I posted a consultation Theresa did for Kathryn and her hubby for their fourth baby, and it’s exciting to both share the name they chose and post this new consultation for their fifth baby!! This little one joins big sibs:
“We ended up naming [baby no. 4] Emilia Gianna (after JP2’s mom and my confirmation Saint, Gianna Molla) and love her name so much!!!“
Isn’t Emilia Gianna so beautiful?! Emilia was one of Theresa’s suggestions, so perfect! James, John, Samuel, and Emilia are such an attractive, solid, saintly group! I love their middle names too, each combo is so great!
“We are needing help with a name for baby #5! We don’t know gender. … For this baby, I just have to incorporate Scott as either a first or middle name if it’s a boy. I am a convert, and Scott Hahn’s books/CDs/podcasts are truly the reason why I am Catholic, why I love being Catholic, and why I have learned to defend the Catholic faith to protestant friends so well! That said, my husband and I are having a difference of opinion on whether Scott should be the first or middle name! If we use Scott as a first name, we need a STRONG saintly or Biblical middle name, such as Scott Augustine or Scott Joseph. My husband is pretty set on naming a boy Peter Scott, but I worry because we already have a James and a John that if we named our 4th son Peter, our 3rd son Samuel might feel left out as not being one of the ‘super apostle’ names! Maybe this concern is silly though. Please help me! Any other awesome suggestions on the way we can use Scott??
For a girl, Hubby and I are both pretty in love with the name Anna (from the Gospel of Luke, and also a nod to Saint Anne). It goes so well with her sister Emilia, but we’re really struggling to find the perfect middle name!
Some ideas we love but don’t feel like are ‘the one’:
- Anna Catherine
- Anna Clare
- Anna Maria/Marie
- Anna Therese
- Anna Grace
Veronica was also one of the girl name suggestions Theresa gave me for Emilia, and I LOVE the name Veronica (but [there are some issues with the nickname Ronnie and their last name] which was why we ended up naming our 1st daughter Emilia…Vera is cute though…any other good nicknames for Veronica?!)
That said, Veronica Anne is definitely on the table provided we could find a better nickname option for Veronica!
Open to other options with Anna or Anne as a middle name, as well, just want to incorporate that name somewhere!“
This was so fun! In all my years of doing these consultations and in all the conversations I’ve had with Sancta Nomina families, this is the first time I’ve encountered a desire to nod to Dr. Hahn, despite the fact that many, many people have come to the Church through his writings! My own husband is a convert, and I asked him to read Rome Sweet Home (affiliate link) when we were first dating; so many of Dr. Hahn’s other books played a role in his ultimate conversion ten years later as well.
*** Name fact of the day: “namesake” is used to refer a person named after someone (e.g., my oldest son is named after my father-in-law, so he is my FIL’s namesake). “Eponym” is the person after whom someone is named (so my FIL is my son’s eponym). I wanted a name for an eponym for years, not knowing until somewhat recently that the word “eponym” exists! So perfect! ***
I love Kathryn’s thought that Scott as a first name needs a “STRONG saintly or Biblical middle name”! Scott Augustine and Scott Joseph are both really handsome. Peter Scott is also very handsome! I do understand her concerns though about Samuel not being one of the “super apostle” names — her concerns aren’t silly at all, those concerns are part of wanting to give one’s baby the best name possible, and concerns like those are important to people who care about these things! I’d worry about it too! And I’m hoping I can help come up with an idea that both Kathryn and her husband feel peaceful about (even if it’s just reassuring them about ideas that they’ve already discussed).
That said, I can almost guarantee that their Samuel will likely not ever give it even two thoughts (unless they make a big thing out of it, which I’m sure they wouldn’t), nor will anyone else (except maybe the odd crazy-namer, like me, and only if they were to actively sit and think about all their kids’ names, which is unlikely). So funny, right? These concerns seem SO IMPORTANT when naming our babies, and later on they don’t seem very important at all (at least in my experience). My personal example is that six of my boys have a biblical name as either a first name or a middle name, and I *agonized* over the fact that one of them doesn’t have a biblical name in either spot! But when it came time to name him, saintly and family concerns overrode my desire to keep the loose biblical theme going, and no one has ever mentioned it! None of my boys have ever noticed, including the one without a biblical name! Peter Scott would be a fine addition to this family if Kathryn and her hubby came to an agreement on it, and maybe they will! But I would love to see them decide on a name they both equally love. I included new ideas on how to incorporate Scott below in my list of “official” suggestions.
