Baby name consultant: French-ish for girls, classic for boys, no ending in long E

Lauren and her husband are expecting their fourth baby, a little green bean (=gender unknown)! Their older kiddos are:

Michael Douglas (“my husband is Michael and my father is Douglas“)
Annabelle Grace (“after my great grandmother“)
John Walter (“goes by Jack, my grandfather’s name is Walter“)

I loooove these names!! The boys are so strong and handsome, and Annabelle is a huge favorite of mine!

Lauren writes,

So I guess our trend has been strong(ish) family Catholic names? Jack is a bit of an outlier in terms of the length of his name because we still call Michael and Annabelle by their full names.

In terms of restrictions … names that end in a long E are pretty much out [because of having a last name that ends in the same sound]. For example, Betty or the like 🙂 I’m still a little torn on nicknames that end in that sound, because once in awhile a family member will call Michael Mikey or Annabelle Annie and they don’t say them with their last name, and it’s fine.  Otherwise we are pretty open!

Names they’ve considered for a girl include:

Mary Christine (“I’d like to use Christine, my mother’s name as a middle name — and I think I would consistently call her Mary Christine and not shorten it“)
Bernadette Christine

And for a boy:

Peter Charles (“Peter is my great-grandfather’s name“)
Benedict Something (“my husband likes Benedict but I’m not sure it fits with our current names“)
Francis (“I like — but would most likely call him Frankie, and there is the long E again. And my husband is not a huge fan“)


Other family names for consideration include: George, William, Joseph, Fredrick, Agnes, Rose, Katherine, Patricia, Evelyn

As far as heritage, we are mainly German and Polish but my husband’s grandfather is from Syria

I actually found this to be really challenging consultation because Lauren and her hubs have such great ideas already! You all know that I almost always start a consultation by looking up the names the parents have used and those 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, so when I looked up the names Lauren and her hubs like I focused only on Michael, Annabelle, John, Jack, Christine, Bernadette, Peter, Benedict, and Francis and didn’t look up the other family names they listed for consideration (George, William, etc.) … but then when I was making my list of ideas for them, I had Katherine and Patricia as two of my girl suggestions—and then I saw they were already on their family names list! So I found it a challenge to come up with *new* ideas!

Before I get to the ideas I did end up with, I first want to say how much I like Mary Christine, and I wondered if they’d considered using just Christine as the first name? I would be excited to see it as a first name, as it’s really unusual these days and it’s one of my favorite of the Christ- names, so elegant and lovely.

Bernadette I love as well, but I wondered if they would agree with me that using Bernadette or Benedict now would knock the other out for the future? They seem similar enough to me in sound and appearance that brother and sister Benedict and Bernadette seem a bit much. But I do love Benedict as well, both the name and especially our Pope Emeritus. I find it’s a bit tricky to find middle names for it, as most parents find they want to avoid initials BJ, BM, and BF, but Benedict Charles would be quite handsome, as would Benedict George (and George could be a nod to Pope Francis, as his birth name is Jorge [=George] — two popes in one!), and I think something like Benedict Leo and Benedict Henry would be great as well.

Peter Charles is wonderful, just a great combination. And Francis is great, and Frankie is so cute.

Okay! Onto my new ideas/suggestions:

(1) Rosemary, Rosemarie, Rosalie, Rosamond
Rosemary is a style match for Bernadette and Rosamond for Benedict, and with Rose already on their list of family names for consideration, I thought names like these made sense to suggest. I know Rosemary, Rosemarie, and Rosalie all end in the long E sound, but I’ve said them all over and over again with their last name, and I don’t mind them at all. Maybe because they’re longer than a nickname? Rosie LastName has the sound they don’t care for I think, but the longer versions are lovely. And Rosamond gets away from that altogether. Rose can easily be the nickname for each of these, which also avoids the rhymey endings.

(2) Juliet
Annabelle seems to be a bit of an outlier style-wise—all the other names they’ve got on their list are basically swirling around the same area, but Annabelle has a little pop of color that I just love. Juliet is a style match for it, which is one of my favorite names, and when I saw that Julia is a style match for John, I thought that gave me enough permission to suggest Juliet to Lauren and her hubs. I spotlighted Juliet here.

