Baby name consultant: Little sister for Justin

Kara and her husband are expecting their second baby, a little girl! Their older son is:

Justin Michael

Because, as Kara writes,

Our little boy is Justin Michael, Justin because we both love St. Justin Martyr and Michael because it is my husband’s middle name and I love the angels :)”

I can’t tell you how much I love that St. Justin Martyr was the inspiration here! I think his name definitely needs more use.

Kara had originally emailed me before they knew they were having a girl, and had said,

[My husband] is a cradle catholic and I am a recent convert, so we really want to name our children with saint names or Marian names … So far the names I have picked are Charles (to be called Charlie) Gabriel and Eloise Marie. I tend to like more unorthodox, old fashioned and elegant names, and my husband is very, very traditional.”

I included this bit for further info regarding their taste in names (Charles Gabriel, love!). After they found out they were having a girl Kara wrote again,

Just got the ultrasound results and it’s a girl! My husband and I both agree on Regina and Eloise but we are still unsure. Not sure what kind of middle name would go with Regina, and our last name ends in an a so the middle name needs to be substantial (lol). I also love Avonlea, Ava for short, but my husband is wavering. He really dislikes anything totally out of the ordinary. He likes Alexandra and Alexis but I don’t like either one … We would both really like a Marian component and possibly a saint as well.”

Okay, so first off, I love Eloise Marie, just lovely. It’s fairly uncommon but familiar, and has sweet nickname potential in Ellie.

Their new idea of Regina is a great one! Like Eloise it’s pretty uncommon these days (even more so than Eloise), and very Marian, which is always my favorite! I think Regina Marie is a fine first name-middle name combo. Regina Caeli is another idea they might like — it means Queen of Heaven in Latin, and I’ve seen that full combo used as a first name/middle name set, as well as just Caeli as a first name — you can pronounce it KAY-lee or CHAY-lee as you like. Some other middle name ideas I had to go with Regina were Therese, Rose, and Bernadette — I like Regina Rose, Regina Therese, and Regina Bernadette very much — lots of faith significance in each one. The full Regina is lovely, but if they wanted a nickname, I know Gina is traditional and obvious, but I’ve also thought Ree, Ria, Rina, and the tomboyish Reggie could also work.

Also, this mom recently named her daughter Sylvie Regina, which Kara and her hubs also might like — it sounds like the name of the Marian hymn “Salve Regina,” and Sylvie is the French variant of Sylvia, which Eloise makes me think of. I love Sylvie!

Avonlea! What a fun name! And the nickname Ava is beautiful. I wonder what Kara and her hubs would think of the name Avila? It’s so similar in sound to Avonlea, and it’s also a place name, and can also take the nickname Ava, but it’s super saintly as it refers to St. Teresa of Avila. I’m also thinking of a mom I know who named her daughter Ava Maria, because it sounds like Ave Maria, so that’s an idea too.

As for Kara’s hubs’ favorites, Alexandra and Alexis are both sweet and feminine, and I have some ideas below that might suit his taste while still being a name Kara likes.

Okay! So here are my other ideas for this Little Miss:

(1) Genevieve or Evangeline
I’m including these two together because I think of them as being so similar — both with a heavy V presence; both long and sophisticated; both can take the super adorable nicknames Evie or Vivi. St. Genevieve is the patron of Paris, and was influenced by their idea of Eloise; Evangeline refers to the Gospel writers (the Evangelists) and was influenced by Avonlea (it was listed as a style match in the Baby Name Wizard, which, as you all know, lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity). I love them both for Kara and her hubs, and I don’t know which one I would suggest more than the other! The fact that they both have those V’s in them reminded me of Avonlea, and the nicknames Evie and Vivi are similar in sound to Ava.

(2) Victoria nicknamed Cora
Victoria was listed as a style match for Alexandra, and as soon as I saw it I thought it might be just the name to bridge Kara’s name taste and her husband’s. It peaked in the 90’s, like Alexandra and Alexis, but like them it’s so sophisticated and feminine that I think of it as timeless. It means “victory,” which I associate with Jesus, and for an extra faith-y connection, Charlotte @ To Harriet Louise recently said she liked the nickname Cora for Victoria, which I thought was so amazing, and we’re talked a bit about Cora being used recently in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (here, including in the comments; cor means “heart” in Latin).

(3) K/Catherine
Originally I had Catherine on my list, for St. Catherine of Siena — Catherine is the French spelling of the name, which Eloise made me think of — but then I was thinking about Kara’s name, and her husband’s like of Alexandra, and it all made me think of how I’ve seen St. Katherine of Alexandria spelled with a K most often (though sometimes with a C), and that made me think — maybe Katherine Alexandr(i)a as a full name would appeal to them both? It could be seen as a subtle nod to Kara –sharing of initials and some other letters — and I think Kate is one of the greatest nicknames ever — spunky and sweet at once. (And I’m not just saying that because Katherine/Kate is my name! 😀 )

(4) Christiana
Another name that was a style match for Alexandra/Alexis was Christina, which does have a bit of a dated feel I think (though also timeless), but I’ve always loved the Christ- names, being that they’re Jesus names, so I thought maybe an updated version would suit Kara and her hubs. Christiana’s my favorite of them — I love its international feel, and the fact that it’s not as common as the other (also lovely, but well used) variants like Christina, Christine, Kristin, etc.

