Baby name consultation: Svellerella Baby No. 5!

Today’s consultation is for Carolyn, who you’ll know from her blog Svellerella (+Instagram) and her gorgeous hand-drawn-illustrations-and-lettering Etsy shop Brass & Mint Co. (+Instagram)! (Find her on Facebook too!) She was also on Haley and Christy’s podcast Fountain of Carrots last week talking about mothering her little boy with special needs — as she said, “They asked me about what it was like going through an Autism diagnosis and parenting a kid with autism, getting to church with Emmett’s challenges, and how I “do it all” (spoiler: I don’t.).” Such a beautiful, loving, pro-life mama witness!

Carolyn and her husband Craig are now expecting their fifth baby — fifth boy! I loooooove the names they’ve chosen so far:

Lexington Anthony (“We picked Lexington because we liked the phonetics, and the originality of it. At that time, neither of us cared about name meanings, and while we still love his name, it’s a little out of our scope of interest towards “originality” these days. Anthony was chosen for St. Anthony of Padua. And upon thinking about it later and knowing the story of St. Anthony’s ability to speak eloquently, it is a funny spiritual accident that we chose the first name Lexington — lexicon.”)

Emmett James (“We love the old timey feel of the name Emmett. And James was our Biblical/Christian pick.”)

Collin John Paul (“Honestly, It was the only name we agreed on. John Paul is after my patron saint JPII.”)

Jude Benedict (“We absolutely love the name Jude. It’s older, not overly popular, and while it breaks our streak of multiple syllable first names, it sounds strong to us. St. Benedict is my husband’s patron saint, and we love Benedict XVI.”)

What an interesting bunch of names! You all know I love bold naming, so seeing Lexington in the mix is so fun, and I love her other boys’ names as well.

Names they’re considering for this next little guy include:

Ambrose (“he’s due near St. Ambrose’s feast day … the only problem is that neither of us care for the double S sound when said with our last name Svellinger“)
Theodore (“we love Teddy, don’t love Theo“)
Gabriel (“This one is my top pick currently“)

And Carolyn explains,

We tend to be more creative with first names and choose a Christian based middle name [though note that she said above that Lexington is “a little out of our scope of interest towards ‘originality’ these days”] … Generally, neither of us care for nicknames, with the exception of Theodore. I’m a nerd and pay close attention to the phonetics of a name. For example, I don’t like if a name begins with a sound that starts from the back of the throat and drags with another sound from the same place: the sound that C + L makes when said together is an example. I know, it’s silly. Cluuhhh sounds and feels like I’m hawking a loogie … can’t handle it. Craig thinks I’m ridiculous.”



Last bit of info — I L O V E British literature and often think of Shakespeare, Lewis, Austen, Chesterton, Tolkien, and yes, Rowling — I adore nearly everything that comes from Brit lit and I’d love to draw from something there.”

My mind started clicking as soon as I read all this! I was particularly interested by the fact that Carolyn said Lexington is more unusual than where her and her husband’s current taste is — Emmett, Collin, and Jude really do have a similar feel to me, it’s pretty clear they backed off of really out-there names. That said, as you all know I really love coming up with “bridge” names that connect an outlier sibling name with the others, so I’d really love to come up with an idea that might loop Lexington back in while still fitting with their other boys’ names. I definitely focused on that to a good extent when looking for names that I thought Carolyn and Craig might like.

Backing up a bit for a minute, I wanted to comment on the names they already have on their list for their new little boy:

— Ambrose: We love Ambrose too! If they decide to use it, despite it ending in S and their last name beginning with S, one of its big benefits I think is that it swings their whole set back toward the more unusual.

— Dominic: One of my very favorites! I definitely think it fits well with Emmett, Collin, and Jude.

