Birth announcement: Felix Isidore!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Hallow has a great article for today, which includes “Catholic Blessings and Prayers for Memorial Day Remembrance.” I will keep all of your loved ones who died while serving in the military in my prayers today!

In my relative quiet over the past couple of years blog-wise, I missed a lot of birth announcements I absolutely would have wanted to share with all of you! I’m determined to get caught up this summer! Today is a belated birth announcement for Grace Patton’s youngest: her ninth baby on earth, the handsomely named … Felix Isidore!

His Instagram birth post is here, his baptism post is here (he was baptized on the feast of St. Isidore the Farmer! So awesome!!), and he recently celebrated his first birthday (here)!

Congratulations, as always, to Grace and Simon and big sibs Grace, Sebastian, Theodore, Phoebe, Bosco, Abraham, Clement, and Iris (birth announcements linked — I’ve been a Camp Patton fan for a long time!), and happy belated birthday Felix!!

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 and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!


Fun Friday Question: Do you choose your child(ren)’s Confirmation name?

Happy Friday everyone! Appropriately, today is the feast of the Saint of joy, Philip Neri! Read more about him here and here.

I read a question online the other day from a Catholic mama wondering how other mothers chose their children’s Confirmation names. I found it to be such a startling question! While I do know that parents would choose a Confirmation name for a very young child who can’t do so him/herself, as this reader and her husband did for their baby who would be very sick at birth (for those who remember me sharing about Meagan [here, here], and posting her little sister’s consultation and birth announcement, you’ll love to know that she has two more younger sisters!), and another friend did so for her very little ones who were Chrismated (the Eastern equivalent of our Confirmation), I’m more familiar with the practice of confirmands choosing their own Confirmation names as teens (or adults, for those who are confirmed later). I never considered choosing my boys’ Confirmation names, and indeed have delighted in witnessing their process of identifying the Saints they feel closest to and choosing their names. I definitely like to bring up the subject with them, and maybe make suggestions, but I’ve never thought of taking over that decision. I chose my own without my parents’ help as well, and so did my friends, but maybe our experience isn’t the norm? Maybe there are regional differences?

And speaking of regional differences (and my second mention of German naming practices this week!), I have friends in Germany whose son was just confirmed and when I asked if he took a Confirmation name she said that that’s not really a thing there. Do you know other places where it’s not common to take a Confirmation name? (Here is the article I wrote for CatholicMom on Confirmation names a few years ago, which might be helpful for anyone choosing a Confirmation name [parents or confirmands].)

I hope you all have a great 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 and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

German naming rules

Happy Monday, everyone! Today is the feast of St. Rita, one of my very favorites — I turned to her for intercession for some of the most *impossible* things in my life, after hearing of her powerful intercession from a friend who had an *impossible* thing happen after asking St. Rita for help — God has worked through her in amazing ways! I wrote more about St. Rita here and how to honor her in baby naming here. St. Rita, pray for us!

Did you all see Swistle’s lastest post about finding a name that works in Germany and the United States? I was fascinated by what the letter writer (an American) wrote about the restrictions she feels in naming her baby, who will spend significant time in Germany while growing up. Specifically:

For some background on German names: there are a lot more unspoken rules around naming a child. If you look up ‘kevinism’ you will see just some of the rules linked to Germany. These include not giving your child a super ‘american/british’ name, not doing a super american/french name with a german last name, place/thing names are not acceptable, and names that are of german/latin/hebrew (biblical) descent are seen the most proper and correct. Scandinavian names are also popular in Germany. There are some exceptions to these rules, but generally these rules apply. While some younger germans are pushing away from these rules, they are still very much followed by many.

Kevinism! A new word to me! I looked it up and found the article “The Strange German Disease Called ‘Kevinism’: Can a Lame Name Mess Up Your Life?” in Discover magazine (links in the quote were in the article; I didn’t add them):

Another day, another crazy German nounKevinismus, which basically means, ‘You’re named Kevin? Sucks to be you.’ According to a study of interactions on the German dating site eDarling, online daters don’t even bother to click on the profiles of users with names that seem foreign and gauche to German ears, like Kevin. The authors suggest that this online neglect due to their unpopular names mirrors lifelong social neglect, which is also responsible for making Kevins smoke more, get less education, and have lower self-esteem. …

An article on Kevinism [note: this article contains a lot of German] in Die Welt quotes sociologist Jürgen Gerhards, who asserts that Anglo-American names (Mandy, Justin, Angelina to name a few more) are a lower-class phenomenon. It seems that no one has actually crunched the numbers to prove that, but jokes like ‘Only druggies and Easterners are named Kevin‘ suggest he’s on to something.”

