Baby name consultation: Baby no. 9 needs a name that’s not generally popular nor Catholic popular (and a few other rules!)

I hope all the dads had a wonderful Father’s Day yesterday!!

Kym and her husband are expecting their ninth baby — their fifth girl! She joins big sibs:

Alexandra Ruthmarie
Cassian William
Killian Michael
Bennett Jameson
Anneliese Francesca
Marigold Camillus
Miles Jonas
Sylvie Regina

Aren’t these amazing names?? I’ve actually referenced Kym’s little Sylvie Regina many times in posts and conversations because of how clever I think it is that it sounds like Salve Regina (“Hail Holy Queen”) — I love that!! And another really cool thing is that each first name has the same number of letters as its middle name. Didn’t they do a great job?!

Kym has a bunch of naming rules, and you know me — the more the merrier! I love a good challege! 😁 She writes,

First names that we cannot use:
Anything that infringes upon their middles or their nicknames. Examples:
No variations on Anne or Elizabeth since we already have Anneliese (Anne-Elizabeth).
Nothing Marian-that-starts-with-M since we already have a child often called Mary, etc.

No common first names or names often heard in Catholic circles:
Rose, Therese, Mary-Agnes, Bernadette, Zelie — all would be out.

Family and close friend names we cannot use include:
Gabriela, Sophia, Bridget, Rebekah, Anna, Felicity, Genevieve, Anastasia, Abigail, Azelie, Clare, Bernadette, Gianna, Emilia, Eleanor

I’d rather not have any more names that start with an A, M, S, or a hard C/K sound.

See how picky I am? And I haven’t even gotten to the rules yet! 🙂

Rules are:
First name must be a saint, or version of a saint’s name, or a holy association (like Marigold: Mary’s gold).
Middle name should be a family name.
Both first and middle should have the same number of letters. I noticed we had been doing this accidentally with kids 1-4, and when kids 5 and 6 also followed the pattern without intending it, we decided that’s just what we’d keep doing. Kids 7&8 worked out perfectly, too. We’ve never had to force a middle name we didn’t want just to make it work.

Potential family names we can use (feminize them or change them a bit to fit the same-number-of-letters rule) are: Luke, Rosa, DeeLane, Marcella …

First names that hubby really, really likes are Vianney and Juniper. So, Vianney Rosalie or Juniper Rosalie. Vianney is one of my favorite saints and has been on the list since our first child was conceived 13 years ago, but the name doesn’t suit me this time for some reason. And, while I really am drawn to Juniper Rosalie, I’m not sure if it’s too unisex of a name. I’m not thrilled with giving a daughter a name that isn’t easily recognized as being a female name. Alexandra, Anneliese, Marigold, and Sylvie just scream GIRL and Juniper ….doesn’t. Also, sometimes the “nipper” at the end bothers me. But the potential NN of Juni is pretty darn cute.

I really, really, REALLY like (but don’t love) the name Gemma and keep coming back to it. It’s delicate, girly, and sweet. Hubby proposed Gemma Lucia. We’ve wanted to name a baby after hubby’s godfather, Brother Luke, for a long time. Lucia works very well but I’m just not sold on it – Lucia to me right now seems so Catholic on-trend because of this being the year of the anniversary of Fatima, and Gemma sounds almost sounds too worldly/trendy. Maybe I’m being too picky. Argh! This is so tough!!!

A name that keeps popping into my head over and over is Goretti. I don’t even know where it came from since I’ve never before considered that to be a name, but it’s growing on me. I don’t know what would possibly work for a NN, though, and Retti and Retta are not something I’d like. Greta/Gretta could be used as a NN – and Greta it was a runner up with the last baby. But I’ve somewhat grown away from it.

I think Zoe(y) is precious but it’s so short and I don’t think it ages well. Hubby and I also like Savina but we aren’t convinced we want an S girl following another S girl. We’ve always liked the name Benedicta but we already have a Bennett. I like Isadora but hubby says no. I don’t think we can do any old lady names, as much as I like some of them. So no Imelda or Edith or Agatha or Leona/Leonie or Millicent. Gosh, I think Millicent is adorable though.”

Alright, I spent a lot of time on this, and I’m still not sure of my ideas! I actually had the privilege of doing a private consultation for Kym when Sylvie was on the way and, looking back at it, I had to cross three names off the list of ones I was going to recommend here because I’d suggested them before! I also found the rules about not wanting common names difficult because the names I’d usually go to for parents who don’t want top ten are the ones that are Catholic-common, which are also out per Kym’s rules! Amazing! I’m not being critical at all, it’ll be so satisfying if I can actually come up with something they might like!

