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!

Year in review: 2022 (can’t keep Sancta Nomina down!)

Happy New Year’s Eve!! Happy day before the feast of Mary, Mother of God!! 🎉🎉🎉

I woke up this morning to the news that Pope Benedict died early today — on the last day of 2022, during the octave of Christmas, on the eve of a major Marian feast day, on a day when the whole world commemorates the end of a discrete amount of time and anticipates what comes next — this all seems a perfect day for his time here on earth to come to an end! As the Vatican News article Farewell to Benedict XVI: ‘Humble worker in vineyard of the Lord’ put it, “Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has returned to the Father’s House.” Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May in rest in peace. Amen.

As far as my own year in review:

I love doing these posts — I’ve done one every year since I started the blog! You can check them all out here:

I read through them again and again not infrequently — what a gift Sancta Nomina has been for me, and it seems like it’s been so for many of you! As far as 2022 went:

  • Theresa kept the blog going! I posted 19 consultations that she had done, and I know she did private ones as well. One of the public ones was for twins, which is always fun, and one had me chuckling all over again when I reread it yesterday — she was tasked with finding names that ideally represented the parents’ love of punk rock, Doctor Who, and Catholicism! I love that so much! It’s *SO* Sancta Nomina!!

  • I had the great honor of posting 17 birth announcements for the wonderfully named Benedict Jozef, Is@@c Cill!@n, Pia Maris, Lawrence David Joseph, Retta Joy, Annunziata Lucille, Eloise Josephine, Agnes Marie-Josephine, Paschal Joseph, Isabel Martha, Margaret Lily, Mirren Therese and Brigid Evelyn (those twins mentioned above!), Clement Kolbe, W1ll@ R0s3, Louis Sebastian, Clement Joshua Samuel, and Pia Susan. Two Clements! Two Pias! All of these names are so swoony!!

As I included in my Year In Review post last year, one of the things I felt was a failure of mine during 2021 was that I wasn’t able to make my annual St. Anne pilgrimage to thank her for her patronage and intercession. But then, I had the immense blessing of being able to post this on Instagram last January:

Can you believe it?? So amazing!! Then, in April of this year I posted this:

I mean, really. St. Anne has always kept us close! She loves us so much. 💗💗💗

Finally, a Big Thing that happened was that I achieved my 2 millionth hit at the beginning of December!

As I’m posting this, I’m currently at 2,013,494. Amazing. Thank you all for visiting!!

And that’s Sancta Nomina’s 2022! You can continue to find me on Instagram (especially) and Facebook (occasionally) and not at all on Twitter (though my account still exists and my posts still automatically post there) nor Pinterest (also still exists, though I’ve given it up entirely), as well as here on the blog. And my book continues to be one of the greatest things I’ve ever done! I’m endlessly thrilled that I have a book of Marian names to my credit, and I use it *all the time*! In fact, my copy is falling apart — I must get a new one!!

I thank you all, as always, for making this little space of the internet the sweet, cozy, wholesome, fun place it is! Many many prayers and blessings to you all in the New Year!!


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!

Nicknames: Bonaventure

I was working on a consultation recently where I’d suggested Bonaventure — an unusual suggestion, but I thought it made sense for the family — but I was stuck on nickname ideas! My first idea was Ben, which I think is probably my favorite idea, but I also thought Bona (said like BON-na, not BO-na) and Bo could work, and even Bonnie — it could have the same feel to me as Jackie (like Robinson) and Connie (like Mack). But that was all I came up with! Maybe Vinnie? From the -ven- part? Nate? Because the letters are all there?

Of course, I had to turn to my favorites for additional ideas: all of you! Do you know anyone named Bonaventure, and if so, does he go by a nickname? Have you ever considered Bonaventure for a son, and if so, did you consider nicknames? I’m all ears!


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: Italianish name that doesn’t end in a vowel and isn’t easily nicknamed for baby boy no. 2

Merry Christmas, everyone!! And happy feast of St. Stephen!!

