Baby name consultation: A sister for Lois

Kristin and her husband are expecting their second baby — a second girl! She joins big sister:

Lois Ann

Lois! Very cool, and very unusual! There were only 118 baby girls named Lois in 2016, and it hasn’t been in the top 1000 since 1983. It’s so hard to find a name that’s familiar yet unusual, but they did it! Nice job! I love this bit in its entry in the Baby Name Wizard too:

“… think of Lois as a trim little biblical classic that hasn’t been heard in years. Or fire up your competitive spirit: British parents have already rediscovered this name. Do you want to fall behind?


Kristin writes,

These are the names we are considering:


I love the names Helen/Helena but my husband has vetoed those. I tend to like classic, yet not too common names, but not too out there. Petra is on our list, but that’s probably as ‘out there’ as we’d go. I’d love for this baby to have a Marian first or middle name. We’re new Catholics and haven’t developed strong devotions to any particular saints yet, but I would love a saint name whether it’s Marian or not. I’ve considered Josephine since my due date is the feast day of St. Joseph, but I’m not crazy about that name. It would be neat to honor St. Joseph in some other way though if possible.”

Due on the feast of St. Joseph!! So great!!

I really enjoyed working on this, as I was able to delve into names that I hardly ever come across otherwise!

I was so surprised that Kristin said Petra is as “out there” as they’d go — according to my research in the Baby Name Wizard (which, as you all know, I always start a consultation with, as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity), it’s exactly this family’s style! It shares a bunch of style matches with both Lois and Marian. I love it for them!

Of the other names Kristin and her hubs are considering, I see a few styles emerging. There are the Lois-like names — those that are sort of “retro chic” and still relatively unusual: Petra, Maris, Marian.

Then there are the up-and-comers — the ones that have that vintage feel and have already started to come back, or are already totally back: Stella, Eva, Evelyn, Alice, Clara, Cecilia, Eliza.

And then the “miscellaneous”: Stellamaris, which is gorgeous but doesn’t feel like any style beyond Catholicky Catholic to me (which of course I love); Isla, which is currently popular and rising fast (no. 126 in 2016 after entering the top 1000 in 2008); and Juliet, which has a slightly offbeat character — romantic, feminine, not-quite-vintage in the sense that it hovered between 500 and 1000 for all of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first and is currently at its height of popularity after a slow rise that seems to have plateaued (no. 228 in 2016).

Of those styles, I think the retro chic and up-and-comers are the best fit with sister Lois (especially the retro chic names). Even though I love the names Stellamaris, Isla, and Juliet, they have such a different feel to me than Lois that I would worry that the sisters would come across as “unbalanced” almost, if that makes sense. Certainly, it doesn’t matter what other people think, but I’m sure Kristin and her hubs wouldn’t want their girls to feel like one of them got the “better” name or the “cooler” name or the “more interesting” name, you know? Or, I could be totally wrong! I hope Kristin totally disregards what I’m saying if she disagrees!

I love that they’re new Catholics too! I know you all join me in welcoming them to the Church!! ❤ Being that their due date is the feast of St. Joseph (!!), I love that they’ve considered Josephine! It’s actually a style match for Cecilia and Helena, so it seems like a name they would like, but if they don’t like it, they don’t like it! Another option would be Josefa, which is actually a style match for Petra. I knew a girl in college named Josefa so the name has all good connotations for me. There are some other names derived from Joseph as well, like Josephina, Josée, and Josette. Or perhaps they could consider any Jo- name as a nod to St. Joseph, like Joanna or Joleen. Or maybe they could focus on the fact that some translations of the Bible call him a “just man” (“righteous” in other translations; see Matthew 1:19), so maybe they could consider Justine or Justina in his honor.

So I think they have some real winners on their current list, but of course I can always come up with more! Based on my research in the BNW and also some that I did using the Name Matchmaker, here are some additional ideas that I think Kristin and her Mister might like:

(1) Margery or Marjorie
Marjorie is a style match for Lois, and Margery for Marian, so I thought this was a great idea for them! Margery is an old form of Margaret, and Marjorie is a medieval variant of Margery, so they both point to any of the Sts. Margaret — there are a bunch of great ones! St. Margaret of Antioch, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and St. Margaret of Scotland are personal favorites of mine (also St. Rita, whose real name was Margherita — an Italian Margaret variant); you can read about loads more here.

