Baby name consultation: “Easily recognizable but not common name” needed for Felicity’s baby brother or sister

Happy Monday, everyone! There are some great feast days today: St. Marianne Cope, who was from Syracuse, NY, which is just a couple hours from me; the Espousal of the Virgin Mary (how beautiful!); and Abel the Patriarch (at least one Sancta Nomina family as an Abel!), among others. We also have a snow day here — my boys are outside building snowmen and forts as I type this and my mom sent over some brownies, which we’ll have when the boys come in. And now I’m sharing a baby name consultation with you! What a nice day! 🙂

Elise and her husband are expecting baby number two — a little green bean 🌱 (gender unknown)! This wee babe joins big sister:

Felicity Hope

Isn’t that just so beautiful??

Elise writes,

We aren’t finding out the baby’s gender until birth (we did the same with my daughter). Our daughter’s name is Felicity Hope. She was born screaming and sputtering and I remember distinctly saying to my husband ‘but she’s so mad — Felicity means happiness!’ when he suggested Felicity. But it is 100% perfect for her as she has been the sweetest and most happy-go-lucky girl since. We can’t imagine her with any other name. We like that it is a recognizable name but not common. I also love that she gets to hear her name in mass on occasion 🙂

We feel like we hit the jackpot on her name and are in a bit of a conundrum with this next baby. We are hoping for a name that again is easily recognizable but not common. One of my pet peeves growing up was getting called ‘Elsie’ so hopefully we can avoid a name that would be easily mispronounced as well. We both come from large families (I’m one of 5 with a close extended family and my husband is one of 12) so that makes it tricky for repeat names

Whatever first name we go with we are certain 100% that if we have a boy his middle name will be Wayne (after my father). My due date is 3/22 — which is right around 3/19 St Joseph’s feast day which will be the 9th anniversary of my father’s death

It’s funny because the top boy names we had while pregnant with Felicity are still on our list but our new frontrunner is Gilbert. It seems to fit with our recognizable yet not common name. (funny fact which we noticed when hanging stockings is that thus far our family members, including our dogs, have the beginning initials of B (bear), C (Copper), D (Daniel), E (Elise) and F (Felicity) and our last name [begins with an H] — so G (Gilbert) would be the next letter in the sequence) 

Here’s a list of names we considered for Felicity if she had been a boy/ names we have been considering:

Arthur — we have since had a nephew named Archer born so maybe too close 

Ephram 

Edmund — I still really like this one Edward is a family name on my side and Edsko is a family name on my husband’s so this is like a compromised variation 

Dominic 

Ambrose — my husband isn’t a fan so likely not

Our girl list (some are names we considered for Felicity others are newer ones) 

Florence — right now this seems to be our favorite. But we didn’t know if having two F girls would be too much/ too similar. We call Felicity Flissy and I’m thinking we would likely nn Florence to something like Flora (though I think Wren would be cute too). 

Ester

Lucy — this is also a favorite and almost was Felicity’s name however it’s a little too popular we feel. I think it’s a cute name (also part of the canon) so maybe a variation? Had considered something like Lucinda but not sure. I liked the nn Lulu so could work with Lucy or a name similar

Lillian — Lily would fit with St Joseph’s feast day but again maybe too common of a name 

Iris — a new one my husband likes but I’m not 100% on board yet 

Middle name likely Rose (same as mine) or Ann (family name on both sides) 

Names we like but probably wouldn’t use: 

James — though not really loving this like we had 

Gideon — my husband doesn’t care for this much

Rilian — from Chronicles of Narnia though may be too out there

I liked Josephine — a nod to St Joseph if baby was born on 3/19 — though it is a middle name of a niece and I’m not sure the parents would be fans of us using it as a first name 

Camille — my husband isn’t a fan of this anymore

Eloise — I liked it bc it’s similar to my name but it’s been pretty popular lately and my husband has a nickname mental block

Cora — love this name but my husband not so much

Vera — I like this one but same as above

I love all this! I, too, love that Felicity is “a recognizable name but not common” and I totally get that Elise and her hubby feel like they “hit the jackpot on her name”! I also love Felicity paired with Hope — unexpected and beautiful! Great, great job!!

