Baby name consultation: Green bean needs a name that evokes “hope” or “blessing”

I had the great privilege of posting a birth announcement for Lea’s little guy a little over two years ago, and I’m delighted to post this consultation for her newest baby today!

Lea writes,

We have 3 sons here and 4 children in heaven. Here are their names:

James Pershing
Paul Raymond
Luke Gordon

Agnes, Eli, Isaac, and Nicholas

The boys are named with a first name that we liked and their middle names are after 3 of the 4 grandfathers of my husband and me. The final grandfather was named Victor and we’d like to use his name for the middle name of a boy.

Paul is after Bl Paul VI and Luke is a nod to Mary and St Gianna. James was simply a name we both liked.

I am looking for some names of each gender that are unique. I like Jude for a boy but my husband isn’t keen.

Some other info, we lost our Nicholas on December 6 2017, so a name meaning hope or blessing would also be good for either gender.

I’m not due until September and we won’t be finding out the gender before the birth.”

I so enjoyed working on a consultation for another of Lea’s babies! I love the name Victor, and think it makes a great middle name. I’ve always liked that it can nod to Jesus, as He is Victorious, and Lea and her husband can think of it having extra meaning for them in the sense of Jesus being a victor by conquering death, which is a nice meaning for this baby following the loss of their Nicholas.

I started the consultation by looking up names that mean “hope” or “blessed”/ “blessing, and in doing so came across some that meant “gift” and “rainbow” as well, which I thought they might like to consider. The ones that I thought were possible contenders for this family I’ve included in my “official” suggestions below, but I wanted to include the other ones I found here, just in case (these were found by searching for key terms on behindthename.com, which I trust as far as name meanings go):

Names meaning “hope”
Girl
Nadia, Nadine — Nadia is Slavic and Nadine is French, but they both mean “hope.”

None found for boys

Names meaning “blessed” or “blessing”
Girl
Beata — this comes from the Latin for “blessed,” and is used to describe Our Lady in some Latin prayers.

Benedicta — as with Beata, this means “blessed” and points to Our Lady (I’ve always been interested that beata is used to describe her sometimes, and benedicta others — I’m not sure what the difference is? If any of you know, I’d love to hear it!).

Gwenfair or Mairwen — these Welsh names are some of my favorite finds! They’re actually the same name, with the elements reversed: Gwenfair is “white, fair, blessed” + the Welsh form of Mary (Mair), while Mairwen starts with Mary and the “white, fair, blessed” part is on the end. I think both are so lovely, though I can understand they may not be quite to Lea’s taste.

Boy
Asher — means “happy, blessed.”

Baruch — Baruch was a companion of the prophet Jeremiah, and his name means “blessed.”

Macarius — means “happy, blessed.”

Names meaning “gift”
Girl
Dorothea, Dorothy — I was torn on whether or not to include this in my list of official suggestions, but I had a lot of girl suggestions, so I decided to put it up here. Dorothy is a variant of Dorothea, which means “gift of God.”

Boy
Jesse — I might have liked to suggest this for this family, except I thought maybe it’s too close to the sounds of James? Otherwise, its meaning of “gift” is a great one.

Name meaning “rainbow”
Iris — it’s just too perfect that Iris means “rainbow” — such a perfect name for a rainbow baby!

I like all of the names here, but I didn’t feel like they really fit their style … although, Lea did say they were looking for “unique,” so maybe they’ll be perfect for them!