Had you heard of this??

The mom gave a list of some of the names that she said won’t work, including:

Lucy- the name we both love, but cannot use because it is seen as an English name and not a proper name in Germany. Plus, the older generations in Germany who do not speak English pronounce it like ‘lutzie’ which is not a dealbreaker, but we want a name that everyone feels comfortable with.

Claire- we are both ‘okay’ with this name. Germans would prefer it to be Clara, but we can get away with Claire

Kaia- a name I like, it would work in Germany b/c of its scandinavian origins

Maren- another name that we’ve thrown around. Also diverts from my typical leanings for more classic names, but it is shorter. I like the meaning ‘of the sea.’ It is a German/Danish name, but older name in Germany and I think it is rising in America.

Lily- the only ‘flower/thing’ name that Germans find acceptable, because they do not consider this name to be a flower. In Germany, the name is spelled ‘Lilly’ and comes from the full name Elizabeth. …”

Fascinating! It reminds me of the story Jenny Uebbing related about her Joseph Kolbe:

“… while traveling in Italy (the first time) we chatted up a capuchin Franciscan from Poland in a restaurant in Assisi of all places, and as he bounced 7-month-old Joey on his knee, we proudly told him that his middle name was Kolbe ‘for Father Max.’ The happy friar shot us a look of horror and asked in disbelief You took his family name?! So I guess the American trend of assuming surnames is not kosher the world over.”

Anyway, back to Kevinism — some more info from Swistle’s readers:

I am German and have named two children in the last four years in the knowledge that a move to the UK in the next years is quietly likely. Swistle has excellent advice, but I would like to add the following: ‘Kevinism’ is a thing BUT if you know that one parent of the child is from an English speaking country people will be a lot more understanding.”


Another German Mom (and teacher) here.

Please don’t worry too much about kevinism. It’s on the way out and only pertains to some American names.

Essentially, it’s the same as in the US: if you want to avoid scorn, avoid ‘made-up’ spellings, lots of y’s and celebrity names

Rose (pronounced Rosuh) is actually a fairly traditional given name in Germany. It’s often but not always short for Rosemarie and it is quite dated (a grandma name), but it does exist. And Rosa is considered quite modern. …

Please don’t let the Internet scare you so much. I promise we are not that conservative!!! And just as in the US, we have so many new immigrants coming in, that our children’s generation will see this very differently.”

And there were several other comments that were helpful and enlightening; some gave some great name suggestions, and some pointed out which names are considered “dated” in Germany. I loved reading all of it!

Finally, this comment is kind of amazing!:

So! I wrote in a long, long time ago about my (now deservedly ex-) boyfriend who hated noun names with a passion, but wouldn’t explain why. I remember you wondering, Swistle, why he hated them so much.

This genuinely answers that: he was German! I didn’t realise that was a German thing! The resolution I never knew I needed.”

Wow! So many things to learn in that post! Do any of you have experience with German naming? Do you agree with the conversation going on in this Swistle post between what the letter writer feels are her limitations and what the commenters are saying?

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 and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Fun Friday Question: Surprisingly biblical and non-biblical-biblical names?

What a weird post title, right?

In considering the name Veronica for this family’s consultation, I argued that it would be a great bridge name between their sons’ biblical names and their daughter’s non-biblical name because of the fact that it’s *not* biblical, because it doesn’t appear in the bible, but at the same time it *is*, in a certain sense, biblical, because the person it refers to is in the bible. A non-biblical biblical name! Or Bible-adjacent?

It got me thinking about others, because there are others! Other names that don’t appear in the bible but the people they refer to do, just like Veronica. Like:

Caspar/Casper/Gaspar/Jasper, Melchior, and Balthazar (names traditionally given to the Three Wise Men)

That got me thinking about names that don’t sound biblical (in the sense that their non-biblical associations are so overpowering that their biblical-ness might even be a surprising discovery):

Alexander (Mark 15:21, Acts 4:6, Acts 19:33, 1 Timothy 1:20, 2 Timothy 4:14)

Julia (Romans 16:15)

Nicholas (Acts 6:5)

Do you agree that Alexander, Julia, and Nicholas don’t come across as biblical? Can you think of other names like Veronica and those of the Magi that refer to people in the bible but who aren’t actually named in the bible?