First though, I want to say that I love both Scott Augustine and Scott Joseph! I actually quite like the idea of James, John, Samuel, and Scott as brothers — the J/J/S/S pattern is very pleasing and makes Scott seem a natural part of the set. That said, Scott is a different style than the others, and not because of biblical vs. non-biblical (though of course there is that), but because it doesn’t have that obvious faith connection. I mean, WE know it does because of Dr. Hahn, and there are some holy people that can be used as patron for a little Scott, like Bl. Maurus (William) Scott (who is actually great in light of Dr. Hahn’s role here, because he “was converted to the truths of Catholicism by reading Catholic literature”) and any of the Scottish Saints (since the name Scott in origin refers to a person from Scotland or one who speaks Scottish Gaelic), but your regular person that you run into out in the world won’t know that. Does it even matter though? It’s up to Kathryn and her hubby to decide! For that reason, I’d probably lean more towards the idea of using it as a middle name. I love Joseph for them, even though it would make this baby their third J-named son; because this baby is separated from James and John by two non-J-named children, I think it would be fine.
I also did some research into Dr. Hahn to see if anything showed itself as a possibility and discovered that his given name is Scott Walker Hahn. Walker made me think of Walsingham, which is a place in England and part of a Marian title: Our Lady of Walsingham. Would Scott Walsingham appeal? (I actually tried to convince my husband of Walsingham as a first name for our youngest son with the nickname Walt!) (He was not convinced. Haha!)
I, too, love Anna!! For all of our boys, the girl name we’d decided on was Susanna and we intended to use Anna as her nickname. It’s one of my very favorites! I love the list of ideas Kathryn and her hubs came up with for a middle name — they all sound lovely with Anna! One thought on Therese is that in the research I did on Scott Hahn, I read in this article that “one of the saints who [has] helped him the most in his everyday life” is St. Therese. If they were open to using this baby’s name as a nod to Scott Hahn regardless of gender, that could be a good way to do it! (Or Anna Scott, for that matter! Maybe that’s too far outside their comfort zone? I would totally understand if so! Hmmm … this makes me think of another idea that might be too crazy for them, but could also be awesome: a family I did a consultation for recently was thinking of Scarlett with the nickname Scottie, which I thought was adorable … I think Scarlett could be a legit way to honor a Scott in a daughter’s name because of the beginning S, ending -tt, and the “a” within … I offered possible faith connections to the name Ruby in this post because of its meaning of “red,” like a nod to the Precious Blood, the Wounds of Crucifixion, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, all of which could totally work for Scarlett … with those beautiful meanings in mind and also the possibility of Scarlett nodding to Scott, maybe they’d like to consider Anna Scarlett? If they love it, I think it could be stunning! If they don’t, I totally get it, it’s a more adventurous idea.)
I also noted from the consultation Theresa did that Kathryn liked Rachel and Victoria, which I like with Anna: Anna Rachel and Anna Victoria are both quite nice. Anna Victoria seems particularly well-matched with sister Emilia Gianna because of having a similar rhythm. And really, I love all of their middle name ideas for a first name as well, since Kathryn said they’re open to other options with Anna or Anne as a middle name! Catherine Anne, Clare Anna, Maria Anna or Marianna or Annamaria, Therese Anna, and Grace Anna are all lovely. I have other ideas below …
I love Veronica too! It’s a fantastic “bridge” name for this family because of the boys all having biblical names (so far) and Emilia not having one — Veronica *isn’t* biblical, in the sense that the name doesn’t appear in the bible, but it *is* biblical because the person that we call Veronica is in the bible. A non-biblical biblical name! It can bridge their biblical names (James, John, Samuel, Peter, Anna) with their non-biblical names (Emilia and Scott). Fantastic! I wouldn’t worry about anyone calling her Ronnie unless they decide to call her Ronnie — as long as they choose another nickname and are firm and consistent about it, that will be what everyone calls her! If they like Vera, awesome! Others are Nica, Nicky/Nikki, Via, Vivi, and Vicky.
