Baby name consultation: Saintly, possibly Marian name needed for baby no. 5!

Happy Monday, everyone! Enjoy this week’s consultation by Theresa Zoe Williams!

Mama Sarah writes in for help naming her fifth child, a little green bean. Baby will join big siblings:

Liam Henry

Josephine Elizabeth

Isaac David

Naomi Evangeline

She says:

Always a fan of Saint names, especially saints who had a special love for Mary.

Plus James (grandpa), Patrick (husband’s patron saint), Alice (an aunt who passed away this year). I feel kinda funny taking names from a country that we have no heritage from… but that is not an absolute. Our backgrounds are from Poland, Germany, Ireland, England, France, and Omaha Indian. We like names that have a good nickname too.”

So many fun things to consider!

Names they like but aren’t sold on:

Boys- Maximilian (after St. Maximilian Kolbe), James, Felix, Patrick, Ezra. Leaning towards Maximilian James or Felix James. Looking for more options…

Girls- Gianna Catherine (both saints with feast days near my due date, plus I have a special place for St Catherine of Sienna), Veronica Catherine, Zita Rose, Viviana Therese, Annalice Catherine. Open to other options, just haven’t had anything really stick out as a winner.”

I love so many of these names.

Names they can’t use:

Pretty much have crossed off any top 10 names and anything difficult to spell or not phonetic.”

Additionally, they cannot use:

  • Matthew
  • Joshua
  • Benjamin
  • Michael
  • Samuel
  • Benedict
  • Luke
  • Noah
  • Cameron
  • Caleb
  • Ryan
  • Cyrus
  • Thomas
  • Blaise
  • Peter
  • Simon
  • Abigail
  • Rachel
  • Julianna
  • Audrey
  • Ruth
  • Zoe
  • Kathleen

On to names!

First, about the names they like but aren’t totally feeling.

Maximilian — I love this name for them. I love that it’s Polish and connected to a very Marian saint. It goes so well with their other kids, too. I especially love Maximilian James.

Felix — I love that this is their other frontrunner right now. Goes great with their other kids and has the bonus of meaning “happy” which is just such a bright, fun meaning for a kid. Felix James is incredibly handsome.

James — I like this in the middle spot for them and I love that it’s an honor name. I really feel like
this has to be their son’s middle name if they have a boy. It’s just so loaded with goodness for
them.

Patrick — Great, solid name that goes well with the other kids. I love that it honors dad in a different way. You just cannot go wrong with a little Patrick.

Ezra — I wasn’t expecting to see this on their list and I’m so glad it is! It’s fun and unique but still fits in with the other kids. I can see why this doesn’t feel like “the one” though.

Gianna- I was surprised to see this on their list because it’s so different from their other girls’ names. That’s not a bad thing! It would definitely widen their taste. I felt this way about most of the names on their girl list, actually. Gianna Catherine is a beautiful name and I love the connection to saints’ feasts near Sarah’s due date and her love of St. Catherine of Siena.

Veronica — Great name, surprised to see it on their list, think it goes well with their other girls. I
love the nickname Vera for this name, too. Veronica Catherine is so chic.

Zita Rose — Completely and utterly surprised by this name in a good way. They’re actually a little more daring than their other kids’ names and facts Sarah gave me imply!

Viviana Therese — Beautiful name. I love this expanded version of classic Vivian and gives their taste in names a much more romance language vibe than their current kids. It fits right in and yet expands their taste at the same time.

Annalice — At first I was confused by this spelling of Anneliese but then realized the “Alice” portion is to honor their aunt who passed. I love this. I think it’s a really sweet spin on a name that fits right in with their other kids. Annalice Catherine is just so full of meaning and gorgeous. This would be at the top of my list for them. The only thing is that they’ll constantly have to spell and correct pronunciation of it for the rest of her life.

On to some new ideas! Let’s start with the girls.

(1) Emilia

Two things gave me this idea for them, their Polish heritage and that their other two girls have middle names that begin with E. Servant of God Emilia Wojtyla was Pope St. John Paul II’s mother. So she’s Polish, an almost saint, and her name begins with E. This name is also a little more romance-language inspired than their current kids’ names but like the ones on their not quite list. Catherine Emilia and Annalice Emilia are both beautiful. As a bonus, here are some other E names I thought they might like in the middle spot: Edith, Esther, and Eleanor.

