Baby name consultation: Third baby boy needs meaningful name that works in Spanish/Portuguese/English

Elizabeth and her husband are expecting their third baby—and third son! This little guy joins big brothers:

Adriano Luis
Mateo Luis

I love both names—not only are they handsome and masculine, but they’re really meaningful too—read what Elizabeth says about them:

It took my husband, Luis, and I many years to conceive. Our first son was named after my beloved grandfather, Adriano, whom my husband and I were always very fond of. We call him “Adri” (Ay-dree) sometimes. Not knowing if we would be blessed a second time, we decided on Mateo (which means gift from God) when we found out I was expecting our second gift.”

What a wonderful story! And now they’re expecting again! Elizabeth writes,

Now, after five years I am blessed a third time!

I am of Spanish descent and my husband is of Brazilian/Portuguese descent. We would like a name that is pronounceable in Spanish/Portuguese and of course English.

I have tossed around the idea of Tiago — Portuguese biblical name referring to St. James: St. James being the patron saint of Spain. But, I’ve heard mixed things about Tiago not being a proper translation or it being part of the full name Santiago. And there is confusion as to whether Santiago is Saint James or just James…I wonder if you would shed some light on this? And if you would help with other possible name suggestions? … our third will also carry dad’s name as a middle: ________ Luis.”

Additionally,

I prayed for St. Rita’s intercession for the conception and healthy arrival of my children. Had this baby been a girl I was thinking of naming her Antonia Pearl — I was born on St. Anthony’s feast day, my husband is Luis Anthony. And we have MANY Antonios and Antonias in our family tree. And Pearl for the significance of Margarita.

I am an older mom.  As I stated before, it took my husband and I years to conceive. I was 38 when my first was born. I then had Mateo at 40. We continued trying for more and my doctor told me about a year ago that it was very unlikely I would conceive again. And here I am!  I’ve been blessed at 45 with another precious child!  This is also why I feel it’s so important to find the perfect name for him. ”

What an inspiring, hopeful story!! I’m so glad Elizabeth was okay with me sharing it with all of you. ❤

Also, all Chris- names are off the table.

Okay, first off—I LOVE Tiago. Love love love. What a cool name! And it’s got a great saintly connection—to answer Elizabeth’s question, it is a name that refers to St. James. One of the cool things about it is that it refers *specifically* to St. James, not to just James generically, as Tiago is a truncation of Santiago, which means St. James (Santo Iago, where Iago is a variant of James, has become Santiago; see both Behind the Name and the DMNES, both of which are trustworthy sources). Tiago is a Portuguese variant, and with St. James being patron of Spain, I think Elizabeth’s done an amazing job of combining her Spanish heritage with her husband’s Portuguese heritage. Well done!

I also want to loop in St. Rita here as well—she is such an amazing saint, and this isn’t the first story I’ve heard firsthand of her intercession leading to a baby! It would be amazing to find a name that could work for a boy that honors St. Rita—I have loved and shared many times the story julianamama told of the family she knew who named their son Garrett after St. Margaret, and that would work for St. Rita as well, since her given name was Margherita (the Italian Margaret). Unfortunately, I don’t think it would work in this case as Garrett doesn’t translate into Spanish or Portuguese except that it derives from Gerard, so Gerardo would work—but that seems a bit far from Rita, don’t you think? BUT, I did some research on her life, looking for any inspiration, and I discovered that one of her sons was named Giangiacomo, which is a combination of two names—Gian (a short form of Giovanni=John) and Giacomo (James). Additionally, when her cause for canonization was being pursued, her story was compiled by an Augustinian priest named Fr. Jacob Carelicci—and Jacob is a variant of James! So Tiago, being connected to James/Jacob, can also be a nod to St. Rita.

Are you feeling what I’m feeling? I’m feeling like Tiago is the perfect name for Elizabeth’s baby boy. Awesome name, perfect significance.

Of course I have more ideas though! If Elizabeth and her Mister just can’t get comfortable with Tiago, I wonder what they would think of:

(1) Antonio
Antonia was their girl name—a nod to the feast day on which Elizabeth was born and her husband’s middle name, as well as many family members with a variant of the name—Antonio seems a natural contender for a boy! Antonio Luis would be his dad’s name in reverse, which is a way of “junioring without junioring” that I’ve seen other people use (you can read allllll about “junioring” a non-firstborn here). In addition, St. Rita’s dad’s name was Antonio!