I posted a consultation for Christi and her husband a year and a half ago for their son, and I’m excited to both give you all the update on his name and share my thoughts/ideas/suggestions for their new baby boy on the way! He joins his big sister and big brother:

Anastasia Therese

Domenick Vincent called Deo

I absolutely looooove these names!! Deo as a nickname for Domenick was my idea — I was so excited that Christi and her hubby loved it!

For this new baby boy, Christi writes,

I’m writing to you again for help as we are expecting another boy (due May 3) and I’m driving myself crazy obsessing over what we’ll name him! You were so helpful in naming our second, Domenick Vincent nn Deo, and I’m hoping that you can provide some thoughts/ feedback for baby #3. As a reminder, our daughter is Anastasia Therese.

As you might remember with Deo’s consultation, Gianni was/ still is at the top of our list. My husband is a little more sold on it than I am though (I can’t decide if it’s TOO Italian for us or not!). With a very overtly Italian last name, I feel like it’s hard to match both a non-Italian first name (for example, I really like Bennett or Brody, but they just don’t go with the naming style we’ve established) OR a suuuuper Italian first name (for example, Alessandro). None of our kids ‘look’ Italian (blonde/ light brown and blue eyes haha) so I feel like it just doesn’t fit.

We would love to use Joseph for the middle name (Joseph is a beloved family name and St. Joseph the worker’s feast is right around  my due date) though it’s not an official decision. I struggle with Gianni Joseph though, as it reminds me of G.I. Joe, haha! Am I overthinking that? That’s all I can hear now

Other names that we like/ are considering:

1) Romeo- I feel like this is Italian without being too Italian, but is it too bold? Any kid with that name has a lot of association coming in with his name. Also Joseph again doesn’t really flow with this for a middle (Ro Jo?! haha).

2) Sebastian

3) Malachi

4) Valentino- I really like this but I can’t decide if we can commit to calling him by his full name (we are trying to avoid nicknames this time around)

5) Angelo- I like this, husband not as much

6) Amelio/ Emilio- We were considering Amelia if it was a girl (Amelia is a family name), so we were throwing around the idea of making Amelia masculine (I’ve never seen it written Amelio though). I don’t like the traditional Emilio spelling as much

We’ve considered but won’t use:

Maxim/ Massimo, Adrian, Julian, Apollo, Gabriel 

I’m wondering if there are other names like Domenick/ Dominic that go well with an Italian last name but don’t end in a vowel? I think that might be the silver bullet we are looking for. Would love your thoughts on that!!

It was so fun for me to come up with name ideas for Christi’s new baby boy! It was definitely a challenge, which I LOVE!

Okay, first off, my thoughts on the names Christi and her hubby are already considering, in case they’re helpful:

  • Gianni Joseph: Christi is too funny with her G.I. Joe reference!! I know they loved Gianni when they were expecting Deo as well. For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t have thought of G.I. Joe at all when seeing Gianni Joseph! Especially since I’m sure Joseph wouldn’t be part of his everyday name, and most people in his life won’t know his middle name, you know? That said, I totally understand having something in your head that’s “all you can hear now,” it’s a real thing! If they really want to know my thought, I would say naming their son John Giuseppe solves their problems! They’d have John, who they can call Johnny, thus retaining the sound of the name Christi and her hubby love; they’d have a super Italian name tucked in the middle so it’s not too much, and it honors the Saint they want to honor; and they’d avoid the G.I. Joe connotation. On paper, it seems like the perfect solution! However, I know that even if this all seems perfect on paper, Gianni and Johnny do feel like different names … that Italian spelling gives Gianni a certain something …
  • Romeo: I love that they’re considering Romeo! I have long loved Romeo for a Catholic baby, ever since I found out that Romeo and Roman both mean “from Rome,” and in medieval Italian also meant “pilgrim to Rome” — such beautiful meanings for a baby boy being raised in the faith! Of course, I do understand Christi’s worry about the associations with Romeo. Roman is a nice option, but although I know they were considering it last time, the fact that it’s not currently on their list makes me think they’ve decided they like Romeo more. Another option might be to use the original Latin form Romaeus. Romaeus introduces yet a third “feel” to the name, joining the feels of Romeo and Roman, which are different from each other while being such similar names. Christi mentioned the possible problem of Ro Jo for Romeo Joseph — I actually think Romeo Joseph sounds very handsome! And I would never think to land on Ro Jo! But thinking about nicknames for Romeo, and for Romaeus, I feel like it’s not at all crazy to consider Roman as a nickname for both Romeo and Romaeus, which could also help tone down the Shakespeare association with Romeo and the heaviness of Romaeus.
  • Sebastian: Christi had Sebastian on her list last time, so I know she loves it! It’s funny because on the surface of her email, it seems that she and her hubs are looking for an Italian name, but if I took the Italian part out of the equation, sibs Anastasia and Domenick would have me looking for similarly long, heavy-hitting, saintly names, and Sebastian would absolutely make that list. I wonder if they’ve considered the Italian variant Sebastiano? They could still use any of the Sebastian nicknames (Seb/Sebby, Bash), and they’d have the Italian feel they love. (Though, since they seem to want to have a little distance from “super Italian,” Sebastian might be the better way to go.)
  • Malachi: As with Gianni, Romeo, and Sebastian, Malachi was on their list last time. It’s a very cool name! Just so different from the other names they like — it doesn’t have that heavy Catholic feel of Anastasia/Domenick/Sebastian and it doesn’t have the heavy Italian of Gianni/Romeo, it’s sort of in its own category. If there were other names they liked that were similar in style to Malachi, I could see keeping it on the list or using it this time, but as it is, I guess I feel like this is a name they’ll always like but never use. I still like my alternative idea from last time that was inspired by Malachi: Melchiorre. It’s the Italian variant of Melchior, which is the name one of the Three Wise Men has traditionally been known by, and it was one of St. John Bosco’s middle names. I think they could still do the Chi nickname that they like, or Mac, which is a nickname I always like for Malachi and I think it could do fine for Melchiorre.
  • Valentino: Another name from their list last time — it’s nice to see the consistency! It *is* a big name to not have a nickname for, but an awesome full name if they can commit to using the full name every time. I wonder if they’ve considered using the anglicized Valentine?
  • Angelo: I love the angel names, from their actual names (Gabriel, etc.) to the literal angel names (Angelo, Seraphino, etc.). I also love Angel as a nickname for it — I don’t see that on boys too much where I live, but it’s not unheard of among Spanish-speaking families, and the main male protagonist in the classic novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles was Angel, which I always thought was cool.
  • Amelio/Emilio: I’ve never seen the spelling Amelio either, though behindthename.com does have a user-submitted entry for Amelio, saying it’s an Italian masculine form of Amelia. Since they don’t like Emilio as much, I guess I’m hoping that they’ll have enough ideas between their own and any I offer that they like that they can save Amelia for a girl!
  • Maxim/Massimo, Adrian, Julian, Apollo, Gabriel: It’s helpful for me to know Christi and her husband have considered these and crossed them off their list!

Before getting to new ideas, I also want to discuss briefly two things that Christi said: (1) that they’re hoping not to use a nickname this time around, and (2) that they’re wondering about names like Domenick that go well with an Italian last name but don’t end in a vowel.

Regarding the first one, I think their best bet for a non-nicknamed name would be something shorter — I think it will be very hard to avoid nicknames for names like Sebastian and Valentino! Of course, if they’re firm and consistent, they can have a fair amount of success with that when their boy is small; much less so as he grows up, unfortunately (at least in my experience!). So my advice would be to not hold on too hard to the hope of no nickname, and certainly don’t let it sway them from choosing the name they love the most. (Gianni avoids this problem entirely!) And in fact, I kind of disregarded the no-nickname thing altogether when I was compiling my list of ideas for this family! I think the right given name/nickname combo might be exactly what sways Christi and her hubby toward one name or another (like Domenick/Deo).

Regarding the second point, I laughed when I read that Christi would love to know what names are like Domenick in terms of going well with an Italian last name but don’t end in a vowel, because they love so many names that end in a vowel!! At the same time, I thought it was a pretty brilliant thought (as Christi put it, “the silver bullet”), and I definitely went on the hunt to gather name ideas that fit.