(2) Sylvia
I see Sylvie occasionally from parents, but I think the older-feeling Sylvia is closer to their style — and the BNW agrees, as Sylvia’s listed as a match for Marian and Stella. There are a couple of saints with this name (listed with the Silvia spelling), including the mother of Pope St. Gregory the Great!

(3) Vivian
Vivian is currently at the most popular it’s been since the 1930s (it was no. 95 in 2016), but it actually peaked in the early 1920s — less than ten years before Lois’ peak — so I feel like they’re well matched from that perspective. Sisters Lois and Vivian have a starlet feel to them I think, and Vivian’s also a match for Marian and Evelyn from Kristin’s list. There are a few saints with this name (though they’re all male!).

(4) Daphne
I was surprised to see Daphne listed as a style match for both Juliet and Helena! It’s got the lovely meaning of “laurel,” and though it’s not a saint’s name as far as I can tell, a saintly middle name would be perfect with it (maybe something like Daphne Josephine/Justine? Daphne Marian or Daphne Maria?).

(5) Loretta
Loretta showed up in the list of names the Name Matchmaker offered as matches for Lois. I don’t mind that they both start with L at all — in fact, I think Lois and Loretta sound great! Like with Vivian above, I feel like Loretta has that starlet feel, and the best part is that it’s Marian! The Litany of Loreto is a listing of titles for Our Lady, and Loreto is the name of a town in Italy where the home of Our Lady — where the Annunciation took place — was miraculously moved to from Nazareth. And yesterday was the feast of Our Lady of Loreto! My grandmother’s name was Loretta, and she often went by Rett — I really love the idea of Lois and Rett!

(6) Ruth, Rita, Rhea, Ruby, Regina
Speaking of sweet, four-letter R names, each of these showed up in my research as style matches for various names on Kristin’s list. I love them all! Ruth is biblical like Lois and is a style match for Helen; Rita has a bit of that starlet feel (and St. Rita!) and was a match for Lois; Rhea is a match for Petra and Marian; and Ruby is a match for Stella, and I did a spotlight of its faith connections here.

I didn’t see Regina in any of my research, but these R names had me thinking about this family, whose daughters all go by their middle names, all of which start with R or the R sound, and the older four’s middle names all have four letters (including Ruth and Rhea!), and then their sweet (Therese) Regina was born (she is one of the highlights of my IG feed!) — I like Regina a lot for this family! It’s got a more recent peak than Lois — 1967 — but I don’t know, I’m just feeling like Lois and Regina go together well. Do you agree? And it’s Marian!

(7) Edith
I’m so excited that Edith seems like a name Kristin and her hubs might like! It’s a match for Alice, Clara, Helen, and Marian, and best of all, it’s the name of an awesome saint, St. Edith Stein! She was a convert from Judaism who became a Carmelite Sister (Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), and was killed by the Nazis. An awesome patron for a little girl!

There were some other names that showed up in my research for this family but didn’t make the final cut for various reasons, but I thought I’d share them here just in case they’re helpful/inspiring: Lucy, Lydia, Esther, June, Willa, Avis, Gloria, and Anita (I thought Anita was so perfect! Except it’s a variant of Ann, which is Lois’ middle name).

And those are my ideas for this family! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for Lois’ little sister, taking into account the “classic, yet not too common” + saintly and/or Marian criteria?


33 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: A sister for Lois

  1. I just wanted to add a quick comment about Helena. I’ve been in love with this name for a while – to use the nickname Lena. Wouldn’t that be cute – Lois and Lena? Maybe Kristin’s husband would warm up to Helen/a if he liked the nickname 🙂 It could be after St. Helen of the Cross and/or St. Faustina whose birth name was Helen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love all of your suggestions (and their name list!)…. Edith is one of my faves, and Petra is so unexpected and Euro-chic,

    One thought occurred to me when I read that Sylvia was the mother of St. Gregory… I had just looked up who Lois was in the Bible because I had no idea (haha!!) and found out that she was the mother of St. Timothy. And of course Ann was the mother of Mary. Sylvia Mary, in addition to being a gorgeous name with a Marian touch, would keep the Influential Christian/Biblical Mothers theme going!