— Edmund: Narnia! St. Edmund Campion! Such a great name. And Teddy is a traditional nickname for all the Ed- names, so they could totally do Edmund nicked Teddy! I also love the idea of Campion for them — if they could move away from Teddy and Narnia, Campion seems more like Lexington’s style while still being super saintly. And, since Carolyn pointed out the similarity between Lexington and “lexicon,” she might also like to know that Campion means “champion”!

— Theodore: I like its length with Lexington, and it too seems a great fit with Emmett, Collin, and Jude. Teddy’s super cute too. In the interest of shifting a bit towards Lexington’s style (which I’m thinking of variously as “unusual,” “place name,” and “surname-y”), I wonder what they’d think of the more unusual Thaddeus? Teddy can be a nickname for Thaddeus (I know a grown-up Thaddeus who goes by Ted), and Taddy is a similar-but-different nickname for it as well. I also wondered if they’d be interested in getting Teddy as a nickname from mashing up a first+middle combo? I was thinking something like Tolkien Edmund, for example. Too weird? Or Titus Edmund (Titus is a Shakespeare name)?

— Gabriel: Gabriel is one of my very favorite names, I love seeing it here on Carolyn’s list, and as much as I love the faith connection, I also love that it’s got good use in Ireland (actor Gabriel Byrne, for one, love him!), which is not dissimilar from her Brit lit love. Great name! I think it goes really well with Emmett, Collin, and Jude.

Carolyn’s “C+L” issue made me laugh! Also that her hubs thinks it’s ridiculous! We all have our quirks when it comes to naming, and I’m always so interested to hear other people’s. I purposely stayed away from suggesting Clive for them because of this. 😊

I also love names from British literature! So when I was thinking of names to suggest, I looked up all the male names from Shakespeare, Harry Potter, Jane Austen, Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Charles Dickens (thank you internet!) (searches for Chesterton’s characters didn’t result in any other than Fr. Brown, but neither Father nor Brown seemed like their style 😉), as well as place names mentioned in those works. I wrote down all the ones that I thought might possibly fit their style, then cross-checked that list against my research in the Baby Name Wizard (you all know that I always start by looking up the names the parents have used and like/are considering in the BNW as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity). Because Lexington isn’t listed in the BNW, I used Lennox as a stand-in there, and then looked Lexington up in the Name Matchmaker tool on the BNW web site — it showed a bunch of names as being similar to Lexington that I already had on my list for them!

So here are my ideas, in no particular order:

(1) Garrick or Oliver
My original idea here was Garrick, as in Harry Potter character Garrick Ollivander (and actually, if Carolyn hadn’t said that Lexington was farther out than they would currently like, I’d probably be pushing Ollivander on them! I love it! I think it totally fits with Lexington in length and feel, and the nickname Ollie is so well matched with Emmett, Collin, and Jude. But then, they don’t like nicknames either …). But then I thought maybe Oliver would be good! There’s Oliver Twist and St. Oliver Plunket, who’s amazing, and Oliver totally fits with Emmett, Collin, and Jude.

(2) Caspian
I definitely think Caspian can hang with Emmett, Collin, and Jude, and its unusual-ness pulls in Lexington a bit more. I also love that that both Lexington and Caspian are place names (Caspian Sea), and of course Caspian is a Narnia name!

(3) Bartlett (or Bartholomew?) (or Bates?)
One of Great Expectations’ Pip’s brothers was named Bartholomew, and I thought that I like Bartholomew for them — it’s got that nice length that Lexington has. Then I was thinking about how the surname Bartlett is derived from Bartholomew, and decided I love Bartlett even more for them! I love it with all their boys’ names, and Bartlett’s Buildings is where Lucy Steele usually stayed when she was in London (Sense and Sensibility), so cool! But then, are Emmett and Bartlett too similar? (I actually had Garrett included in my first suggestion, with Garrick, and ended up deleting it because I thought Emmett and Garrett were probably too similar.) So maybe then the full Bartholomew is a better suggestion. Or maybe Bates? Bates is another surname derived from Bartholomew, which could also work — would Mr. Bates from Downton Abbey count as a Brit Lit character?? But Bates runs into their last name … Gah!