One last thought before moving ahead — I just wanted to point out that several ideas I had last time I still love for this family! In fact, whenever I’m doing a second (or more) consultation for a family, I always try to come up with ideas without any interference from the previous consultations — I start fresh, as if it’s the first time I’m considering the family and their taste, and only after I come up with a list do I look back to make sure I’m not repeating any or anything like that. Very often, I’ll discover that my “fresh” ideas have a huge amount of overlap with the previous consultation(s), which is both encouraging and frustrating, haha! Anyway, when I made my list for Christi this time, feeling that I’d really come up with some great ideas, I later discovered that they were basically all names I’d suggested before. Gah! So anyway, I wanted to list them here again to make sure Christi didn’t forget and to share with all of you in case they’re helpful for your own naming:

  • Pier, Piero
  • Dante
  • Orlando
  • Christian (doesn’t end in a vowel, although Christi had said she likes Cristiano, which is also awesome, and I continue to love that these names would honor Christi nicely — as well as Jesus Himself!)
  • Anthony with the possible nickname Ty (doesn’t end in a vowel! I mean, not really. Not the way Christi meant, with all the ends-in-o Italian names. Anthony and Domenick and Johnny and Joseph and Vincent are all part of those super-Italian-but-not-Italian names!)

Ok! On to my new ideas! Unfortunately, I’m finding my trusty Baby Name Wizard book to be increasingly out of date, and since the author doesn’t seem to be intending to publish a new edition any time soon, I’ve been trying to go with my gut more. For Christi, I also looked up Italian Saints as well as (and I know you’ll all get a kick out of this!) characters’ names in The Godfather, Sopranos, and Mickey Blue Eyes to get a good sense of which non-Italian names nevertheless have a stereotypical Italian feel especially when paired with a very Italian last name (like Johnny). And I definitely considered Anastasia’s and Domenick’s names outside of the Italian sphere for inspiration. I’m excited about my ideas for this family!

(1) Benedict or Benedetto

One of the things I found is that the anglicized versions of names that also have an Italian variant are very common in Italian families. Their Domenick is a perfect example, as the Italian variant is Domenico. From that perspective, the heavy-hitting Catholic names are perfect! Benedict is absolutely a name I’d consider to fit with the feeling of Anastasia and Domenick, and St. Benedict of Nursia (the Original St. Benedict) was actually an Italian Saint! Benito is a short form of the Italian variant, Benedetto, that could be a great nickname for Benedict to pull in the Italian more. And/or they can use the full Italian Benedetto! Benedetto is great in that it can take the totally non-Italian nickname Ben/Benny, or the Italian Benito, OR Bennett!! Christi said she “really likes” Bennett but doesn’t feel like it goes with their naming style — Benedetto nicknamed Bennett could help solve that problem! And it’s totally not a stretch either, because Bennett is actually the medieval short form of Benedict! So much perfection here (if they want it to be)!

(2) Augustine or Agostino

Domenick/Dominic and Benedict would always be joined by Augustine in my mind as heavy-hitting, monastery-type names (which is a vibe I LOVE). If they were to choose Augustine, I would 100% try to sell them on using Gus as the nickname — not only is it totally adorable, but it has that Old World feel that I associate with very ethnic European names. That said, we have friends who have really leaned into their Italian heritage — like this family, they have a very Italian last name — and both the dad and the son are Agostino. The son goes by the full Agostino, so it’s totally possible! The dad goes by Auggie, which can help “hide” the Italian-ness if they want to. And I think Gus can work for Agostino as well!

(3) Francis, Francesco

One of the names that’s often given to Italian-American male characters is Frankie. Such a great nickname! They could certainly do Francis — saintly, heavy hitting, the name of an Italian Saint, doesn’t end in a vowel — or they could do the full Francesco with the nickname Frankie. Love love love.

(4) Salvatore

Salvatore is definitely an Italian name, and it definitely ends in a vowel, and in Italy you would hear that vowel, but in America, it’s as if the vowel doesn’t exist, so it might be perfect for this family! My sons have a friend named Salvatore whose parents call him the full Salvatore all the time, but my boys call him Sal. It’s a fanTAStic name! Very Old World, very faithy (I mean, “savior” — come on! Such a great Jesus name!), rare but easy and friendly. I love it.