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 and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Georgia Katherine!

I posted a consultation for Zoey’s little green bean back in March and I’m thrilled to share that her baby GIRL has arrived and been given the absolutely perfect name … Georgia Katherine!

Zoey writes,

Our baby girl finally decided to join us on Sunday (5 days late!) and we are completely overjoyed, and totally surprised to have a daughter! We named her Georgia Katherine 😊

I broke my own ‘rules’ since I originally said no K/Catherine but it turns out that name really grew on me! Katherine was also my husband’s grandmother’s name and I love being able to use the short form Kate to give her a real southern sounding double barrel name — Georgia Kate! 

Also, my husband was insisting on a Italian name, remember his family is super Italian, so we have also been calling her Gia! I don’t know how we did it but we found the perfect name, and oh it suits her so well! She’s also already gotten other cutesy names like Princess Peach 😆

On an even more interesting note, my nana did end up passing about two weeks before Georgia was born, I had already totally fallen in love with the name and just could not get on board with using one of my nana’s name(s). I started kind of feeling guilty but knew she would love having another great grand no matter the name. Well while my dad was going through some of her things, he found an obituary from 1902, which belonged to my nana’s great-great-grandfather and within it his wife was mentioned — Georgiana Maria. So she got a family name from my nana after all!! It totally feels meant to be, like God gave me this name knowing it was for our little girl. My dad found this the day after she was born

Thank you so much for all your help in the naming process!

Isn’t this amazing?? When I read that Zoey had written, “I don’t know how we did it but we found the perfect name,” I thought yes! Exactly! This is the perfect name for this baby! It’s such a perfect fit with her big brothers’ names, and the family connection totally gave me goosebumps (my mom calls them “holy bumps”!)!

Congratulations to Zoey and her husband and big brothers Austin and Elijah, and happy birthday Baby Georgia!!

Georgia Katherine

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 and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Baby name consultation: Unexpected eponym for baby no. 5 (and name reveal for baby no. 4!)

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:

James Elijah

John Isaiah

Samuel Robert

And …

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!

Kathryn writes,

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:


(1) Karoline/Caroline

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).

(2) Lillian

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!

(3) Juliet(te)

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).

(4) Colette

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.

(5) Seraphina/Serafina

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.

(3) Maximilian

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!

(4) Gregory

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.

(5) Francis

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 and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Joseph Mark Clement!

I posted a consultation for Sara and her husband back in March, and Sara has let me know that their baby boy has arrived and been given the tremendous name … Joseph Mark Clement!

Sara writes,

Baby boy arrived a bit early on Holy Saturday! We ended up picking Joseph Mark Clement. Thank you for giving us the confidence to pick Joseph! Victor was a close contender as well. Many of our friends and family have asked or commented about how much they like the name, and especially ask about Clement. It’s a great way to introduce the idea of Divine Mercy … We love the meaning and people and saints wrapped up in this name. The bigger kids have really latched onto JoJo, so I think that will be his day to day name for now. (When he is sad Dad sings to him about how little bro JoJo has woes and must be rocked to and fro.) Thank you again for all your help and encouragement!

I absolutely love hearing the joy in the “voice” of parents letting me know about the name they ended up choosing for their baby — it’s such an amazing thing to give such special and meaningful names to their little one! Joseph Mark Clement is so great!!

Congratulations to Sara and her hubby and big sibs Adelaide, Francis (in heaven), and Benedict, and happy birthday Baby Joseph!!

Joseph Mark Clement

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 and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Baby name consultation: Easy-to-pronounce, short(ish), familiar-but-not-common name needed for baby girl

Many thanks to you all for sharing your Mary name stories! Please keep them coming!

