Fun Friday Question: “Unmistakably Catholic,” except … not?

Happy Friday everyone! A question for you all today: Do you know or have you ever encountered someone with what you consider to be an Unmistakably Catholic name, but the person isn’t Catholic? I don’t mean someone who has Catholic parents and/or was raised Catholic and has fallen away, nor do I mean someone with a name that is *both* super Catholic and also something else (like Fatima), nor do I mean someone with a name that *is* very Catholic but has also become very mainstream and borne by people with lots of different backgrounds (like Joseph), I’m thinking more like a non-and-never-have-been-Catholic named Regina or Pius.

If so, what name was it? Were you able to ask about it? Do you know the person’s siblings’ names? Any other info about this kind of naming situation? What characteristics do Unmistakably Catholic names have that you think might be appealing to non-Catholics?

Have a great weekend!!


The five baby name consultation openings I had for January have been taken, but Theresa is available to help you out! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

For help with Marian names, my book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

19 thoughts on “Fun Friday Question: “Unmistakably Catholic,” except … not?

  1. I met a little boy with the name Kolbe. I’ve only ever seen that spelling in honor of St. Maximilian Kolbe, at the time we were thinking of using it as a middle name so I asked Mom about it. Nope, not Catholic; She just didn’t want to spell it Colby like the cheese.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have one! Stepson and his wife named their baby Ambrose. Stepson was baptized Catholic, but we don’t think that he’s been to Church since he last lived with us 9 years ago.

    Baby is named after his mother, Amber. They had no idea Ambrose was a(heavy hitting) saint. His half siblings are August and Autumn.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know a non-Catholic Zelie! Her siblings also have unusual names that contain a “z”, so I’m assuming their parents were just trying to keep the pattern.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmm… I know someone with an Augustine who is not Catholic and I know someone named Mary Margaret (goes by the double name) which feels super Catholic to me but she’s not. I don’t know if either of those examples count?!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Regina is a not uncommon Jewish name and in fact the first woman ever ordained as a rabbi was named Regina Jonas. Regina was a fairly common “English” name chosen by Jewish immigrants named Rivka.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was just recently thinking about how it’s weird that the name Pia seems to be fairly common in Sweden. I’m learning Swedish and am into all kinds of things Swedish and I’ve come across quite a handful of Pias. It’s surprising given that Sweden is obviously not a predominantly Catholic country, and I doubt that most of these Pias are Catholic. I wonder whether there’s any particular reason for that. I believe it’s most common in middle-aged women.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When I first heard of Jacinda Ardern, I was sure she “had” to be Catholic, because my only association with the name is Jacinta of Fatima. I was very confused when I found out she’s not Catholic, nor is her family.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Now I’m thinking through what names belong in this category in the first place…

    Regina, Zelie, Philomena, Perpetua, Kateri, Jacinta, Bernadette, Therese, Avila, Faustina, Zita, Maristella
    Pius, Fulton, Ambrose, Augustine, John Paul, Ignatius, Kolbe, Bosco, Sixtus, Boniface, Karol,

    Borderline (I feel like they’re a bit too popular/on-trend (etc.) to *assume* Catholic, but still…):
    Cecilia, Felicity, Giana, Theresa (for a child), Chiara, Veronica, Gemma
    Benedict, Dominic, Gabriel, Blaise, Clement, Edmund, Leo, Jozef

    Like

  9. I think my name might qualify: first name is Mary and middle name starts with A. When both names are said together it sounds like the word for a stringed puppet. I have encountered more than a few Sister Mary A___ jokes over the years. My family heritage is Protestant for as far back as we’ve been able to trace.

    My parents have never called me by my first name. If my mom had had her way, my first name would have been the A name and my middle would have been my Marie. Unfortunately, my father had a bad association with the name Marie, so Mary A___ won out.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s