Baby name consultation: Artistic, worldly, saintly names a plus for the third of three brothers

Carrie and her husband are expecting their third baby — a third boy! This little guy joins big brothers:

Owen Joseph
Julian Elias

I.Love.Those.Names! So sophisticated and handsome!

Carrie writes,

I love thinking and talking about baby names while my husband absolutely does not, and I desperately need some input! Hubby has actually said that he doesn’t think choosing baby names is that big of a deal, and that names in general aren’t that important (what!!!).”

What!!! 😲

We named our first son, Owen, after I made a list of my 5 favorite names, gave it to him, and he pointed to one and said “this one.” Our second son was basically named solely by me – Julian was my favorite name by far, and after a while I told my husband that I was going to just start considering the baby to be Julian unless he provided another suggestion. He never did, so Julian it was! The only real name suggestion my husband has given has been along the lines of “what about something like Bob?” Meaning – he thinks most of the names I like are too unusual for him.”

Um. He and my husband sound like brothers separated at birth.

So like I said, we currently have Owen Joseph and Julian Elias. Owen was actually born on the feast day of a St. Owen, which I did not realize until earlier this year. Owen is also a family name on my husband’s side. His middle name, Joseph, is after my dad and we consider St. Joseph to be his patron saint. I liked the name Julian for several reasons – I like the softer sound of it, and I think it sounds artistic and worldly. We do call him Jules a lot at home. We went back and forth about a family middle name for Julian but in the end nothing sounded right and we went with Elias (in part to give him cool initials [their last name begins with a T] – don’t judge! We were that desperate!) Julian’s birthday is in February which is also the month that St. Julian’s feast day is in. So I kind of like that both boys so far have birthdays in the same month as their saint’s feast day. (But not a requirement!)

… boy names are very challenging, since aside from Julian I had a hard time coming up with names I liked and could actually see us using the last time around. I am not sure how we will be able to name a third boy! When I try to think about boy names I like that are viable options, I come up with blanks. Nothing seems usable for us! I have even tried the Baby Name Wizard trick where I look at our current names or names I like and see if any of the brother names are possibilities, but so far that hasn’t helped me much. So as you can see, I feel that I need some fresh eyes on our boy naming situation.”

Honest to goodness, sometimes fresh eyes are all that are needed! It can be so helpful to just bounce ideas off of someone else.

Names they’ve considered that Carrie likes but aren’t sold on, or have been vetoed by her husband include:

Ames
Ansel
August
Arthur
Conrad
Dominic
Ezra
Felix
Frederick
Harry/Harris
Miles
Solomon

I have always like the name Blaise and feel connected to St. Blaise as my grandmother’s birthday was on St. Blaise day and I always loved the story behind the blessing of the throats, but not sure if its too “out there” for us. I also have always liked Silas but my husband has said it sounds evil (I think because the villain in the book the Da Vinci code was named Silas).

Middle name possibilities so far are Thomas (my husband’s confirmation name, he just converted to Catholicism at Easter), Henry after my grandfather (but could not use as a first because I have a cousin with that name already), or perhaps Blaise in the middle spot.”

Names that Carrie likes but they can’t use include:

Leo
Theo/Theodore
James
Asher
Leland
most names ending in T (Elliot) as our last name is very T heavy
Francis/Frank
Samuel
Ben
Jude (“it can be a nickname for Julian and its also just too close“)
Xavier

Girl names they like, for inspiration:

Isla
Beatrice
Vivian
Ada
Willa

Finally,

Aside from no names that end with T’s, and including a saint’s name in either first or middle spot, the only other rules I have is no top 20 names and no strong Irish names (I know Irish names are currently very popular) as my family has very strong German roots and it would just feel weird to me. I don’t mind repeating initials, and although I prefer 3 syllables or less I am open to a longer name.”

So first off, I think it’s amazing that Carrie’s successfully named two little boys with little help from her hubby—that would be some moms’ dream come true! But I totally get why it’s frustrating.

Second, I was really interested in trying to fit with the connection with Owen and Julian’s feast days both falling in the month they were born—I kept that in mind as I looked for ideas for this baby (due in early March, so I looked quickly through the feast days on CatholicSaints.info for both February and March).

Carrie and her hubs have a great list of names I think! I think Blaise is an awesome option—Feb feast day, great name, great saint, and Carrie has a connection to him as well! I personally don’t think it’s too out there for them, but of course they need to be comfortable with the name they choose.

As for Silas, if her husband can’t shake the negative association, I wonder what they’d think of Cyrus? It has a totally different feel to me; they could still use the sound-alike nickname Cy; and it’s a saint’s name. Or Cyril? There are several, with feast days Feb. 14 and March 18, 20, and 28.

