Baby name consultant: Biblical and/or French/German-ish name for No. 4 green bean

Monica and her husband are expecting their fourth baby, gender unknown! This wee babe will join big sibs:

Cora Marie (“after the heart of Mary“)
Levi Alphonsus (with Jesus) (“St. Alphonsus Ligouri is my husband’s favorite saint“)
Regina Marie (“Queen Mary“)

How great are those names!! You know I love Marian names, and Levi’s so handsome.

Monica writes,

We are expecting in August and I’d love to hear your ideas on names for us. This is our 4th. We don’t find out the gender ahead of time, so we are looking to pick out a boy and a girl name. I feel like we are going to have a harder time choosing a boy name … I like nicknames but my husband does not. He says he could possibly be convinced, so I guess there is a chance. Cora and Regina don’t really have nicknames, but I’m not opposed to something that can be shortened … We are open to, but not stuck on Marie as a middle name even though the oldest two girls have that. We didn’t plan to do it that way, but once we decided on Regina it seemed weird to pick any other middle name … We don’t really have name rules and are really excited to hear your thoughts.”

Names they like/have considered include:

Agnes (“At the top of the list so far [we’ve considered it each pregnancy]. There is something about it and St. Agnes, but I can’t decide if it’s too old school“)
Bernadette (“We’ve ruled it out because Bernadette … is such a mouthful” with their last name)
Gertrude (“It would be challenging if [hubby] won’t give in to a nickname“)
Catherine (Monica’s hubs’ “#1 choice, but a little to common for me“)
Hilda (“after [hubby’s] saintly granny“)

Elijah (“would have been Cora’s name if she were a boy) — it’s been ruled out as we have a godson named Elijah now“)
Fulton or Victor (“one of them would have been Regina’s name, we were leaning towards Fulton“)

Such a great and somewhat unexpected bunch of names! I particularly loved considering the style of names like Agnes, Gertrude, Hilda, and Leona — they have that fusty feel that’s really great, and I think it’s a bit ahead of curve — I think names like that will be hot soon (I already know of a celeb baby named Agnes — actress Elisabeth Shue named her daughter Agnes Charles) — so Monica and her hubs are trendsetters!

I agree with Monica that Gertrude will be challenging, as she puts it, if her husband isn’t open to a nickname! It’s just a really big, clunky name for a little girl to deal with. Of course, if they named your daughter Gertrude and called her Gertrude, then she would just be Gertrude and it’d be fine. It does have the darlingest nicknames though — Gertie and Trudy are so sweet.

If they’re seriously considering Gertrude, then I’d say there isn’t any name that’s too “old school” — Agnes seems tame compared to Gertrude to me! Agnes is a great name, and the little Agnes in the movie Despicable Me gives it a nice familiarity (and she was adorable).

Margaret is lovely and saintly, I don’t have much more to say about it than that!

Bernadette is great, and it gave me a good sense of their taste, even though they’ve ruled it out (bummer).

I feel about Catherine similar to how I feel about Margaret — it’s lovely and saintly, but it definitely is more common than some of your other ideas.

Hilda I love for this family, I think it’s awesome! I love that it’s a family name, and for a saintly family member — how nice! I would have suggested it — or some form of it, like Hilde or Hildi — if it wasn’t already on their list. I’ve seen St. Hildegard of Bingen being considered by people like us here on the blog — Hildegard’s a big name, like Gertrude, but shorter names that are related, like Hilda, are a great way to work with it.

Leona’s interesting! I see Leonie from time to time, because of St. Therese’s sister, but not Leona too much, so again — trendsetter!

As for the boy names, I feel like Fulton, Victor, Gerard, Gregory, and Jerome all have a certain feel, which I think Cora and Regina and the girl names on their list fit in with well, and then they have their biblical Elijah, which is a great match for Levi. It was fun trying to come up with ideas that fit one or the other — either Victor/Jerome or Levi/Elijah — and, even better, ideas that fit both.

As you all know, I almost always start a consultation by looking up the names the parents have used and the names they like/are considering in the Baby Name Wizard as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. I did so here, and added in some other ideas of my own, and came up with seven ideas for each gender:

(1) Helen(a)
Helen was actually the first name I thought of for this family, before I even started doing my research as it’s got a little of that “old lady” feel. Helena is a lovely variant as well.

(2) Edith
Helen was quickly followed by Edith in my mind for Monica and her hubs, for St. Edith Stein. I admit one of my favorite things about Edith is the nickname Edie, but the full Edith is lovely too, and I love St. Edith Stein.