As for the names they’ve discussed/are considering, here are my thoughts, in case they’re helpful:

  • How meaningful that Elise is due right near St. Joseph’s feast day, which is also the anniversary of her dad’s passing! I’m guessing Joseph Wayne isn’t their favorite idea, but I love all the significance that combo would hold … If they like that idea but it’s not feeling sparkly enough for them, maybe an unusual nickname for Joseph? OR — even better — I found some cool, unusual variants that I’m including in my list of official suggestions below!
  • Gilbert: Ahhh I love that this is their top boy name!! Of course I love Gilbert Blythe and G.K. Chesterton, and it’s definitely a “recognizable yet not common” name. It also swings their whole vibe to a distinctly British one in my mind, which I love! I also love that a G name would be the next in their sequence — those kinds of patterns are so fun if they can work out!
  • Arthur: This feels very similar to Gilbert to me, nice.
  • Ephram: This is one of those names I have a hard time pinning down … it has kind of a sophisticated feel to me, which goes along with the British vibe.
  • Edmund: I like the idea of trying to come up with a compromise name between Edward from Elise’s side and Edsko from hubby’s, and Edmund seems great.
  • Dominic: Elise didn’t comment on it, so I’m thinking it’s not a favorite? I do love it though! Felicity and Dominic are a pretty amazing pair.
  • Ambrose: I love that Ambrose fits with their British-y feel and also with the Catholicky Catholic side! And really, Edmund and Dominic do too.
  • Florence: I was surprised that Florence is their top name! It’s a great name, but I would have thought of it as having a different feel than Felicity. That doesn’t have to be a problem though! I’d much rather they choose names they love! I like Flora a lot — in fact, I would have thought of Flora as Felicity’s sister quicker than Florence. Wren is cute too! As for the two F’s, I wouldn’t worry about that — I would say three in a row makes a pattern that might be weird to break, but otherwise no big deal.
  • Ester: Est(h)er reminds me of Ephram with its Old Testament-ness, and I’ve always loved that Esther was a queen — so nice for a little girl!
  • Lucy: Ohh yes, I love Lucy for this family! I wonder if they’ve considered Lucia as a longer name? Or, since Elise mentioned Eloise, one of my favorite offbeat ideas to get to Lucy is Louisa with the nickname Lucy — maybe that? Felicity and Louisa, Flissy and Lucy?
  • Lillian: The Lily names were what my mind went to as well when Elise mentioned being due near the feast of St. Joseph, but they certainly are popular. Lilia is a variant I don’t see too much, if that helps. Also, any of the Lucy names could work as a nod to St. Joseph because of his title Light of the Patriarchs!
  • Iris: I’m so interested that Elise’s husband likes this but that she isn’t sure yet! In my experience, husbands don’t tend to be the ones that like fresher, less expected options! Grace Patton has an Iris, if that helps.
  • Middle names of Rose and Ann: Lovely.
  • James: For some reason, James feels very British to me! I can totally see them liking it.
  • Gideon: Gideon has long been a favorite of mine! Funny, though, that they have both Gilbert and Gideon on their list — when the actor who played Gilbert Blythe died in 2015, I posted about the nickname Gil and since Gilbert isn’t my personal style, I’d come up with other ideas to get to Gil — Gideon Louis was a combo I liked!
  • Rilian: Gilbert, Gideon, Rilian, and Lillian are kind of all swirling around a similar sound family, so it makes sense to me that Elise and her hubby like them all. If William wasn’t so very familiar, I wonder if they would like it? What about Maximilian? I have another idea below in my list of official suggestions that’s inspired by these three as well.
  • Camille: I’d love for both parents to love the name they choose, so if either of them aren’t on board with a name, I’d definitely shelve it for now.
  • Eloise: See my comments above re: Lucy.
  • Cora, Vera: These are great names, and since Elise likes them but hubby doesn’t, I included some ideas below inspired by them that might do the trick instead.