As for my official suggestions, I went to my trusty Baby Name Wizard, looking for style matches for all of the names Lea listed in her email: James, Paul, Luke, Agnes, Eli, Isaac, Nicholas, and Jude. I tried to err on the side of more unique when I was whittling down the results, and I also tried to be careful not to repeat suggestions from the previous consultation I did for them (it was supposed to post here, but Luke came before the date the post was scheduled! From that consultation, Gabriel and Peter still feel like great ideas for this family). Based on that, these are my ideas for Lea and her hubs:

Girl
(1) Annabel(le)
The Anna family of names were big for them in my research — Anna is a style match for James and Jude, Anita for Paul, and Hannah for Isaac. While I love Anna names (and St. Anne!), I didn’t think the ones I mentioned would fit Lea’s “unique” designation, but I thought Annabel/Annabelle might. It’s not technically an Anna name, arising in the Middle Ages in Scotland as a variant of Amabel, which is a variant of Amabilis, which is contained in the Marian title Mater Amabilis (Mother Most Amiable), but of course the fact that Anna is contained in it can definitely be a nod to St. Anne. In fact, they could think of it as Anna + belle, where belle means “beautiful” in French. How lovely! I love that it’s also a Marian name. I don’t feel like I have a good sense of their taste in girl names, so I don’t know if they’ll love it, but I really like it for them.

(2) Faith, Hope
Faith is actually a style match for Luke, and I liked it right away for this family, especially since Lea said they specifically wanted a name with a good meaning. Of course, it also made me think of Hope, which was the meaning she specifically wanted — I think both Hope and Faith are such sweet names! I know little girls with both names, and always find them charming.

(3) Felicity
Felicity means “happiness,” which is just perfect! It’s a gorgeous name, and not terribly common while still being familiar.

(4) Edith
Edith is a style match for Agnes, and I actually had it in mind for this family before I even saw it in my research! St. Edith Stein has been inspiring Catholic families to use Edith for their baby girls — she’s an amazing saint, and I’ve loved seeing her name on little ones like these (here and here). And could the nickname Edie be any cuter??

(5) Mariae, Mariah, Molly, Marigold, Miriam
There are many meanings given for the name of Mary, from not great ones like “bitter” and “rebellious,” to much nicer ones including “wished for child” and “beloved.” Since no one really seems to know for sure (though the academic sources seem to lean toward “beloved”), you can really pick which meaning speaks to you the most. And of course, ultimately, Our Lady as patron gives the name all the good meaning you could want. That said, I thought maybe one of the more unique forms of Mary might be intriguing to Lea and her hubs. Blogger Micaela Darr recently named her baby Mariae, pronounced MAR-ee-ay, which is Latin for “belonging to Mary” — I love that so much! (She found it in my book!) I’ve always had a soft spot for Mariah too. Molly has an Irish flavor; Marigold is both English (Downton Abbey!) and floral; and Miriam is biblical like Lea’s boys (though all the Mary names can technically be considered biblical). And there are a million more!

Boy
(1) Bennett
I think Bennett is my no. 1 choice for Lea and her hubs! I considered suggesting Benedict, which I love and which means “blessed,” but I thought maybe it was too heavy for them? (I’d be delighted to discover I’m wrong!) So I thought Bennett was perfect — it’s actually a medieval variant of Benedict, so it has the same meaning of “blessed” and can take the same patron saints, and I know two different sets of brothers named Luke and Bennett, so I really feel like it fits in well with Lea’s boys!

(2) Samuel
Biblical like Lea’s other boys, Samuel also has the great connection to the story of Hannah and Samuel in the bible. Samuel means “God has heard,” which of course is exactly in line with the Hannah and Samuel story and exactly in line with the blessing of this baby after Lea’s loss.

(3) Felix
Felix is the male variant of Felicity, which I listed above. It’s a pretty ancient name, so even though it’s not biblical, I think it can hang with the biblical names just fine.

(4) Pierce
Pierce is a form of Peter, and though I said above that I thought Peter was still a good idea for Lea and her hubs, I thought this different form deserved its own spot on the list. In fact, it’s not on this list because it’s a form of Peter, but because of its Marian meaning — I know of at least one little boy who was named Pierce because his mother had a devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows and how Mary’s heart would be “pierced by a sword.” I love that meaning so much — at first it might seem overly sad, but upon reflection, it really nods to Jesus’ victory over death, which gives the combo Pierce Victor extra meaning.

