Baby name consultation: Danish + Irish inspiration for Baby No. 2

Lindsay and her husband are expecting their second baby, a little green bean 🌱 (=gender unknown)! This wee babe joins big brother:

William Thomas

Solid, handsome, there’s nothing wrong with a name like William Thomas!

About his name, Lindsay writes,

So many people in my family have the name William, my brother, cousins and uncles on both sides, my dad is a Bill from Wilber like his dad. I always knew I wanted a William of my own. When I met my husband, he was introduced as Nolan…come to find out his first name is William and just goes by his middle name! His dad was William. his mom’s dad, some uncles and a nephew too! We chose Thomas after his brother in law who raised him after his parents passed when he was a young. And also St. Thomas More who I’ve always been drawn to.”

Again, perfection. 👌

About this new baby, Lindsay writes,

We just found out we are pregnant with our second! We didn’t know our son’s gender until he was born. We went in with two full names per gender and wanted to meet our child first before settling on a name. The other boy’s name that we didn’t use is still a huge contender should this baby be a boy. So I’ll start with our two boy name options.

Here’s the other boy name that we didn’t use the first time around:

Thatcher Pio (If we hadn’t chosen William Thomas for our first son he would have been Thomas Thatcher and go by the middle name…so that is why Thatcher is still in the mix but trying to find another middle name since we’ve used the name Thomas)

We love Padre Pio in our family 🙂 and we want to name a son after him. But I’m not convinced this flows. What do you think? Thatcher is my paternal grandmother’s maiden name and I just love it. So English and solid but also I’ve never heard it as a first name.

Thatcher is a first contender for me but my husband still wants to go in with two names for each gender. We both love Theodore! I know it means “gift of God” so that’s wonderful but I’m not sure about middle name because I do want a name from my side in there. Guess I’ll have to figure that one out! I know there is a St. Theodore but I don’t know any info.

For girls…

The two names that were our contenders the first time around are still tip top. But a fun thing has happened that makes it hard to decide which! Here they are:

Stellamaris Anne
I’ve always loved Stella and then I heard Stella Maris and just love it to give a nod to our Blessed Mother. I would make it the full first name so I can have one middle name. We’d mainly call her Stella. Oh and is there a specific pronunciation for Maris? I always went with Mare-is as in the sound of Mary. But then on the Fountains of Carrots podcast I heard it as Mar-is. Does it matter? Anne: My sister’s middle name is Anne and I’d just love to acknowledge her and my Mother in law’s middle name is Ann and she always had a love for St. Anne. She died when my husband was young so I never met her but his nine siblings gave me a St. Anne medal at our wedding. I was on day 5 of a St. Anne novena praying that we could conceive (we had trouble getting pregnant the first time) when I found out I was pregnant this time around. So needless to say I really want this child to have Anne in her name should she be a girl! Oh and I love Anne of Green Gables … a literary nod that I like hehe. I would say the entire name is my personal front runner but the other option means a lot to my husband and it has grown on me. But using Anne with this other first name option gets tricky. I’ll move on to explain.

Eleanor Francis (Frances)
To begin, my dad’s middle name is Francis. Is it weird to spell it that way for a girl? I thought I read somewhere that both spellings used to be interchangeable for genders. Maybe I made this up haha. Anyway, I also looked up St. Frances and she is so wonderful … what an amazing patron saint for a young girl! Now onto the first name … Eleanor. Eleanor is my husband’s grandmother’s name. It took me a while to really love it but I do now. I love the classic, timelessness of it. I like all these nicknames (Lenny [don’t want it to turn into Lynn], Nell, Nellie) but am still hesitant about what we would use … maybe it would help once we know our girl. I like the name as is but we are a nickname type of family so I would kind of like to have an idea so it doesn’t turn into something we don’t want. And I’m not sure my husband is sold on a nickname. For particular reasons we don’t want any type of El nickname or Nora.

The dilemma is that I do not want to use Anne with Eleanor because I would probably still want to use Francis as a middle name and that doesn’t work in my opinion with Stellamaris. So basically first name/middle name combos are solid as they are.