So I think they have a lot of great ideas!! But of course I can always come up with more. 😉

You might have seen from other recent consultations I posted that my trusty Baby Name Wizard is seeming increasingly out of date, but I did look up the names Elise and her hubs like in it to be sure I was on the right path. I also took a look at a few posts I’d done and one that was done for me that I thought might have some good ideas for this family:

This post I did on names to honor St. Joseph

This spotlight on a family who has Gilbert on their list for a boy

This birth announcement for a British-American family who has similar taste in names to this family I think

This consultation Abby from Appellation Mountain did for me when I was pregnant with my youngest, as I myself love boy names with vowel clusters like Gideon and Rilian.

Based on all that, these are my new ideas for Felicity’s new baby:

Girl

(1) Gemma

My hands-down number-one idea for this baby if a girl is Gemma! It’s saintly (St. Gemma Galgani), with a very British feel (there are a bunch of British actresses named Gemma, weirdly!), and it starts with G! I mean, come on!! And with its G being a soft G, they can easily follow it with Gilbert in the future without it feeling like too many G’s. I absolutely love Gemma for Felicity’s sister, and Gemma Rose is to die for.

(2) Clara, Claire, Corinna

These are all names that I thought might scratch the “Cora” itch in a way that Elise’s husband will like better! Clara and Claire came to mind immediately because of their shortness and beginning with C; Clara especially seems like a good fit since it also ends in -a like Cora. But then I thought maybe Corinna would be even better, even though it’s longer, as Cora can be a nickname for it! I like all of these as Felicity’s sister.

(3) Verity

Like Corinna for Cora, this the name that I thought might be a good substitute for Vera! I think Verity is such a cool name — it’s got an old fashioned feel while also holding new interest for today’s parents (one inspiration I’ve seen is the character of Verity in “Poldark,” which also gives it a nice U.K. feel). It means “truth,” which is fantastic. One possible negative is that it has the same ending as Felicity … but is that any different than Florence have the same beginning? Only Elise and her husband know how comfortable they’d feel with that!

(4) Juliet

I almost always suggest Juliet as a sister for Felicity! They’re style matches per the BNW, and additionally for this family, Juliet has that vowel-cluster-thing that they seem to like! I did a spotlight on Juliet here, including nickname ideas and saintly connections.

(5) Adelaide

Adelaide struck me as having the same description Elise gave for Felicity and Gilbert: recognizable but not common. It’s such a pretty name — I think it has a similarly feminine feel as Felicity, and its possible nickname Ada gives me an old timey feel, a little like Florence, Ester, and Gilbert.

Boy

(1) Gabriel, Gareth (or Garrett), Grant

I wanted to start my boy name ideas with some G options, like I did for girl names. Gabriel is one of my very favorites, so I had to suggest it! Gareth is probably a closer fit for this family’s style, as I think it feels particularly British; Garrett sounds similar to Gareth and has the added connection of deriving from Gerard (saintly connection alert!). Finally, I’ve seen Grant considered by several families who like/have used the name Felicity. One family considered it a nod to the “grant us peace” part of the Mass, which I thought was so cool.

(2) Jessop

This is the idea I had for St. Joseph that I mentioned above! In my post on names for St. Joseph, I included an entry from A Dictionary of English Surnames (affiliate link) for Jessop, Jessopp, Jessope, Jessup, Jessep, all of which reflect a pronunciation of Joseph from mid-sixteenth century England. I LOVE discovering that kind of info!! I know that Jessop (or whatever spelling) might not be quite right for this family, but then again — maybe it hits exactly the right note!