(2) Miriam

This is an Old Testament name like Naomi and also a form of Mary, putting it on par with Josephine. I loved that this form of Mary gave them an Old Testament connection and is less popular than other Mary variants. Miriam Edith, Miriam Emilia, Miriam Esther, Miriam Eleanor, and Miriam Catherine are all really stunning and go beautifully with their other kids’ names.

(3) Tamar

I was thinking of different Old Testament names that fit with Josephine and Naomi and this one came to mind. She was a daughter-in-law of Judah and a daughter of King David, which I thought was a cool connection to Sarah’s husband David, like Isaac is a cool connection to Sarah. Servant of God Dorothy Day named her daughter Tamar Teresa and I’ve always thought that’s beautiful. Tamar Catherine and Tamar Emilia are also really beautiful.

(4) Phoebe

This one came up while I was looking for Biblical names and thought it was a great fit for them. It means “bright, pure”, so it has a similar meaning to Catherine and is the name of a saint who was a friend of St. Paul’s (you can read about her in Romans). It stretches their naming style just a little bit without going crazy but still fits in really well. Phoebe Catherine is beautiful but the meanings may be a little redundant. If they think that’s the case, I also love Phoebe Esther and Phoebe Emilia.

(5) Tabitha

Another name that popped up while I was researching Biblical names. She was the woman restored to life by St. Peter and I’ve always thought that was really cool. Tabby is a cute nickname and Tabitha Catherine, Tabitha Emilia, and Tabitha Eleanor are all really stunning.

Now for the boys!

(1) Dominic

When Sarah said they like saints who honor Mary and already had Maximillian on their list, this was the next name I thought of. Mary gave the Rosary to St. Dominic and he founded the Dominicans. As a plus, the name means “of the Lord” which is super cool and sweet! Dominic James is such a handsome name and fits right in with the other kids.

(2) Bruno

I thought of this name because they said they have German heritage. Little known fact, but Bruno is actually a German name! Even though places like Italy and Spain use the name quite a bit, too. St. Bruno founded the Carthusians. The name means “armor, protection” or “brown” and I think the armor meaning is particularly cool for a little boy. I like that this name is short and sweet like their other two boys. Bruno James is cool and grounded.

(3) Louis

The next Marian saint that came to mind was St. Louis de Montfort who is famous for writing a consecration to Jesus through Mary and True Devotion to Mary. The name also means “famous battle” which is cool for a little boy. I’m super fond of the nickname Lou, too. The only drawback here is if they care if any of their kids share initials. A Liam and a Louis might be too much for them? Louis James is so classically handsome.

(4) Edmund

I was looking up Polish saints and Bl. Edumnd Bojanowski came up. He founded or co-founded four religious congregations devoted, in some way, to Mary, which I thought was cool for them. The name Edmund means “rich protection” and doesn’t rank in the 1000 of baby names. Edmund James is stunning.

(5) John Paul

Maybe a little obvious? Personally, this is the only double first name I like. The obvious connection here is to Pope St. John Paul II who was extremely Marian and, bonus, he was Polish. John means “Yahweh is gracious” and Paul means “small, humble” and I just think they’re so powerful together. John Paul fits right in with their other kids, too, and John Paul James has a beautiful, strong rhythm and flow.

These are my suggestions. What do you think?


I’m back on hiatus from doing consultations (though check back from time to time, as I hope to open up a few spots here and there as I’m able), but Theresa Zoe Williams is available to help you! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

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: Eloise Josephine!

Becca’s consultation was the first of the five I opened up for January, and when I posted it, she was expecting the baby any day — her first girl after four boys! I was so excited to hear from her that she and her husband had given their daughter the long-loved and beautiful name … Eloise Josephine!

As Becca had said in the consultation, “I swore if I would have a girl I would name her Eloise. So this whole pregnancy I’ve pretty much been trying to find a middle name that I like with Eloise but I can’t seem to find ‘the one’” — I’m so happy that she did! Eloise Josephine is absolutely gorgeous!