Hopefully I’ll have more girls and here is the rest of the running list basically in order to give you a sense of our style:

Imogen (don’t think it really has any religious/catholic tie though)
Willa (although haven’t decided if I can really have a William and a Willa haha)
(I’ve thrown around the idea of making Zellie a front runner this time around to fix my Anne middle name problem)

We also like Louis for a boy and Benjamin but they would not be front runners right now. My husband likes Henry and Oliver. I like both but they are way down the list and I’m not sure I’d ever really want to use Oliver.

Some ideas for future middle names based on family names and Saints are:

Katherine, Virginia, Avila, Goretti

Boys middle names are harder for me.

Oh and I’ve tried to find cool Danish names because I’m Danish so if any neat ones pop up in your mind I’d love to hear them and my husband is Irish. I’ve always love Irish culture and we went there on our honeymoon 🙂 “

I’m such a HUGE fan of hearing all the details! I know some of you who I’ve done consultations for apologize to me for giving me lots of details, but I say the more the merrier!

Alrighty, so diving right in: I love Thatcher Pio! I absolutely think they go together well, great combo!

Theodore’s also great, and while I obviously don’t know what names Lindsay has on her side of the family, just trying to think of middle names that come to mind quickly as going well with it, I love the idea of Theodore John — a nice short middle following a longer first. Most families have a John somewhere! I also love that there’s St. John of Avila, which can tie into the Avila she listed as a possible future middle. Or if she wanted to tie in her husband’s Irish, perhaps Theodore Sean? Or Jens or Hans, both Danish forms of John? Or Theodore Bent, where Bent is a Danish form of Benedict? I actually really like the idea of using a Danish name in the middle, because then it automatically becomes a name from Lindsay’s side, just by virtue of its Danish-ness, and also because it balances out Pio a bit. William Thomas and Thatcher Pio, super handsome as they each are on their own and very Britishy (except Pio), are nevertheless quite different at first glance — William Thomas is all super traditional and no surprise, while both Thatcher and Pio are unusual and surprising. So if they did something like Theodore Jens or Theodore Bent for this baby, it would make a really nice bridge between William Thomas and Thatcher Pio. Does that make sense?

Some other short Danish names that I thought could pair nicely with Theodore include:

— Bernt (Bernard)
— Carl (Charles)
— Claus (Nicholas)
— Elias (Elijah)
— Frans (Francis)
— Klemens (Clement)
— Poul (Paul)

There are a whole bunch of other options here, including pronunciations.

Since we’re talking about Danish names, these are the three ideas I had for Danish names that would make good first names for boys in my opinion:

(1) Matthias
I love how (1) biblical, (2) Catholic (since Matthias was chosen to take Judas’ spot by the rest … perhaps they could be thought of as the first Church Council? 🙂 ), and (3) Scandinavian Matthias is! Such a great name, and I saw too that Mads is the Danish diminutive for it, cute!

(2) Oscar
I’m a huge fan of Oscar — I did a spotlight on it here, and wish it would get more play!

(3) Sander
Alexander is a name I feel like I should love — it’s totally my style *on paper,* according to the Baby Name Wizard (which, as you all know, lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity) — but I’ve never been able to love it. But Sander, which is a Danish diminutive of it, I do love! I think it’s so cool and unexpected, but familiar at the same time.

I also love Louis, Benjamin, Henry, and Oliver, and used them all as inspiration when coming up with new ideas for this family.

Re: their girl ideas, Stellamaris Anne and Eleanor Frances/Francis are both so lovely!

I love putting Stella and Maris together in one first name so they could have one middle name, perfect! Regarding Lindsay’s pronunciation question, I’ve always said MARE-is, like she does, and looking it up quickly on behindthename they list two pronunciations as equal — I believe their MER-is is the same as our MARE-is, and their MAR-is is like Haley’s pronunciation. So I would say either is fine — you get to choose your favorite!

The Anne connections are all amazing!! I can totally see why it’s important to Lindsay to use Anne in her first daughter’s name! So let’s move on to Eleanor for a minute, and I’ll offer some Anne ideas then too.

