Baby name consultation: “Nursing home,” Spanish, and saint/New Testament boy names for born baby no. 3

Mandi, who blogs at A Blog About Miscarriage and sells Lilla Rose hair accessories, is one of our longest, most devoted readers! I posted a consultation for her when she was expecting her second born baby, and then a birth announcement when the baby was born, and I frequently look to her for resources for families who have lost a baby to miscarriage and input on naming miscarried babies (here and here). I loved her pregnancy announcement and her coining of the term “golden baby” for a baby born after a rainbow baby. She, who lost four babies of her own, is such a great resource for anyone mourning a little one, and I’m thrilled she’s part of our community.

I’m also thrilled to post another consultation for her today!! She and her husband are expecting their third born baby, who joins big sibs on earth:

Lucia Rose
David Newton, Jr. (Davey)

And in heaven:

Francis Michael
Julian Gabriel
Adrienne Rafael
Christian Michael

Though they don’t know the baby’s gender, they’re all set with a girl’s name, so they’re just hoping for help with a boy’s. Mandi writes,

In terms of boy baby names, I feel like we are starting from scratch. I knew before I even met David that I wanted my eldest son to be a Junior. It worked out perfectly that David was a family name already. His name was kind of the obvious choice and we didn’t think about any others.

It’s kind of hard to know what names my husband will like or reject, so I’ll mostly just tell you my thought process and likes and then he’ll just have to approve or veto ideas. He did at one point say he liked men’s names like “Ralph” – kind of old fashioned, I guess? I am not a fan of Ralph specifically but not opposed to names you would generally associate with the nursing home crowd (if that was even what my husband meant, hard to tell).

We would want familiar, traditional boys names, along the lines of David. A few names we like but wouldn’t use (at least at this time) are John, Michael, Robert, and Francis. Other names I like are Joseph, Peter, and Thomas. I have always loved the name Guillermo but it’s a no-go for my husband as are other more strongly ethnic names (I generally love Spanish names, hence Lucia) though he at one point mentioned liking Joaquin.

Another important consideration is that we would want the name to be directly connected to a well known Saint (or biblical figure, though despite my son named David, I am more strongly drawn to New Testament names). Added bonus if we have a strong connection to the Saint, but obviously you would have no way of knowing that and it’s not necessary – we can always develop a devotion after the fact. We would most likely use a family name for the middle – probably Alan or Milo after my grandfather or David’s.”

Can I just say that what Mandi said about her husband (“It’s kind of hard to know what names my husband will like or reject” and “if that was even what my husband meant, hard to tell”) is so familiar! In my own marriage and many of yours, husbands’ name tastes can be so mysterious, no matter what ideas they offer!

Anyway, this was a really interesting consultation to work on—between Mandi’s husband maybe liking names like “Ralph” and her loving Spanish names, and having a desire for “familiar, traditional boys names” + “directly connected to a well known Saint/biblical figure” I was interested to see what I’d come up with! I’m kind of digging my list of suggestions—I’m eager to see what you all think!

First though, I wondered what Mandi and her hubs would think of considering Alan as a first name? She said it’s a middle name contender, in honor of her grandfather, but it totally has the feeling of Ralph to me … although, looking at the SSA stats, I can see that Ralph was far more popular in the early part of the twentieth century, dropping out of the top 100 in the early 60s while Alan peaked in the 50s/60s before settling into the top 200 and staying there even til today. Ralph and Alan were similar in popularity in the 50s though, and that mid-century overlap is actually really similar to David’s popularity arc (top ten from 1937 to 1991, peaking at no. 1 in 1960—right around when my three Uncle Davids were born! Remarkably, from 1957 to 1971, it was one of the top three names). Anyway, I think Alan would be an interesting name for them to consider for a first name, given that Ralph is already sort of in the mix, and I know that I’m totally being influenced by the fact that I’m currently reading Fr. Calloway’s Champions of the Rosary and Bl. Alan de la Roche was a total rockstar (also a Dominican, and I’m a lay Dominican, woot!). Alan Milo has a really cool ring to it.

