Happy Monday, everyone! Enjoy today’s consultation by Theresa!
Mama Jordan writes in asking for help naming their second child, second daughter. They’re just completely stuck! This daughter will join big sister:
Jordan says she loves the following names but is having a hard time getting her husband on board: Molly, Madeline, and Isabelle. The only name that Dad has put forth is Haley/Hailey and Mama Jordan only sort of likes that one.
Names they can’t use include Stefanie, Victoria, Michele, Cora, Helen, Christine/Christina, Josephine, Aubrey, Caroline, Penelope, Ariana, and Jocelyn.
They are considering Jane, Claire, and Margaret for middle names.
Jordan and her husband love punk rock, Doctor Who, and Catholicism, making this a super fun consultation!
First, about front-runner names:
Molly– I really love this name for them. It’s sweet but substantial and has a long history. Bonus points that big sis Amelia loves it. It’s a form of Mary and currently sits at #186, making it less popular than Amelia but still on par with her. If they don’t like Molly, what about medieval rhyming name Polly, also from Mary? Polly is a Doctor Who name and ranks out of the top 1000, making it like the complete opposite of Amelia, but in a sweet way. Honestly, I prefer Molly and Molly Jane at that, but Polly could be a great compromise.
Madeline– I love this name with this spelling, as it evokes the children’s books. It’s the French form of the name Magdalene, so it has a powerhouse saint to back it up. It ranks at #95, making it on par with Amelia, and Amelia and Madeline sound like perfect sisters to me. I love Madeline Jane, Madeline Claire, and Madeline Isabelle. Alternatively, Molly Madeline is really sweet and she could be called M&M (can you imagine the Halloween costume!).
Isabelle– This is my absolute favorite for them. There’s just something about this name that speaks to me and to their family and style. It fits so perfectly. Amelia and Isabelle. Maybe it’s that they both start with vowels. I just love this name for them. Isabelle Jane, Isabelle Claire, and Isabelle Margaret are all stunning. I also really like Isabelle Madeline. It’s also a form of Elizabeth which is Mama Jordan’s middle name and I like that connection to her. It ranks at 117 currently, meaning it’s popular but won’t be heard everywhere they go. Some other forms of Elizabeth that I like for them are Lillian (Amelia and Lillian, swoon!) which started as a form of Elizabeth before it became an embellishment of Lily and ranks at #51, which is on par with Amelia. I also like offbeat Liesel for them. It doesn’t even rank in the top 1000 in America ever but I love it’s lilting sound and how it goes with Amelia (Amelia and Liesel). I think their best bet here, though, is Isabelle. It’s modern but with substance and roots, it’s cool and breezy, it fits with Amelia, it has beautiful family ties, and it goes with every middle name they’re considering.
Haley/Hailey– I like this. It doesn’t have as much substance as the others (there are no saints to go along with it and it doesn’t have as storied a history as any of the others) but it’s cool and modern. The spellings currently rank, in order, #559 and #77. It’s actually more popular than I would have guessed. It’s nice that dad Nate likes this name and I love its subtle punk rock tie-in (Haley Williams is the singer of Paramore). Amelia and Hailey don’t sound mismatched to me but they don’t quite seem right, either. What about Isabelle Haley?
On to new suggestions. I looked up Doctor Who and punk rock names, I used a style match for names like Amelia and ones they already like, and I went off of some intuition. Here’s what I came up with.
It means “family woman,” is French, and ranks at #155, making it common but not popular. Madeline was a style match and I thought the sounds of Amelia and Genevieve go well together. St. Genevieve was a powerhouse, too. I think this is a name that packs a lot of punch for a little girl, but isn’t overwhelming. There are also plenty of nicknames to go with this name, if they want to go that route, from Genny to Viva. Genevieve Claire, Genevieve Margaret, and Genevieve Isabelle stand out to me.
I wasn’t sure which of these names they’d like more, so I’m including them both. Juliette was a style match for Amelia, Madeline, and Isabelle but I thought they’d like the Juliet spelling better because of the song “Check Yes, Juliet.” This spelling ranks at #295 right now. There is also Ven. Juliette Colbert de Falletti di Barolo to go along with it. The drawback is, of course, the Shakespeare play. Most people are over that by now, though, so it wouldn’t be anywhere near an issue until she got to high school, maybe. Juliana was inspired by Juliet and The Juliana Theory. It has the same root as Juliet (they come from Julius meaning either “downy-bearded” or “sky father”; not the best but also we infuse meaning into names beyond their etymological meanings). Juliana ranks at #210 right now and has St. Juliana Falconieri to go with it. I love the sound of Amelia and Juliet or Amelia and Juliana. I love Juliet Isabelle, Juliet Claire, Juliana Isabelle, Juliana Madeline, and Juliana Claire. They could even name her Juliana Jane and get away with it. These are just such versatile names.
This name came up as a style match for Madeline and it just struck me as sweet and playful yet substantial, like Amelia. Amelia and Eloise sound beautiful together, too! This name means “healthy; wide” and sits at #109, which surprised me! There is a Bl. Helwisa aka Eloise to go with it, too. Eloise Claire really stands out to me and for something different, I really love Eloise Elizabeth.
This came up as a style match for a few of the names they like and I thought it was just good enough to include. I love that it’s short and punchy. It’s a short form for names like Henrietta and Loretta. Singer Etta James’s first name was actually Jamesetta. Anyway, Etta as a stand-alone name ranks at #932 right now, so it’s basically the opposite of Amelia while still holding up to her. Carson Daly of MTV named his daughter Etta. I think Ven. Antonietta Meo would be a sweet patron to go with this name. Etta Jane might be too close to Etta James but I like Etta Claire, Etta Margaret, Etta Isabelle, Etta Elizabeth, and Etta Madeline.
When I think of Mama Jordan and Dad Nate and Amelia, I think slightly preppy. This name is slightly preppy! I actually love that it’s girl-leaning-unisex; gives it a punch that not many other names have. It means “plain, field, battlefield” and currently ranks at #315. Amelia and Blair sound super cute and preppy to me. There’s a Gossip Girl reference there, too, that no one but fans of the show would ever ask them about. I love Blair Margaret or Blair Isabelle.
This name came up as a style match for some of the other names they like and I can see why. It’s just a little offbeat and cute but with history. It’s Hebrew for “gazelle” and was the name of the woman in the New Testament whom St. Peter restored to life (she’s also known as Dorcas). It’s out of the top 1000 names, though, which really surprised me. This name has been used in Riverdale, Stranger Things, and X-Men, giving it fandom credibility without being in your face. I love the way Amelia and Tabitha sound together. Tabitha Jane called TJ is so so cute. I also love Tabitha Claire and Tabitha Isabelle or Isabelle Tabitha.
Finally, when I think of preppy, I think Honor. It’s an old virtue name, giving it substance. Amelia and Honor or Amelia and Honora just sound old school cool chic to me. Neither name is in the top 1000 and never have been. Honor Isabelle sounds stunning to my ear. I also like Honora Claire and Honor Margaret.
Okay, these are my thoughts. What do you think?
Read all about how to get your own baby name consultation from either Theresa or myself here.
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!