You guys! April starts this week! It’s freeeeezing here, but April is proof positive that spring weather is almost here to stay! I hope you all have a great week! Enjoy this consultation from Theresa Zoe Williams!
Mama Elise writes in asking for help naming a little green bean due in August. Baby will join big siblings:
She writes, “A baby boy would be named James Vernus.”
So boy names are taken care of and we’re just looking for the perfect girl name!
“My favorite names are Margaret and Harriet but unfortunately the T on T sound with [our last name] is a no-go.”
Quick note on Margaret and Harriet: I love these for them! I’m so sad Trey, her husband, isn’t on board them with either. That being said, it gave me great guidance for their style.
Mama Elise says,
“There are very few female family names to go based on for inspiration. Maternal grandmother is Gloria and maternal great grandmother is Minerva but neither of these fit our style. One potential consideration for inclusion is Alma (my middle name and my mom’s maiden name is Almader) but idk if it fits stylistically. Other names I love — Clare (my paternal grandmother’s middle name), Eleanor (big fave), Lydia, Matilda, and Beatrice. We do tend towards classic, timeless, English-y names. I’d prefer a family connection with the name (we’ve gone with it for middles so far) but we really don’t have many female names to work with on my mom’s side.”
What a great challenge! I hope Dad gets on board with something.
About names they’re considering or would like to work in somehow:
Alma- I LOVE this for them in the middle spot! What a great way to honor Elise and Elise’s mom. I think it would go well in the middle with any number of names. I was thinking about how to honor Elise a lot in a little girl’s name and I was wondering if they’d consider Elisabeth? Elise is a diminutive of Eliz/sabeth and Elizabeth is the most classic name out there. It is constantly in use throughout all ages, never feels dated or trendy, and crosses all cultures. I think Alma or Elizabeth in the middle spot for this girl is the way to go.
Gloria- I agree that this doesn’t seem like their style. I think it would still work well in the middle spot, though.
Minerva- A great honor name that I agree just isn’t their style. It relates to the Roman goddess of wisdom and war. The Greek equivalent is Athena. I don’t really think that’s their style either! Although I do think nickname Minnie is right in their wheelhouse.
Clare- Love this name and their connections to it. It has a very classic, English-y feel like they like.
Eleanor- I ADORE this name. It’s so good. It is classic and feminine and has the El- beginning like mom, which I love. It can be an honor name without really being an honor name. Meanings are debated but possibly it comes from the name Helen (which I also like for them) meaning “torch”.
Lydia- This one surprised me a bit in a good way. It’s a little more popular than it seems meaning it’s a little trendier than it seems. I love that this opens up their style a bit, though.
Matilda- This seems right in their wheelhouse and nickname Mattie is to die for! Underneath its feminine exterior, this name means “strength in battle”, something any little girl with older brothers will need!
Beatrice- This name seems right in their wheelhouse and I love it for them. Beatrix is even more English (Beatrice is actually the Italian form!). I love that this name means “voyager, traveller” and that can be a nod to St. Therese saying the world is thy ship and not thy home. Anyway, I love love this name for them. Beatrice Elizabeth or Beatrice Alma are my top suggestions for them, if they hadn’t already had it on their list.
On to new suggestions!
This was the first name that came to mind for them. Meaning “prosperous, flourishing” this classic name was also borne by many early saints. It’s got that classic, timeless, English-y feel that they like, too. Nicknames Flo, Florrie, and Flossie make it cute and accessible. It sits at #762 meaning it’s enduring but uncommon. Florence Elizabeth is just super classic. Florence Minerva is classic but interesting and Florence Alma really gives it flair and family ties.
After Elizabeth, when someone says they want a timeless, classic name, Josephine always comes to mind. I love Josephine next to George and William. Such a great, strong, classic sibling set. I love the nicknames Jo and Josie and Josephine goes with just about every name they’re interested in. I love Josephine Elizabeth, Josephine Alma, Josephine Clare, and Josephine Matilda the best.
So this is Scottish instead of English but it struck me as very them. It has that strong, stately feel that George and William radiate while being just a little bit different. It means “battlefield,” which is cool and sits at #333, meaning it’s uncommon but not weird. I love Blair Alma but if that’s too many kind of out there names in one name for them, Blair Elizabeth is beautiful and stately.
This is a name all on its own or can be a short form of Veronica. On its own it can mean “true”, “faith” (in Russian), or “summer” (in Albanian). As a short form of Veronica, it means “true image.” Fun fact, Veronica is itself a form of Berenice which means “bringing victory.” I love that this little name has so much meaning wound up in it! Vera sits at #246 meaning it has a lot of the same vibe as Blair, also Vera reads more English-y to me. It’s basically a virtue name without being a virtue name, and I like that for them. Vera Elizabeth is stunning. Vera Clare and Vera Josephine are also really beautiful.
This was the third name that came to mind for them right off the top of my head. It means “constant, steadfast,” which is such a beautiful meaning. It’s out of the top 1000 names meaning it’s just not in vogue right now but it’s still plenty recognizable. There are actually a couple saints to go along with this name, too! St. Constance of Vercelli and Bl. Constance de Castro. I thought that was cool. Constance Elizabeth, Constance Alma, Constance Gloria, and Constance Clare are all really nice.
An actual virtue name! I thought of this one because it reads as so stately and wholesome, like their boys. It’s not in the top 1000 of names but I don’t think that matters. There are male Saints Honorius and Honoratus to go along with it but there’s also a Marian angle to this name. Mary has the title Vessel of Honor and I thought this was a great way to honor her through this title and still have a very stately name. I really love this name for them. Honor Elizabeth is just gorgeous.
The name that kept nagging me, so I had to include it! This name has that classic feel they like but can have such cute and modern nicknames like Lucy, Lu, and Luce (pronounced like “loose”). I thought a Lucille fit them better than a Lucy. It sits at #271 meaning it’s classic and recognizable.
These are my thoughts. What do you think?
I’m back on hiatus from doing consultations (though check back from time to time, as I hope to open up a few spots here and there as I’m able), but Theresa Zoe Williams is available to help you! 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!