As for other ideas, as always I started by looking up Lucia and David in the Baby Name Wizard, as well as Cecilia, Ralph, John, Michael, Robert, Francis, Joseph, Peter, Thomas, and Joseph. (And, for what it’s worth, Peter and Thomas are my favorites for them from the list of those they’re considering—I even had Peter on my own list of ideas for them until I remembered it was already on their list!) I also took a look through the list of Latino names in the back of the book for inspiration. Based on all that, and my own thoughts as well, these are my ideas for Mandi’s baby (if a boy):

(1) Stephen
This was my very first idea, before even cracking open the BNW. It’s the name of a well known saint AND a New Testament figure, and also one of my boys’ best friends is Stephen, and his brother is David, and there’s a pair of brothers in my family named Stephen and David! So to me, David and Stephen go together like peas and carrots. 😁 I like Stephen Milo a lot.

(2) William
This is totally inspired by Mandi’s love of Guillermo, and is the first of several ideas I have connected to her love of Spanish names. I was thinking that she could totally just call her son by the Spanish equivalent of his name—even if it’s just a fun, home-only nickname, maybe even just something she calls him from time to time. It may help satisfy her Spanish-name love without being too foreign for her husband, you know? So William is the English equivalent of Guillermo, and it’s also a style match for John, Joseph, and Thomas. William Alan and William Milo are both fine, imo.

(3) Henry
Henry is another that I liked for this family in part because it has a Spanish equivalent that would be easy enough for Mandi to whisper to her boy from time to time (Enrique), and also because it’s a match for Lucy (similar to Lucia) and Joseph. I quite like it as a brother for David/Davey! Henry Alan and Henry Milo are great.

(4) Gerard
When I was looking through the list of Latino names, Gerardo jumped out at me and I thought, “Huh. Gerard would be great.” It has a similar old-man feel to me as Ralph, and in fact peaked in 1956, so it fits in well with the mid-century peak of Alan and David. St. Gerard Majella is such a great patron for all oms, and especially for moms who have previously lost babies, as he’s the patron of pregnant women, unborn children, childbirth, mothers, and motherhood! Gerard Alan and Gerard Milo are equally fine I think.

(5) Charles
Charles matched up with Lucia (via the Spanish variant Carlo), Cecilia, John, and Joseph, and there are so many great patrons associated with the name—St. Charles Borromeo, Bl. Karl of Austria, and St. JP2 are the three that I always think of first. Charles Alan and Charles Milo both sound fine, and Charles Alan has a particularly nice feel to me.

(6) Edward
Edward is similar in style to Robert and Joseph and has even more of the nursing home feel, just based on its popularity arc—it was a top ten name until 1931 and has slowly decreased ever since. It’s a lovely, gentlemanly name, and I love St. Edward the Confessor. Like with Charles, Edward Alan and Edward Milo are fine, with the former having a particular sparkle to me.

(7) Martin
Martin was only listed as a style match for Peter, but as soon as I saw it I thought it was a great suggestion for Mandi and her Mister. St. Martin de Porres’ father was Spanish, and I love that Martin can have that Spanish connection without being strongly ethnic. Brothers Davey and Marty are super cute too! Martin Alan doesn’t flow as well, and I don’t mind the alliteration of Martin Milo, though I know some people don’t care for that kind of thing.

(8) Victor
Finally, Victor, which was a last-minute addition to my list! I was thumbing through the BNW recently, just for fun, and was reading the Victor entry where I was reminded that, as it says in the BNW, “Like Hector, Victor is currently most popular with Latino parents,” which of course made me think of Mandi! It’s papal and saintly, a great name! I did a post about nicknames for Victor, which continues to be one of the posts that draws the most people here from internet searches (a lot of people are searching for good nicknames for Victor!), and an article at CatholicMom, and I’m particularly loving the Spanish nicknames Vicho and Victo for them. Victor Alan and Victor Milo are both great.

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What other ideas can you offer Mandi and her husband for a boy baby?

85 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: “Nursing home,” Spanish, and saint/New Testament boy names for born baby no. 3

  1. I love Gerard and Victor for them! Also, you noted that Victor is mainly used in Hispanic circles, and it reminded me that Gilbert also fits that description–and also fits in with the nursing home crowd! I have a special softness toward GK Chesterton, which Mandi may not share, but Gilbert Alan sounds especially dashing to me.