(5) Capistran or Capistrano

I went to a Franciscan college and one of the dear friars that I loved was Fr. Capistran. What a cool name! It was for St. John of Capistrano, a Franciscan Italian Saint; my friar friend went by Fr. Cap — I LOVE Cap as a nickname!! They could do Capistran, like him, which would given them that doesn’t-end-in-a-vowel name that still has great Italian roots, or they could do the full Capistrano, which would also allow them to use Cap as a nickname.

(6) Cupertino

I was a little bit on a last-name kick (in which I include place names, like St. John of Cupertino, since the “of Cupertino” part basically acts as a surname), inspired by how Christi said she likes Bennett and Brody (they both have traditional usage as surnames) but they don’t fit her style — I was determined to find a couple of options that would! St. Joseph of Cupertino is the Saint that inspires this name, and I’ve seen him used as baby name inspiration before — I know of one couple who named their son Cupertino as a given name and calls him Cooper as a nickname, and another couple who named their son Cooper with St. Joseph of Cupertino as patron. I think Cupertino would be cool for this family, and Coop or Cooper would be such sweet nicknames!

(7) Bosco

I couldn’t not include one of my very favorite saintly Italian surname names, which has lots of good usage outside of Italian families, which starts with a B like Bennett and Brody, which might make it perfect (even though it ends in a vowel), and it’s short enough that it likely wouldn’t get nicknamed! I love Bosco, I think it’s such a fun and spunky name, and obvious to anyone who has a working knowledge of the Saints who it refers to. There are a few Sancta Nomina families who have sons named Bosco: here, here, here.

Those are my seven “official” suggestions, but I came across a few more in my research that I wanted to be sure to list, just in case:

  • Corrado is the Italian variant of Conrad, and St. Conrad of Piacenza is an Italian Saint. But Corrado! What a cool, cool name!
  • Cajetan is the English version of the Italian name Gaetano. I’ve always loved the name Cajetan, and St. Cajetan himself. Caj is a cool nickname!
  • Gennaro is the Italian for St. Januarius, and my sisters went to school with a boy named Gennaro — I grew up loooving his name and determined to name a son Gennaro, even though I have no Italian blood at all!
  • You probably know that Santino nicknamed Sonny is a Godfather character, so maybe a little too on the nose, but Santino means “little Saint” and Sonny is such a fantastic nickname, I just had to suggest it! One of my boys went to nursery school with a little Santino who went by Sonny and I absolutely loved it.

And those are all my ideas for Christi’s baby boy! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the baby brother of Anastasia and Domenick-called-Deo?


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!

Namespotting, Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday/St. Nicholas Day, and St. Andrew

Just a couple fun things for you on this day after Thanksgiving:

Over the past couple of days I’ve seen Pete used as a nickname for Preston and Tas used as a nickname for Timothy. I thought those were so fun! I love creative nicknaming, especially when the nickname offers a familiar option for a more unusual given name or for a name that doesn’t have a natural nickname (like Pete for Preston), or when it spices up a common and familiar given name (like Tas for Timothy).

Simcha Fisher had a thread on her Facebook about musical name options — there were some great ideas in the comments! I keep thinking about how perfect Clare Annette is!

And a reminder about the importance of pronouncing others’ names correctly. This is not always easy! But the effort matters. Many of my students have names with unexpected/unfamiliar/difficult-for-my-ear pronunciations and I’ve loved the opportunity to learn about different naming choices and styles, as well as names from other cultures, and the fact that the way that I pronounce consonants/vowels/consonant-vowel clusters as a person for whom American English is my first language can’t necessarily be transferred to every name I come across.

When you’re all doing your Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday/St. Nicholas Day shopping, I just wanted to offer two friendly reminders:

  • My book of Marian names is perfect for anyone who loves names of our faith, whether they’re expecting or not! It’s available at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy Gift Shop (ShopMercy.org) and at Amazon as well (not affiliate links). (If you know any pre-teen/teen girls who like to make name lists, like I always did and so many of you have shared that you did as well, I know they would love my book!)

