Birth announcement: Michael Gabriel! (And a nickname question)

I posted a consultation for girl names for Dana and her hubby back in October, but they ended up having a boy! Dana let me know that they’ve named him after his dad — the so angelic … Michael Gabriel!

She writes,

Just wanted to let you know that we gave birth to our baby boy on Wednesday, Jan 22, the national day of prayer for the unborn. We did name him Michael Gabriel, after his father 😀 7 lbs, 3 oz and almost 21″ long. So far the transition from one to two seems to be going well! So we weren’t able to use any of the beautiful suggestions for girl names this time, but hopefully we’ll have many more opportunities!

Michael Gabriel is such a handsome, heavy-hitting combo!! And I, too, love the significance of a baby born on the national day of prayer for the unborn!

Dana had another question, which you all can help with:

One little dilemma I thought I’d ask you about… So my husband goes by Mikey, his dad goes by Mike. My husband really wants to call our son Mikey, too, but I think it is too confusing to have two Mikeys running around, haha! I’d like to call him Gabe, and I think he looks like a Gabe 😉 But my husband isn’t keen on it now. So even though it was easy to name him, we still haven’t decided what to actually call him! Of course we could use Michael or Gabriel, but we both really like nicknames. Another friend suggested, ‘Mick,’ any other ideas? No worries if not- just thought I’d ask!

Of course I have some ideas! 😀 I can certainly see how two Mikeys can be confusing! There is a precedent for it — it’s not for nothing that Seniors and Juniors are sometimes known as “Big Dan” and “Little Dan,” for example, so Big Mikey and Little Mikey could be cute, but if Dana’s not feeling it, maybe:

— I’ve sometimes suggested Miles or Milo as nicknames for Michael, both because of the “Mil” being contained in “Michael,” and because behindthenamesays that, while the origin of Miles is unknown for sure, it’s been associated with the Latin miles, meaning “soldier,” for a long time. I love a “soldier” nickname for Michael — the warrior angel! Additionally, both Miles/Myles and Milo have been used in Ireland as anglicizations of the old Irish name Maolmhuire, which means “servant of the Virgin Mary” — a legit Marian name for a boy! My only hesitation with Miles is that it’s got similar letters to big sister’s name, Mary Elise … but since she always goes by Elise, it’s practically no issue at all, right? (Unless it bothers them, in which case maybe Milo would be better?)

— Maybe Mitch? Behindthename says Mitchell is derived from Michael, and with the first three letters of Michael being “Mich,” Mitch definitely seems doable.

— Maybe a different nickname for Gabriel? I’ve seen Gib and Gil, both of which I love.

— Maybe a mash-up nickname for Michael Gabriel? Like … Mel? Hm. Maybe this idea doesn’t work so well with Michael Gabriel.

— Maybe Junior? Or a name that nods to him being a Junior/the Second? I did a quick search for nicknames for babies that are The Second and saw Twain, Dewey (like for the French “deux”), and Chip (like “chip off the old block”). Or a name for a Third, since both Dana’s husband and his dad are Michael? Like Trip, Tripper, Trey, Tres/Trace.

— Or a nickname unrelated to his name? Like Buddy?

I don’t mind Mick — I have an uncle named Michael whose family has called him Mick and Mickey (though he’s Mike to the rest of the world). One thing to be aware of is that Mick has a history of being used as a derogatory term for the Irish, but that same link includes a list of men who have gone by Mick (including Mick Jagger) so it can definitely work! There’s also Mickey Mantle (a pretty great example) (his given name was actually Mickey!) and Mickey Mouse (which may or may not be an appealing example of the name).

What other ideas do all of you have?

Congratulations to Dana and her husband and big sister Elise, and happy birthday Baby Michael!!

Michael Gabriel with his parents and big sister ❤

My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from and Amazon — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!


37 thoughts on “Birth announcement: Michael Gabriel! (And a nickname question)

  1. What a great name- two archangels! I like the Miles suggestion as a connection to St. Michael due to miles meaning solder in Latin.

    My suggestion would have been Mike Gabriel. That’s basically what I do sometimes as a nickname for my son, whose middle is coincidentally Michael (fil, husband, son all have the same first name but different middles). The K followed by the G sounds may feel awkward to say though. Maybe Michael Gabe or Michael G or Mikey G since her husband likes Mikey? My inclination is to pull in the middle somehow to use both names, just a personal preference over saying “little” or something else not his name.

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  2. I think Mickey makes a lot of sense in this case because it’s close to Mikey, while being its own name. I have also heard Misha (sometimes called Meesh) as a nickname for Michael from some friends with Russian heritage.

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  3. How about Micah? That’s similar in tone without going too far from Michael. ( I called all my boys Buddy when they were little – even though I swore I never would nick name my kids! Little boys and Buddy just go together well.)

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  4. I never intended to use nicknames for my kids (and for the girls I don’t), but I have ended up affectionately calling my Luke “Lukey” so frequently that my 4yo who is learning to write insistes learning to spell Lukey as well as Luke when practicing family names. Anyway, because I apparently love 3 syllables best (both my girls have 3), Luke often ends up Lukey-Luke. All that to say, maybe Mikey-Mike could work amid family where dad is around, and then either Michael, Mike, or Mikey by itself could work at school etc where dad won’t be associated so much. I know that doesn’t circumvent the “too much ‘Mike’ sounds going on” problem, but it would be a way to give dad the name he wants but might still be unique enough for mom. Maybe? It’s pretty sing-songy though, especially for public usage. Depends on your taste!

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  5. Of all the suggestions so far, I like Micah the best, with Mitch a close second.

    You might consider a variation of Michael from a different language — Mikhail or Miguel — but if you aren’t of Russian or Hispanic heritage that might seem odd.

    Initials are a possibility — MG (em gee) references a pretty cool car company with a great logo.

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  6. Michael Gabriel – how archangelic! Love these two names on their own and they make a brilliant combo!
    But two Mikeys would feel a bit too much for me. How about Mikey Gabriel or Mikey Gabe? Mickey is a very good idea and so is Mick, and I love the st. Michael Archangel & Miles connection! How about Micha, with whatever spelling? Or would that feel too feminine for them/generally in the US? I love Micha for so many reasons. Some ways of mixing up Michael and Gabriel together that came to my mind are Miggy and Miriel, though I’m not sure I like them actually and that they could work. The former sounds kind of like Maggie to me and the latter very much like Muriel. If nothing works, he could always go by something unrelated to his name, perhaps that would be easier in the end.

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  7. What a handsome and angelic name! He has some strong patrons for sure! I like a lot of the suggestions, especially Mac and Mickey. It reminds me of a grandmother/mother/daughter family I know all named Katherine (not sure how they spell the full name), but went by Kitty/Kitten/Katy. I think it’s really sweet.

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  8. My favorite idea is Micah! And MG is so cool. I only have two suggestions – Angel and Els. The first Ellie I have ever met was actually Gabriel (and was a guy!), but Ellie these days is probably too feminine, so Els.

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  9. Could always use the end of his name like Cal, or even Ike or like others have suggested a non related name that adapts over time. I think you’ll both start using what feels natural

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  10. How about just Michael if the father and grandfather both use nicknames? Mikko is the Finnish for Michael and Mikkos is Greek. Misha is the usual Russian nickname. Cale could be used as a nickname from the second half of the name.

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