter and linguistic origin/variant, just like Moses and Alyosha are totally different. It’s one of the reasons I like Oliver—it’s Irish/Celtic/British, which is totally different from Alyosha and Moses. But then I was also thinking that—and I hope this doesn’t seem insensitive at all—both of her other boys share the color black—Alyosha in his skin and Moses in his patron saint of Moses the Black. So I kind of loved that Ciar means black in Irish—it ties into the really subtle shared black characteristic of her boys while still being its own name totally different from the other two. Ciar is a name on its own (said like KEER), and the more familiar Ciaran (KEER-in, more commonly spelled Kieran) is technically a diminutive of Ciar.

(Along with this same line of thinking, it’s pretty cool to know that Maurin is related to Mauritz/Maurus/Maurinus, all of which mean “dark skinned,” so if Shannon and her hubs do decide to go that route, that have that connection between all the brothers.)

(3) Jasper
Jasper was listed as a style match for Oliver, and it’s also a gemstone that can be black, tying into the idea I presented with Ciar(an) above. Black jasper is not very common, but it was cool to read that the “name blackstones refer to any number of stones, including jasper, that are dyed black and polished for jewellery.” Jasper is the name traditionally given to one of the Three Wise Men (you might also see its variants Casper and Gaspar given for that same Wise Man—they’re all the same name).

(4) Form of Peter
This is the idea I mentioned that Tevye, being biblical but not obviously so to most English speakers I think, inspired, as well as Peter Maurin of course. Shannon said they’d considered Maurin’s first name Aristide and its variant and possible nickname Aris, but I wonder if they’d considered any of the Peter variants? They aren’t obviously biblical to English speakers, but would still honor Maurin pretty explicitly. Pierre would be a great one, since Maurin was French; Piers is an English variant; Peadar is Irish and is said more like PAD-der (patter).

(5) Clement
Clement was inspired both by the Jubilee Year of Mercy, as it means “merciful,” and I’m a big fan of the idea of naming babies born this year with some element of mercy in their names!, and also by the fact that Shannon’s due in May, which is the month devoted to Our Lady, and Clement can be considered Marian (as she’s described as clement [=merciful] in the hymn/prayer Salve Regina, for example).

But after I’d already decided to suggest Clement to them for those reasons, I came upon this quote of Dorothy Day’s in regard to the Catholic Worker: “Our rule is the works of mercy,” and one of its tenets is “daily practice of the Works of Mercy.” What a meaningful name Clement would be for this family on so many levels!

(6) Cyprian
Along the same lines as the “black” idea above, I thought maybe the name of an African saint would be cool, and I immediately thought of Bl. Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi. Cyprian’s a cool name and unusual, I really like it for this family.

(7) Roman or Tiber
I liked Roman as an idea for this baby initially because it has a long O like Aloysha and Moses, another subtle connection between the brothers, and the reason I liked that particular name-with-a-long-o is because I always think of Roman as a Catholicky Catholic name, as it calls to mind (for me) the Vatican, the Pope, Roman Catholic, etc.

Thinking along those lines also made me think of Tiber, which is the name of a river in Rome, and the phrase “crossing the Tiber” refers to someone converting to Catholicism. It’s a really cool name with a really cool meaning for convert parents. (Check out an adorable Tiber here. 🙂 ).

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What would you suggest for Alyosha and Moses’ little brother?

Spotlight on: Elizabeth

Grace asked for an Elizabeth spotlight a while ago, which is so great, because when I think of doing spotlights, I tend to think of names that are a little unusual or offbeat or have issues (like, what nickname? how does this name come across? does this name have any saintly connection?), and since I don’t consider Elizabeth to fall in any of those categories, I probably wouldn’t have thought to spotlight it.

But Elizabeth — I mean, come on. Is there any more impeccable name than Elizabeth? I love so many things about it, like:

It’s the name of Our Lady’s beloved cousin and mother of John the Baptist, known as St. Elizabeth of the Visitation (I love that!). Her Mystery of the Rosary is a tremendous pro-life witness and the first announcement to those other than Jesus’ parents that the Messiah had come.