Re: Francis for a girl — Frances is currently the female variant and Francis the male, but in the old days there was a lot of interchange! So I wouldn’t be surprised if they used to be used for both boys and girls. That said, Brooke Shields named her daughter Rowan Francis, and if I remember correctly she used the Francis spelling specifically because she was honoring a male Francis (maybe her dad?). Especially as a middle name, there’s no harm in choosing whichever spelling one wants! It’s also good to note that Frances and Francis are the *same* name, so Frances in honor of Lindsay’s dad should be totally fine and understandable and obvious. But it’s also very modern and current to use boy names for girls (like how James is getting a lot of play among celeb baby girls, mostly as a middle, but then Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively used it as a first). So I think whichever way they decide to go is great!

That said … I might think that the Francis spelling, being a bit more unusual for a girl, would be more in line with Thatcher Pio than William Thomas, and might therefore make a nice bridge between Lindsay’s oldest and her subsequent children.

Also, in doing research for her somehow I came across Nonie as a nickname for Eleanor! Cuuuute!! I debated whether I thought it was too similar to the unusable Nora, and thought I’d let them decide.

So it seems like, if I’m understanding correctly, that Eleanor Anne would technically be the “best” option — the first name Lindsay’s husband loves and the middle name that she thinks is so perfect and meaningful for a first girl. But as Lindsay pointed out, Stellamaris Frances/is doesn’t have such a great flow. My one suggestion is to consider Maristella instead — it’s the same name as Stellamaris, and can take Stella as a nickname, and Maristella Frances/is sounds a lot better than Stellamaris Frances/is. I posted a birth announcement for a Maristella not too long ago, such a beautiful name! I’ve also thought Maristelle would be a gorgeous variant (like Maris Estelle, which is a French-y Maris Stella), and I think it could still lead to Stella as a nickname (I’ve never actually seen Maristelle though).

Lindsay’s other girl names are so fun! I get a definite Brit vibe from Imogen, and I too love it! And while there’s no *officially* holy Imogen that I could find (i.e., Servant of God/venerable/blessed/saint), a quick google search did yield a Mother Imogen Ryan who was Mother Superior of a Sacred Heart convent and had dealings with Dorothy Day, and wrote a book for children under the name Mary Imogen Ryan. I love the idea of Mary Imogen — Mary+[anything] automatically makes a name Catholicky Catholic I think! And loads of Mary+’s go by their middle names!.

I love Zellie, and Zellie Anne is lovely! Liesel is beautiful too, and Willa! I love that Lindsay included it so I could use it for inspiration, but William and Willa would be really bold!

As far as Danish girls’ names, these were some I quite liked for them from the list of female Danish names provided at behindthename:

(1) Anika, Annelise
Anika is a Danish diminutive of Anna/Anne — I’m guessing Lindsay would still prefer Anne, being that Anne is her sister’s middle name and Ann was her mother-in-law’s middle name, but Anika’s a sweet way to get an uncommon Anne name. Annelise is another great Anne name, and is actually the Danish form of Anneliese, which is Anna and Liese (from Elisabeth, so similar to Liesel on their list!) put together.

(2) Britt or Brit(t)a
These are short forms of Birgitta, which is related to Bridget. I like them both, very cool! Kind of Danish and Irish at the same time!

(3) Hildegard
I know! This is such a big clunky name! But St. Hildegard of Bingen is awesome, and I just die over the nickname Hildy/Hildi, so sweet! (I would totally also do just Hildy or Hildi as a given name too, though neither were included in the list of Danish names.)

(4) Milla
I wonder what Lindsay and her hubs would think of Milla instead of Willa? I think sibs William and Milla would be totally fine! I did a spotlight on Ludmila last year, for St. Ludmila, who was a holy grandmother — I’ve often thought that she would be a nice and unusual way to honor a grandmother in a grandchild’s name, and I think Mil(l)a’s the most current way to do so.

I had some other ideas too, based on research in the Baby Name Wizard, using the names Lindsay likes, as well as my own mental files:

(1) Clara or Klara
Clara’s a style match for Theo (I looked up both Theo and Theodore, as I thought both gave great ideas), Stella (no entry for Stellamaris), and Louis! It also totally rocks as a sister to Eleanor in my opinion. The spelling Klara is Danish, which could be perfect for them!