Okay! Now on to new suggestions! In addition to the Scott Hahn research I did, I also looked up the names they’ve already used and those they like/are considering 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. For girls, I was mainly looking for middle names for Anna; for boys, I was looking for heavy-hitting Catholicky Catholic names that would be a good balance to Scott’s more secular feel:
While Anna as a first name paired with a middle name that ends in A has that really gorgeous, ultra-feminine feel that goes so nicely with sister Emilia Gianna, I also really like the rhythm of a combo like Anna Catherine. I immediately thought of Karoline when reading Kathryn’s list, and was pleased to see that Caroline is a style match for Amelia (standing in for Emilia, as Emilia doesn’t have its own entry). The Karoline spelling is obviously a nod to St. John Paul II to anyone who knows, as his birth name was Karol (the Polish form of Charles); the Caroline spelling can also nod to him if they’d like it to, and is just as lovely and classic as Catherine (I did a post on patron Saints for Caroline et al. here).
Elizabeth is a style match for basically all the names Kathryn and her husband have used and like, and Anna Elizabeth *can* work, but (1) Anna ending in A and Elizabeth starting with the same sound isn’t everyone’s favorite transition (maybe they don’t mind it though?) and (2) because it’s such a style match, maybe they’d like to save Elizabeth for the future? So I thought an Elizabeth variant might be nice, especially if it’s not an obvious Elizabeth variant, and Lillian seemed perfect! Behind the Name says Lillian likely originated as a diminutive of Elizabeth, and I love how it sounds with Anna. Our Lady’s Mom and her cousin in one name!
Julia is also a huge style match for this family, but I don’t really see them considering it for the future for some reason, and I felt like Anna Julia is a little too sing-songy (if they disagree and love it, awesome!), but I love how Anna Juliet/Juliette sounds! I did a post on saintly connections for Juliet(te) here (also, Julia is biblical, so Juliet(te) is a diminutive of a biblical name).
I was trying to think of other names that I thought went well with Anna that have a nice saintly connection, and I thought of a friend of mine who named her daughter Maria Colette — I have always loved that combo, and I thought Anna Colette sounds equally as gorgeous! St. Colette is a patron of expectant mothers, which I love.
Like with Julia, Sarah is a huge match for Kathryn and her hubby’s style, but also like with Julia I don’t really see them wanting to use it in the future, so I thought maybe a spin on it would be nice with Anna. Seraphina/Serafina refers to the angels, specifically the seraphim, and is such a beautiful name. Anna Seraphina is so pretty!
(1) Karol or Charles
As noted, for boys, I tried to think of other examples of “STRONG saintly or Biblical” names to go with Scott, and Karol came to mind first because of JP2. Karol is a variant of Charles, which could also be nice. Scott Karol and Charles Scott are both great.
(2) Benedict or Benjamin
In my Scott Hahn research, I also consulted this page of authors that were instrumental in his own conversion, one of whom was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict). Benedict is definitely one of those heavy-hitting names! Benedict Scott and Scott Benedict sound great together.
Benedict made me think of Benjamin, which could also be great for this family! It’s Old Testament like Samuel (so there wouldn’t be any possibility of Samuel feeling left out!), and I really love how Benjamin Scott sounds.
In that first web site that I consulted, Dr. Hahn included St. Maximilian Kolbe as one of the Saints that have been most helpful to him — Maximilian absolutely belongs on this list of obviously holy names!
Most of the boy name style matches in my research were ones that I’m sure they’ve already considered like Thomas, William, and Paul. Great names, all! But Gregory jumped out to me as possibly being more like what they’re looking for — it has always struck me as a really Catholic name because of the big-deal Gregorys like Pope St. Gregory the Great, St. Gregory of Nazianzen, and others.
In the article about Scott Hahn’s book of Saints and Angels, he tells the story of a time when his son was close to death and he felt very clearly the presence of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Clare, and Mother Mary. Francis Scott sounded so great to me and it took me a minute to realize it’s because of Francis Scott Key! Regardless, I still think Francis Scott would be really nice, and Scott Francis as well.
(6) Josemaria, Irenaeus
These last two are names of Saints that Dr. Hahn has been particularly affected by, and their names are so over-the-top amazing and saintly that Scott would be very nicely balanced out. I totally understand if they’re way too far outside of this family’s comfort zone! And I definitely think they’d go best in the middle name spot. Scott Josemaria and Scott Irenaeus are pretty amazing, and of the two, I think Scott Irenaeus has the best flow.
And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What middle name would you suggest for Anna and what name would you pair with Scott for the little brother or sister of James, John, Samuel, and Emilia?
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!