It’s the name of a sainted queen (St. Elizabeth of Hungary) and an Irish martyr (Bl. Elizabeth Kearney) and two wives of men who lived Godless lives and converted and became priests after their wives’ deaths (SOG Elisabeth Leseur and Bl. Elisabetta Canori Mora) and a whole bunch of other holy women. One of them, Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, is set to be canonized this year, having had her second miracle recently approved.

It has about a thousand variations — not only Elizabeth, Elisabeth, and Elisabetta as mentioned above, but also:


So many cool options! Two really unusual ones (to me) that jumped out from this image are Zabel, which I’d actually suggested for this mom, and Elixabete, which Mary (skimac) had recently mentioned (I’ll leave it to her to tell us how to pronounce it!). In that same comment she also shared the diminutive Sabeth, which someone she knows gave to his daughter as a nod to Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, as her childhood nickname was Sabeth. I’ve also seen Zbeth in real life! Then there’s Elsa, Isabella, Lisbet, Bethan … all legit variants of Elizabeth.

And the nicknames!! Abby recently did an awesome post on unexpected nicknames for Elizabeth, which included one of my favorites, Tess (as I say, if Betty and Tetty are both traditional nicknames for Elizabeth (they are), and Bess is also, then Tess should certainly be!). I’d also add Eily (said EYE-lee, like the Irish variant Eilis [EYE-lish or AY-lish]) and we’ve discussed the possibility of Zelie as an Elizabeth nickname as well (it totally works! Two saints in one!). I also did a tiny post about Elizabeth nicknames here. But if you want your girl to go by her full name, Elizabeth is feminine and sophisticated, smart and distinguished. An Elizabeth can be a Supreme Court Judge, or an artist, or an engineer, or an opera singer, or an Olympic athlete.

Which is your favorite Elizabeth variant? How about nicknames? Do you know anyone named Elizabeth who goes by one of the nicknames not mentioned or linked to here?

Nicknames: Judith, Elodie, Alister/Alistair (unusual)

A mama emailed recently with a slightly different dilemma, on which I’d really like to get your collective input:

Our firstborn’s name is Lafayette and he also goes by the nickname Fayte (rhymes with Nate). I like his combination of a longer classic name (though not common) and a spunky nickname … We lucked out with our son’s name since both the longer form and the nickname were old family names, so we didn’t come up with them ourselves. I’m trying to figure out if we can get a similar combo for this baby without it being too forced.

There are three names (one boy, two girl) that I’m a little stumped about:

Judith is the first girl name. It’s a family name, we like the religious meaning, and the sound of the full name. We aren’t thrilled with Judy since that seems to date the name more and has the confusion issue with the family member we’d be honoring. I’ve seen Jude as the only other recommendation, and while I like it a little better, I’m not thrilled with the unisex-leaning-male aspect of the name.

Elodie is the other girl name. I think Ella/Ellie is a cute nickname, but a little more common than I’d like since it seems there are many other in vogue names that lend to those nicknames. I probably like Ellie better of the two. Seems like there should be other options though!

Alister (or Alistair) is the boy name. We haven’t landed for sure on the spelling we’d choose, so could potentially be flexible if it lended itself to a good nickname. Al or Aly are the only suggestions I’ve seen, and aren’t wild about either.”

I looooooove thinking up unusual nicknames!! And I love Lafayette nicked Fayte, and how awesome that they’re both family names?!

First up: Judith. I did a spotlight post a while back on Judith and in it I said:

Behind the Name gives several variants of Judith (Jutta, Judyta, et al.), but you know it’s the nicknames I get most excited by! Judy is super cute, but maybe still feels a little dated? It has its own history as a given name, peaking a few years later than Judith but dropping out of sight quicker, so it might have a little more of a date-stamped feel, but it’s not the only option: Jody/Jodie are possibilities, according to behindthename, which makes me also think of Jo and Josie (especially, maybe, with an S middle name? Judith Siena, for example, could easily be Josie) … or maybe pair it with an N middle name for Junie or Juno? Maybe Judith Noelle? Even Julie for something like Judith Louisa? Am I scaring you yet? Haha!