I love both Vianney Rosalie and Juniper Rosalie, gorgeous! I see what Kym means though about Juniper feeling a bit too unisex next to her other girls’ names. Unfortunately, feel similarly about Vianney — though my major association with it as a current first name is Lindsay’s daughter from My Child I Love You, so it feels mostly feminine to me, a bunch of you have suggested it for boys on past posts, and one who said that because it’s exclusively male where she lives (France) using it for a girl would be akin to “a girl called John or Andrew.” I’m not campaigning against it! Just, if obviously feminine is their goal, neither Vianney nor Juniper might be quite right. On the other hand though … I so totally agree with Kym about Juni!!

Gemma Lucia is a fantastic combo! I definitely wouldn’t characterize Gemma as “too worldly/trendy” — sure, it has use outside of Catholic circles, and it has increased in popularity fairly rapidly since it entered the top 1000 in 2008 (it’s currently at no. 247), but I don’t see it as any different than their other kids’ names, all of which fit nicely into certain non-Catholic trends and popular sounds. I think it’s a great fit! As for Lucia being “Catholic on-trend,” I mean yes, it certainly is because of the Year of Fatima, but if you’re going to use it, using it during its big year is so great! But perhaps a different five-letter middle would be a better fit for them for Gemma? Tapping into the family names they want to use as middles, maybe Gemma Roser? Roser is a Catalan feminine form of Rosario, which points back to Rose (rosaries are so named because they’re meant to be thought of as a crown or bouquet of roses for Our Lady). Or Gemma Zella, where Zella is the German diminutive for Marcella?

I really like Goretti! And I do think Gret(t)a could work nicely as a nickname for it, or maybe Greer, especially as both Greer and Goretti come from Gregory. Etti (Eddy) could be cute too. I think there’s a chance that people they meet outside their Catholic circle might not be familiar, and so it might come across like Vianney and Juniper in the sense of not being very girly, but certainly Catholics should know it refers to a female saint. It reminds me of Cabrini, which I would have suggested to them if Kym hadn’t said no C/K names.

I love Zoe(y) too, and Savina’s cute too … Benedicta’s great, but Bennett … Isadora, Imelda, Edith, Agatha, Leona/Leonie, and Millicent are all a great bunch of names! And I actually don’t think of Leonie and Millicent as old lady names anymore — I have a cousin who’s 14 named Millicent/Millie, so it stopped being an old lady name to me ages ago, and while I know an old lady named Leona, I’ve only heard Leonie on more recent families wanting to honor St. Therese’s sister, so it too has a more youthful feel. And Edith’s coming back! I know a bunch of families who have considered it, and at least two who have named their babies Edith (here and here).

So those are my thoughts on the names Kym and her hubs have discussed/are considering; now on to my own ideas! I was mostly influenced by their seeming desire to have this baby girl have a name that’s as girly as their older girls’ names. I did use the Baby Name Wizard for inspiration, but I went more by my gut than anything. The names that I had on my final list that I crossed off because I’d suggested them last time were Verity, Juliet(te), and Elodie, all of which are consistent with this family’s style per the BNW, and all of which I still like for them in case they want to reconsider them. And I also really wanted to suggest Klaudia to them, as they were considering Klaus if the baby had been a boy, so if they wanted to reconsider their C/K rule I think it would be great! (Or Colette, if they like the idea of a Nicholas name for a girl. I love Colette.)

My new ideas are:

(1) Vesper
I think this name is unmistakably feminine, unlike Vianney and Juniper, and in sound it’s almost like a mashup of Vianney and Juniper. Its Catholic connection comes from “vespers” being the name for Evening Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours, but others might also know it as one of the Bond girls! I like the idea of Vesper Roisin (Roisin is an Irish Rose name, pronounced ro-SHEEN, and spelled in Irish as Róisín), and there’s actually a variety of rose called the Vesper Rose!

(2) Junia
This was actually the first idea I had for this baby, after seeing that Kym loves Juni but was uncertain about Juniper. Junia’s the name of a woman in the bible (some believe it was meant to be the man’s name Junius, others translated it as Julia, but the bible as presented by the U.S. bishops on their web site says Junia). One of the Hanson brothers (MMMBop) has a daughter named Junia Rosa Ruth, which is gorgeous. Junia Lucia would work, but maybe too matchy? Maybe Junia Lucie would work better? Junia Roser and Junia Zella are also fine.