Congratulations to Becca and her husband and big brothers Henry, Theodore, Everett, and Oliver, and happy birthday Baby Eloise!!


I’m back on hiatus from doing consultations (though check back from time to time, as I hope to open up a few spots here and there as I’m able), but Theresa Zoe Williams is available to help you! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

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: Annunziata Lucille!

I had the great honor of posting birth announcements for Teresa and her husband’s first two babies (here and here), and got the best email the other day in which Teresa let me know they just welcomed a third baby — a little girl with the beyond-amazing name … Annunziata Lucille!

Teresa writes,

It’s been about a year and a half since I last emailed you … announcing the arrival of our second (Benedict Campion Marie), so now I’m here to share we welcomed a little girl to our family! Annunziata Lucille.

I don’t remember how I came across Annunziata, but when I did I knew it would be her name. The annunciation! Our Lady’s beautiful response to God’s will! What’s not to love. I pray that our daughter will also have a beautiful response to God’s will in her life. I often sing the Angelus in Latin to her (the first line has her name! Sort of!) What a gift that her name alone encourages me to prayer. So far we’ve been calling her Nunzi, [big brother] Emil likes to call her Baby Nunzia. Occasionally we also call her Annunzia.

Lucille is a family name, my grandma’s, my aunt’s middle, my middle, my niece’s first and another niece’s middle. I think I’ve known my whole life that if I had a daughter she would have the name Lucille.

We had a home birth this time and my Aunt (Miriam Lucille), was planning to come from California to stay with us for a week, and we were all hoping she would be here for the birth to help with the boys. She picked her birthday to come, which also ended up being Nunzi’s birthday! Isn’t that just providential?

Thank you for always being excited to hear name stories and celebrate new life with us!

Isn’t Annunziata Lucille a simply stunning name?! And Nunzi is such a sweet nickname!! I absolutely love Teresa and her husband’s somewhat eclectic naming style that is also held tightly together by virtue of each name being totally, impeccably tied to our beautiful faith. You know I love bold Catholic naming!!

Congratulations to Teresa and her husband and big brothers Emil and Benedict, and happy birthday Baby Annunziata!!

Annunziata Lucille with her big brothers ❤


I’m back on hiatus from doing consultations (though check back from time to time, as I hope to open up a few spots here and there as I’m able), but Theresa Zoe Williams is available to help you! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

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!

Sibling Project: Fulton

Longtime readers might remember that I’d started what I call the Sancta Nomina Sibling Project a few years ago. It was an attempt to supplement the info in the Baby Name Wizard (affiliate link) with Catholic-specific data, and to also provide info on names that don’t have their own entries in the BNW. So far I’ve taken the information you’ve shared and combined it with my own thoughts/ideas/experiences for the names Kateri, John Paul, and T(h)eresa (all listed on this page), and it looks like I started working on a profile for Therese as well (I’ll try to finish that up soon). In light of the loss of the BNW tools on its now-defunct web site, I’m feeling inspired to start it up again. After finishing the Therese profile, I’d like to focus on Fulton, which does not have its own entry in the BNW.

According to the Social Security Administration database, Fulton was a top 1000 name for a few years early in the 20th century before dropping out of the top 1000 altogether.

Digging deeper in the most recent years, these are the number of babies given the name Fulton from 2000 through 2020:

  • 2020: 69
  • 2019: 65
  • 2018: 34
  • 2017: 53
  • 2016: 42
  • 2015: 35
  • 2014: 55
  • 2013: 28
  • 2012: 30
  • 2011: 24
  • 2010: 14
  • 2009: 14
  • 2008: 11
  • 2007: 9
  • 2006: 12
  • 2005: 19
  • 2004: 13
  • 2003: 15
  • 2002: 9
  • 2001: 10
  • 2000: 18

(To go back further, go here — I used the National Data.)