Gabrielle and her husband are expecting their fourth baby — their second on earth and their third little girl! This little lady joins big siblings:

+ Mary Evelyn (“We lost her early in pregnancy on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption, and I always knew Mary carried her into Heaven with her“)

Chase Erik (“We chose his name to mirror my husband’s [Christopher Erik]. My husband is about 50% Norwegian which is reflected in the spelling of Erik. We wanted a first name that was easy to say and spell, something that was unique but also sounded familiar. Chase has St. Christopher as his Saint like my husband“)

+ Joanna Rose (“We lost her early in pregnancy as well on Psalm Sunday. In the Gospel of Luke, Joanna is mentioned as being one of the few present in addition to Jesus’ disciples for Christ’s resurrection, and we knew this was the name for her. She is also named after St. Rose of Lima because even though we didn’t get to see her in her full form, we knew she was beautiful“)

Aren’t these wonderful names? I love the significance behind each one, each so thoughtfully chosen. Mary Evelyn and Joanna Rose are absolutely lovely for their little girls in heaven, and Chase Erik is such a handsome combo for their son!

Gabrielle writes,

Names we’ve discussed for this baby but don’t feel quite right: 

Marie/Maria – We like the idea of honoring Mary because she is due in May, but maybe feels a bit too similar to Mary. 

Amelia – We like the name in isolation, but don’t feel that it goes well with our last name and also seems to becoming a bit popular. 

Emily – Pretty, but perhaps a bit too simple. I am also having trouble seeing her grow into this name beyond a young girl. 

Lucy – Pretty name, and one of the women mentioned in the Canon. Also has a nice meaning of “light.” My mom’s name is Lucine (I’m 50% Italian, 50% Polish) and baby girl is due on May 12th. The Feast day of Our Lady of Fatima is celebrated on May 13th. Lucy feels a bit popular though, and I am also having trouble seeing her grow into this name beyond a young girl. We aren’t a fan of Lucia and don’t think it goes well with Chase. 

Ava – We like the name, but it seems to blend in right with our last name because of only being one syllable with the double ‘a’. Something longer would hold it’s own better we think. Also means “birdlike” which is a drawback.

Avila – Sounds a bit better with our last name, but still a lot of ‘a’ sounds. We are considering Therese for a middle name, so being named after 2 different Teresa/Therese’s feels like a bit much.

Josephine – Definitely drawn towards this I think because we love the name Joanna as well as St. Joseph, but also have a feeling it might be too formal or not the right time. 

Lily/Lilian – Lily was our girl’s name for Chase, but it doesn’t feel right now. I have been hearing it more here and there which I think has turned us off. 

Sophie – My husband is fond of this name, but I feel it is too informal perhaps, and I don’t care for Sophia. 

Susanna – She is also mentioned in the same Gospel passage with Mary Magdalene and Joanna which seems kind of cool. We aren’t sure if it sounds quite right though because of the rhyme with Joanna and are debating if we like the nickname Susie. 

Clare – This is probably the name my husband and I collectively seem to like the best. It feels a bit more uncommon, but also familiar. Easy to say. It is another “C” name (Chase & Clare) which we were initially hesitant about. The spelling is a bit of a sticking point, but we don’t feel that it is a deal breaker. Most Americans spell the name “Claire,” but I think we would use the spelling after St. Clare of Assisi. 

Some family names we can’t use: 

Camille, Nicole, Christina (my middle name), Teresa, Alexa, Cora, Jenna, Moriah, Ashley 

Saints we have devotion to: 

– St. Therese of Lisieux – considering this for the middle name of this child pronounced TER-REZ. She has been instrumental in my life and the medical practice that has been helping us with some extra steps during this pregnancy is named Little Flower Family Medicine, so I feel that she has been interceding for this baby from day 1

– St. Michael – Michael would be the name of this baby if we were having a boy. We haven’t found a female take on this name that we like. 

– We love the Holy Family and are open to honoring them. My husband is fond of St. Thomas Aquinas. 

Random tidbits: 

– I am sensitive to having a difficult name to pronounce. Having to spell your name for people I don’t think is as big of a deal. Growing up I got a lot of people who would try to call me Gabby because they had difficulty pronouncing my full name, or people would often just mispronounce it. 

– We have kind of gravitated with a bit shorter first names because our last name is longer.

– For girl names, it seems I am drawn more towards sophisticated and feminine names, and my husband is drawn more towards sweet and simple. But we try to meet in the middle like anything!