(3) Delia
This was one of those gut-feeling names. It’s pretty and feminine and can be a short form of Adelia, which is a variant of Adela (several saints and blesseds so named), or Bedelia, which is an Irish diminutive of Bridget (but Kym said no to Bridget, not sure if this would count?) (there’s also Cordelia, which has no saint connections as far as I can tell). Like with Junia, Delia Lucia/Lucie, Delia Roser, and Delia Zella can all work. It also feels really close to DeeLane (from their list of potential middles) sound-wise, but I’m not sure what to do with that. (I also wondered if Delaney would make a do-able DeeLane tweak?)

(4) Edessa
Our Lady of Edessa is one of Mary’s titles — Edessa is the old name for modern-day Urfa in Turkey, and the title refers to an old miraculous image. It’s a lovely, feminine, non-M Marian name! I like Edessa Roisin.

(5) Natalia
This was suggested by my research in the BNW and I love it for this family! It’s feminine and gorgeous and really saintly — there are two that I know of — and fun nickname options like Natty, Tally, Talia, Lia, and Nolly. Natalia Rosalie is so beautiful! Natalia Lucille can also work for their Br. Luke, and Natalia DeeLane (or Natalia Delaney) also works, letter-wise.

(6) Zara
I loooove this idea because of what I discovered about it recently! First off, it’s a style match for both Gemma and Zoe, which I thought was so interesting, and it’s definitely uncommon in all circles. I wasn’t sure about saintly connections though, and when I went looking I discovered that it’s a Bulgarian diminutive of Zaharina, which is the Bulgarian and Macedonian feminine form of Zechariah! Wow!! (Hence the spotlight I put up here.) Zara Rose is pretty, but maybe too R heavy? Zara Lucy maybe, or Zara Luce (not only a nod to Br. Luke and Fatima but also Bl. Chiara Luce Badano)? Would Zara Lane work as a nod to their DeeLane?

(7) Esme
Esme’s a style match for Sylvie, and I’ve always thought it’s sweet and feminine. Being that it means “esteemed” or “loved” in Old French, they could make a holy association to Mater Amata (“Beloved Mother”). Esme Rose is gorgeous! It can also be spelled Esmee (Esmée), which could open up Lucia, Lucie, and Zella as middles.

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the little sister for this well-named crew?


78 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Baby no. 9 needs a name that’s not generally popular nor Catholic popular (and a few other rules!)

  1. I agree with Kate’s thoughts on Gemma Lucia -such a great name!

    I also love the Zara suggestions.

    Too bad they can’t use it but Felicity Marcella would be beautiful!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What about Saintly names of : Adelaide, Faustina, Veronica, Irene, Genevieve, Gabriela (Gabriel), Martha, Bernadette (probably too close to Bennett), Ursula (kidding, SEA WITCH, sorry St. Ursula – haha).

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know if is intentional or not, but I feel like there is a Fathers of the Church/early Christian theme going on. For example, St. Sylvia is the mother of Gregory the Great and St. Alexander is a Father of the Church.

    If they don’t go with Gemma, which I love, I would suggest Nyssa after St. Gregory of Nyssa. Or Monica, after St. Augustine’s mother. Nicki would be a cute nickname.

    Also Nola Rose would be sweet. There are several saints from Nola.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is so fun! I love their idea of Gemma Lucia—such a lovely name. And I adore your suggestions Kate. I think if I was forced to pick a favorite I’d go with your Vesper Roisin combo.

    Cordelia is a name high on my own list, and I always think of it like the Latin “cor” for heart. I have no idea if etymologically that is correct or not, though.

    Other ideas: Beatrice Marcella (although is that maybe Beatrice is an old lady name? Does Beatrix sound less old? Beatrix Rosalie/DeeLane/Delaney). Kate’s Natalia suggestion made me think of Tatiana. Tatiana Rosalie/DeeLane/Delaney.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love Gemma Lucia. I think you can get away with a middle name that is seemingly more “Catholic trendy” even if you are wanting a less common first name and it has such a beautiful ring to it. You mentioned Elodie was crossed off from last time – what about Eloise? It’s a top name on our list and would be named after St. Louis de Montfort so that could be a saint and a non-M Marian (I think), and it fits well with their other French-ish girl names. Maybe Eloise Roslyn? Vesper is really intriguing but kind of stands out with their other names; Esme and Edessa are both so beautiful! (And apparently I’m a fan of “E” names lol!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ohmygoodness I love this consultation. Vianney is all girl to me and Gemma Lucia is stunning! Juniper is also all girl to me because of Hope and Justin’s daughter Juniper. Vesper actually sounds more masculine to me then feminine. For me Delia is a name like Zoey,doesn’t always age well but I do love Cordelia (Anne of Green Gables reference to). Goretti is amazing but for some reason it does not seem as feminine to me as her other daughters does though I think it would be a wonderful middle name. And I’m loveing your Esme Rose suggestion and you get a nom M Marian name in there to.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This family have great naming style. Kate i think your suggestions of Natalia and Verity and Klaudia hit the mark! So enjoyable to read. I wanted to add Faith, Davina (from St. David) and Estelle.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. marigold camillus is a such a great name! but can I ask if camillus refers to something in particular? never heard the name before (outside of latin class).