(3) Teresa, Theresa, Therese
Teresa’s a style match for Christine, Theresa’s a match for Peter, and Therese is a match for Bernadette! Each has its merits (how great for a little girl to be named after Mother Teresa during the very autumn that she was canonized! And of course St. Therese — all the roses! And Theresa can be for either of them); all can take the nicknames Tess or Tessa, which I think would be really great for this family, especially for a sister for John-who-always-goes-by-Jack. (For more on T(h)erese see my Sibling Project page.)

(4) Evangeline or Genevieve
These two were actually style matches for both Annabelle and Benedict! They’re both gorgeous names, and I’m listing them together because they’re sort of a one-or-the-other proposition, since they both have strong E and V sounds. They both can take the nicknames Evie and Vivi, which I assume they wouldn’t like with their last name, but Genevieve could also be Gen, Genna, or Vieve.

(1) Bennett
I was really excited about Bennett for this family! I’d scribbled it down for them when I first read Lauren’s email and saw that she’s not sure about Benedict, because Bennett’s a medieval diminutive of Benedict and it can be a bit easier to deal with than Benedict for many—not quite as heavy, but retaining the same holy connections (though not as obviously). And then I discovered it’s a style match for Annabelle! Woo!

(2) Thomas
Thomas is just a solid, classic name, and though all those solid, classic boys’ names can be considered similar to each other, Thomas was particularly listed as similar to Michael, John, and Peter. And not that they asked for middle name ideas, but I’m loving the idea of Thomas Benedict. 🙂

(3) Stephen
Stephen is a style match for Michael, Peter, and Christine, and I’ve been hearing it here and there on little boys recently, and I’m always pleasantly surprised. Both my 8yo and 4yo have best friends named Stephen, and both go by the full Stephen. Danielle Bean, editor-in-chief of Catholic Digest, has a son named Stephen Matthias, which is such a swoony combo!

(4) Philip
My last idea is Philip—it’s a style match for both Bernadette and Peter, and the full Philip is one of my favorites. I know some people have trouble with nicknames, because Phil is hard to picture on a little guy, but I’ve been suggesting Finn as a possible nickname for Philip recently, which I love, especially paired with an N middle name (I love the idea of the first+middle combo Philip Neri with the nickname Finn!). If they’re worried about a P given name with an F nickname, there’s precedence in Julia Roberts’ son Phinnaeus going by Finn. (I’ve also been suggesting Finn as a nickname for Francis, if they want to consider that.)

And those are my ideas for Lauren and her husband! What do you all think? What would you suggest for the little brother or sister of Michael, Annabelle, and Jack?


21 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: French-ish for girls, classic for boys, no ending in long E

  1. Oh, this family has such great taste! Honestly, I love all of their ideas and all of yours, but lean slightly towards Rosamond (or, as I’d spell it, Rosamund), (or, alternately, Rosalind), and Benedict. 😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m in the same boat, our last name has a similar long E sound and it knocked off so many great options. We have Juliet and Rose on our girl list too. I haven’t decided yet if I would be okay with the long E sound of Rosalie but I love it. I really like Peter and Stephen a lot. Other suggestions would be Arthur or my son’s name, Vincent. For girls, how about Matilda, Catherine or Vivienne?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love your suggestions of Rosamond Christine or Bennett, and I’m a big fan of Fredrick- esp. with all the nn options. 🙂 My only suggestion is Colette for a girl; for some reason it’s been on my mind lately. I’ve also always liked Clotilde but I’ve heard varying pronunciations, so I can see that being a deterrant!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have nothing to add, I just want to say I love the idea of using Christine as a first name, it looks great as a sister to Annabelle! And both Peter and Thomas are beautiful ideas for a boy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love Mary Christine as a double name, I’m all behind that. 🙂 Juliet does go really well with Annabelle particularly though. For boys I like Kate’s suggestions of Stephen and Thomas, but I would be happy to see a little Philip too.

    Liked by 1 person

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