Baby name consultant: 3rd boy/6th baby needs traditional name with possibly jazzy middle

Blair, who blogs at Blair’s Blessings and started a Facebook group last year called Catholic C-Section Moms (be sure to check it out if you need support/encouragement/advice/prayers!), and her husband are expecting their sixth baby — their third boy!

This little guy joins big sibs:

Mary Clare (goes by both)
Elizabeth Ann Marie “Ellie”
Steven Joseph, Jr.
Thomas William
Katherine Maria Grace “Katie/Katie-Grace”

Of course I love each of these names — how can you go wrong with such classic, saintly names?!

Blair writes,

As you can see, we like rather traditional saint names! We like some biblical names (for example Rebekah or David) but aren’t sure how well they’d fit with the others. I think we’d prefer a more obvious saint name as the first name. I like the children having a unique first initial, but could budge on that. 

So far, the boys’ names are family names. Our first son is a junior and the other son is named after both grandfathers. But Peter has always been my husband’s favorite. In fact, it was the name of our first son throughout the pregnancy until a few days before he was born (he even has a bag monogrammed with Peter!).

None of the names seem to really jump out at me right now, so I’d love some more ideas! … maybe they just need a good middle name to liven them up. This will also be my 6th c-section, so the name game helps to distract me and get me excited for the big day when we will meet this sweet babe, God-willing! Thanks for your ideas!

(Isn’t that a funny story about her oldest boy, Steven, having been Peter during the pregnancy so much so that he has a bag monogrammed with “Peter” on it?!)

The names on their list include:

Top two contenders:
Peter (“my husband’s favorite, but we have a hard time with middle names that fit“)
John Paul (“we met Pope St. John Paul II for a newlywed blessing in 2002, but it’s definitely popular among our Catholic homeschool circles“)

Others we like, and possible middle names:

(Sooo jealous of their newlywed blessing from JP2!! 😍😍😍)

Names on their no-go list for various reasons:


And for inspiration, the girl names they considered include

Theresa/Therese “Tess”

Alrighty, first of all I wanted to address the concern that David might not go so well with the other kids’ names. When I was doing my research for Blair (you all know that I usually start a consultation by looking up the names that the parents have used and 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 wasn’t at all surprised to see that David was listed a style match for both Steven and Thomas! I know a couple of Stephen+David brothers and Thomas+David brothers, and with St. David being a fairly popular saint (patron of Wales, in addition to the biblical David), yeah — I’d definitely keep David on the list if I were Blair!

I also loved Blair’s thought that maybe they “just need a good middle name to liven up” some of their ideas, so I wanted to spend some time on that. The first idea I had was Peter Xavier — it’s a combo I came across when working on my Sibling Project — one of the readers offered that they know a Kateri who has a brother named PeterXavier (double first name, all one word, no hyphen), and I immediately loved it! I think Xavier is so cool in the first or middle spots — no cooler initial than X! — and putting it in the middle I think really makes the first name sparkle. They could also do something like Peter Giorgio, for Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati — I don’t know if they have any Italian heritage, but I don’t think Italian heritage is necessary to use Giorgio in the middle as an honor name for a specific person who went by Giorgio. I also know a little Peter Karol, after JP2 of course — it basically translates into “Pope John Paul,” right? Peter=pope, Karol=John Paul! Or Peter Charles, for JP2 as well? It could be a first name+middle name, or they could do a double first name like Mary Clare.

As for Blair’s idea of “John Paul (or another double John name),” I’ve become more and more convinced that double John names are some of the very best—they remind me quite a bit of the Mary doubles, where Mary can stay part of the everyday name (like their Mary Clare) or it can just be on forms and the girl can go by her middle name, and either way it adds a little Marian dazzle which is awesome. I find it a bit harder to bling out a boy’s name without it heading toward the feminine side, but John+ names are always good for that. This post has a whole lot of John+ ideas!

If they love the idea of naming after JP2 but are wary of using John Paul itself because of all the little John Pauls they know, there are other ways Blair and her hubs might like to nod to him. I suggested Peter Karol or Peter Charles above, and I quite like Charles as a first name for this family as well. I know it’s not as obvious as John Paul, but that can also be its strength as well, as it might be less used among the families they know. Another idea, which I just loved when I first read it, is to use his childhood nickname of Lolek as a nickname for Luke—a reader suggested it here and I thought it was brilliant! I love Luke as a brother to Steven and Thomas—nice and biblical, and I basically consider Luke to be a Marian name because his gospel’s the most Marian; it’s also a style match for Jacob, Tess, and Clare. Or Lolek as a middle name? Peter Lolek? Anyone who knows anything about JP2 would get the reference right away I think, and though I’ve seen Lolek used here and there, as far as I can tell it’s pretty rare.