    I like the suggestion of Lydia to go after Sylvie, but Juniper Rosalie is such a good name! Marigold and Juniper go so well together! It’s true Juniper could be read as unisex, but it’s just such a charming name.

    How about Primrose Marcella?

    Liked by 1 person

    • My beloved deceased great-aunt was named Sister Mary Camillus. Marigold is named after her (and of course Saint Camillus de Lellis by default)!

      A neat story about her name: When we decided to name Marigold after Sr. Camillus, I asked another aunt when Sr. Camillus had died. I was told she had died October 17.

      I instantly knew then that Marigold would be born 11 days early, on October 17.

      On the morning of the 17th, with no signs of labor, I woke up and told people that Marigold would be coming that day…and finally, at 9:30 pm, I went into labor. I was grateful because I knew I only had to endure a short 2.5 hours of pain! She was born at 11:56, with only 4 minutes to spare!

      Later, in addition to this awesomeness, we found out that marigolds are the flowers for the month of October.

      I LOVE her name SO MUCH.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Bibiana

    Davina (there is a St. Davinus)

    Ginevra, associated with Juniper, real name of Ginny Weasley in Harry Potter.




    Talitha — Biblical, taken from Talitha cumi, or “Little girl, get up.” It’s rare but has been used going back to the 1700s. About 40 to 50 girls a year are given the name.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. So a little partial because our newest daughter is named Gemma. Also wanted to suggest Kateri. I know she said no hard K or C sounds but it is beautiful, feminine and not common in Catholic or secular circles.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What beautiful names… and to have already come up with names it 8 times already! Delightful 🙂 I really love the suggestions of Edessa, Esme and Beatrice. But, a few other ideas:

    Celeste Lucinda
    Jemima Marcie
    Trinity Rosanna
    Kirsten Rosarie
    Georgette Marcelline
    Georgia Deelane

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I would love a post or follow up on what names are Catholic popular? The only one that comes to mind is Zelie.. . . . . Would love to hear your opinion on others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In my area, the Catholic popular names are:
      Therese, anything with Mary or Anne (Anne-Marie, Anne-Elizabeth, Mary-Grace, Mary-Helen), Kateri, Bernadette, Gianna, Zelie, Genevieve, and I’ve come across a lot of Veronicas.

      Boys would be Benedict, Joseph, John Paul, Michael, Francis, Dominic, etc…

      Anyway, those are *my* thoughts. It would be interesting to see what Kate thought!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. What about Zara Luca? That has a nice ring to it and would tie in a Luke connection.
    I’m delighted you’re considering a name with Rosalie in it! Our second daughter is Rosalie Bernadette, born on the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes.
    I love the story of how Marigold joined the world, so neat. Also LOVE Marigold as a name- wish I could get my husband to go for it. 😋

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you!
        Yes, she was born 5 weeks early-& I feel that her name was therefore destined! We had a totally different middle picked out. God had a different plan!
        (But we had done a similar thing with our first, Rachel Therese when she was born on the Little Flower’s feast day.)
        SO, now we’ll just have to see how the pattern continues 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Here are some more middle name suggestions for variants of Luke (that aren’t a trendy as Lucy/Lucie/Lucia:

    Lucania (Luke can either mean “light” or “from Lucania,” and it sounds like such a pretty, feminine name.)

    Luz (Means “light” and Our Lady has the Spanish title Nuestra Señora de la Luz, meaning “Our Lady of Light.” It may be a good middle name to go with Zoe.)

    Lucina (Means “light.”)

    Lucasta (Means “light” and the poet Richard Lovelace has a collection of poems called ‘Lucasta’ (1649).)

    Luminita (Means “little light.”)

    Lux (Means “light.”)

    Lior (Means “light for me” in Hebrew.”

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I love love love this post. I have equally complicated naming rules in our house and I so get how challenging it can be. I think you did a great job and I am super into Natalia as a name. Gorgeous!! Great suggestion!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love the suggestion on Junia, even though I find Juniper totally feminine.

    The other name that keeps popping into my head is Dominica. No nn required, but Minnie is super adorable. I especially like Dominica Marcella.

    Liked by 1 person

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