Baby name consultation: Third baby & third boy + cementing “naming style”

Erin and her husband are expecting their third baby — and third boy! Little Mister joins big brothers:

Dominic Andrew (“we love saint Dominic, it’s a strong name and has strong sounds (starts with a consonant, ends with the hard C/K sound). Andrew is my husbands name and we  liked keeping that in the family in a less formal way than a Jr.”)

Kolbe Jude (“Also a strong name and strong sounding name, after St. Maximilian Kolbe. I love that saint’s story, I love that he is a more recent saint. Jude- St. Jude worked many miracles for us the year leading up to Kolbe’s birth and it was a joy to honor him that way.”)

Both of which I looooove, totally my speed!

Erin writes,

I really like that, although not our intention, we have two saint names with deep Marian devotions AND middle names of original apostles. So, although it isn’t a deal breaker, it would be neat to continue that streak.

Our top choice, and the only name we agree on at the moment is: Oliver (after Oliver Plunkett). I like Oliver, but it is a departure from the way our other names “sound.” And, I’m really uncomfortable having only one name we both like … it feels like settling. Maybe the right middle name would make it fall into place?

We like Oliver Plunkett’s story because in today’s culture it is hard to be a faithful Catholic. We’d like any name-sake to be an example of how to live out the faith when facing persecution or other challenges.”

I love so so much the reasoning behind their love of St. Oliver’s story!

Names Erin likes include:


Names her husband likes include:

Isaac (for St. Isaac Jogues)
Fisher (for St. John Fisher)

Names they’ve previously considered but no longer want to use include:

John Paul

Finally, Erin says,

My own opinion is that our two names thus far have been strong, Catholic names, but nothing too out there. And, we are sort of cementing that pattern with number three– and I’d like to err on the side of slightly more unusual rather than more common.”

Alrighty, so I too love their pattern of first names=”saint’s name with deep Marian devotion” and middles=”names of original apostles”! Though I took a quick look online and couldn’t find anything that explicitly discussed St. Oliver’s Marian devotion, not only am I sure he had one, but I’ve also seen Olivia used to honor Our Lady of the Olives — so they could think of Oliver as a twofer! St. Oliver and Our Lady in one name!

As for middle names for it, I really like Oliver Nathaniel (Bartholomew was called Nathaniel in the Gospel of John), which I think is the most unusual of the remaining apostles’ names … or Oliver Levi (another name for the apostle Matthew) … Oliver James has a very Brit, bookish +feel, which I quite like … Oliver Thomas is solid and handsome … if they wanted to think outside of the original apostles, Matthias was chosen to replace Judas—I love Oliver Matthias, and like Nathaniel, it brings a little more of the unusual that Erin said she’d rather they err on the side of, an obviously biblical sparkle. And if they ventured even further into New Testament territory, something like Oliver Nicodemus would be amazing.

As for new ideas, I know what they mean about their third baby—especially being the same gender as their older two—really cementing their naming style. One of the ways to manage that, if they don’t want to get boxed in for the future, is to use three different styles for each of their three boys, and I actually think Oliver would do that: Dominic has a real Latin-y incense+monastery feel; Kolbe is a surname with a more modern feel; and Oliver’s Irishy and sweet. Going forward, they’d have three different feels to choose from, and good overlap between them.

Finding names that fit a “third category” was one of my goals when coming up with additional name ideas, and I also wanted to find names that I thought would have good overlap between Dominic’s and Kolbe’s styles — I think I have some good ideas. 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 with a similar style/feel/popularity; I also combed my own mental files and came up with:

(1) Roman
In thinking of that “third category” idea, I thought: Dominic is a first name, Kolbe is a surname, what about a name for a “thing”? Roman was the first idea I had in this category— it literally means “a Roman,” and it makes me think of the Pope, the Vatican, and the Church. I really like it with Dominic and Kolbe, and it was even listed as a style match for Dominic in the BNW! One of the down sides of “thing names” is that they tend to sound more like surnames than not, but I think Roman is a really good one because it’s not too surnamey, but having a bit of that feeling also makes it fit nicely with Kolbe. Two other names that I thought could fit in this category, though perhaps not as obvious to the outside world, are Tiber (for the Tiber River in Rome; “crossing the Tiber” is a phrase used by converts to Catholicism; one of our readers named her son Tiber) and Boon(e) (in the sense of “blessing, gift”), both of which I love. (Lots of other ideas here.)

(2) Fulton or Bennett
Beyond the idea of a third category, I loved the idea of finding names that would “straddle” the two styles Erin and her hubs have used already (and of course I’m only calling them “two styles” in order to find other names that fit … they certainly both fit squarely in the “super saintly” category)—so I thought a name that has equal-ish use as a first name and a surname would do so. Fulton was the first idea I had—though it was Fulton Sheen’s mom’s maiden name, everyone knows it as his first name. The other idea was Bennett, which is a medieval form of Benedict, which is how the surname arose—I know a few little Bennetts, and it’s certainly recognizable as a surname as well.