I got excited when I read that Gabrielle’s husband is half Norwegian and that she herself is half Polish — my husband is half Norwegian and half Polish, so I was excited that some of my research into his heritage might be helpful to this family! I also like that Gabrielle “wanted a first name that was easy to say and spell, something that was unique but also sound familiar” — I think they hit the nail on the head with Chase! I also used this thinking in coming up with my new ideas for them below.

Before sharing those new ideas, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the names Gabrielle and her husband have discussed, in case they’re helpful:

  • Marie/Maria: I’m 100% a Mary girl, as you all know! So I love the idea of honoring Mary in their baby’s name, and the fact that she’s due in Our Lady’s month adds such a nice sparkle! I’m of two minds about the similarity of Marie/Maria to Mary: first, that it’s actually a traditional Catholic practice for all the girls in the family to have a Marian name! This has taken the form of all the girls having Mary as a first name (I’ve seen this in Irish families, including my dad’s extended family: he has three first cousins who are sisters all with Mary as their first name [they all go by their middles]), or Marie (as with St. Therese’s family — she and her sisters were named Marie Françoise-Thérèse,Marie Louise, Marie Pauline, Marie Hélène, Marie Céline, Marie-Mélanie-Thérèse [I think Leonie was just Leonie though?], and their mother [St. Zelie] was baptized Marie-Azelie), or Maria (as many Spanish-speaking families do). It’s also traditional for a form of Mary to appear somewhere in the names of all the girls in a family, even if not the first name: my own family did this, with me and my sisters each having a form of Mary somewhere in our names. So I have no problem at all with Gabrielle’s Mary Evelyn having a sister named Marie or Maria! Additionally, the “naming all girls in the family after Mary” can also take the form of the Marian names being a mix of Mary/Marie/Maria and other names for Our Lady, like Rose — which they’ve already done! Even though they had St. Rose of Lima in mind for their Joanna Rose’s middle name, it can also do double duty as a Marian name. From this perspective, both their older girls have Marian names, so it makes sense to continue this with their new baby! All that said, I can also see that having two girls with an actual form of Mary and one without might feel off balance. A nice compromise might be to choose a name (first or middle) for the new baby that can be Marian but can also honor a different Saint, so all their girls can have a Marian connection but each in her own way.
  • Amelia: Gabrielle articulated so well that they “like the name in isolation” — I like that! I think we all have names that we love but don’t feel like they would work for our actual children for any number of reasons. I can see Amelia paired with their very long Scandinavian surname beginning with an A feeling A-heavy, and with Amelia ending in A and the surname beginning with A, it can be hard to differentiate each name when saying them together. At the same time, a lot of names have that kind of issue and the world doesn’t end, so if they love it, I say go for it! Also, there are a lot of names on their list that end in A, and a lot of great options in general that end in A, so I definitely wouldn’t cross any ends-in-a name off their list for that reason alone. (It feels like they don’t love Amelia, though, so I encourage them to shelve this name at least for this baby in hopes that we can come up with something they really love.)
  • Emily: Emily and Amelia are so similar that I wonder if Emilia might appeal to them? It’s actually the Norwegian (among others) form of Emily and is said basically the same as Amelia … it doesn’t solve the problem of many shared sounds with the surname or the ending-in-a + beginning-in-a issue, but this small tweak may move the “Amelia” idea from “liking in isolation” to “love!” An added cool thing is that St. John Paul II’s mom’s name was Emilia and her cause for canonization is open! Since Gabrielle’s 50% Polish, a name like Emilia that is equally Norwegian and Polish might be perfect!
  • Lucy: As soon as I saw Lucy I thought that if Gabrielle has a hard time seeing Emily as an adult name, even more so with Lucy. And then she acknowledged as much! I love the name Lucy for all the reasons Gabrielle mentioned, but, again, it doesn’t seem that she loves it, so let’s move on. One idea is that I’ve often thought Lucy could work as a nickname for Louisa — I wonder if that might work? Or Maria-Lucine nicknamed Lucy, for Gabrielle’s mom?