    Congratulations to Mandi and her family, from another recurrent miscarriage family! Muc love and prayers to you all!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this. My faves from this list are Charles, Martin, and Stephen. I also think Theodore would be a great suggestion, (it’s my son’s name!) and he can be Teddy or Theo- it goes well with a “nursing home” feel and there are some great St. Theodore’s (we took St. Theodore Studite as our son’s patron). I also LOVE Spanish names, though my husband does not as well. I think Gerry could also be a nick-name for Gerard that would go well with Davey! 🙂

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  3. I just wanted to say how exciting it is to see a family coming back for another “go-round”. Congratulations Kate on the continued success of your blog!

    I wanted to add the suggestion of Gabriel. It doesn’t fit the old man vibe but seems to check the other items on the list.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Blessed Martin Martinez Pascual is awesome- definitely consider Martin! I like the sound of Martin Milo. I have a Matthias Michael and the alliteration helps make it a good name to yell.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Martin in high on our list right now. A name we would have never considered if Kate hadn’t suggested it but both my husband and I really like it. (I think my husband is a bit swayed by thoughts of Marty McFly.) I was thinking I didn’t know Bl Martin Martinez Pascual but I just looked him up and his picture was familiar immediately. Definitely a wonderful patron!

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  5. Following Mandi’s journey has been such an inspiration. It’s fun to have this peek into their naming process. 🙂

    Of all your suggestions, I like Gerard best. And what a special patron saint for their family! Plus, “Jerry” is a great nursing home name.

    I keep coming back to Leonard, Gregory, or Nicholas. All three go well with the middle name options.

    It will be exciting to hear what they choose in several months. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Gregory would be a good fit. My dad was David and I have mentioned his brother sibling set (as names from the 20s/30s) before because it is classic “nursing home.” His brothers born between 1916 – 1932:
        John (Johnny)
        Alvin (Al)
        Clifford (Cliff)
        Gregory (Greg)
        Edward (Eddie)
        David (Dave)
        Jacob (Jackie)
        And he also had a brother-in-law, Ralph! (As well as Robert, Jude, and Kenneth)

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! It’s weird to hear people say the word “inspiration” in regards to me but I’m grateful if I’ve been at all helpful.

      I’m really liking Gregory. I just sent my husband a text to see what he thinks.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I really like your suggestions of Alan as a first name, Gerard, Martin (Marty and Davey match perfectly) and Victor, as well as Mandi’s suggestions of Peter and Thomas.

    I’d suggest
    Aaron
    Abel
    Adrian
    Alphonse (his cute nickname Alfie is currently very popular in England: it’s definitely on the upswing)
    Elias
    Ernest (old fashioned like Ralph and IMO it’s really worth a comeback)
    Felix
    Gideon
    Gregory
    Hugo (Spanish parents love it!)
    Isaac
    Julius
    Leonardo nicknamed Leo
    Lorenzo
    Marcel
    Marcus
    Marius
    Matthias / Mathias / Matias
    Nicolas
    Noel (like one of the Canadian Martyrs)
    Richard
    Roland
    Romeo
    Sebastian
    Theo
    Titus

    Aaron, Abel, Adrian, Elias, Felix, Hugo and Sebastian have a Spanish vibe and, just like David, they are spelled the same in English and Spanish.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A name that immediately came to mind for me was Rafael or Raphael, though I see they used it for middle of one of the babies they lost, so don’t know if they would consider it. Raph/Rafe is a common nickname but I totally see Ralph as possible as it brings the “L” back in. So hubby could have a Ralph but also have the Spanish name. I saw that Laura suggested Gabriel for them, so both of us are thinking archangel names – which they seem to have used with all the babies they lost. That would make me think archangel names might be a no-go (though she indicated they like Michael and might use in future though not now).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved your mid century analysis, Kate. Interesting about Alan. It is not a name I hear on babies – all the Alan/Allen I know are peers. So when I did hear it on a little guy at our church – he is under a year – I was surprised. It is cute on him though.

