Baby name consultation: Boy no. 3/baby no. 4 needs great first name with friendly nickname

Kim and her husband are expecting their fourth baby and third boy! This little guy joins big sibs:

Charles Patrick (Charlie)
Peter Augustine (Pete)
Magdalene Lucy (Maggie)

What a great set! I absolutely love how sophisticated each full first name is, and how friendly all the nicknames are!

Kim writes,

I love Henry and the cheerful ring of it, but that name is out for my husband. The following names have already been used in our family: Francis, James, John, Andrew, Thomas, Joseph, Dominic, Stephen, Matthew, Patrick, Nicholas, Anthony, Samuel … [also] we have the Baby Name Wizard and don’t like any of the sibling suggestions for the kids’ names.”

So you all had to know how excited I got to see that Kim and her hubs had already looked through the Baby Name Wizard — my go-to when starting a consultation, as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity — and didn’t like any of the ideas! The more challenging the name challenge, the more fun I have with it!

I also want to say that I really love the combo Magdalene Lucy … Lucy’s so unexpected to me in the middle spot, and it just flows really really well with Magdalene. Lovely! (Their boys’ names are great too! Magdalene Lucy just particularly struck me.)

So I took a couple of different routes when coming up with ideas for this baby boy. I actually did start with the BNW, as usual, in order to see what names Kim and her hubs don’t care for, and also to do some extended research, by which I mean I started looking up names that I thought felt like their style, and then looking up their style matches, etc. I also used Nymbler and the Name Matchmaker on the babynamewizard site, plugging in both their kiddos’ full names and nicknames, as well as looking at matches for just the boys’ names and for the sib set as a whole. There were definitely a few names that kept popping up over and over again, in all the different sites/sources I used, two of which were also listed as style matches for their kids’ names in the BNW (i.e., names Kim and her hubs don’t like), but I included them below anyway—sometimes a discussion about a name can sway parents one way or another. It’s worth a try!

I also gave good weight to names with “friendly” nicknames — when Kim said she loves the “cheerful” feel of Henry, I think it’s similar to the vibe I get from the nicknames of her kids. I definitely think of Charlie, Pete, and Maggie as having a real friendliness to them, and I thought it revealed the kinds of names Kim and her hubs would gravitate toward.

Okay, without further ado, here are my ideas:

(1) Long and heavy hitting, like Augustine and Magdalene
I had so many ideas that I decided to group them into categories! I was struck by Peter’s middle name Augustine and Maggie’s full name Magdalene—I often see those names pop up in lists by families who love longer, heavy-hitting names (“heavy hitting”=catacombs + incense kinds of names), and I wondered if that might be a category Kim and her hubs would like to consider for their next baby. In particular, I thought of:

  • Sebastian—Sebastian’s actually a style match for Dominic, which is on Kim’s list of names they can’t use. But Dominic also goes along with the heavy-hitting feel of Augustine and Magdalene, so I was interested in its style matches, and Sebastian struck me as a good possibility. There are some really cute nickname possibilities: Seb and Sebbie are pretty traditional, and Bash is one I only heard of a few years ago (Grace Patton has a Sebastian nn Bash) and fell in love with. I’ve also heard Bas/Baz and even Ian!
  • Theodore—Theodore’s one of those names that kept showing up over and over in my research. According to the BNW it’s a style match for August (since the BNW doesn’t have an entry for Augustine, I’ve had pretty good luck with substituting August in the past), and the Name Matchmaker offered it as a match for all Kim’s kids’ names. The nicknames Ted/Teddy and Theo struck me as really great matches for Charlie, Pete, and Maggie.
  • Nathaniel—Nathaniel has that really biblical feel of Magdalene, and it’s also the name of one of the Twelve Apostles, so it’s really saintly as well. But what really sold me is the nickname: Nate is a great, friendly nickname, similar in my mind to Charlie, Pete, and Maggie.
  • Benedict—Ben is also a nickname that I think this family might like, based on the feel of Charlie, Pete, and Maggie, as well as Lucy and Henry. Benedict is a great way to get to it if they wanted to channel the “long and heavy hitting” vibe of Augustine and Magdalene.