(3) Hope, Faith (Mercy?)
Hope is a style match for Victor and Faith’s a style match for Levi, so I thought maybe a virtue-esque name like that could be a nice bridge between the two styles they like. I also really like that Hope can be considered Marian, for Our Lady of Hope. Neither Hope nor Faith nickname well, which is probably a good thing for this family. They both also made me think of Mercy, which doesn’t seem quite like their style, but I thought it was worth mentioning, especially since their baby will be born during the Year of Mercy.

(4) Anne, Anna, Anita, Annette
These were all matches for their styles, and Monica’s Confirmation name is actually Anne, so I thought it might be a nice nod to her to use an Anne name. Anna fits the feel of their biblical theme; Anne is more the Catherine/Margaret part of their list; Anita and Annette fit in with Victor, Gerard, and Jerome.

(5) Yvonne
I’m so interested to see what they think of Yvonne! It’s never been on my radar at all, but it was listed as a match for Gerard, Jerome, and Bernadette! I didn’t even know if it was saintly, but indeed it is — there’s a St. Ivo, who’s also known as St. Ives or St. Yves, and Yvonne’s a feminine form of those names. When I saw Yvie listed as a nickname, I was sold — Evie’s a pretty hot nickname right now, for Evangeline, Evelyn/Evelina, and Genevieve, and Yvie’s a cool twist on that. (Yvie!) (Monica’s hubs has got to be on board with that! I’m dying over how visually edgy and audially popular it is — what a cool nickname!)

(6) Greta
Greta seems to me a pretty great option for this family. It’s a variant of Margaret, which they have on their list, but certainly less common than Margaret. It’s one of my favorites of the Margaret names.

(7) Magdalen(e)/a
Finally, Magdalen/Magdalene or Magdalena seemed like a great idea for Monica and her hubs. I think of it as kind of like “the biblical Margaret” because it can take the nickname Maggie, like Margaret, but it’s so biblical, and it goes well with Levi.

(1) Leo
Leo is a style match for Cora, and as soon as I saw it I loved it as an idea for this baby. It’s not very uncommon right now, but it’s saintly and papal, a great name.

(2) Hugh/Hugo
Hugh was also a style match for Cora, but I wasn’t sure if I thought Monica and her Mr. would be interested in Hugh or more so in the variant Hugo. I think they definitely have a somewhat German/Dutch/French sensibility with the names they like, and Hugo fits right in with that. One of the Sts. Hugo was a spiritual student of St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

(3) Edward or Edmund
Both of these names were listed as similar to their style, and I couldn’t tell which I thought they’d prefer (if any)? They’re both great and saintly in their own rights — I feel like I’ve been recommending them a lot lately, but St. Edward the Confessor and St. Edmund Campion are both amazing.

(4) Clement
St. Clement Mary Hofbauer is the patron of my parish (a Redemptorist parish) and when I read that St. Alphonsus Liguori is Monica’s husband’s favorite saint I thought Clement might be the perfect suggestion. It’s similar in style to a number of the names on their list, and has the added awesomeness of meaning “merciful” — a perfect name for the Year of Mercy!

(5) Alois/Aloys or Aloysius
This is probably the name that I’m most unsure about for my boy suggestions for Monica and her hubs, but Alois was in the list of German and Dutch names in the BNW, as so many of their favorites are, and one of my good friends (who’s a wonderful young priest) has Aloys as his middle name, which I always think is really cool, and then Alphonsus made me think of Aloysius, so put all that together and I thought I definitely needed to suggest it.

(6) Conrad
I love the name Conrad, and it’s similar to a bunch of names on their list. There are a bunch of Sts. and Bls. Conrad, and it can be spelled Konrad as well.

(7) Tobias
Finally, Tobias is one of the suggestions I’m most excited about for this little one. It’s super biblical like Levi and Elijah, and it’s in the “Antique Charm” and “German and Dutch” lists in the BNW — a great bridge for their styles!

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for the little sister or brother of Cora, Levi, and Regina?


42 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: Biblical and/or French/German-ish name for No. 4 green bean

  1. Loved this one! I have a Regina and I’ve been loving Agnes lately too! I also think Aggie is a cute nn.

    I do think that if this is another girl it’s kind of a decisive naming moment. If they decide to go with another -a ending name (Cora, Regina, Hilda for example) or Marie for a middle again, they will probably want to stick with that trend for all future daughters. Maybe it’s just me but I feel like after two you can mix it up, but once you’ve continued a pattern for three children you’re kind of “stuck” with it. Not that it’s a bad thing, patterned naming can be adorable, just a thought to consider!