It’s notable that Bishop Fulton Sheen was declared Venerable in 2012; it would be interesting to see if the numbers changed in light of his death in 1979. Also, from his first broadcast on the radio in 1926 through the many years he was on TV and until his death, his popularity in America only increased — I would imagine the name did as well (though still staying out of the top 1000, which I find strange given that it was in the top 1000 before he was ever known — does anyone know why?). I plan to look at those numbers when pulling together the info from your comments in my final “entry” on the Sibling Project page.

Fulton is a Catholic surnamey name (which, in my mind, always also includes place names, because of their usage in Saints’ names as a sort of surname: e.g., St. Catherine of Siena). However, I’ve seen parents choose Fulton who don’t otherwise seem into surnamey names, which I assume is due to the fact that, for many people, their primary familiarity with the name is only as a first name (albeit an unusual/unique one). Furthermore, Fulton wasn’t even Ven. Fulton Sheen’s given name — rather, his given name was Peter John, but he went by his mother’s maiden name, Fulton. Further further, not only is it a surname but it’s an Irish one as well. So there are a few reasons that parents might like Fulton:

  • it’s an obviously Catholic name
  • it’s an unusual/unique first name (per it’s most famous bearer)
  • it’s actually a nickname (of sorts) (by this I mean, in the case of Ven. Fulton Sheen, it wasn’t his given name) (side note: there are actually a bunch of other famous holy people who we know almost exclusively by names other than their given names — I wrote an article with several examples not too long ago for CatholicMom)
  • it’s a surname
  • it’s Irish

In light of these, if you have given your son the name Fulton or plan to/thought about/have it on your list of serious considerations, which of the reasons listed above fit your reasons? More than one or none at all are totally fine — and if your reason isn’t listed above, please share what your reason(s) is/are?

And I’m eager to hear anything else you know about the name Fulton! Specifically, if you know someone named Fulton (your own child or someone else’s), what are his brothers’ and sisters’ names? What names (boy names and girl names) do you consider to be stylistically similar to Fulton (from a Catholic perspective)? Also, I did a post on nicknames for Fulton over five years ago — I’m sure at this point there are more! Please share the nicknames you’ve heard, or those you think could work!


I’m back on hiatus from doing consultations (though check back from time to time, as I hope to open up a few spots here and there as I’m able), but Theresa Zoe Williams is available to help you! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

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: Classic but unique name with an adventurous feel for a baby boy

You guys! Two consultations in one week! Woo! This one is by Sancta Nomina’s other consultant, Theresa Zoe Williams (if you’d like your own consultation from her, email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com). This baby is going to be born this week or next — your feedback is very helpful for these expectant parents!

Mama Briana writes in for a mini consultation:

We are expecting our 5th child in the next week or two. Short notice! We don’t know the gender but are very decided on a girl name, but not a boy name. Cora Marie (heart of Mary) will be the girl name!

The only potential name for a boy is Theodore Charles (my dad’s middle name)

Our other children’s names are:

Jude Pier

Gabe Wallace 

Milo Francis (twin)

Pia Claire (twin)

I like classic but unique names. For boys especially, we are going for “soldier”/adventure theme

Other names we’ve considered:

  • Naomi (girl)
  • Croix (boy)”

First, my thoughts on the name they sort of like, Theodore Charles. Theodore is a great name and has a similar feel and style to their other kids. I like that Charles honors Brianna’s father. However, it doesn’t feel too “soldiery” or adventurous of a name. I love that they’re considering Croix and think it would be amazing in the middle spot. You want adventurous? That’s adventurous!

But let’s move on to new suggestions and see if something sticks out.

(1) Andrew

He was one of the Apostles and is the patron saint of Army Rangers. He was also the first Apostle to hear Jesus’s preaching and called his brother Simon (Peter) to come listen, too. Lots of adventure going on with this name! Because of his association with the military, I thought this would be great name for them. Perhaps they’d like the nickname version Drew even more? Andrew/Drew Charles and Andrew/Drew Croix are both amazing combos!

(2) Bruno

St. Bruno founded the Carthusian order and that’s pretty adventurous! This name was a style match for some of their other kids and the name means “armor, protection” (or “brown”) which made me think this would be a great fit for them! It’s a little more unusual, but not unheard of, and has a built-in reference to “soldiers”. I really love this name with their other kids. Bruno Charles is a great combo.

