Baby name consultation: Baby no. 7 needs uncommon+recognizable+not-too-difficult name

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July tomorrow! God bless America! 🗽

Colleen and her husband are expecting their seventh baby, a little green bean (=gender unknown)! 🌱 This little one joins big sibs:

Jonathan Paul
Elizabeth Bernadette
Augustine Luke
Clara Marie
Simon Joseph
Catherine Gregory (miscarried at 13 weeks in 2016)

I’m a big fan of all these names!! And it was funny to see so much overlap with my family as well — I’m Katherine and I have a brother Jonathan and a sister Elizabeth! And we very nearly named our youngest Augustin. I love Clara and Simon too!

Colleen writes,

In theory I like nicknames but in practice we almost exclusively call our kids by their full given name … When we lost Catherine Gregory we were not prepared with a name and so we chose my confirmation name and my husband’s confirmation name together.

All our children have different first initials (with the exception of Catherine Gregory) and I would like to continue that, though I would be willing to break that rule for a really great name. For this baby we are looking for names that are not too common yet are recognizable and not too difficult to spell or pronounce … We love biblical and saintly names and I’m really drawn to names that instill a strong connection with a virtue or admirable characteristic. For instance, I associate Jonathan (the biblical Jonathan) with friendship and loyalty, Bernadette (St. Bernadette) with humility, Augustine (St. Augustine of Hippo) with willingness to repent and using one’s gifts to serve the Church, Clara (St. Clare) with a love for the poor, Joseph (St. Joseph) with fatherhood, etc. I have a similar association with each one of my children’s names and we talk with the kids about their saints and their corresponding attributes often.

We’ve settled on a middle name for a girl but that is it. If we have a daughter her middle name will be Jane after St. Jane de Chantal (and it’s also a nod to one of my favorite authors, Jane Austen, and one of my favorite books, Jane Eyre). I would love it as a first name but my husband is not a fan.

Some names I am considering include:
For a girl: Lucy, Helena, Teresa (nicknamed Tess or Tessa)
For a boy: Oliver, Asher, Blaise

My husband likes the options I proposed for a boy but doesn’t love any of the girls’ names. His favorites are Margaret (not nicknamed) and Charlotte, but both of those belong to family members and when he hears those names he wants to always think of those individuals first and doesn’t want them replaced in his memory.

Other names I love but can’t use for various reasons: Maura (too rhymey with Clara), Margaret nicknamed Greta (LOVE it but we have a niece named Gretchen), Abram (I love it but my husband does not).

For a girl’s name we are also considering calling her by both her first and middle names, for instance, Lucy Jane, Helena (or Nella) Jane, Tessa Jane.

Possible middle names for a boy are Thomas (St. Thomas Aquinas), George (my husband’s grandfather’s name and Blessed Pier Giorgio) or Louis (my husband’s other grandfather’s name, St. Louis Martin)

We unintentionally gave all our boys names with the same ending sound. I would prefer to break that trend this time around.

Names we can’t use or don’t like:
Michael
Charles
Genevieve
Benjamin
Timothy
Rachel
Daniel
Sebastian
Theodore
Miles
Henry
Owen

Thanks for helping us find the perfect name for our newest little blessing!

I love the names Colleen and her hubs are considering for this baby, and I especially love the idea of calling a girl by first name + Jane — Lucy Jane, Nella Jane, Tessa Jane are all so sweet. I love Oliver and Blaise for them too, but I was surprised by Asher — it’s a great name, but it strikes me as so different from the feel of their other kids and the other names they’re thinking of. I also wondered if they’d considered Thomas, George, or Louis as first name ideas? Thomas and George particularly struck me as good fits.

I also feel Colleen’s pain over Margaret and Greta! I wonder what they’d think of Rita? Like Greta, it’s a diminutive of Margaret, so can take any of the Sts. Margaret as patron, or St. Rita (whose birth name was Margherita). I also wondered if they’d be interested in something like Goretti? It’s so similar in sound to Greta, but of course it’s a completely different name.

So you all know that I start each consultation by looking up the names the parents have used and like/are considering in the Baby Name Wizard as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. I did so here, and also had some of my own ideas:

Girl
(1) Martha
I like Martha for this family because it’s got the same beginning sound as Margaret, so I thought it might hit a similar note. Additionally, it’s actually a style match for Margaret per the BNW. I’ve heard it on a couple little girls recently, and Martha Jane is charming.

(2) Hannah
Hannah is a match for all their biblical names, especially the Old Testament ones. Not only that, but the story of Hannah in the bible is such a beautiful one! They could also use St. Anne as patron, as Hannah and Anne/Anna are variants of each other. I love Hannah Jane.

(3) Naomi
Of course this is another Old Testament name, and another wonderful model for a girl. I think Naomi really fits Colleen’s hope for a name that’s “not too common” yet is “recognizable and not too difficult to spell or pronounce” — do you agree?

(4) Veronica
I love Veronica because it’s so beautiful, but I also love that, though it’s not biblical, it *feels* biblical — though Veronica’s not mentioned by name in the bible, she’s there. It also strikes me as an exclusively Catholic name — I know non-Catholics use it, but the Church gave the name to the woman in the bible. Veronica Jane is lovely.

(5) Molly
Molly was mostly inspired by Maura — Molly’s a great way to use an Irish form of Mary without it rhyming with Clara. Additionally, I have a sister Molly! So to me it fits in perfectly with Jonathan, Elizabeth, and Catherine. It’s also listed in the BNW as a style match for Lucy and Tess. They could also use Mary as the given name and Molly as a nickname if they like, as Molly’s origin is as a nickname for Mary. Mary Jane nicked Molly, and Molly Jane are both great. (Also, regarding Maura, I wonder if Maureen appeals to them at all?)

