Baby name consultant: Mom likes “weird,” meaningful names for no. 6

Maria and her husband are expecting their sixth baby — a little girl! Little Miss joins big sibs:

Rose Gianna (“she’s named after my husbands grandmother, but St. Rose of Lima was the first saint of the America’s [thus first child] and I wanted her to be a strong woman and selfless, like St. Gianna. Her confirmation saint is St. Joan of Arc, again with a strong female Saint“)

Sofia Magdalena (“Sofia is wisdom and Magdalene was the Apostle to the Apostles and the penitent woman. I wanted her to be full of wisdom and be a voice to the world, and again she hast chosen St. Teresa of Calcutta for her confirmation Saint in a couple of years“)

Gemma Anastasia (“pronounced Hemma and the Spanish version of Anastasia, I’m Hispanic and the “G” is a “H” sound; St. Gemma Galgani was a beautiful girl and for my third daughter I wanted her name to be queenly and beautiful“)

Sebastian David (“he is the beautiful Roman soldier and boy king. He likes to be referred to as the King 🙂 “)

Thaddeus Jacob (“my grandmother has a devotion to St. Jude Thaddeus and literally translated Thaddeus is “to God” and then he is the beloved son, the second born“)

I love every single one of these combinations!! Such a great bunch of names, and so meaningful, each one!

Maria shared that she’s had trouble conceiving because of some health issues, but with this baby has this wonderful story:

2 weeks before my positive pregnancy test, I sat in Adoration crying and asking God to please let me get better soon so I could have a baby. I read through 1 Samuel and the Canticle of Hannah and I made a silly promise that whenever He deemed it time for me to have another baby, the middle name would be Samuel or Hannah. Lo and behold 2 weeks later two lines show up. I feel like I’ve been given a miracle and when I announced it on FB I did so with this verse:

1 Samuel 1:15-20

15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman sorely troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD.
16 Do not regard your maidservant as a base woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.”
17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have made to him.”
18 And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her countenance was no longer sad.
19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ra’mah. And Elka’nah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her;
20 and in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the LORD.”

So beautiful, right? I just love stories like this! And I don’t think it’s a silly promise at all — I think it’s lovely to thank God in such a beautiful way.

The two names that Maria and her hubs have talked about are:

Lorelei Hannah
Ruth Hannah

And if the baby had been a boy, they were considering Beckett Samuel.


I like to have my children’s names to mean something or instill in them virtues through their patron saints … I have very romantic notions about names and I love to have stories behind them … I like weird names, last names (for boys mostly) Old Testament names or names with special meaning to the situation.”

“Weird names” are right up my alley, so you know I totally rubbed my hands together delightedly and my mind started clicking!

I did find Hannah somewhat challenging to work with in terms of pairing it with a first name in a pleasing combo, but I think I came up with some good ideas.

Lorelei and Ruth are both great ideas for a baby girl! I was pretty surprised by Lorelei, just because it doesn’t have a saintly connection and all Maria’s other kiddos’ first names do, but of course the first name doesn’t have to be a saint’s name. I really like the flow and sound of Lorelei Hannah. Ruth is so sweet, and Ruthie is one of my favorite nicknames, lovely! I did wonder if Rose and Ruth are too similar, being that they both start with R and have four letters? And their middle names both contain Anna? But with Rose at the beginning of a large family and Ruth at the end, it probably doesn’t matter much at all.

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. Using that research and my own mental files, taking into account that Maria likes “weird” names 😀 , these are my ideas for this family:

(1) Araceli
As soon as Maria said she’s Hispanic I started thinking of the Spanish names I know that might suit, especially those that don’t end in -a (as I don’t think ends-in-a names have a great flow with Hannah), and Araceli is one of my favorites. It comes from the Latin for “altar” and “heaven” and refers to Our Lady as the Altar of Heaven. So beautiful, right? Marian names are my favorite! .

(2) Damaris
Damaris is actually a style match for Thaddeus, and it’s also on the list of Latina names in the BNW, so it seemed a spot-on suggestion. It’s the name of a woman in the New Testament who was converted by Paul, and Lindsay at the blog My Child I Love You and her family use it to mean “of/belonging to Mary,” which I just love. There’s a Food Network chef named Damaris Phillips who pronounces it da-MARE-is, but I know DAM-a-ris is also acceptable.

(3) Caeli
Caeli can be said CHAY-lee (which is how it’s said in Church Latin) or KAY-lee, and means “heaven” (same as in the “celi” part of Araceli); it’s most recognizable I think as part of the Marian title Regina Caeli (Queen of Heaven).

(4) Penelope
Penelope is a style match for Lorelei, and I love how it sounds with Hannah. For a long time there wasn’t any faith connection, but in September 2015 Pope Francis made Ersilia Penelope Frey a Venerable!

(5) Ruby, Scarlett
I’m listing these two together because their faith connection is similar — I discussed Ruby here and both Ruby and Scarlett here and here. I love how Ruby Hannah and Scarlett Hannah sound, and Scarlett was also a style math for Beckett.