And those are my ideas for this family! What do you all think? What would you suggest for Justin Michael’s little sister?


28 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: Little sister for Justin

  1. I love Regina Coeli/Caeli! I also was wondering about Kara using her first or middle name for Regina’s middle name to mirror what they did for Justin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your suggestions, especially Genevieve & Evangeline, but can I say right now that I’m swooning over the idea of Avonlea?! I loooove it!!! 😍

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Justin Michael honestly surprised me a little bit. It seems more like a name of someone my age (20), rather than a little kid. But I kind of love that about it!! It’s unexpected but so well known at the same time!

    I know a lot of Catherine/Katherines who are my age, so I think it would go perfectly! Love the idea of Katherine Alexandria!! I think like you said it could be a great compromise.

    I think Christina would go perfectly with Justin. It has the same little bit dated vibe but still so wonderful and classic.

    Thinking about slightly dated names made me think of Amy, which means beloved, which is such a wonderful meaning. Maybe Amy Regina?

    Your suggestion of the the nickname Vivi, made me think of Vivian, which I feel like has the same type of vibe as Eloise. They could use the French Vivienne spelling if they like that more.

    Gonna suggest my trusty go to suggestion of Claire/Clare! I feel like it might be a little short for them, but maybe with the right middle name it could work. Maybe Clare Maria? Clare Mariana? Then they could get both a saint and a marian name.

    I’m wondering if they’ve considered just Mary. They seem really into the idea of Marian names, so I feel like Mary could be a great possibility for them. Like I mentioned with their son’s name, Mary is a bit unexpected I feel like on a baby (even in Catholic circles sometimes it feels like), but still super well known and seriously lovely

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Our pediatrician has a daughter named Avonlea! So beautiful. I truly like all the suggestions. I have a Katherine Mary, so just throwing that one out there too 🙂 I also really like Justin, and agree its underused. I don’t see it as dated, more timeless.

    Liked by 2 people

      • The thing that’s so magical about Avonlea is there’s only ONE type of person who’d be using it, so it’s almost like a secret code…if some recognizes it then they’re like, part of the secret society or something. Avonlea was one of my dream names as a teen, I just love that some people really use it!!!! 😍😍😍😍

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree that Christina goes really well with Justin! 🙂 Probably because it makes me think of the era of Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera etc, but since Britney isn’t an option I wouldn’t worry about it!. But in this context they have lovely faith meanings. Mary would be unexpected but lovely as a first name, as would Regina. Victoria really appeals to me too, great suggestion!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love where Grace is going with her thoughts about 90s names. Her comment made me think of Bethany. Like Justin it was (based on my personal knowledge) popular in the 80s and 90s but should be timeless.
    However, I love Victoria nn Cora for this family.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bethany! That’s one I don’t think of too much but I’ve always loved that it’s a biblical place name. Great idea! I looked it up quick and behindthename says it’s “used primarily by Catholics in honour of Mary of Bethany” — I love that! (Mary of Bethany is Martha and Lazarus’ sister)


  7. When I first hear of Justin I also think of the 90s, because I went to school with a bunch of kids named Justin. But obviously… St. Justin Martyr was not born in the 90s. So I feel like they can go one of two ways with the names – saintly and 90s feeling names, or saintly and sparkly (I think Justin can feel sparkly, especially if paired with certain sibling names). Either way works – Bethany and Alexandra and Christina are nice. I personally would go the opposite direction – probably just because I grew up with so many people with those names that I wouldn’t want to use them. 🙂 I like Victoria nn Cora or Genevieve for them. …And for some reason, Felicity popped into my head for them as well.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Yes, Justin seems a 90s popular name, but I know of several young ones (under 5) in our Catholic homeschool community. All nods to St. Justin Martyr.

    I would second the Regina Maria option. That is my cousin’s name. I think it is a lovely middle name for Regina.

    I really love Kate’s and everyone’s suggestions which give many options of compromise on styles to fit both parents. Hopefully they will find something of liking amongst the options.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I think it’s hard to find an agreement here, because Kara seems to like names that are a little bit more girly and sweet, and her husband seems to dislike anything that doesn’t look traditional. I like consistency in sibling names, so I wouldn’t choose anything that would stand out from Justin Michael, but maybe that’s too “normal” for Kara.
    So, what about Rosemary? It’s saintly and Marian and very feminine and maybe it’s classic enough for Kara’s husband (I mean, it’s just two “normal” names together, right?).

    Liked by 1 person

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