Boy
(1) Isaac
Isaac seemed spot on to me — a heavy biblical name that also has a great saint association (St. Isaac Jogues), and it’s also a style match for Simon — perfect! I like Isaac Thomas, Isaac George, and Isaac Louis, all.

(2) Bennett or Benedict
I really wanted to suggest Benjamin, which is my other brother’s name, but since Colleen doesn’t want to have the “an/in/on” ending for a boy, obviously Benjamin’s out. But both Benedict and Bennett (which is a medieval form of Benedict) seemed like they might be their style. I like that Benedict is long like Jonathan, Elizabeth, Augustine, and Catherine, and I like that Bennett is shorter like Clara and Simon and has some of the Brit feel I get from them (the Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice are an example of the Brit feel I mean). Bennett’s actually a style match for Greta, and Benedict for Augustine! Benedict Thomas, Benedict George, Benedict Louis, Bennett George, and Bennett Louis all sound quite handsome to me.

(3) Leo
Leo’s a style match for Clara, Simon, Lucy, and Oliver, and I think it fits in really well with the other kids as well. It’s also the name of a Pope St. the Great, like Gregory. Leo Thomas and Leo George are great combos.

(4) Konrad
Conrad is inspired mostly by Greta — it’s a style match for it — but also by the fact that it’s a match for August, which I often look to for inspiration for style matches for Augustine (as Augustine isn’t included in the BNW). I’m suggesting the Konrad spelling in order to avoid repeating initials — it’s a totally legit spelling, a German, Scandinavian, Polish, and Slovene form of the name (according to behindthename.com). Kord and Kurt are both traditional nicknames for it, which are cool. Konrad Thomas, Konrad George, and Konrad Louis are all fine.

(5) Philip
Philip’s a style match for all their New Testament names, as well as Teresa. I’ve long loved Philip, and one of the most fun things about it is the nickname Pip, which I think is darling for a little boy, and gets at that same feel I get from Clara, Simon, Lucy, and Oliver. I love the full Philip for an older boy/man as well. Philip Thomas, Philip George, and Philip Louis go nicely together.

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for the little brother or sister of Jonathan, Elizabeth, Augustine, Clara, Simon, and Catherine?

54 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Baby no. 7 needs uncommon+recognizable+not-too-difficult name

  1. Greta always makes me think of Bridget for some reason. Bridget Jane? Anna Jane? I do love Jane for a first name. Baby Janey would be adorable but I know you said your husband wasn’t a fan. I do really like Asher and I think it goes well with Jonathan especially. Isaac is a great suggestion and his virtue could be bravery! Maximilian maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Nicholas might be a name worth considering for this family if they have a boy. He is a great saint known for his generosity to the poor and his love and protectiveness of children, which are incredible virtues. The name has a different first initial than the other kids, a different sound at the end. It also has an optional nickname and is very recognizable. So many good ideas with this consult. Good luck narrowing it down!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They have good naming taste. Kate I think Martha is so sweet and seems to fit well. Conrad is also spot on. My thoughts were perhaps Anastasia or Natasha for a girl, Lawrence for a boy. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amelia Jane is a combination I’ve always liked.

    Then there’s Daisy, which is actually a nickname for Margaret and not too obvious a tie-in. Or Laura, Louisa, Lucia, Lucinda, Marianne, Nora, Philippa, Rosemary, Susannah, Tabitha.

    I’m less good at coming up with names for boys, but Tobias or Tobiah are both Biblical and Catholic.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My grandmother was named Margaret and she told me her family called her Marna when she was a little girl. Her parents were both Swedish Americans, so I always assumed the nickname was Swedish. My mother is a Margaret called Peggy and my cousin is a Margaret called Maggie. There are so many nicknames for Margaret that you could very easily distinguish yours from a cousin named Gretchen (another name I’ve always liked.) As for Meta, I would pronounce it to rhyme with Greta. Mette is the more common Scandinavian spelling I have seen. I also knew an exchange student from Norway called Merete (pronounced Maretta). The other foreign variants are neat: Marguerite, Margarete, Margo/Margot, Marguerida.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Kate, Andrea mentioned the name Nora in a comment above and it’s a name I have considered. I love Nora Jane. From what I found it can be short for Eleanora and Honora. Do you know any other names that Nora is a nickname for or any other saint connections to the name?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. @Catherine

    Nora = Eleanora = Helena

    The great emperor Constantine gave his mother, Saint Helena, the authority to promote Christianity by building churches throughout the empire and on the holy sites in Israel. She is the patron saint of difficult marriages and divorced people because her husband divorced her for someone with better political connections.

    https://www.steleanor.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love Oliver for them! I can also see something biblical to match Jonathan, maybe Elias, Tobias, Zachary, Raphael? I agree about Nicholas, and I also love Isaac. Maybe even Felix could work? And Francis is such a good saint!

    For a girl Mary Jane is very sweet, but Lucy Jane is also super cute. I would keep the first name short if you’re planning to call her —– Jane.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lucy Jane is perfect (my 3rd was almost a Lucy Jane).

    For a girl I also like Rachel for them -a timeless name

    For a boy I like Levi.

    Martin seems so well suited for this family minus the repeat ending!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I could also see Rosemary Jane for this family. Rosemary could be shortened to a variety of things… Rory, Rosa, Rosie, Roma… all of which would be lovely paired with Jane.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. These are all great names so it would be hard to go wrong! I like the bit about not wanting to use relatives’ names so as not to replace memories. I’m sure that’s true, and also a good thing to say to a grandparent who may very vocally want a namesake!

    Liked by 1 person

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