(4) Dig(g)ory
This is another more Lexington-esque name due to uniqueness, but it’s got so many cool literary connections, and I really love the sound of it, so I had to include it! There’s Cedric Diggory from HP, of course, and I’ve read that he was actually given the last name Diggory as a nod to Professor Digory Kirke from the Narnia Chronicles, which is another great reference. But the first time I ever heard the name was in high school when I read Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native — one of the main characters is Diggory Venn. (Also, I’m a huge nicknamer, so I can’t help but say that Dig is a really cool nickname and the name of one of the good guys in the current TV series Arrow).

(5) Sebastian
My last idea is Sebastian. It’s a Shakespeare name and a saint’s name; it’s long like Lexington and I think it also fits in well with their other boys. Some people don’t like alliteration, but I tend to, and Sebastian Svellinger sounds smashing imo. 😊

While those are my “official” suggestions, I did have a few others I considered when trying to whittle down the list, which I thought I’d include here just in case they’re helpful: Austen, Augustine (Austen’s actually a medieval variant of Augustine!), Chesterton (could be cute?), Orlando (Shakespeare and place name), Duncan (hmm … maybe I should have included this on my official list), Kingsley (Kingston was a style match for Lennox, which made me think of HP character Kingsley Shacklebolt), Quentin or Quinlan (for a fifth baby!), Jasper (a style match for Emmett and Jude), Brandon (I looooove Col. Brandon from Sense and Sensibility), Abel (two different Dickens characters named Abel), and Rider/Ryder (the former for the Riders of Rohan in Lord of the Rings; the latter for Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisited).

In looking back over my ideas, I feel like maybe I focused too much on connecting with Lexington, which is totally me inserting myself into Carolyn and Craig’s taste, which I really try not to do! (Not too much anyway!) So I hope that this was at least a little helpful!

What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the little brother of Lexington, Emmett, Collin, and Jude?


28 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Svellerella Baby No. 5!

  1. When I first read her kids’ names, Edmund came to my mind as a great fit, so I was so excited to see it on her list. It’s one of my absolute favorite names! Until I got to Sebastian, Edmund had my vote. I think Sebastian is the perfect suggestion! Blessings to this mama and her new babe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m all for Edmund! John Paul II had a brother named Edmund so there would be a connection with the baby’s older sibling. Out of other suggested names, my favourite one is Thaddeus.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had no idea about JPII’s brother being named Edmund! I have been pulling for this name if we have another boy.. my oldest son’s name is John Paul, so now I love Edmund even more! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love Jasper and Oliver from Kate’s suggestions.

    I think Martin would go well with this sib set and St. Martin of Tours would be an awesome patron for a little boy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Timothy, Owen, Edward (nn Teddy), Toby/Tobias, Blaise, Wilson, Malcom or Joshua, for his first name.

    … and Francis as a middle! (another Pope and it matches Anthony perfectly!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just to throw some other Chesterton “fiction names” out there– Ian, Patrick, Gabriel (!), Innocent, Michael, Alfred (also–they’ve already used one of the Ballad of the White Horse names–Colin!), Mark, Gregory.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats to them! Nice analysis Kate. I think Caspian fits beautifully with the siblings’ names!! I thought of Ronan (from the saint) or Xander (from Alexander). Best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jasper is such a cute name! But keep in mind that “Emmett” and a “Jasper” are characters from the “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer. Twilight is not a big thing anymore, but those names together will call the series to some people’s minds, if it’s an association you care about/want to exclude. Just a note. 🙂

    Sebastian, Caspian, and Kingsley are my favorite of the suggestions! Cute! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Balthazar, Inigo, Tarquin, Dashiell, Thackeray, Vaughan, Carew, Milton, Tobias, Percy, Conrad, Lionel, Ezra, Rudyard, Malcom, Graham, Adrian, Alasdair/Alistair, Caliban, Caspar, Dunstan, Heath/cliff, Cyprian, Peregrine, Jarlath, Archibald, Sterling

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Your suggestion of Quintin/Quinlan is a fun one and it reminded me that there’s a St. Quintian! So great for any parents looking to name fifth-born boys.