(5) Theodore
Finally, Theodore. Like Dorothea, Theodore means “gift of God” — so perfect! I like both Theo and Ted(dy) as nicknames.

There were a few I considered including but ultimately cross off my list for various reasons, but I thought I’d include them here just in case: Martin, Phoebe, Abigail, Veronica, and Gemma.

And those are all my ideas for Lea and her husband! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for both a boy and a girl?

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28 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Green bean needs a name that evokes “hope” or “blessing”

  1. Beatrix is a version of blessed that is on my list. I also j’adore the suggestions of Marigold and Mariae for a girl! We need more of these gorgeous names in the world!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What about Evelyn (wished for child) or Evangeline (good news)? I think Evie would work perfectly for this family 🙂

    I would also like to suggest maybe Victoria? It would mean that even if they have a girl, she still get’s a great-grandpa name to tie with her brothers, and it would make a beautiful first or middle name. Something like Faith Victoria or Victoria Nadine would be gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t know that anyone else had thought of Mariae 🙂

    I’ve considered it both for its cool
    Latin meaning and because it is the correct pronunciation (though not correct spelling) of the Slavic name Marie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I still think Jude Victor is the clear winner and hope Dad comes around. 😉 The girl names are just too much. Lea should have at least 4 daughters. LOVE Felicity! Edith Victoria! There are so many ones!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a fan of Nathaniel/Natalie for this family-gift of God. I also love the idea of Simon or Simone-“listen” is the Hebrew root, but I think its common meaning is “he has heard” so more like an answered prayer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting tie-in with Edith … St. Edith Stein’s religion name was Teresa Benedicta, so Edith would have a link to Benedicta (blessed) as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So the Pope recently pointed to Mary Magdalen as an apostle of hope. If Magdalen(e) doesn’t appeal, Madeleine is the French variant.

    Also I’ve heard the observation (obviously over-simplified) that Paul is the Apostle of faith, Peter of hope and John of love.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Samuel is my favorite male name of all time, and Theodore is on my Top 5 as well. Felix is another longtime favorite. This name might be a bit out there, but I love Toumaï, which means “hope of life” in the Nilo–Saharan Daza language of Chad. It might work better as a middle name in the Anglophone world. It’s traditionally given to children born just before the dry season, but could work just as well on a child born after struggles with infertility and miscarriage.

    For a girl, there’s the Hebrew name Tikva(h), which means “hope.” Esperanza means “hope” in Spanish, and Nadezhda (Nahd-YEYZH-dah) is the Russian form.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Keeping up with the Biblical theme, I like:
    – Simon (“heard”, as in God heard our prayers)
    – Zachary (“God remembers”)
    – Gabriel (“God is my strength”)
    – Matthew (“gift from God”)
    – Timothy (“honoring God”)

    For a girl, I like Violet, Anastasia, Grace, Cora, Mattea, Irene, Genevieve and Vivienne.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What about something like Vesper? It might be a little out there compared to your other kiddos’ names but a prayer name definitely conveys hope to me. I’ve always thought the name ‘Aude’ or ‘Audra’ sounds like lauds.

    Emmanuel/Emmanuelle “God is with us” seem pretty hope-y to me, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My first thought is John, “God is gracious,” along the blessing theme. And there are so many different cultures’ versions to choose from too: Sean, Johann, Gianni, Giovanni, Ian, Ivan, Evan, just to name a slight few.
    Or for girls, Jean, Jane, Joan, Gianna, Johanna, etc.
    My other thoughts include Tobiah (God is good), Raphael (God has healed), Joseph (He will add), and Clement (mercy). I like the female versions in Raphaella, Josephine, and Clemency as well.
    The Gwenfair or Mairwen suggestion made me also think of Winifred, which has the “white/fair/blessed” part + “reconciliation/peace.”

    Blessings and prayers to your family and with this new little one, Lea!!

    Liked by 1 person

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