(3) Simon or Gabriel
Finally, I thought another way to manage their styles going forward would be to switch the order of the names—instead of sticking with a really saintly first name and New Testament middle (I’m using “New Testament” rather than “original apostles” in order to include Gabriel, which I think is a great fit for them!), perhaps they could consider their pattern to be “one name from the New Testament, and one that’s really saintly.” To that end, I thought Simon would be a great fit for a first name. It reminds me a lot of Oliver—it has a similar bookish, academic feel, and is of course one of the original twelve. I thought of Simon Peter as a combo being a good one for this family—it brings in that heavy hitting feel of Dominic and Kolbe—and then I thought of Pierce, which is a variant of Peter, so Simon Pierce would really be “Simon Peter,” but Pierce has an added Marian element in that one of our readers said she knows someone who named her son Pierce after the Prophecy of Simeon (“a sword will pierce [Mary’s] heart”). Cool, no? And Gabriel’s a style match for Xavier, Isaac, and Samuel, and so tied with Our Lady through the Annunciation, as well as being a New Testament name.

And those are my ideas for Erin and her husband’s new baby boy! What do you all think? What would you suggest for the little brother of Dominic and Kolbe, if they end up not going with Oliver?


31 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Third baby & third boy + cementing “naming style”

  1. My first thought was Thomas for either a first or middle, after St. Thomas More. His story exemplifies living the faith amid persecution!

    Fulton is a great idea too.

    What about Joseph? The Flight to Egypt was undertaken due to persecution, and he was definitely devoted to Mary. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve been thinking about their name theme and it made me think of the name Sebastian. I know it’s already on their list but it has a strong sound, it’s super saintly and falls in that “third category”: not monastery, not modern. I didn’t find any Marian connection, but if they don’t mind they could add it in the middle by using the name John.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Luke is very marian and has the k sound that they like. It isn’t unusual, but a sparkly middle name might do the trick. Plus it could sound modern or old-fashioned, so if they found a more unusual name in the future, it would still be an option.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a great concept to have a third category type name! I love it! Of their current ideas i like Isaac, which has that unique feel. I thought they might also like Oscar, Julian and Joachim.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oliver is great.
    I also like Vincent for this family, not too common but still familiar I think it would work as a “bridge” name. Plus it reads Catholic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like Oliver! but maybe it doesn’t have any strong sound within it like dominiC and Kolbe (emphasis on C and K) so I second Luke or Vincent. I would ass Lucas, or any name with a c or k in the middle. My child I love you has a Dominic and a Kapaun, which sounds very similar to Dominic and Kolbe. I wonder if she has any ideas for this family?

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  7. I looked at male saints who had notable devotions to Our Lady, and I’m loving St. Louis de Montfort for them. He definitely had a Marian devotion, and his “True Devotion to Mary” is a GREAT “example of how to live out the faith when facing persecution or other challenges.” I think Louis might be too common for them, so I would suggest Montfort. It has the strong sounds F and T, and it’s unusual but lends itself to the more usual (and adorable!) nickname Monty. I love the combo Montfort James.

    Other suggestions include Augustine and Peter. St. Augustine wrote about Mary more than any of the early Church Fathers, and he definitely is a great example of conversion when living in a wayward society (perfect for our times!). Augustine has the strong sounds of G and T, the name is very Catholic, unusual but not too out there, and has the great nicknames Gus and Auggie. I love the combos Augustine Thomas and Augustine James.

    St. Peter Canisius taught that while there are many roads leading to Jesus Christ, Marian veneration is the best, and he defended it against Protestant arguments during the Reformation. It has the strong T and R, and it’s not too common nowadays (ranked #183 in the US). Peter Matthias or Peter Bartholomew are great combos and the more unusual middle names add some extra sparkle. Also, if Peter is too usual for them they could go with Petrus, which is his name in his native Dutch (and it still has the great nickname Pete). I love the combo Petrus John.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this family’s style. I’m keeping this whole post in mind for future inspiration. Our boys’ names are August James (nn Augie) for St. Augustine and Henry Joseph. I could see August fitting with their style too.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I also like masculine names with a hard k (or g) sound. From my own list, I might recommend Hugo, Jacob, Connor, and Frederick. Those don’t really satisfy the other preferences though!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I love the suggestion of Oliver Mattias. I like the pairing of Oliver Ignatius. Simon Pierce is a high end hand blown glass company in Vermont. No negative association, and likely a small circle of people would notice, but I’d want to know that sort of thing before choosing a name.

    Liked by 1 person

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