(3) Simon

When I think of British-feeling names for boys, Simon is almost always my first thought. I actually really love it for this family! It’s bookish and handsome and biblical, so great. I considered suggesting Simeon as well, since it has that vowel cluster, but I’m feeling like Simon is more their speed.

(4) Benedict

I was inspired to add Benedict to this list for two reasons: Dominic on their list of names they’re considering, and Benedict Cumberbatch for the British connection! Benedict is such a fantastic option for anyone loving a saintly + British vibe, and its medieval short form Bennett, which can also serve as a nickname, seems very similar in feel to Felicity in my opinion.

(5) Julian

If only Julian started with a G, I’d feel like this might be the perfect boy name for Elise and her hubby! It’s got a vowel cluster and it can have a British vibe — the only downfall is that if they use Julian for a boy, they can’t use Juliet for a girl, and I like Juliet for them more than I like Julian for them (but their opinion is the one that matters!).

(Bonus) Caspian, Tobias, Mathias

Finally, I wanted to add these names as a bonus, because I wasn’t sure they were exactly right, but maybe they are, and they’re all awesome. Caspian is so cool and has the Rilian feel while being a little more mainstream I think, but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to make it one of my five main suggestions. And Tobias and Mathias I think could both be exactly right! But I suggested them both to Elise’s sister-in-law in a consultation I did for her a while ago, and I didn’t want Elise to think I was just repeating info! I also wanted to offer some other vowel-cluster names that I had on my own list, as noted in my consultation by Abby from Appellation Mountain: Joachim, Campion, Jeremiah, Elliott, and Damien.

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for the little sister or brother of Felicity Hope?


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!

Some great name articles

Hi everyone! Happy Saturday, day of Our Lady!

I just read three articles on Laura Wattenberg (the Baby Name Wizard)’s site that I thought were great and wanted to share:

In Search of Antique African-American Names

The 2022 Name of the Year is Volodymyr

Lessons in Naming from American Sign Language

I learned something from each of them that I hadn’t previously known, really well done. Have a great rest of the weekend!


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!

Baby name consultation: Name needed for rosary-loving family’s baby boy!

Happy New Year, everyone!! Don’t miss my Year In Review post that I put up the other day!

Julia and her husband are expecting their sixth living baby — their second boy! He joins big siblings:

Alice Katharine (“My maternal grandmother’s name was Alice, my mother is Katharine.”)

+Rose Francis (miscarriage) (“Wanted to name Rose due to St. Therese novena answer to prayer and Francis [male version due to St. Francis de Sales feast day that day, and not knowing baby’s gender].”)

+John Paul (miscarriage) (“Was thinking of the name Henry before we learned of baby’s death, but it was the Nativity of John the Baptist and we liked the name John anyway [John the Evangelist too!], as well as JPII, Hubby’s brother is Paul and the paternal grandfather.”)

Annemarie Elizabeth (“I liked Marian names and Hubby liked Ann. My middle name is Elizabeth.”)

Charles Anthony (“He is adopted.  His birth mom named him Charlie, we changed it to Charles officially but call him Charlie.  Anthony is Hubby’s dad’s name and Hubby’s middle name.”)

Veronica Leigh (“We just like St. Veronica, have a friend Veronica who’s awesome, My grandfather was Vernon [kind of a stretch], My dad’s middle name is Lee.”)

Clare Susan (“St. Clare/devotion to the Eucharist during Covid, great simple name, Hubby’s mother is Susan.”)

Such great names, right?? I really love all the family connections — each of the combinations they chose is lovely, and I love that their Charlie’s name fits in so nicely and that he has Julia’s hubby’s middle name and Grandpa’s first name. I also think Veronica as a nod to Vernon isn’t a stretch at all! Very clever!!

Julia writes,

This is a baby boy!  We are liking Dominic, Michael, Joseph (but only for a middle name) … And… We love the rosary 🥰”

They also like Nicholas, but can’t use it.

