You guys! I am SO EXCITED to share with you a very special announcement:
I’m having a book published! A book of Marian names! Ahhhh!!
I’ve been researching and compiling Marian names for nearly ten years — with a good amount of help from all of you via our conversations on the blog! — and I’m so thrilled that Marian Press (publisher of Fr. Calloway’s and Fr. Gaitley’s books, among others) has agreed to publish it!
It’s entitled Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady — yes indeed, names for boys too! It will be available for purchase in May (month of Our Lady!), and I’ll have more details for you in the coming weeks. It has turned out amazingly well under the guidance of the team at Marian Press, if I do say so myself. 😊
Writing a book is one of the dreams of my life, and you have to know that writing one that honors Our Lady, and has to do with names, is a greater gift than I could ever have imagined.
This is such a big week, with the announcement of our baby-on-the-way followed by the announcement of my book! God is so good. ❤️
I loved reading all your comments yesterday!! One of the things that rose to the top for me is how many of you know of families, or are such families, who have used Mary or one of its forms for more than one daughter:
Woo! Mother Mary FTW!
Mary Regan (Mom)
The daughters all go by nicknames, which are adorable!
I know I’ve said it a million times before, but my paternal grandmother and her sister were both Mary ____ and went by their middle names; all six of my dad’s female first cousins on his mom’s side (from two different families) are Mary ____ and go by their middle names; and my three sisters and I all have a Marian name as either our first or middle.
I never tire of hearing about Marian names, or different ways of working Mary into a name, or families with lots of Mary names … I love them all!
I’ve been meaning to update this post since I discovered little Campos-Duffy #7’s name back in the spring, and kept forgetting to do so … but today’s your lucky day!! 🙂 She’s the beautifully named … [drumroll] … Margarita Pilar!
I’m very interested that it’s the third time Sean and Rachel have used Pilar as a middle name, and the second time they’ve used Margarita (first as a middle, now as a first). Either way, it’s beautiful and saintly and heavy hitting! She’s one blessed (and beautiful!) little girl! (And other than Rachel’s Twitter, I think it’s very possible you’re hearing it here first, because even her Wiki page only notes the birth of a daughter, it doesn’t list her name.)
Ok, so I don’t know a whole heckuva lot about Rachel Campos-Duffy and her husband Sean. I do know:
— They met on MTV’s Road Rules All Stars in 1998
— Sean’s a congressman (Wisconsin’s seventh district)
— He’s one of eleven children
— They gave their children super duper Catholic names:
They reportedly recently welcomed baby #7 (a girl!), but I haven’t been able to find out the new baby’s name. Anyone?
Happy Awesome Feast Day!
My second was due on the Feast of the Assumption, and when I told my friend’s mom my due date, she said, “Oh! If you have a girl you can name her …”
(I *ahem* assumed [!] she meant Assumpta, but no)
Susan? Turns out that many people of Italian descent have used the name Susan as the English “translation” of the common Italian name Assunta. A quick internet search revealed that it’s not uncommon for American women with the given name Assunta to go by Susan—there is even an art gallery called the Assunta Fox Gallery, which is owned by and showcases the art of Susan Volpe. “Volpe” in Italian means “fox,” so Susan Volpe=Assunta Fox. Clever!
Certainly there’s no etymological connection between Assunta and Susan, but my guess is that it may have evolved because of the similarity in sound between the two? Do any of you know more about this? It makes me think that Susan and its relations could be considered Marian … do you agree? Especially with their meaning being both “lily” (in Hebrew) and “rose” (in modern Hebrew) (so is the “lily” Hebrew “regular Hebrew”? Or “old Hebrew”?) — which both have Marian connections.
I hope you all have a faaaaaaabulous holy day and weekend! Holy days=celebrations — be sure to live it up!! 😀
Abby at Appellation Mountain is discussing Aranza today, one of the fastest-rising girl’s names of 2014 according to the SSA stats and a diminutive of the Marian name Arantzazu. It’s a pretty great write-up, be sure to check it out!
What do you think of Aranza? Do you know anyone in real life with this name?
So the name world has been holding its breath in gleeful, frantic anticipation of the release by the Social Security Administration of 2014’s most popular names — and this morning it happened! (Which you probably all know already anyway, because the first to know and share I am not and likely never will be.)
I’m not a number cruncher or a trend spotter (like Abby: here and here), so I have no further analysis than my bullets above (which were spelled out in the article), but I will say: Mother Mary did pretty darn well for herself.
Consider that Mia and Ava are both in the top ten — neither necessarily Marian, but they could be, with Mia having traditional use as a nickname for Maria (see Mia Farrow, born the gorgeously reverent Maria de Lourdes) and Ava being a variant of Eve (like how Mary’s the New Eve). I’ve also seen Ava paired with Maria in Catholic families because of Ava Maria’s similarity to Ave Maria (Hail Mary in Latin).
And those fastest rising girls’ names are not actually “rooted in Latin soap operas” as was asserted in the article — certainly I get that their use in the telenovelas is what made them spike in popularity here, but their roots are Marian — Aranza is a diminutive of Aran(t)zazu, from a Basque word meaning “thornbush,” stemming from an apparition of Our Lady on a thornbush in Spain; Montserrat and its alternate spelling Monserrat are also used to honor Our Lady, as there’s a Marian shrine in Montserrat and the associated title Our Lady of Montserrat. (Weirdly enough, I did a consultation recently for a mama who asked for unusual Catholic names, and Arantxa was one I gave her, which is also a diminutive of Arantzazu. Never in a trillion years did I think Arantxa’s sister Aranza would be in the list of top 1000 girls’ names in the U.S.!)
So that’s what this Catholic baby name lover gets out of the new SSA stats! My final word: Mother Mary for the win! 😉 ❤