(2) Long and normal-ish
Augustine and Magdalene definitely have a different feel to me than Charles, Peter, Lucy, and Henry, though of course they do all go together by virtue of their saintliness, which is one of the things I love about Catholic naming. If this family didn’t want to go 100% the Augustine/Magdalene route for this little boy, a sort of compromise option might be a name that’s longer, like A and M, but not as weighty, if that makes any sense. In that vein, I thought of:

  • Alexander—Sebastian had a few style matches that I thought were swirling around the right area, like Nathaniel (suggested above) and also Alexander. Charles, Peter, and Alexander have a really royal feel to them, as brothers, and Alexander has loads of fun nickname options, like Xander/Zander/Xan/Zan, Sandy, Sander, and of course Alex. Given that their other kids go by Charlie, Pete, and Maggie, I’m guessing Alex is probably mostly their speed, though I think Sandy would fit in really well—a friend of mine named her son Sandy, which surprised me so much at first, but the more I’ve thought about it over the years, the more it’s grown up me. Certainly it used to be used a lot more for boys and I’d love to see it come back again.
  • Benjamin—I listed Benedict above, as it has that monastery feel of Dominic and Augustine, but Benjamin comes across as a bit friendlier I’d say. And again, I’d say Ben is a great fit for this family, and I also love Benny and Benji.
  • William—William is absolutely a name I would have thought was spot-on for this little boy! When I saw it listed as a style match for Charles I thought Nooooo! I’m so worried that means Kim and her hubs don’t like it! But I’m just going ahead and listing it here anyway! I think William is such a great match as a brother to Charles and Peter, and the nickname Will seems perfect as a brother to Charlie, Peter, and Maggie, and a great match for the feel of Henry as well.

(3) Middling
Despite the fact that Augustine and Magdalene are so long, two-thirds of Kim’s kids’ first names as well as her favorite name for this little boy (Henry) are actually much shorter, so it would be silly to not include some names like that. A few rose to the top for me, including:

  • Oliver—I’m guessing they hate Oliver, since they surely saw it listed in the BNW as a match for Lucy and Henry, but in the off chance that they might come around, I had to include it! Oliver is such a great name, and St. Oliver Plunkett such a great saint. I also love the nickname Ollie—it has that same friendly feel to me as Charlie, Pete, and Maggie.
  • Bennett—Each of my categories here has contained a formal name for the nickname Ben! I really do love Ben for this family, and Bennet(t) is yet another name that they might like. It’s a medieval variant of Benedict, which gives it great saintliness, and it has long use as a last name (a la the Bennet sisters in Pride & Prejudice).
  • Martin—Martin was strongly recommended by the Name Matchmaker as a good match for all their kids’ names as a set. I love Martin as a brother to Charles and Peter, and I love Marty as a brother to Charlie, Pete, and Maggie.
  • Nathan—I suggested Nathaniel in the first category, and I want to include Nathan here — they’re both driven by the nickname Nate, which I love with the other kids, and Nathan’s biblical too.

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for Charlie, Pete, and Maggie’s little brother, remembering that they have Augustine and Magdalene in the mix as well?


39 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Boy no. 3/baby no. 4 needs great first name with friendly nickname

  1. I love all of your suggestions Kate!! Especially Willam ❤ I think William would be perfect for this family! And if they don't like the nickname Will maybe Liam? Charlie, Pete, Maggie, and Liam would be adorable.

    What about Gregory for this family? I don't love the nickname Greg, it's really mid-20s to middle aged dude to me. But Rory would be adorable.

    Then I kind of went backwards with nicknames I like to full names for them.