(3) Sebastian

St. Sebastian is the patron saint of the military in general and the Army specifically because he was a soldier! This name also has a similar feel and style to their other kids, which made me think this would be a great fit. Sebastian Charles is super handsome and Sebastian Croix is elegant and adventurous!

(4) George

I thought of this name because St. George was a soldier who slew a dragon. He’s also a patron saint of the military. This name is a little more buttoned-up than their other kids but I think it still fits. George Charles is classic and masculine, George Croix is unexpected and cool, and George Theodore is modern and fun.

(5) Luke

I initially thought maybe they’d like Luca but that didn’t quite seem to fit with their other kids. In my research, I found that St. Luke is the patron saint of military physicians and thought what a cool “soldier” connection that is! Luke was also a style match for a few of their other kids so I went with Luke over Luca. The name also means “light” which can be a cool adventure tie-in: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).

These are my thoughts. What do you think?


I’m back on hiatus from doing consultations (though check back from time to time, as I hope to open up a few spots here and there as I’m able), but Theresa Zoe Williams is available to help you! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

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: Some initials-specific rules (hopes) for baby no. 2!

Happy last day of January! I always feel more hopeful when January is over — February brings with it the promise of spring, after all!

I start work again today after the Christmas break, so things will quiet down a bit around here. That said, I do have some posts already scheduled for later this week, and I hope (hope hope hope) that I can keep adding content each week — I’ll have consultations from Theresa to post as she has them (email her if you’d like one at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com!); hopefully more birth announcements; and I’m going to try to be better about doing meatier/nitty gritty posts too. We’ll see! My intentions are good, and hope springs eternal! I’ve so enjoyed my more frequent posting over January (maybe January isn’t so bad after all!), and reading all your comments, and doing some consultations. I will never not be so so grateful for this beautiful ministry and community!

Here is the fourth of the five consultations I opened up for January — I hope it makes your Monday a little brighter!

K and her husband are expecting their second baby and second girl! This little lady joins big sister:

Eleanor Lynn called Nora (Hubby “loved the name Nora but I prefer a more formal option which is how we eventually settled on Eleanor“)

I absolutely love their daughter’s name! Eleanor Lynn nn Nora is so lovely, and I love that Eleanor nn Nora was a way of marrying K’s husband’s preference with her own. Perfect!

K writes,

I may be a bit quirky with my name preferences … and that’s exactly where I think you’ll be so helpful! I don’t want to repeat any initials so J, K, E, and N are out as well as H as I don’t want to be alliterative with our last name. We’d like something that has formal options and a modern nickname for daily use. A true wish list is a name that, like Eleanor, starts with one initial but whose nickname has another. That feels kind of like a unicorn, so not a must. An obvious and common reference/tie to a saint is also preferred.” 

Family names that they would be open to using include:

  • Martha (husband “is not sold, but I would love to use this name somehow. It was my grandmother’s name and is my aunt’s name … I think I could convince him if it was in the middle, or masked a bit … like Emmy for Martha Elizabeth“)
  • Elizabeth
  • Katherine 
  • Feminized Thomas or Anthony (for K’s father)

Names they can’t use include:

  • Madelyn/Maddy
  • Chloe
  • Ruby
  • Wren
  • Mary

And names that they like but can’t commit to include:

  • Gwendolyn (“I like nn Winnie, he’s not sold … Gwendolyn Martha is also the only name I’ve found where Martha fits in the middle“)
  • Margaret
  • Lydia (“doesn’t feel like it strikes the right balance of formal and nickname“)
  • Audrey (“same as Lydia“)
  • Claire (“same as Lydia“) 
  • Claudia (Hubby likes, “but it doesn’t fit with Nora in my mind and I can’t think of a good nickname“)
  • I like Teresa (Tess), Matilda (Tilly) and Vivian (Vivi) but haven’t been able to convince him on any

I’m just dying over K’s hope for a given name with a nickname that starts with a different initial. How fun! Such a great challenge and goal! I will say, though, that since she doesn’t want to repeat initials, having given names and nicknames with different initials will deplete the pool of acceptable initials pretty quickly — just something to keep in mind going forward. I do have to say — I would be completely blown away by a sibset that had all given first names with different-initial first names! That would be amazing! I would love to help K and her husband come up with names like that for all of their future children! But like she said, that would be a total unicorn, and probably not very realistic given that she and her hubby have different tastes in names. (Which is fine! And good! Not a problem at all!)