Another idea I had was to do with Michael on their list — I’ve long liked the idea of something like Michael Alexander or Michael Xavier with the nickname Max — not only can an interesting middle name “liven up” a more comfortable first name, so can an interesting or unexpected nickname! Michael is definitely “comfortable” — handsome, traditional, established, masculine, saintly — but a Michael nicknamed Max gives it a twist! Or, this book, as well as a bunch of other places online, argue that one origin of Miles may be as a contraction of Michael. So Miles on its own could be a Michael name or, as I would love for Blair, a nickname for Michael (and you all know one of the other origins of Miles, which I die over and push on people all the time — an anglicization of the Irish Maolmhuire=”servant of the Virgin Mary” … so Michael nicked Miles could be a St. Michael+Marian name all in one!). Or an idea that I’ve recently loved is something like Michael Oliver nicknamed Milo (or really, Milo could be a nickname for Michael even without an O middle name). So many fun options!

But of course, offering interesting nickname ideas isn’t what Blair asked for and I suspect it might not be her style, so I’d love to hear all your ideas for spicy middle names!

As for first-name ideas for this little boy, I thought these might also fit Blair and her Mister’s style:

(1) Robert
Robert jumped out at me right away as a name that just *felt* right for this family. It’s also a match for Mary (standing in for Mary Clare, since Mary Clare doesn’t have its own entry in the BNW), Thomas, Elizabeth, Jane, Theresa, David, and Peter—a great fit! My husband used to tease me mercilessly that his naming style is “Bob,” and so for a long time I totally disregarded Robert, but more recently I’ve been digging it. I think Robert on Downton Abbey helped, and of course St. Robert Bellarmine is awesome, and I’ve been loving recently the unusual nickname ideas of Rory and Bo, but I’m not currently hating Robby either.

(2) Gregory
Gregory is really tied with Robert for me, as a suggestion for Blair. I love love love the name Gregory! It seems from conversations I’ve had that Greg really interferes with a lot of couples taking the plunge with Gregory, but alternatives include Grey, Rory (just like Robert), and even Gus with the right middle (like Gregory August or Gregory Samuel). St. Gregory the Great is an awesome patron, and I love what the BNW says about the name: “Popes, saints, and Gregory Peck! Can a name get any more distinguished?”

(3) George
Suggesting Peter Giorgio above made me think of George, as well as Pope Francis’ pre-papal name being Jorge=George. It’s a match for Mary, Rose, and Edward, and is just as sophisticated as the rest of Blair’s kiddos’ names.

(4) Henry
Finally, Henry, which I think is one of the sweetest names for a boy. It has impeccable saintly credentials—check out its spotlight here. It’s a match for the equally gentlemanly Charles, George, and Edward, as well as Caroline, and its traditional nickname Harry is a match for Tess.

And those are all my ideas for Blair’s little boy! What do you all think? What would you suggest for Mary Clare, Ellie, Steven, Thomas, and Katie’s little brother?


46 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: 3rd boy/6th baby needs traditional name with possibly jazzy middle

  1. I love their kids names and my style is very similar! Our last little boy was so close to being a Peter that we have sweet pea (a play on the P for Peter) paraphernalia. I vote they use Peter. I love the combo Peter Gregory and Peter Nicholas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Peter specifically because it’s dad’s favorite. John Peter as a double first might work; he could be called Peter, it shares JP initials with the pope, and it sounds sweet. (I also adore the name Peter.)

    I’m really looking forward to you opening consultations again. I’d like to send another Orthodox consultation your way!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ahh, I love this whole sibset! Very similar to my kids’ names, in many ways.

    My youngest is Peter David! Peter was my husband’s favorite, too. David is my dad’s name, which is why we picked it for the middle. (And in a happy coincidence, one of my favorite sci-fi authors is Peter David.)

    How about Peter Thaddeus? Or Peter Benedict?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I definitely think Peter in some form is perfect! John Peter, as mentioned above, is my favorite, but Peter George or Peter Gregory are sweet, too.

    I love that she’s having her 6th c-section! I’m gearing up for my 4th surgery and it’s so encouraging to meet/hear of women who have made it through more, safely and happily!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter has long been my second-favorite male name. It’s so timeless and classic, with so many wonderful namesakes. Surprisingly, it’s never been on the Top 10 in the U.S., in spite of its enduring classic status.

    I love the suggestions of Charles, Gregory, and George. Another name that goes well with Peter, or could be a first name, is Jerome. It’s both a traditional saint’s name (and what an interesting, intelligent person he was!), and a rather uncommon name these days.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Their current names and ones they are considering as well as consult results are so full of my family’s names. I have a father, David; brothers, Steven Peter and Robert Joseph; and sons David, Jacob, and Joseph. This post hit everyone of the boys in my family LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am going to be all about pushing for the Peter. In reading the suggestions, I am sort of feeling that a 3 or more syllable name or one ending in “s” sound really good (I agree it is a hard one that fit – I think it is in the sounds together)

    So I really like Peter Ignatius, Peter Charles, and Peter Thaddeaus which were suggested.

    I know they have Francis on “no” list – would that be even for middle name? We know a religious, Br. Peter Francis. I like that a lot.

    We have friends who have a Peter Maximilian

    Peter Aquinas
    Peter Aloysius
    Peter Alphonsus

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think Peter is great for this family. I love the suggestions of John Peter and Peter Xavier (which kind of sounds like St Peter Claver if you mishear it).

    Maybe a more elaborate middle like Peter Augustine or shorter one like Peter Blaise.

    Also, I think you could do Max as a nickname for Matthew too.

    Liked by 2 people

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