  • A baby name consultation from either Theresa or myself is always a fun gift to offer expecting parents! I can email you a gift certificate for you to print out for either a Mini Consultation ($25) or an Ordinary Consultation ($50) (descriptions here). If you’d like one, email me at sanctanomina at gmail dot com and I’ll send you an invoice.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Advent starts on Sunday — my house is so excited! Here is a compilation of my Advent and Christmas name posts (also includes some interesting ways to honor an Andrew — so many fun ideas!). And speaking of Andrew, the St. Andrew Novena starts on Nov. 30, which is one of my favorites — read more about it in my CatholicMom article here. Happy Friday!

Check out these namey articles at Aleteia

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

I came across a writer at Aleteia today who has written a bunch of articles on Catholic naming! It shows just how out of the loop I’ve been that I’d never heard of her nor seen any of her articles until now. Her name is Cerith Gardiner (how coooool is the name Cerith??!! What do you all know about it? It’s not in behindthename’s database, and a broader google search suggests it might be Welsh …), and her articles include 7 Unusual boys names from inspirational child martyrs to 7 Baby girls’ names that capture the spirit of Advent and Christmas to Catholic baby girls’ names that science says are the most beautiful and The Catholic baby boys’ names that science claims are the most beautiful, and many more.

It seems like a perfect idea for Thanksgiving to curl up with a cup of coffee before the craziness of the big meal, or after everything’s been eaten and you need some quiet time to digest and decompress, and read through so many fun namey articles! Have a wonderful day!


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: Canon/outside- or inside-the-box/heavy-hitting names are all considerations for baby no. 5!

It’s Thanksgiving week! Woo! I am so grateful for all of you!! I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and enjoy today’s consultation by Theresa (who I’m also so grateful for!)!

Mama Katie writes in asking for help naming their 6th child!

We are 21 weeks along and haven’t found out the gender yet, but I just might if I can’t figure out the name! Ha!

This baby will be joining big siblings:

Gabriel (in heaven)
Paul Christopher sometimes called “PK”
Immaculata Gracie “Gracie”
Jacinta Katherine “Cinta”
Joseph David sometimes called “Bubba” or “Buddy”

She writes about names they’re currently drawn to:

Celine – especially after reading her relationship with her younger sister, St. Therese, this is probably our top runner. June – my mom’s name and my husband’s maternal grandmother – and I like the feel of it even as a first name, but I don’t want to have three J’s in a row – Jacinta, Joseph and June. Maybe a middle name for Celine, with the nickname of CJ? Christiana – I have always liked this name, but I don’t really want to have it shortened to “Chris.” Margaret Mary – This is my great grandmother’s name reversed (She was Mary Margaret) – but I also have a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus). Maria- since I have a niece Mary, I have thought Maria would be a pretty name, but I’ve also considered making little one’s name even more like Celine Martin and having it be “Marie-Celine”…Timothy – the biblical connection to St. Paul, as well as our beloved pastor of our parish. I’m not sure about what to use for a middle name! Maximillian. Frassati – this has been a pipe dream of mine, because my husband wouldn’t go for something so out of the box for a boy. Haha. Roy – I don’t know if this would work in at all, but my dear father passed away a year ago, and his best friend is named Roy, and Roy has become so dear to me. My husband might reject that name, but it is in the background for me anyway. We have started attending the Traditional Latin Mass, and I keep looking in the Canon for some of those heavy hitting names, but I’m unsure of any of the names.”

Some thoughts on names they like but maybe don’t feel quite like “the one”.

Celine– I really love this one for them! I think it’s sweet just like their other girls, I love the connection to Celine Martin and sweet St. Therese. I think it’s a great fit with all of their kids. Since all of the Martin girls, except the oldest, went by the second part of their names, I think just Celine to honor her and Therese would be lovely. I like the sound of Celine with their others better than Marie-Celine. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Celine are so so sweet. I really really love this.

June– I like this for them but I agree that three Js in a row is a bit much. I like the sound of Celine June, June grounds it. Two names in a row that end in the N sound might be a bit much, though. I think there may be better names out there for them.