So first, I’ll offer my thoughts on the names K mentioned liking, in case they’re helpful:

  • Martha: I love this challenge as well — trying to find a way to work in Martha. It would be so great if K could find a way to use it that her husband is okay with! Her idea of Emmy for Martha Elizabeth is ah-MAZ-ing!! It seems to check all K’s boxes — this is definitely one of my favorite ideas for this family!
  • Elizabeth, Katherine: Both Elizabeth and Katherine are great names; I also thought K might like to consider Beth and Kate as middle names — they might flow better with certain first names than the longer Elizabeth/Katherine. I wanted to suggest Elizabeth as a first name, since it has a bazillion nickname options, most of which don’t start with the letter E, but not only does Elizabeth repeat Eleanor’s initial, it also repeats the first two letters of Eleanor — that does seem a little much. It’s fantastic as a middle name though (see Martha Elizabeth above!).
  • Feminized Thomas or Anthony: This is such a nice idea! Tamsin is my favorite feminized Thomas name — it’s a contracted form of Thomasina, and I actually love Tamsin with Eleanor, as Tamsin is a traditional Cornish name, which makes an Eleanor-and-Tamsin pair of sisters feel like characters in an English storybook. How fun! If they like the idea of Tamsin, Tammy’s an obvious nickname, though that doesn’t feel like their style … They could maybe do a mashup nickname, like Tamsin Elizabeth nn Tally? Tamsin Kate nn Tate? Tamsin Katherine nn Tarin? Or put Tamsin in the middle, like Martha Tamsin nn Missy? Or maybe they’d like the full Thomasina? Thomasina Kate or Thomasina Beth nn Tamsin, or nn Tommy/Tommie? Missy could work as a nickname for Thomasina too (I love Missy, I think it’s so sweet). I’ve also seen Sina as a nickname for Thomasina. As for Anthony, Antonia is actually a style match for Claudia on K’s husband’s list! It would be a really striking and unexpected middle name; as a first name, they could do Annie, Andi, Tia, or Toni as nicknames. I also have a friend named Antoinette (she goes by the full Antoinette) and a little girl in one of my boys’ class is Antonella — both of those are lovely options to honor a man with Anthony in his name. Or … Toinette is a short form of Antoinette (a legit name) and I’m just thinking that Martha Toinette is kind of gorgeous! Mette could work as a nickname, said like “met,” but also Mette is a Danish diminutive of Margaret and is said like “meta.” Kind of cool!
  • Gwendolyn: Like with Martha Elizabeth nicknamed Emmy, I think K’s Gwendolyn Martha is a fantastic combo! I love the rhythm — I agree with her that Gwendolyn and Martha really sound nice together. Winnie is a great option as a nickname; Wendy can also work. One thing I can’t figure out is if I love that it ends in -lyn, thus mirroring Nora’s middle name, or if I think it’s a bad thing to have Nora’s middle name Lynn and a first name for their second daughter that contains “lyn.”
  • Margaret: Margaret’s got some great different-initial nicknames, like Greta, Daisy, and Rita. I also like Meg, Maggie, and Molly as nicknames for Margaret (Molly isn’t actually related to Margaret, being that Molly is an Irish form of Mary, but I do hear of little Margarets called Molly from time to time. I really like Molly as a sister to Nora!).
  • Lydia: I can see what K means here … if it helps, I love the nickname Liddy and had it on my own list as a nickname for Elizabeth; it obviously works even better as a nickname for Lydia.
  • Audrey: Lydia doesn’t really feel like Eleanor’s sister to me (though if they love it, then who cares!), but Audrey does! There aren’t any obvious nicknames that I can think of for Audrey though … the work “tawdry” actually comes from the name Audrey (specifically St. Audrey) — it’s not a good word, but it makes me think of Tawny, which is kind of a cute name — maybe Audrey Katherine nn Tawny?
  • Claire: Yes, it is a bummer that Claire also doesn’t have any traditional nicknames! (Though there are some people who find that aspect of Claire perfect for them). I like how Martha Claire sounds — maybe a mashup nickname from that? Like … Maggie (like Mackey, but not), Molly (from the L), or Marley? I could see using a longer nickname like Clairey for Claire … or using a longer name with Claire/Clare as the nickname, like Clairvaux or Claret. Or even Martha Claire who goes by her middle name — I actually really like that idea!
  • Claudia: Claudia is such an intriguing name to me — it’s so classic and traditional but I almost never hear it in real life, and even less on a baby! I think maybe it’s because it’s got clunky sounds that haven’t recently been in style — but I think they’re coming back! Think Agatha and Barbara, for example — both names I’ve heard on babies recently. As for nicknames, I feel like the mashup idea could work. Maybe Claudia Katherine nn Cla(i)re or Carly?
  • Teresa/Tess: Tess is one of my favorites!! It was pretty certainly going to be our second girl’s name, as a nickname for Elizabeth (but we had all boys, so never even got to our first girl’s name!). Maybe it could be a nickname for Tamsin?
  • Matilda/Tilly: This is a brilliant option — I love Matilda as Eleanor’s sister, and I love Tilly as Nora’s sister. And it’s a given name with a different-initial nickname! Amazing!
  • Vivian/Vivi: I love Vivi, I think it’s such a cute nickname! I have some other Vivi ideas below.