(2) Lucy
Lucy is also a match for Theo and Stella, and also Henry! It’s such a sweet name and also fits in really well with Eleanor.

(3) Eva or Evelyn
Yes, Eva was also a match for Theo and Stella! It reminded me of Evelyn, which I thought they might also like — it has that Brit feel to it, to me, probably because of (male) author Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited, great Catholic themes).

(4) Gemma
Gemma! I love love love it for this family! It was only listed as a match for Willa, which is great enough, but it’s also got lots of use in the UK, which fits with Eleanor and Imogen, and it’s super saintly in the same vein as Zellie. So great!

(5) Beatrice or Beatrix
Again, a nice English feel, and quite a good style match for them otherwise, being similar to Theodore, Eleanor (Beatrice), and Imogen (Beatrix).

(6) Verity
I thought some of Lindsay’s more offbeat ideas — Thatcher, Zellie, Imogen, Liesel, Willa — were more indicative of her taste than some of the others, and I relied heavily on their style matches when finding names I thought she might like. Verity’s a match for Imogen, and I would also put it in the Zellie category in the sense of Catholicky Catholic names. (And I love the character of Verity on Poldark!)

(7) Violet
Violet was another great style match for them, similar to Stella, Eleanor, and Oliver. It can also be a Marian name!

(1) Charles
I couldn’t not suggest Charles to this family after seeing it listed as a style match for William, Eleanor, Louis, Henry, and Stella (Charlie) — wow! It’s a great name!

(2) Everett
Everett was listed as a match for both Theodore and Eleanor, which is great enough, but I also really felt like it had a Thatcher feel to it. Everett’s derived from Everard, and there are several holy men by that name!

(3) Felix
Felix is a match for Theo and Imogen, and was included in the list of Danish names! I’ve also seen it used/considered by families who also use/consider Zellie.

(4) Garett/Gareth
Gareth is a match for Imogen and Gemma, and it reminded me of a comment that was recently left on the blog about a family who used Garrett for a son in honor of St. Margaret. I thought that was so brilliant! I quite like Garrett — it has an Irishy feel to me, and I think it could easily hold its own with Eleanor/Imogen/Oliver-type names; behindthename also says it’s likely derived from Gerard or Gerald, which provides good patron saints. If they prefer Gareth however, Margarethe is the Danish form of Margaret, and perfect patron for a Gareth! (I almost suggested a variant of Margaret to them — lots of great options that totally fit their style! — but then I thought it was a bit much with brother Thatcher.)

**Speaking of Margaret Thatcher, I’m going to interrupt myself for a minute — Lindsay specifically asked,

I do have one more big question about Thatcher. Many of the Irish people loath Margaret Thatcher … am I right? I love Ireland and hope to go there with family in the future … and I don’t want my son, Thatcher, to be looked down upon by the friendly Irish because of his name. Think I’m looking too far into this and thinking people would be more judgmental than they actually would be?

Do any of you have a good sense of how Thatcher would be received in Ireland? **

(5) Simon
Simon is a match for Willa and Oliver, and I also love it with William and Thatcher!

(6) Sebastian
Sebastian actually didn’t show up as a style match for anyone, but I can see it working really well with William, Thatcher, Eleanor, Imogen (that English feel) as well as Stellamaris and Zellie (Catholicky Catholic).

(7) Bennett
Finally, I love Bennett for this family — it’s a match for Willa, but it’s also got a surnamey feel like Thatcher; it’s got that Austen vibe like Eleanor; and it’s a medieval variant of Benedict!

Whew! Those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What would you suggest for a little brother or sister to William Thomas, given all the info here? What are your thoughts about first name Thatcher from an Irish perspective?