Christiana– I love this name, too! I really love Christiana June, too, and I think they could keep it from getting shortened to “Chris” by just insisting her name is Christiana. I knew a Christiana in college who had never been Chris. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Christiana sound amazing together.

Maria– Cute, good, standard, traditional name. I think it may be too close to their niece Mary, though. I think there are better names for them out there.

Margaret Mary– I like this but I don’t love it. It’s not as sweet as their other girls, but I do love the connection to her grandmother and the Sacred Heart.

Timothy– I really like this for them! Gabriel, Paul, Immaculate/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Timothy sound great to me. I think this name is really right in their wheelhouse. As far as a middle name with it, I think any of the other names they like would go well with it. Timothy Maximilian and Timothy Roy stand out to me.

Maximilian– I love this name for them. It fits right in with everyone else. The only drawback is it would almost definitely get shortened to Max (in my experience, this one gets shortened a lot more commonly than a name like Christiana does). Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Maximilian sound complete to me.

Frassati– I like this but I don’t think it fits with their other boys. Their boy style strikes me as very traditional, maybe a little old man chic. Frassati matches their girls, though! I think they could stick this in the middle spot and get the best of both worlds!

Roy– I’m not completely sure what it is about this name, but I really love it for them. It gives that old man chic that I think is their sweet spot and it has such a sweet meaning and connection for their family. I think this would be especially great in the middle spot.

Okay, on to new suggestions. Their current children’s names and the names they like really inspired me and I had a hard time getting it down to 5 names for each gender! Let’s start with the girls.

Girl

(1) Anastasia

This is a name found in the Canon, a great saint, and it’s a little frillier like their other girls. It’s slightly popular right now at #181 and I think that’s a great place for them to be. It means “resurrection,” so it has a direct connection to Jesus, too. Full disclosure, this is my oldest daughter’s second middle name and we adore it. I would’ve considered this as a first name for another daughter if I hadn’t already used it. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Anastasia sound incredible together! I really really love Anastasia Celine or Celine Anastasia or even Anastasia June! Really, this name goes with every other name they like and I love how it fits into their family.

(2) Annunziata

This one was directly inspired by Immaculata and Gabriel. I think they lean a little unusual and frilly in their girl names and this one fits that to a T. I love the Marian connection for their girls (Jacinta is Marian to me because of being one of the visionaries at Fatima). It’s a reference to the Annunciation, tying in some of their other children and I think it’s just such a sweet name. If, like Immaculata, she’s a little hesitant about her name, she can always shorten it to Annie. However, I think Immaculata may be more into her name if she had a similarly named sister. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Annunziata/Annie sound so spectacular!

(3) Hildegard

Not many families could pull this name off, but I think theirs totally could. It’s outside the box like their other girls, unusual but not weird, and has a powerhouse saint connection (St. Hildegard of Bingen). It means “battle enclosure” and is outside of the top 1000 names. It can shorten to Hildie or Hilda if necessary, but I like the whole thing. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Hildegard sound stunningly Catholic and they all fit together well.

(4) Beatrice

I thought of this one because it was a style match for some of their girls and names they like and because it’s a little bit frilly but still sweet. It means “blessed, happy” and is at #565 right now. There is one saint and several blessed by this name, so it’s steeped in Catholicism. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Beatrice are all so sweet together.

(5) Aurelia/Aurora

I wasn’t sure which of these they’d like better, so I’m including them both. Aurelia means “golden, gilded,” is at #516, and there’s Bl. Aurelia of Wirberg for patronage. Aurora means “dawn,” is at #36 (so significantly more popular, although not enough to see a double in their circles, most likely), and has Ven. Aurora Calvo Hernández-Agero for patronage. I like that both of these are a little unusual and frilly and super sweet, just like their other girls. These are just a little outside the box, especially in Catholic circles, and I think that’s their sweet spot for girls. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Aurelia/Aurora are so beautiful together.

On to boys!