    Martin does seem a great idea. Popular/peak time that fits also with mid-century (then resurgence for smaller peak in late 80s/early 90s). Definitely still has the feel of an older man’s name, but current cute too. One of my good friends first grandson was just born this weekend – Martin Pier. Great saints!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Martin Pier! That’s an amazing combo! I’m so interested that you know a baby named Alan, wow! I know one in his mid-twenties but I met him when he was in high school and always thought his name was such a surprise.

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  9. Going off the Ralph idea here…Raymond/Raymund is a name that I found was fairly equal in popularity in first 3 decades of the 20th century (both in top 25) and those are your nursing home residents now. ; )

    Then from there those two names followed the same overall pattern of ups and downs with Raymond being always somewhat more popular than Ralph. Their graph of trending is so similar it is crazy.
    [Hope this link works] https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UAbZQ-20YsXrHwwgs5K9Pj7fJYHxiNY-1T1vMFsaivE/edit

    The Raymond saints are pretty cool though I don’t think they are really well known – don’t come up in the conversations that often. St. Raymond Nonnatus is also a patron of pregnant women, childbirth, and new babies – though you rarely hear him in comparison to St. Gerard. He was a member of the Mercedarians – a really fascinating order that ransomed captives. Then there is the brilliant St. Raymond of Penafort, with his miraculous story of sailing on a cloak to escape from Majorca.

    Edmund is getting lots of talk these days here, so shouldn’t Raymund. That particular variation is rarely used and could be ahead of the trend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We named our little guy Raymond a few months ago and love it! Turns out St. Raymond of Penafort is the (unofficial) patron saint of making a superb exit. And there’s St. Raymond the Palmer, who was well known for making numerous pilgrimages throughout his life.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes, yes, I knew that but wasn’t thinking of it yesterday. Good catch – I think a great way for Catholic families to remember St. Maximilian Kolbe with other names besides Kolbe or Maximilian. This would be more unique and not as common.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Raymond/Raymund are great ideas! I tried your link — it said it was private and that I had to request permission (there was a “request permission” link), which I did … great saints associated with Raymond too, and I like the connection with St. Raymond Nonnatus and his patronage!

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    • I’ve watched the show “Call the Midwife” which is about midwife nuns (Protestant nuns – Church of England) and secular midwives working with them who live in the Nonnatus house, so I had actually heard of St. Raymond Nonnatus. I like the Raymund spelling too. I’m not too keen on Ray though and that seems like it’s kind of an unavoidable nickname.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did not know that about “Call the Midwife” – that is very cool, Kate. I am not that keen on Ray either (it does seem like a peer name for me – guys over 50). But I think it could grow on me in thinking about it like Rey (as in “king” – Vivo Cristo Rey). I also had the thought of nn Ramon which is the Spanish for Raymond. Ramon would be cute with Lucia.

        Could just Ry be a nickname? Would be like Cy – which is trendy now.

        And then because Kate loves mishmash names – I think this lends itself to a few fun ones with Milo or Alan. Raymund Alan – Rylan or Ryan (Ryan/Rian thought to mean little king)
        Raymund Milo – Rylo (reminds me though of Kylo Ren – maybe a little too “Dark Side” ; )

        And just a note on nicknames. I think families currently who want to retain full names are generally having much more success with that. There are tons of Andrews, Stevens, Edwards, Thomas, Peters in the 20-ish and under age ranges who have retained the full usage consistently. We know one Raymond who is 21 and he has always gone by full Raymond (but he is a Jr. and his dad is Ray already).

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do love mishmash nicknames!! Rylan/Ryan and great, and your comment about Rylo being too Dark Side made me laugh! I also totally agree with full names having more success these days than ever.

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      • We call our Raymond by his full name. He’s only a few months old, but thus far, everyone has respected that choice. I’m also not wild about Ray, but Raymond was such a perfect name for him, I don’t think I’ll regret it if he grows into a Ray later on.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Lawrence (Larry) is a name of that era as well – and St. Lawrence is one of my favorites. And if I calculate correctly this baby is due late July or early August so just in time for his feast and the “Tears of St. Lawrence” – the Perseid meteor shower in early August.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Love Gerard, Martin, Peter, and Raymond! What great names to combine their styles!
    The only other suggestion I have is Edmund as well as Edward. Less popular and fewer Twilight references and more Campion/Narnia. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I like Gerard and Martin from Kate’s suggestions.