Even though she said she’s already looked through the Baby Name Wizard, I did so as well, looking up the names she and her husband have used and those they like, as you know it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. Based on that, and some ideas of my own, these are my ideas:

(1) Gabriel
I love when I see what seems to be a preference by parents for a certain sound—like, in this case, vowel couplets (Julian, Elias, Blaise, Leo, Theo/Theodore, Xavier). Gabriel barely makes the cut for Carrie’s preference for no top 20 names, being No. 22 in 2015, but otherwise it seems such a good match for them in my opinion. It’s kind of sophisticated and gentlemanly, which I get from Owen and Julian, and it totally fits Carrie’s description of why she likes Julian: “I like the softer sound of it, and I think it sounds artistic and worldly.” One of my favorite name books, Puffy, Xena, Quentin, Uma by Joal Ryan, described Gabriel as “acceptably musical for a boy,” which always stuck with me! Gabe and Gil are both possible nicknames, I like them both! Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows’ feast day is Feb. 27; Gabriel Lalemant is March 17; the Annunciation (not St. Gabriel the Archangel’s feast day but associated with him) is March 25.

(2) Matthias, Tobias, Gideon
Here are some more vowel-couplet names that I thought were slam dunks until I realized that Matthias and Tobias rhyme with Elias, and Gideon has the same ending sound as Julian. I don’t think any of the potential negatives are necessarily deal-breakers though—with Elias being a middle name, I don’t think it’s a huge deal to use a rhyming name for another child’s first name. And Owen and Julian also have the same ending sound, so adding in a third boy with the same ending sound in Gideon could actually be really cool. I knew three brothers growing up named Cam3ron, J0nathan, and G!deon, and I always loved those names together. Tobias Francisco Borras Roman’s feast is Feb. 11.

(3) Pierce, Simon, Henry
Pierce has been on my mind ever since one of you readers left a comment saying she knows someone who named her son Pierce after Mary’s Heart being pierced with a sword. Wow! It’s a form of Peter and I would definitely put it in the “sophisticated and gentlemanly” category, as I would also do with Simon. Kind of bookish and smart, just like Owen and Julian. Ditto for Henry, and St. Henry Morse’s feast day is Feb. 1! There are a bunch of holy Peters with feasts in Feb and March: Peter Cambiano is Feb. 2, Peter Igneus is Feb. 8, Pierre Fremond is Feb. 10, Peter Damian is Feb. 21, the feast of the Chair of St. Peter is Feb. 22. Additionally Simon of Saint Bertin is Feb. 24 and Henry of Austria is March 7.

(4) Beau
I did a consultation for my brother and sister-in-law a year ago, and they were so on my mind when I was working on this for Carrie and her hubs, as they have two boys named Leo and Owen and several of the other names Carrie likes are ones my SIL and I discussed. Beau is one of my SIL’s favorite names for a boy, and I think it has that “soft, artistic” feel Carrie likes (I think so much of Beau Wilkes in Gone With the Wind). So I was delighted to see it’s a style match for Blaise and Xavier!

(5) Hugo, Oscar
Carrie and her hubs have kind of a Germanic contingent on their list—Frederick, Conrad, Felix—all of which made me think of Hugo, which is a name we considered for our youngest. Can’t you just picture a toddler Hugo? Ohmygoodness! So cute! There is the literary connection to be aware of in regards to Julian’s name—Jules Verne and Victor Hugo—but I also think that could be really cool. Hugh of Fosse’s feast is Feb. 10, Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni is Feb. 17.

I normally wouldn’t suggest another O name for a family that’s already used an O name, since O is a somewhat distinctive and rarely used letter, but since Carrie specifically said she didn’t mind repeating initials and since I thought Oscar would be awesome, I decided to go for it. I spotlighted it here.

(6) Isaac, Micah
Isaac and Micah kind of remind me of each other—both have a long I and a hard C; they’re short-to-medium in length; they’re both Old Testament. Isaac falls right in that “sophisticated, gentlemanly, bookish” category that I think really fits Carrie’s taste, and is saintly as well (St. Isaac Jogues). Micah is more in the “soft, artistic” category I think, maybe even too much so, as it’s in the top 1000 for girls (#108 for boys, #834 for girls), but it’s a name I love and I’d be thrilled for it to see even more use among boys. Isaac the Patriarch’s feast is March 25.

(7) Kolbe
Finally, I was thinking how Carrie said her family has strong German roots, and I always always think of St. Nicholas Owen when I see the name Owen, so I had in mind German-ish surnames and Kolbe immediately came to mind. Owen, Julian, and Kolbe strike me as quite a cool set of brothers!

And those are my idea for this family! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for Owen and Julian’s little brother?

81 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Artistic, worldly, saintly names a plus for the third of three brothers

  1. Even before I read your list, I was going to suggest Hugo!!!! No kidding!

    Julian Elias has to be one of my most favorite names I’ve heard! 😍

    I think all of your suggestions are good, Kate, I especially think Tobias is a good one. I was going to throw Jasper out there too, since I’ve been so swoony over it for the last year, but I don’t know how they feel about two J boys in a row. (I’ve decided I don’t really care about it for us, because oh my gosh, all the J names!!!) I started listening to this Podcast a while ago with a very cool young British host named Casper (I’ve since quit the podcast, but the guy and his name stuck with me), so maybe that would have the worldly feel she’s talking about.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I know of two large families with all n-ending names, and it seems like a nice theme to give some direction, especially without spousal help in name decisions! So along those lines, I like your suggestions of Gideon and Simon, and also…Simeon, Augustine, Adrian, Nathan, Martin, and Christian. For non n-ending names I like Micah, Matthias and Gabriel with their others.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Titus was the name that immediately came to my mind. Titus Henry would be very handsome.