    So, Jonathan also came to mind for them, with the nickname Jack. Jack is one of the friendliest nicknames I can think of!

    Then I thought of Sam, the friendliest name I can think of, so Samuel! Maybe that was mentioned in The Baby Name Wizard book and they don't like it? I feel like it could be perfect if they do like it, Charles, Peter, Magdalene, Samuel or Charlie, Pete, Maggie, and Sam!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so agree with you about Sam! Unfortunately it’s one of the names they can’t use — Kim told me in a subsequent email and I thought I’d added it to their list in Kim’s explanation but I see I put Nicholas again — I must have been distracted! I just fixed it. 🙂 I also love Gregory and Jonathan — Rory and Jack are great!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sam immediately jumped to my mind too when I saw the title seeking a friendly nickname. Pete is sort of an old-school nickname. It made me wonder if they’d like James with the nickname Jim or perhaps Robert nicknamed Bobby.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think my favorite of your suggestions would be Nathanial with Nate as a nickname. I like the nicknames for Theodore, although not head-over-heels for the name itself. Teddy is super cute!

    I also wanted to throw out there that our 3rd son, (4th child) we named Aleksander Henry. My husband’s great-grandfather was Henry Alexander, so it’s a family name. Henry is also my maiden name, but we wanted to switch it around because we all have names that start with “A”. BUT I was not completely keen on the nickname of Alex for Alexander, and it seemed to me all the nicknames for the last half (Xander, Sander, etc.) would be a departure from the obvious all A name thing we had going. So we decided to change up the spelling so we could use Alek as a nickname instead. (The spelling we used is a Eastern European spelling, which I think works very well with our very Germanic last name.) Just thought I’d throw that out there in case you, like me, are drawn to Alexander as a full name, but not the nickname Alex. 🙂

    Another name that popped in my head with the above list and the mention of Benedict, Bennett, and Benjamin (BTW, I love the suggestion of Benji as a nicknamed as opposed to the uber-popular Ben) was Becket after the martyr St. Thomas Becket. Not sure if they are absolutely set on having a longer or more formal name with the shorter, friendlier nickname. I don’t think Becket would need one. It sounds super friendly to me. Might be a little more “out there” than the other names you have going on though.

    God bless your pregnancy, birth, and (of course) your baby naming, Kim. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Another one that we have considered in the past and might fit it with what they have going on is Athanasius. At first, I was completely against it (my husband’s suggestion) but it has really grown on me. Of course, I’ve heard Nate used as a very manageable, succinct nickname, which we couldn’t use because of the A name thing again. But I got kind-of excited about it when I thought of using Athan as a nickname (short a sound). It probably would have ended up the name of baby #5, if she had been a boy. 🙂


  4. I love how this family combines super Catholic names with more well-known names! All these combos are amazing.
    Some ideas: Philip, David, Simon, George, Michael and Edmund.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What about Patrick? Pat and Pete and Charlie and Maggie?
    Or Gabriel? Gabe is super friendly to me.
    I’m assuming Matthew was a match, so what about Matthias with Matt as a nickname?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like your idea of Alexander for them! Has the stateliness of the other names & all those options of nicknames. A similar name is Christian but it hasn’t got the same nickname appeal. All the best to them for the birth!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anthony (Tony)
    Barnabas, Barnaby (Barney)
    David (Davy, Dewey)
    Edmund (Ned, Ted, Teddy)
    Frederick (Freddie, Rick, Ricky)
    Gabriel (Gabe)
    Isaac (Ike)
    Isaiah (Ike, Zay)
    Jacob (Jake)
    Maximillian (Max)
    Oliver (Ollie)
    Raphael (Rafe)
    Richard (Rick, Ricky)
    Robert (Bobby, Robbie, Rory)
    Timothy — Tim, Timmy.
    Tobias or Tobiah — Toby (quite Catholic, via The Book of Tobit)
    Vincent (Vin, Vinnie)

    Liked by 1 person

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