    That being said my first vote is Agnes. Maybe Agnes Mary? Or another title or variant of the Blessed Mother? Agnes Marianne? (Second vote: Hilda and Helena are both adorable too!)

    For boys I like all their ideas, but really like Kate’s suggestion of Leo. I think it fits well with both the on-trend, short & snappy Cora and the Latin, traditional Regina.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I really like Agnes Mary! That one struck me as particularly pretty! I tend to agree with you re: naming patterns, both that they can be adorable and that three or more makes it seem pretty set. But then again, if there are ten children and only the first three have the same pattern, it probably wouldn’t bother me at all to notice that after No. 3 they veered off. It’s just so hard to know in advance how many little ones God will send! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Agnes and Helen seem to be perfect for this family! If they are unsure about Agnes and they like St. Agnes, what about a variant of this name? Like Inessa, which was mentioned in a consultation a few months ago.

    Another name that reminds me of this family’s taste (and that is Biblical) is Lydia.

    For a boy, I thought of Stephen and Zach, maybe with Elijah as a middle name. But Victor is great, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, this is so fun, as it’s just right of center with my naming preferences (I’m not bold enough to do it, but I swoon at the regality of Regina). I love all these Germanic names!!! Greta and Hildi are my favorites of the girls’ names.

    For boys, I think Tobias is a great match for Levi, but I also think of Tristan as a good match for Regina. It has a high medieval romanticism feel to it. Because I love Edward/Edmond but strongly dislike Ed, I think these would be great middle names. Tristan Edward sounds awesome to my ears.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Very cool style!

    I love Gloria for them! So beautiful, and such a special and joyful meaning.

    Or Irene.

    Or Catherine, nicknamed Callie.

    Anita & Edith are brilliant suggestions as well. Similar, but no patroness that I can find, is Enid. Or Ida.

    For boys, would they like Linus or Felix? Henry? August, for St Augustine?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. >>Agnes (“At the top of the list so far [we’ve considered it each pregnancy]. There is something about it and St. Agnes, but I can’t decide if it’s too old school“)

    If Agnes is at the top of their list, I say go for it! Twelve years ago, I would have said it was an old lady name – (and one of my son’s said it was a dead lady’s name) when my sister named her daughter Agnes. But it is so sweet to me know. All it takes is to have a young, sweet Agnes around for a bit to change the perception and completely see it as a current option.

    I think Agnes could be the next Cecilia in Catholic circles. I know another young one in our circle of local friends.

    To me it is a good fit with Cora and Regina – both old lady names (especially Cora) but with a classic return. Regina and Agnes to me especially stand out as Catholic.

    I think the Agnes Marie, Agnes Maria, Agnes Mary, Agnes combos at pretty. Also, Nessa is a nickname which I like better than Aggie.

    And since in another post comment, I mentioned given/baptismal names of saints/blessed better known by their religious names, Agnes is a perfect example, and would have the amazing St. Teresa of Calcutta as a patron – born Anjezë (Agnes) Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Albania.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If they want to continue the Marian title theme with Marie as the middle name, I would suggest Dolores, Rosary, Joy, Thea, Virginia, and Stella. I especially like Stella Marie for this family. I also like the name Matilda for them; it seems to fit their style. Although I really do think they should just go for it with Agnes.

    For a boy, what about Damien or Anthony? St. Alphonsus’ full name was Alphonsus Marie Antony John Cosmos Damien Michael Gaspard de Liguori, so those could honor him. Ooh, he was born in Marianella, Italy, so what about Marianella for a little girl?! Although if Bernadette is too long Marianella is probably too long as well. I also like Magnus and Mark for a boy for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. For whatever it’s worth, Agnes was the name given to the main character’s baby on the tv show The Blacklist this spring. I saw that as a sign that the name is coming back. I’ve never seen the cartoon with the little Agnes, but it probably has some effect too. I’m going to be interested to see if Agnes spikes a bit this year. I would say Nessie might be the hip nickname for Agnes at the moment, more than Aggie,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Twilight is a pretty awful book/movie in terms of quality, even though I like CSI fi and fantasy, but I’m not sure why it would taint a name. I remember reading about a wealthy New York family with a daughter called Nessie. It didn’t chart on the popularity list last year, though, and Agnes and Aggie did.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What about Stella Maris, a title for Our Lady, Star of the Sea, without pigeon-holing you into all “marie” middles for your girls. I think Stella is nickname proof and could work with your girls names.

    Liked by 1 person

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