    If Carolyn hadn’t mentioned British literature, my initial thoughts on the sibset would’ve been that they’re names with great range – the sorts of names that are equally at home on a ranch or on Wall Street, which I personally love! Each name is friendly/approachable and sophisticated while maintaining a certain rugged charm. With this in mind, my suggestions are: Gavan (St. Gavan + Gavin in J.M. Barrie’s ‘The Little Minister’ for a Brit lit nod), Leander (St. Leander of Seville + Leander, TX gives it the added bonus of being a place name), Gideon (an Old Testament hero + a saintly French bishop + the brother of Molly Weasley in HP), Walter (St. Walter + lots of literary nods including Anne of Green Gables! And the nickname potential is there with Walt, if they’re into it.), and Brighton (British + place name + non-saintly/Christian, so Lexington doesn’t become the outlier in that regard).

    I also second Mary-Agnes’s suggestion of Owen and Iremann’s suggestion of Gregory!! *Swoon*

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I second Beckett! Becket Francis. Quentin would be meaningful for a fifth child. If you love Gabriel, maybe Nathaniel could be a good match for Lexington’s length? I think your names are pretty modern, even Jude, so something like Edmund and Theodore sound a bit too vintage, but maybe it’s just my opinion! I like Ronan, Gideon, Willem, Abram, Ransom (again!), Xavier, Joachim.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yay Carolyn!! I’ve been in FB groups and following her online for years. Her Jude was born mere days before my 2nd kid. 🙂 I just KNEW she was having another boy from the moment she announced her pregnancy (she totally knew, too!).

    I don’t like the idea of Campion with a sib named Collin. It’s just not working for me. Neither is the mouthful that is Sebastian Svellinger. Or Edmund and Emmett as sibs. I also don’t like the idea of nicknaming at this point, when their other kids don’t go by any. Wow, I have a lot not to like on this! Let’s see if I can remedy that with some actual likes….

    I like the above comments on Gavin (I’d go with this more conventional spelling), and I also like Abel.
    I think Victor could work well with ther sibset, as well as Felix and Adrian (all are pope names!).

    My top pick for them is probably Gavin Francis (middle name to continue their popes-in-our-lifetime middle name trend).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. All the suggestions are so good! Here are a few names I think might work with these brothers and/or names that feel British to me: Oscar, Xavier, Graeme, Winston, Trevor and my favourite name of all time Desmond!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I like all of the names the couple is considering and all of Kate’s suggestions. Because this is baby #5 and I dislike the “quint” names, I’m drawn to using a name that starts with V, the Roman numeral for five.

    How about Virgil?

    Classic poet, so there’s the literature connection tho not Brit lit. It bridges the popularity divide between the names. I like how it sounds with the last name and the other V sound.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We have a thing for British names too! We have a Thatcher and a Desmond. Picking a name is so hard, but it’s amazing how they just grow into it and you can’t imagine their name being anything else. We almost named Desmond Alistair, but used it for his middle name. He is totally a Desmond not an Alistair!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I like the name Gabriel a lot, and as I was doing a bit of digging into the works of English writer Thomas Hardy, I remembered that Farmer Oak (from Far From the Madding Crowd) was actually Gabriel Oak. He’s probably the best character in the book–solid, calls Bathsheba on her follies, industrious, and trustworthy. I think it’s easy to pass over Gabriel as being almost “too pleasing” of a name, but there are many reasons why it’s so lovely. Since Gabriel is less “out there”, you could swap your usual pattern and go with a more unusual middle like Gabriel Ryder, though I think Gabriel Thomas and Gabriel Francis sound beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

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