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?


23 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: Finn’s little brother or sister

  1. Finn and Geneva? She must be my baby name doppleganger! I have a Finn (short for Finnian) and a Genevieve (called Gigi)!
    If you like Eloise, you might like Elodie! That has been on our list. French, unique, and Ellie is such a cute nickname.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I feel like this is a tricky one, since they obviously prefer family names. I do really lIke Geneva though, and your suggestion of Robert/Rory was genius. Oh and I love Arthur too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your suggestions made me smile! I have a daughter Clementine Eloise and a daughter Beatrice. Her middle is Eulalie, if these parents like that. I LOVE Elodie. I’m also an E name enthusiast, so I have to suggest Emmeline.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this post! Clementine has quickly grown on me and I love it (though when I have kids, I’d struggle with whether to use Clementine for a girl’s first name or Clement for a boy’s middle…). I think Genevieve works well as a nod to Geneva. I do think Helene is best of all the girl suggestions, just since it includes Helen and Aileen.

    For boys I really like Robert. I used to prefer Rory as a nn for girl’s, but that’s also changing. And Conrad!! I just finished a post in which I said Conrad would be a good Dumbledore name, so you know I love Conrad now. Any HP connections make me swoon. (It’s also a good name on its own. 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Why not Genevieve nicknamed Geneva? That way baby girl can get her own name yet still honor her ancestor 🙂

    I’m partial to Helene only because we’ll share the same patron (St. Helen of the Cross woot), and also because the pronunciation is gorgeous. William and Helene! Keeps the middle L sound and can be a sib set style!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I thought of Genevieve, too, for the same reasons you mention, Kate. And Genevieve called Geneva is perfect, Sabrina!
    Other French names they might like: Elise, Isabelle, Amelie and Emilie.

    Liked by 1 person

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