I love their list for a boy! Dominic, Michael, Joseph, and Nicholas are all wonderful, strong names, and Julia’s added comment about loving the rosary is just perfect — Dominic and Michael particularly make me think of the rosary because of St. Dominic’s connection (tradition holds that Our Lady gave him the rosary and charged him with its promulgation) and because the Prayer of St. Michael is often said at the end of it. I’m glad she included that Joseph is only in consideration for a middle name, and that they like Nicholas but can’t use it — they both give me an extra sense of the kinds of names they like.

In terms of coming up with new ideas for this family, I found their love of the rosary to be particularly helpful — it sent me right to the book of Marian names I wrote, as many of the names I included were because of particular connections to the rosary. I also looked up the names Julia and her husband have already used and those they like in the Baby Name Wizard (affiliate link) as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. It’s increasingly becoming out of date and the author doesn’t show signs of doing a new edition, but I did actually find it helpful in cross checking the ideas I had for this family. I also couldn’t help but notice that Dominic, Michael, and Nicholas all have a strong CK sound and Dominic and Nicholas both specifically contain “Nic” — that all gives me a sense of the sounds that might appeal to Julia and her hubby in a name. Based on all that, these are my ideas for this baby boy:

(1) Patrick

My first and favorite idea for this family is Patrick. I think it’s a great fit with their other kids’ names, it has the strong CK sound they seem to like, and Ven. Patrick Peyton is referred to as “The Rosary Priest” in Fr. Calloway’s book Champions of the Rosary (affiliate link). As I wrote in my book, “He started the Family Rosary Crusade in the 1940s, which was an international Rosary apostolate, and ‘organized rosary events in more than 40 countries, gathering over 28 million people to pray the rosary’ — all stemming from his love for Our Lady.” Patrick seems to tick all their boxes! Pat and Paddy are traditional nicknames (I know a little Paddy and it’s the darlingest nickname on a little guy!), I love Pack and Packy (I’m a big fan of offbeat nicknames!), and I’ve even seen Trick and Rick/Ricky.

(2) Benedict

Benedict is mostly inspired by Dominic, which I admit is a name I was a little surprised to see on their list (except for the rosary connection) — Dominic has a heavier feel to me than their other kids’ names (with the exception of Veronica — Veronica and Dominic are quite well matched in my mind). Benedict has a similar feel to Dominic and Veronica, and has the great, friendly nickname Ben that mimics the great, friendly feel of Charlie (and I think they could even use Nick/Nicky as a nickname for Benedict if they wanted to!). And it’s got a rosary connection! As I wrote in my book, “Mary is called benedicta in the Latin form of the Hail Mary. Additionally, Fr. Calloway called Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI ‘The Theologian of the Rosary’ in his book Champions of the Rosary.”

(3) Leo

Leo diverges from the sounds of Dominic/Michael/Nicholas/Patrick/Benedict that I think they really like, but I can see it being a natural fit with their children nonetheless, and, of course, it’s got a rosary connection! Pope Leo XIII is called “The Pope of the Rosary” in Fr. Calloway’s book because he dedicated October to the rosary and inserted the title “Queen of the Mostly Holy Rosary” into the Litany of Loreto, among other rosary-focused things.

(Bonus) Zechariah or Zachary

I put these names in the “bonus” spot since I don’t think they fit this family’s style as well as Patrick, Benedict, and Leo (either the more biblical feeling Zechariah nor its more familiar variant Zachary), but they *do* fit into the sounds Julia and her husband seem to like (the strong “CK” thing) and they bring to mind, for me, the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary — The Visitation, because of Zechariah’s role in naming John the Baptist, which provides a nice rosary connection. So I wanted to include it just in case!

And those are my ideas for this family! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the baby brother of Alice, Annemarie, Charles, Veronica, and Clare?


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!