26 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Danish + Irish inspiration for Baby No. 2

  1. Overall I get a pretty classical fun vibe from the names this mom likes, and personally I prefer theodore to tatcher, especially right after a william. theodore charles, or theodore -danish middle name- would be a veeery handsome choice. I also love eleanor anne, nicknamed lenny (the anne as a middle would help seal the nickname). maristella frances is also really cool tho, hopefully you’ll get to use it in the future. but for william thomas’s sibling theodore and eleanor definitely get my vote!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think her family connection to Thatcher is cool, but, because she mentions that part of what she likes about it is that she has never heard of it as a first name, I want to point out that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly named her son that last year. At the time
    I definitely viewed it as a tribute to Margaret Thatcher and others mentioned the connection to Thatcher Grey from Grey’s anatomy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the name Thatcher, but…I’m also a fan of the Iron Lady because, well, obvious reasons. (I have a serious case of anglophilia; first woman prime minister; Hugh Grant calls her a saucy wench in Love Actually…ok, just kidding about that last bit. I mean, he does, but that’s not a reason.)

    Otherwise, I like your suggestions of Matthias and Felix, Kate, as well as Britta and Beatrice.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Margaret Thatcher was pretty heavy-handed during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, so, indeed, she is not a favourite of the Irish. Even in England, you basically have to be a Tory to like her – where I live (north of England) she’s synonymous with crushing the miners and distroying entire communities. A contentious personality to say the least! So that could be a worry, but on the other hand, if I were to be introduced to an American guy called Thatcher, I wouldn’t think of Margaret at all ( she wasn’t one of your prime ministers after all!), I’d just assume it’s a name Americans like, and accept it as another strange thing Americans do. 😄
    Hope that helps!

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is a great response Isabelle!! I love this: “if I were to be introduced to an American guy called Thatcher, I wouldn’t think of Margaret at all ( she wasn’t one of your prime ministers after all!), I’d just assume it’s a name Americans like, and accept it as another strange thing Americans do” — haha!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • She also has plenty of admirers! It’s more that she is quite divisive, and it would be a bit like stamping a political programme on one’s child along with giving him his name (at least over here!) As opposed to a name like Lincoln, which you can probably use in the US whether you lean democrat or republican (correct me if I’m wrong though, I’m only guessing!)

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hmm. This is so interesting. I was thinking a little about this (particularly the Lincoln-vs.-Thatcher comparison of political reactions) and thought that “Reagan” would be a better comparison, as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were in office at the same time and represented the same political movement. I’ve met people, even some roughly my age, named Reagan/Regan (born 3 years after Reagan left office) and have never really thought much of it. This isn’t to say that Thatcher is eminently useable and not problematic in the UK, as I don’t live there…. but just another note for comparison!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Interesting point about Lincoln…honestly, it’s not a name that sees a lot of use in my experience, except among certain patriotic social conservatives.

        I do agree that Reagan might be a more apt comparison because Lincoln lived nearly 200 years ago now. I personally would not consider the name Reagan because I do think it would seem like a political statement.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Also when I was 12, I had a dream that I had (I used to think A LOT about my future children/family at this age) b/g twin babies named Thatcher and, I think Margaret! This was during the time she was prime minister but I was 12 and hadn’t been stricken with the anglophilia yet, so I have no idea why her name was on my subconscious radar. Margaret was definitely a favorite girls’ name at that time though.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. If they aren’t set on using Francis only for a girl middle, it could be used as the boy middle (Thatcher Francis) and be a nod to St. Pio whose birth name is Francesco – so a Francis variant.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I too love the Anne/Ann stories and connections. So lovely to use that name and it is always a great middle. Seems to fit with almost anything.

    I have always pronounced it Mar-is. And both variations – Stellamaris and Maristella – are equally pretty.

    Lena could be an Eleanor nickname.

    I would not do a William and a Willa – both wonderful names but too close.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this post! So mamy nice suggestions. I really like Maristella! I might add, sidetracking from the political conversation on the name Thatcher, in the movie A Knight’s Tale, Heath Ledger’s character was William Thatcher. It’s a minor reference, but since Thatcher would follow William, I thought I’d throw it out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love all the suggestions. In addition to the suggestion above of using Francis as a tribute to St. Padre Pio with Thatcher, they could also use Pius, since that’s his official name. Thatcher Pius has a nice ring to it. I actually love Theodore Francis as a combo. It’s more traditional like William, has the TH- start like Thatcher, and Francis can honor both her dad and St. Pio.

    If they like Anika as a nickname but not a given name, they could name a girl Anne Katherine. Anika would be a logical and cute nickname. And I love Kate’s suggestion of Annelise!

    Liked by 1 person

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