  • Avila: Ditto everything I said about Amelia and Ava with their last name. Also, according to Behind the Name, Evelyn actually originated as a diminutive of Avila! If name meanings are important to them, then that might be weird to have two daughters with variants of the same name (though of course no one would really know unless they’re weird namey people like me; and also, Avila calls St. Teresa to mind immediately for Catholics, which isn’t the same for Evelyn; and also, I’ve already advocated for using a Mary variant for multiple daughters, so really, anything goes!).
  • Josephine: A wonderful option for the reasons Gabrielle mentioned. I can see it maybe seeming “too formal” as Chase’s sister (or maybe instead, “too long”); I’ve also had the feeling of “not for this baby” for a name in regards to naming my own babies, only to use it for a later baby, so that’s valid too!
  • Lily/Lillian: I love knowing that this was the girl name they’d chosen if Chase was a girl — that’s very relevant! Even though it might feel a little stale and overly used to Gabrielle now, it’s good for me to know for my research. I do kind of feel like Lily might be like Emily and Lucy for them — somewhat difficult to imagine on an adult woman (though the Lily names are so popular right now that when their baby is an adult, there will be a lot of women named Lily and it will feel like a grown-up name!). It’s also interesting to note how many overlapping sounds Amelia, Emily, Avila, and Lily/Lillian have — lots of L’s and I’s. A couple things that are cool are that the lily is a symbol of both Our Lady and St. Joseph, which could make a Lily name plus a Jesus name a perfect Holy Family combo! Lily Christina, for example, which could also be a nice nod to Gabrielle in light of her middle name (though she listed Christina as a name they can’t use — I don’t know if that counts for middle names too?). Another is that Lillian likely originated as a diminutive of Elizabeth, and Lily is a traditional nickname for Elizabeth … Elizabeth is one of the longer names I normally wouldn’t suggest for this baby since they’re leaning toward shorter names, but since they have Amelia, Josephine, and Susanna on their list, I thought I’d mention Elizabeth too. Elisabeth is the Norwegian spelling, which I love, and Liliana/Lilianna are listed as Polish variants of Elizabeth!
  • Sophie: Definitely “too informal” is a recurring issue for Gabrielle with the names on their list, which I do understand. Emily, Lucy, Lily, and Sophie all kind of have that — they are, of course, full names in their own right (Sophie is the French form of Sophia), but the “ee” sound at the end is often how we make nicknames or “baby” names, so I can see why they feel overly young. I also totally get feeling like Sophie and Sophia are two different names — so similar, but with different feels, where you might quite like one and not like the other at all.
  • Susanna: Full disclosure: this was our girl name through all our kids! We have seven boys so we never got to use it, but it remains my favorite girl name. If it’s helpful, we intended to use Anna/Annie as the nickname, and I was also quite drawn to the nickname Zuzu (like “Zuzu’s petals” in It’s a Wonderful Life it’s most likely that the character’s given name was the popular-in-its-day Susan), and the Polish form of Susanna is Zuzanna, which could add another nice connection to the nickname Zuzu for Gabrielle. Another traditional nickname for Susanna is Sookie/Sukie. I also included Susanna in my book of Marian names because it can mean both “rose” and “lily” in Hebrew, both of which are symbols of Our Lady.
  • Clare: Wow, I would say this is the name to beat! It feels like it exactly hits all the right notes, and the fact that Gabrielle and her husband both love it is so meaningful!
  • Other considerations: Gabrielle mentioned that they haven’t found a female variant of Michael that they like — I’m sure they’ve considered them all, but I did just come across Micha as a German/Dutch short form of Michaela, which I believe is said like MEE-ka, but that probably breaks Gabrielle’s rule of “too difficult to pronounce” (not that the pronunciation is difficult, just that it’s not intuitive for a native American English speaker to arrive at MEE-ka from Micha). Misha/Mischa is also a diminutive of Michael that has usage for girls and has a more familiar pronunciation (MEE-sha). These options seem a little outside their style, though. I love that they have a devotion to the Holy Family and that Gabrielle’s husband likes St. Thomas Aquinas — I kept those in mind when coming up with new ideas.