    I also love James for this family, it has a similar feel as David for me. Plus it fits as saintly, New Testament and if they were looking for a subtle Spanish connection there is the Camino de Santiago (way of St. James)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. When we visited my husband’s grandpa at his nursing home I did an informal perusal of the names. There were several John’s, Joseph, and Robert and a Stephen. The two names not already mentioned above were Elmer and Nolan. Maybe not the greatest ideas. We are going back later in the week if Mandy needs more great ideas from an actual nursing home. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Elmer!

      And that reminded me of Emmett. Always thought of it as a nursing home generation name but it is bigger now than it ever was in past. And that is actually the same with Nolan. Seems like old name name but it was pretty rare at turn of century – less than 50 per year in early decades, than between 100-200 boys with that name each year through the 70s. Climbed into the 1000s in 90s with most recent year having 5700 boys given the name (#71). I know several Nolans from age 23 down. I have had to change my thinking on it – it is really a modern name.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It would be so much easier if they were looking for names for a girl, because I think Clara is perfect for them.

    For a boy, I’m not sure but maybe James. Jim would be very “nursing home”, and I think James fits very well with David and Lucia (and it’s New Testament).

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    • Girls names are easy for us too! I feel like we kind of found our “style” already when it comes to girls names but maybe because this is the first boy name we are truly picking (instead of just using the obvious Jr. like we did with our first) we just haven’t found that yet. I feel like we are kind of all over the place.

      James is great and definitely would be a top consideration but I think it doesn’t go well with our last name.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. And what about Bernard – nursing home name. Peaked in 1924. Uncommon now. St. Bernard of Clairvaux feast August 20. Great writer and reformer. From a pious family. I think Bernie is a really cute nickname.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Huge congrats! I have actually been following Mandi since before this blog, AND BEFORE her miscarriage blog, when she was at “Messy Wife, Blessed Life” (no longer in operation, don’t search for it). She helped me find some of my favorite cloth diapers (Kung Poo) based on a review when little Lucia was under a year. Wow. Anyways… my two cents.

    I know brothers named David and Martin. They go well together. I like that the nicknames both end in Y (and 5 letters), Davey and Marty 🙂 Maybe I am partial, My husband is Marty and we named our first son Martin Kane II (the second after JPII rather than Jr), but we call him Kane. I also like that Martin can have a Spanish connection. I think Martin Alan sounds great.

    I want to suggest a new testament name to round out their likes (David old testament, Lucia Spanish). So Stephen is a good idea, goes well with David. Funny I JUST thought of that name yesterday (I am currently pregnant too – due mid July).

    I liked the sound of William Alan and love that you could have the home nickname Guillermo. I also liked the sound of Charles Alan and Henry Alan, so stately. These three are all strong, formal, proud, upstanding and I think go well will the formal David. Henry gets bonus points for the Y ending (Henry and Davey, but really you only have the 1 child with a Y ending).

    The only thing I see when I read the Victor suggestion was the word Victory. Kind of nice for a “golden” baby. Also Spanish vibe.

    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! Congratulations on your pregnancy! I still have our King Poo diapers too! You can actually still find my old blog at http://www.cathlolicnewlywed.blogspot.com. (That was its original name when I was still a newlywed!)

      My grandpa Alan’s name is actually Alan Charles so I find the Charles Alan suggestions to be really interesting. Apparently those names just belong together!

      We are really loving Martin, Stephen, and Gregory from Kate’s suggestions and reader suggestions.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Such a great comment! I love everything you said here, and I love that you used the word “stately” — that’s so true! I also love the Victory connection for a golden baby!

      Like

  17. What about Alonzo/Alonso? Reminds me a bit of Alan. Lonnie would be a cute, old-fashioned nick name. What about Augustine (a FANTASTIC patron saint, and perfection for an August born baby) with Gus as a proper old man nickname? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I noticed all their children’s names include the letter “i” in the second syllable. It’s a nice way to tie together all their children, including those in heaven: Lucia, Francis, Julian, Adrienne, Christian and David.
    Cecilia allows them to keep the pattern, so it would be great to find a name for a son that does that, too.
    William, Martin, Justin and Mathias could work.

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