Boy

(1) Thaddeus

This is such a sweet, traditional name that’s in the Canon for the Apostle St. Jude Thaddeus. It’s uncommon (it sits at #818) but it’s not weird. And it shortens to the super sweet Tad (or Tadpole when he’s really little. Swoon!). It means “heart” or “gift of God” and may be related to the mega-popular Theodore. I think Thaddeus is a great fit and bridge between their girls and their boys. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Thaddeus sounds really great, very Catholic, and somewhat
traditional to me.

(2) Silas

I thought of this name because St. Silas/Silvanus was a companion of Paul and I thought that would be a sweet way to honor brothers. Silas means “wood, forest” and sits at #91, meaning it’s gaining in popularity but is not overly popular. This one is a little more up-and-coming than their other children’s names, but I don’t think it’s a mismatch. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Silas sound fun, modern, and yet traditional.

(3) Walter

I said elsewhere that I think their boy style is old man chic and this name is old man chic! It sits at #271 which means it’s up-and-coming but not overly popular, traditional but also modern, uncommon but not unusual. This is their sweet spot. There are plenty of Sts. Walter but I always think of Ven. Walter Ciszek who was an American chaplain in the Army. Fitting, since the name means “ruler of the army.” Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Walter sound so great together–– traditional,
outside the box, uncommon but not weird, very Catholic.

(4) Charles

This name is pretty popular at #50 right now but it also gives me the old man chic vibes that their other boys (and names they like) give me. It means “man” which is cool and can relate to St. Charles Borromeo or even Pope St. John Paul II as his given name was another form of Charles, Karol. This name is up-and-coming but yet traditional, which is a good spot for them to be. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Charles sound like a complete set to me.

(5) Blaise

This name is way less common than it seems at #997! I was shocked to find this out. I would’ve put it in the #400s but the numbers don’t lie. What that means is that this name is uncommon but not weird and modern-sounding. It also sounds energetic for its homophone “blaze.” It really means “lisping” but meaning is what we put into a name. St. Blaise is the patron saint of throat problems. Gosh, I just really love this name for them. I think it checks every box for them. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Blaise sound so cool, modern, traditional, and Catholic to me. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that this is my favorite. Blaise Timothy, Blaise, Roy, and Blaise Thaddeus stand out to me as full combos.

These are my thoughts. What do you think?


Read all about how to get your own baby name consultation from either Theresa or myself here.

For help with Marian names, my book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Pia Susan!

Longtime readers will remember Mandi from her (now quiet) A Blog About Miscarriage (she’s also on Instagram, and is happy to be a source of support and info for anyone who needs it) — we were able to celebrate with her through welcoming four living babies among so many losses, and I’m thrilled to share that she’s let me know she had another baby — a beautiful little girl with the gorgeous name … Pia Susan!

Mandi writes,

Pia Susan just turned one in September! My fifth living baby/fourth girl (after Lucia Rose, David Newton, Jr., Cecilia Claire, and Maria Therese).

We decided to carry on the Saint names ending in ‘ia’ for a girl and had about 4 names we were choosing between, Pia being one of them. The priest for the Latin Mass we started attending a few years ago gave a beautiful homily on the Latin word ‘Pia’ in relation to the Blessed Virgin Mary about a month or so before my due date and it just clicked. Even with the Marian connection, she’s named after Padre Pio who my son has a great devotion to. Susan is after my husband David’s aunt and she is tickled pink to have someone named after her. Her nicknames are Pizza, Pisu, Pippy, and Sweet Pea amongst others. She is super, super tiny (she’s in 3-6 month clothes at 13 months) so the name seems to fit really well. We get lots of compliments on it, though many people are surprised by it since it’s pretty rare.”

I love all of this!! Pia Susan is just amazing, both on its own and for its Marian, Padre Pio, and family connections, fantastic!! I love, too, the nice connection for Mandi’s girls of all having names that end in -ia — it’s one of those details that’s so immensely satisfying for a name lover, but doesn’t hit anyone in the face in a too-obvious way — just lovely!!

Congratulations to Mandi and David and older sibs Lucia, David/Davey, Cecilia/Cici, and Maria Therese/Maite, and happy birthday to (not quite a baby anymore) Baby Pia!!


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!