Now on to those new ideas! In general, I tried to stick with shorter names, as Gabrielle noted that they’ve been drawn to names on the shorter side because of the length of their surname. I actually had the thought when going through the list of names they’re considering that the longer names didn’t really seem to fit as well with what I feel like they’re looking for, but would make amazing middle names, so I kept that in mind, too. I also like how Gabrielle articulated that she’s “drawn more towards sophisticated and feminine names” while her hubby is “drawn more towards sweet and simple.” This is another reason I think Clare is amazing for them! And I also really leaned on that aspect hard when I was looking for new names, as well as “familiar but not common.” I did look up the names they’ve 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 starting to feel a bit outdated, but I still find it helpful. And I had a few gut-feeling ideas. All in all, I tried to offer ideas that were closer to the style of Chase’s name as well as closer to the style of Mary Evelyn and Joanna Rose:

(1) Tessa

They’re considering Avila, they love St. Therese and feel like “she has been interceding for this baby from day 1,” and they prefer shorter names. How about Tessa? It’s a short form of Teresa/Therese and is a style match for Chase and Clare! Drawing from the list of names they like, Tessa Josephine could be a really great combo for this baby! In fact, I love Josephine as a middle name for all of the ends-in-a names I list below.

(2) Flora

I’m seeing Flora a bit more here and there these days, which I love! It literally means “flower,” and I read in a book called Mary’s Flowers: Gardens, Legends & Meditations by Vincenzina Krymow that “[i]t is thought that at one time all flowers and plants honored Mary, the ‘Flower of Flowers,’ in legend or in name” — so Flora can be Marian! But I was mostly inspired by the name of Gabrielle’s medical practice, “Little Flower Family Medicine” — Flora can honor Our Lady and St. Therese in one name!

(3) Magda

They love that Joanna and Susanna were mentioned in the same Bible passage, along with Mary Magdalene — what about a name for her? Especially since it doesn’t contain -anna? There’s the full forms Magdalene, Magdalena, Maddalena, Madeline, and Madeleine, but I’m kind of loving Magda for this family, which is a Norwegian and Polish short form of Magdalene.

(4) Mabel (or Annabel?)

Another M name that I really like for them, as it’s an unexpected Marian name, is Mabel. It’s originally a medieval form of the name Amabilis, which is included in the Marian title Mater Amabilis (“Mother Most Amiable” or “Mother Most Lovable”). It’s listed in my book as a variant of Annabel, as Annabel is derived from the same name (Amabilis) — because they already have Joanna, I wouldn’t think Annabel would appeal to them, but since they’re considering Susanna, maybe it would?

(5) Kirsten

I enjoyed spending some time trying to come up with ideas to honor the Holy Family — I love the idea of Lily Christina, as I mentioned above, and another idea I had was a Jesus name for the first name. Kirsten immediately came to mind as a less-common Christ- variant, and I love that it’s Norwegian! Something like Kirsten Marie-Josephine would be stunning and work in all the members of the Holy Family! Another beautiful way to work them all in would be Kirsten Liliana. I also love how Kirsten Susanna sounds! So much beauty!

(6) Tamsin

I also tried to figure out what to do with St. Thomas Aquinas. I could certainly see them saving Thomas for a future son, like they’re doing with Michael, but they could also honor him with a girl’s name. I’ve seen Quinn and Aquinnah, but neither seems this family’s style. I could see them liking Tamsin, though! It’s a contracted form of Thomasina. I don’t care for Tammy as a nickname, but Tam is really cute (and itself a Scottish short form of Thomas that I think works fine for a girl); I’d also thought — and still do — that Tess could work as a nickname for Tamsin (if they even wanted a nickname), which could loop in St. Therese.

(7) Halle

Most of the ideas above were based on Saints Gabrielle and her husband would like to honor and Mary with a particular eye toward short/sweet/sophisticated and leaning heavily on Norwegian and Polish heritage with a little Italian as well. But I don’t want to ignore the style matches revealed by my research in the BNW, so these next few are specifically inspired by that. Hailey is a specific style match for Chase, and I immediately thought of Halle — similar sound but that spelling is Norwegian (though a male name in Norway), and I also thought of this couple who named their daughter Halle because it’s contained within Hallelujah! How cool! (They also have a daughter named Clare Magdalen!)

(8) Nora

Cora and Eleanor were both listed as style matches for Evelyn — I know Cora’s on the list of names they can’t use but otherwise I might have suggested it for them. I wouldn’t have thought of Eleanor, but as soon as I saw it I thought of its nickname/short variant Nora, especially in light of the rhyming Cora — Nora immediately felt perfect! It has much the same feel to me as Clare: simple, sophisticated, and feminine. It’s also listed as Norwegian and Italian on Behind the Name! I think it’s a great option for this family!

(9) Lydia, Bethany (Bethan?)