(6) Verity
Verity means “truth” and is an awesome name for a little Catholic girl. It also flows really well with Hannah.

(7) Felicity
I almost didn’t include Felicity because I didn’t think it was weird/unusual enough, but I ultimately decided to because of how well it goes with Hannah in my opinion. It means “happiness,” which is an awesome meaning for a little one, and it goes especially well with Maria’s conception story. St. Felicity is great too.

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for Rose, Sofia, Gemma, Sebastian, and Thaddeus’ little sister?


38 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: Mom likes “weird,” meaningful names for no. 6

  1. If I were this mom, I would just use Hannah as a first name. It goes pretty well with this sib set (and if the baby had been a boy, I would definitely use Samuel as a first, that way the 2nd, the 4th and the 6th kid would all have S first names).

    Anyway, my ideas are Margaret (just because I love Margaret as a sister to Sebastian) and Isabel (because it’s Spanish and I think Isabel Hannah sounds very nice).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I personally would go with something saintly and traditional, like the other siblings. Less-common pronunciation of Gemma aside, all the others have very traditional, saintly names. I feel like a name like Damaris or Araceli would be out of place with sisters named Rose, Sofia, and Gemma. (No offense!) I don’t know what saints this family has a devotion to, but I would start there. Names like Stella, Teresa, Monica, and Rita come to mind. Or if they want to avoid things with an -a ending before Hannah, there’s Elizabeth, whose fertility story is similar to Hannah’s, or Margaret, K/Catherine, Cla(i)re, Anne, Frances, Kateri, Helen, Rachel (OT, and again with the prayers for a child), Josephine, etc, etc. Mary under the title Our Lady of La Leche is known to be a miracle-intercessor for infertility, too, so maybe simply Mary Hannah.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like the name Mattea as a feminine form of Matthew, which I always thought meant ‘gift of God.’ Mattea Hannah might be too rhymey, but perhaps another idea to add to the mix!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like Penelope and Araceli best. It seems like Maria mostly tends towards classical eccentric and classical unusual names, as they’re classified by the Name Nerds site. Classical eccentric names are historic names which may be seen as old-fashioned today (e.g., Cornelia, Amalia, Henrietta, Lenore, Theodora), and classical unusual names are also old-fashioned, but a bit more popular (e.g., Adrienne, Daphne, Georgia, Louisa, Veronica).

    Other names which I think would work well with Hannah, and Maria’s style, are Josephine, Beatrice, Eloise, and Genevieve.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Lorelei always makes me think of Leilani for some reason. It’s a Hawaiian name and not a saint’s name, but it is floral and pretty and exotic sounding.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “I like weird names, last names (for boys mostly)” – so this got me thinking about today’s feast day (Oct. 24) – St. Anthony Mary Claret. Marie indicated she likes last names and was considering Beckett for a boy. I know that this preference extends to boy names mainly but I would throw out Claret as an option for a girl. It definitely is more feminine sounding so not a boy name. It does remind me of Beckett. It is unusual/weird (haven’t heard it yet in any of my Catholic circles). It was a style match for Sebastian on something I saw. St. Anthony Mary was from Spain and was bishop in Cuba, so has Hispanic connection and feel. So it is kind of a cool name to consider though honestly seems very different from the other girl names, so don’t know that it would really fit. And I don’t know if it goes with Hannah. (Again like Hannah as first – Hannah Claret).

    Liked by 2 people

      • Some like myself, didn’t originally know that before researching, so is there a really big association? I wouldn’t think that.

        And you know liquor names are used for girls…”Brandy, you’ve a fine girl, / What a good wife you would be / But my life, my love and my lady is the sea.”

        Liked by 3 people

      • Wow, all the alcohol girls names! Lol! I haven’t ever had claret wine, but I do know it is mentioned in literature a fair amount (literature is how I know about it). So if she grows up to be a reader, she could be like, “Aww, my name is a type of wine!” That would probably annoy me…I banned the nickname “Gracie” from my life when I was about 15, after seeing several old westerns with prostitute characters named Gracie. And also hearing of more than a few basset hounds with that moniker. Suddenly it just wasn’t something I wanted to be associated with anymore (I had previously been exclusively called Gracie by all of my grandparents and often by my dad…my mom generally only used Grace, as did my siblings and friends).

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I think hannah is the perfect middle name after gianna, magdalena, and anastasia. I would use a shorter name not ending in -a, like rose. isabel is indeed very nice! my bff is called hannah bethany, which i find a super nice combo. how about: evelyn hannah (evelyn means wished for child!)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Here’s another vote for the above suggestion of Beatrice/Beatrix. I think it flows beautifully with Hannah, and the meaning “blessing” is particularly poignant due to her story. Also, St. Beatrice da Silva Meneses founded the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that’s another connection to conception. I also think it pairs nicely with Rose, Sofia, and Gemma.

    I also like the suggestion of Felicity for the same reasons.

    Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s