    I like Gabriel and Simon from the consultation suggestions.

    William also sounds very nice, and according to babycenter.com, it has German origins, and could be considered artsy. Not in the the top 20, and has rather worldly associations – royalty.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I like that the boys names are both classic sounding, and more gentle on the ear I think than other names. Maybe something else that is all boy but still gentle sounding – like Ethan or Adrian? I love Thomas as a middle name. Wonderful saints and goes with almost anything you pick for a first name. I also think now is make it or break it time – either they have a boy name pattern with N ending names, or they need to change it up now to give themselves more options for the future if they are considering more children. Maybe in that case something like Isaiah?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We have friends who had 5 children ending with -n, and when the 6th came along, they couldn’t find one they liked and had to break the pattern. It was kind of a bummer. So it’s probably something to be mindful of.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Carrie, I’m sorry that your husband isn’t enthusiastic about names… But that’s what this community is for!
    First of all, Owen is actually a style match for Blaise on the BNW!
    And my idea is Edmund. I can’t explain why, but I think it sounds great next to Owen and Julian.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Team Blaise! Besides being a Catholic name it definItaly is popular in France, so it has the continental vibe. May I also suggest Ambrose? it has the British feel of Pierce and Simon.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I love Blaise!!!! So much.
    And I was thinking of Maximilian or Kolbe before I read your list, Kate. I’m also going to put George out there, which I have a particular affinity for. 🙂
    I know a toddler Hugo! So cute!!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Personally, I would avoid both J names (because each boy has one) and names that end with N, so they aren’t locked in. That’s just me, obviously it wouldn’t be bad if they went with an ending in N name or a J name.

    I think my favorite suggestion of your is Henry 🙂 Like someone said, Owen and Julian are both very soft sounds, in the best possibly way, and Henry has that feeling for me as well! I also like that it has a strong N sound, but it’s not at the end of the name. Good transition name for them if they want to get out of the theme.

    I really wanted to suggest Miles, but then I saw it was on their veto list unfortunately 😦 It would be so cute with their names!

    The name Caleb came to mind for me. It’s top 20 (I think), but it sounds so perfect with Owen and Julian. Maybe they’d overlook that rule if they loved it?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I love julian elias, seriously such a great name. Owen Joseph is also really cool, but Julian Elias is totally my style. From your list I love Felix, Miles, and Ames.

    I would suggest:
    caleb
    jasper
    vincent
    reuben
    simeon
    quentin

    I also like gideon and isaac from the ones already suggested,

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m going to throw out my favorite name again! Haha! But I think Desmond would work great with Owen and Julian! I’d also jump on the bandwagon for Edmund too 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Hey, we just found out that the #3 that we’re expecting is our third boy too. Congrats!

    I love Owen and Julian. I think that Blaise and Hugo are perfect. Isaac, Casper, Adrian and Gabriel all are great too!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Thank you everyone for your comments! (And the great feedback on Julian Elias, I needed you 2 years ago when we were deciding in his name, ha!). I will say that at this point our front runner is Hugo but not totally sold yet! 🙂 I love the Edmund ideas but I have a little cousin who is Edwin (goes by Eddie) so that is out for me. And I think I agree with those who suggested not using a name ending with N or having either name start with J as to not box us in for possible future children (not sure that will happen but you never know!). I also really like Casper/Jasper and Miles but my hubs doesn’t :(. Anyway these are all great suggestions and such a great community! Thank you!!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Here’s a thought… Another bridge name between “Bob” and Owen/Julian could be John. It would allow for continuing the “ends in N” theme, but it’s less obvious because of it being one syllable, so if they wanted to move away from that theme in the future, it wouldn’t be such a big transition. It seems to blend well with multiple styles. However, on it’s own, it might be less artistic than what Carrie is looking for? On the other hand, it seems like kind of a bold choice these days, so maybe it would work?

    Liked by 3 people

    • John is unfortunately out as it’s my father in laws name but we are not wanting to name a child after him. Also my brother in law’s first name is Johnathon so we’d leave that name for him in case he ever wanted to use it for his child!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Even though Carrie said she doesn’t want to use it, I will say that John is definitely a bold choice these days! When our John was born in 2013, we had several people, including my midwife and some nurses at the hospital do a double take, clearly thrown off by it. A few people said, “Wait. You mean, like J-O-H-N?!” in complete surprise. It seems pretty out there for an actual baby to be named John. Lol!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve heard that said by other people too! I think I’m in a bit of a John pocket — I know loads of little Johns, and it’s split pretty evenly whether they go by “just John” or Jack. I do love it though! Such a strong, classic name!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi, how about Emmerick or Luca for a German feel? My suggestions for “Bob” like names are Andrew, Christopher, Nicolas and Matthew. All solid, manly and not unusual. I know you want to avoid T sounds, but what do you think about Emmet or Trevor?

    Liked by 1 person

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