Lydia is a style match for Amelia and Susanna, and Bethany for Joanna and Susanna — I thought they were worth a mention! They’re both biblical place names that have become given names (Lydia was actually from Lydia, which is why she was called that in the bible, and a cool thing about her is that since she was a seller of purple cloth, a little Lydia has a built-in color! Bethany is the name of the town where Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha lived; since meanings are important to Gabrielle, it should be noted that its meaning isn’t totally clear — it’s thought to mean “house of figs” or “house of affliction,” which isn’t great. That said, Behind the Name says that it’s traditionally been used “primarily by Catholics in honour of Mary of Bethany” — I’m a big fan of names that have a super-Catholic history! Also, my article on name “definitions” vs. name “meanings” might be helpful). An added thought with Bethany is that the very similar name Bethan has more of a Mabel/Tamsin feel to me, and is a Welsh diminutive of Elizabeth.

(10) Charlotte, Lottie

I really wouldn’t have included Charlotte if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s a match for Evelyn, Amelia, and Sophie! Especially with the Ch- beginning, even though it’s said differently than Chase, it just seemed too much. But I’m intrigued by the nickname Lottie — it has a Lily/Lucy feel that makes me think maybe Charlotte nicknamed Lottie isn’t crazy for this family?

(11) Alice

Alice, too, did quite well for them, being similar to both Lucy and Clare. I like that it feels less “little girlish” than Lucy, and as mentioned, Clare seems the name to beat, so with Alice being considered a style match for it, maybe it’s perfect! It also seems to avoid the issues the other A names (Amelia, Avila, Ava) have since it doesn’t end in A.

(12) Kate, Grace

Finally, both Kate and Grace are matches for Clare, and I thought they both bring together Gabrielle’s “sophisticated and feminine” preference and her hubby’s “sweet and simple” preference.

Whew! Those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the little sister of Chase and sisters-in-heaven Mary Evelyn and Joanna Rose?

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 and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Tell me your Mary name stories!

I saw a comment on social media recently by someone named Mary, who said her mom was also named Mary, as was her grandmother, etc., but none of the them went by Mary (she didn’t share what they actually went by). I may have asked this before, but if so, it’s been a while, so I’d love to hear again and from new readers too: Tell me your Mary name stories! Does your family have a tradition of all the girls having a Marian name? Do you know of sisters all with Mary as their first name, and if so, what do they all go by? Do you know of boys/men with a variant of Mary in their names?

These can be recent stories about you or your kid, or older stories about previous generations in your family tree or others that you know of — I’d love to hear them all!

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 and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Holy Saturday name thoughts

I wanted to pop on here quickly to say Happy Easter to you all! I hope it’s a beautiful, holy day for you and your family!

And since I’m here … 😏 … I had two name thoughts to share:

One is about the Marian name Soledad (often seen as a given name as María de la Soledad, and Marisol — as a nickname or a given name — is from María de la Soledad. The journalist and former CNN host Soledad O’Brien’s given name is María de la Soledad). It’s the ultimate Holy Saturday name! As I wrote in my book of Marian names (not affiliate link):

This beautiful Spanish name means ‘solitude,’ and comes from the Marian title Nuestra Señora de Soledad (‘Our Lady of Solitude’), which refers to the solitude of Our Lady while Jesus was in the tomb.”

Isn’t that amazing! I always think of this name on this day, and I love being reminded that it’s a day of solitude.

And speaking of “ultimate” names, I was very struck this Lent by how one of the ultimate biblical names for boys is Simon! There’s Simon Peter, Simon the Zealot, Simon of Cyrene, Simon the father of Judas Iscariot, and Simon who is included in the list of Jesus’ brothers* in Mt 13:55 and Mk 6:3, as well as others in both the Old and New Testaments. It’s a variant of Simeon, which is also well represented! Wow! (I would include John and Joseph as ultimate biblical boy names as well, just based on numbers — what others would you add?) (Of course, Mary for girls!)

“See” you next week!

* I don’t want my blog to ever be a source of confusion for anyone, so if you’re not aware of Catholic teaching regarding Jesus’ brothers, be sure to read it in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (numbers 499-500) and an article that fleshes it out more fully here. (TL;DR: they aren’t the sons of Mary, who the Church teaches was “ever virgin.” That means “always.”)

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 and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!