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  3. This consultation is right up my alley! I love their style.
    Edith is one of my favorite girls names (Edie is SUCH a sweet nickname!). But I also really love your suggestions of Sylvia and Rita when paired with Lois. 😍.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love Rita for them!

    We seem to have similar naming style since all 3 of my girls names are somewhere in this post.

    I haven’t been able to get hubby on board for Rita (yet) but I think it would be absolutely darling as a sister to Lois.

    Bonus points since Rita was Mother Angelica’s birth name!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My votes are for Marian, Vivian and Regina as pair for Lois. To me they are cool and vintage at the same time. I like Cora too (with a Sacred Heart reference). Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There is a female St Viviana, the early Christian martyr whose feast day we just celebrated on December 2. On the Latin side of my missal she is referred to as Sancta Viviana, and on the English side of the missal it is spelled Bibiana. (Bibi is such an adorable nickname!)

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  7. Wow! Lois Ann! Never would except to hear that on a baby, but like you said, SO familiar. It’s amazing

    My first thought was Marian and then I saw they had it on their list! Lois and Marian 🙂

    Then I thought of Jane. Much higher in popularity but I still think it would be surprising to meet a sweet little Jane.

    What about Virginia? Ginny is an adorable nickname (and you gotta love a Harry Potter reference)

    I also think Elizabeth nn Betsy or Betty would work SO well and be so adorable. It would also open up the sibset to more common names in the future if they want their names to go in terms of popularity.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sylvia and Rita are great for this family.
    But I love Biblical names so I have to suggest Damaris. NT like Lois and it has the Maris part.
    Julia would be a nice biblical alternative to Juliet. And I love how Martha is a little retro, and so Catholic and also biblical.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I know a little 4 yr old Lois! It totally took me by surprise when she was introduced. I don’t quite see Lois with Evelyn and Alice just because those names are already “back” whereas Lois is not yet. Marjorie is such an amazing suggestion, as were Joan and Rita. Virginia is great too. I also wonder about Esther, Gloria or Dorothy?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Any of the following saint/blessed names seem like they could be a good fit too!

    Cecily (from Cecilia)
    Nell (from Helen/a)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love Marian and Marjorie with Lois! I also like the above suggestions of Martha, Joan, Regina, Betsy, and Betty. Some other fun ones this reminds me of: Maude, Harriet, Estelle, and Flora.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I love Petra! I’m also a big fan of the suggestions of Edith, Rita, and Betty.
    Alice seems a bit too much like it has already arrived. I suggest Agnes instead. I really like Agnes Pearl.
    Lois Ann and Agnes Pearl.
    Lois Ann and Marita Stella.
    Lois Ann and Edith Marie.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What about a name with similar sounds/letters to Joseph? A Jo- or Jos- beginning name: Joslin (Jocelyn), Joleah, Jozette….or a -seph- name: Sephira. Or Joy? Or -Jo/-Joy and part of a double barrelled name: Mary-Jo, Eva-Joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The title of this post immediately called to mind the children’s book (from the 60s) A Baby Sister for Frances. The only person I personally know named Frances is my own grandma…I haven’t checked on its stats but it doesn’t seem “back” yet to me. My grandma doesn’t like her name much, but the past several months I’ve been thinking it would be so darling on a little girl! I don’t know if Lois and Frances together would be too much ends-in-s. ? The baby sister in the book is Gloria, which as someone else mentioned above could totally work here too!

    I would say not to worry too much about exactly matching the style of Lois. A pattern requires at least two elements…so it seems to me that it would be totally fine to choose anything you love at this point!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Maybe not helpful to the mama here but just fun for me. This consultation is dabbling in the name sector where I apparently get names for fictitious people. I wrote a story in college where Lois was 1 of 3 principal characters. I’ve used Jane, Isla, and Ellen (so close to Helen or Evelyn) as names for journals (instead of “dear Diary” I pick names, a habit I started at age 14 lol). I named my car Loretta.

    That reminds me, my husband’s cousin has a daughter under age 6 named Loretta who goes by Lettie, which is pretty cute!

    Liked by 1 person

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