Looking back on this again, I do love the idea of something like Judith Siena nicked Josie, or Judith Noelle/Naomi/Noemi nicked Junie or Juno. Or Jennie? Judith Marie could be Jamie? I often find that, with first names that are hard to nickname, looking at a firstname+middlename mashup-type nickname works really well.

Elodie is a gorgeous name, I just love it, and I agree that Ella and Ellie are cute nicknames, but yes, fairly common. Possible alternatives:

  • Lola—originally a nickname for Dolores! But the Lo- of Elodie totally makes it do-able.
  • Nell—if I understand correctly, Nell (and Nancy and Ned) came from the old English way of saying, “Mine El” for Eleanor/Ellen/Elizabeth (or “Mine Anne” for Anne, or “Mine Ed” for Edward), so I think Nell could then work for any El- name. And how sweet that its origin is “Mine El”—so endearing!
  • Edie—just drop the “lo” in the middle of Elodie!
  • Dicey—apparently an old nickname for Edith (Edie made me think of Edith)
  • Liddy—the way I say Elodie sounds pretty close to “EL-liddy”
  • Didi—from the last syllable
  • Dolly—if it can work for Dorothy, it can work for Elodie, which actually has “dol” within it (though backwards)
  • Dodie—another old nickname for Dolores; I could totally see something like Dodie arising organically from Elodie
  • Edda—like Etta
  • In smushing-with-the-middle-name fashion, what about something like:
    — Evie for Elodie Victoria
    — Elsie for Elodie Siena, Elodie Seraphine, Elodie
    — Dot(ty) for Elodie Therese
    — Dixie for Elodie Beatrix or Elodie Xavier (Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini could be patron instead of St. Francis Xavier, if parents like Xavier but didn’t want to be too gender bending. Of course Mother Cabrini chose the name after St. FX, but still)

Alister/Alistair I had the hardest time with! I did a bunch of research looking for ideas and came up with a few:

  • Ace—my first idea and the only suggestion I came up with on my own! I think it could work just for Alister/Alistair, as they have the A and the S sound, but something like Alistair Clement would make a lot of sense, with the A+C
  • Alec—I saw several places that Alec is often used as a nickname for Alistair, since it’s a form of Alexander. As with Ace, a C- middle name could make more sense of it to others
  • Aston/Astin—I wanted to suggest Astor, but the comments I saw online made me think it would skew more feminine for most people (like the girl name Aster, which also sounds similar to the girl name Astrid), but then I thought maybe Aston/Astin? Like the Aston Martin or actor Sean Astin
  • Ari, Arlo, Alfie—I really liked Ari when I saw it online—a mom considering Alistair for her son was considering Ari as a nickname, as well as Arlo and Alfie
  • Abe—someone else online was considering Alistair with a B middle name and planning on Abe as the nickname. I love that! Alistair Benedict/Benjamin, Alistair Beau, Alistair Brendan?
  • Art—Alistair has all the right letters for Art!
  • Ladd(y)—with a switch to the Alasdair spelling, Ladd or Laddy could work. The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond, chef on Food Network)’s husband’s name is Ladd, and Laddy feels really Scottish!
  • Ty—because Alistair has the prominent T in it, I think something like Ty could work
  • Tad, Taz—these might make more sense with the right middle name … Alistair Daniel? Alistair Xavier? Alistair Zachary?
  • Iss—crazy, right? But I saw Iss online as a nickname someone had heard used for Alistair! (I also saw Eck used for Alexander, and Ish for Aloysius!)

And those are all my ideas! How about the rest of you? What unusual nicknames ideas could you offer for Judith, Elodie, and Alister/Alistair?