(2) Samuel (or Isaac)
When I read Elizabeth’s story, my first thought was Samuel! The story of Hannah and Samuel is one that often resonates with those who have hoped and struggled to conceive. Samuel is the Spanish and Portuguese form of the name, so it should work nicely for them. I wanted to suggest Isaac too, for the same reason, but I can’t tell if it’s usable in Spanish/Portuguese or if it has a Spanish/Portuguese variant?

(3) Nico or Nicolas
This goes back again to St. Rita, as she had three patron saints, one of which was St. Nicholas of Tolentino. I think the Portuguese Nicolau would be difficult for English-speakers, but either Nico or Nicolas would be great I think, especially since St. Nicholas of Tolentino’s parents were childless until they prayed at a shrine of St. Nicholas of Myra (the St. Nicholas we all know) and named their son after him in gratitude. He was an Augustinian, like St. Rita. Also, I looked up Adrian (there isn’t an entry for Adriano), Mateo, and Antonia in The Baby Name Wizard, which I usually do at the beginning of a consultation, as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity, and Nico was a style match for Mateo and Nicholas for Antonia.

(4) Rafael
My last idea is totally inspired by the BNW as it lists Rafael as a style match for both Adrian and Mateo, which I thought was pretty amazing. Though I looked and looked for a holy Raphael that could connect to Elizabeth’s story in some way, all I could find were several that were martyred in the Spanish Civil War, and I don’t know if that connection would be meaningful to Elizabeth or not. The name itself means “God has healed,” which could nod to their suffering in their hopes to conceive and the answers to their prayers.

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for Adriano and Mateo’s little brother, taking into account all the details Elizabeth shared?

26 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Third baby boy needs meaningful name that works in Spanish/Portuguese/English

  1. I agree that Tiago is great choice for this family. But I also LOVE Raphael! It has a feel that fits with the big bros, but I like that it doesn’t end in the “o” sound, so it gives a little variation. Also, with the coming of a third child, I would say “God has healed” is an amazingly appropriate meaning! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just wanted to say congratulations on your third baby at age 45! You are so blessed and you kept the faith even when it was hard to conceive! I love your boys names and also love Santiago for your new baby! Blessings from Austria for your whole family!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that Tiago is perfect for them, for all the reasons you mention. But I also thought of Augusto (for St. Rita, Augustinian sister) and Gabriel (because this baby means really good news). Both names are Spanish and Portuguese and I think they fit their style.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “I wanted to suggest Isaac too, for the same reason, but I can’t tell if it’s usable in Spanish/Portuguese or if it has a Spanish/Portuguese variant?” Brazilian woman here 😛 :the English Isaac and Portuguese Isaac have very different sounds – so I don’t think it works. The Portuguese (or Brazilian?) version of it, it’s Isaque, my sources being the people I met with the name (no books or professional researches).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy feast of St. James today!!

    I like Santiago (nicknamed Tiago) or the straight Tiago. I had not heard it but the info about it as a Portuguese variant is great. I am glad you clarified that Santiago is indeed St. James specifically. I have a great affinity for St. James-Santiago since our trip to Spain and visit to Santiago de Compostella several years ago.

    I have a friend whose youngest (age 4) is Santiago. He is called Santi. Her husband is from Mexico.

    An alternative to Antonio could be Antone. My father-in-law had that for a middle. They pronounced it Ahn-tone, but I think it can also be Ahn-tone-ee. His family was from the Azore Islands. It seems to be a common Anthony variation among the Portuguese from the Azores. And even though it doesn’t fit the Portuguese or Spanish requirement, Andoni is the Basque variant, so that covers the Iberian Penninsula. ; )

    Congrats to Elizabeth and Luis – great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I looove the name Santiago, especially, but Tiago is also great. Santiago is getting some use in Italy I think, but I also met a few Tiagos in my life (they had Brazillian roots tho). Adriano, Mateo and (San)Tiago. Perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on your baby boy! What a beautiful story. I love all the suggestions! And I thought you might be able to connect to St. Rafael because he is the patron saint of healing and love!!!! We hear about him most in the book of Tobit, where he heals Tobit’s blindness and connects Tobiah and Sarah. A beautiful connection to our Lord blessing your marriage with children after trying for so long.

    Liked by 1 person

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