So I think K and her hubby have a lot of good ideas already, and a lot of good potential ideas as well! Now on to new ones!

You all know that I always start a consultation by looking up the names the parents have 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. I did so for this family, keeping an eye out for any different-initial firstname-nickname ideas, and of course avoiding repeating any of the initials they already have in their family. I actually really love when there are a lot of rules — it makes for a really fun challenge! I’m excited to see what K and her hubby think of the following:

(1) Amelia nn Amy, Lia, Mia, Millie, Melia

Amelia is a specific match for Eleanor, as well as for Matilda, and has a bunch of non-A nicknames (as well as an A nickname, if they decide not to worry about that particular thing): Amy, Lia, Mia, Millia, and Melia. They could do Ally/Allie, too, if they like. Of those, I particularly like Millie as Nora’s sister, and its similarity to Tilly and Winnie makes me think K will like it! Unfortunately, it does mean that Tilly would be out for the future, which K will have to come to terms with if she likes this idea …

(2) Penelope nn Penny, Pippa, Polly, Posy

Penelope is a match for Gwendolyn and Matilda, so great! I’ve seen Lola offered as a nickname for it, which fits K’s different-initial hope, but I’m not sure Lola feels like this family to me? (Though I love Lola!) Nell is another different-initial nickname, which feels a lot more like them, but repeats Nora’s initial. So maybe the P nicknames are best to consider — there are some great ones! I love Penny, Pippa, Polly, and Posy as ideas, so sweet! Abby from Appellation Mountain did a whole post on unexpected Penelope nicknames here. I also love how Penelope Martha sounds!

(3) Caroline/a

Caroline is a match for Katherine, Margaret, and Claire — such a beautiful, classic name! I love it as Eleanor’s sister. Carrie and Carly are C nicknames; I’ve suggested Lola to other parents as a nickname for Caroline; and if they do Carolina, they could consider Lina as well. Or — maybe Caroline nn Clare could work? And Abby from Appellation Mountain’s daughter’s name is Claire Caroline Wren and she goes by Clio! I don’t mind Caroline Martha — it doesn’t sound bad at all!

(4) Isabel

I’d actually already scribbled down Isabel for this family when I was reading K’s email, before doing any research, because her Martha Elizabeth/Emmy idea reminded me of a little girl I heard about once whose name is Isabelle Verity and she goes by Ivy (I.V.) — I thought that was cool! (I posted other ideas like that here.) And then I discovered Isabel is a match for Claire! I really love it as a sister to Eleanor, too — there’s a sophistication with the pair that is lovely! I still like the Ivy idea; they could also consider Belle/Bella (even with the Isabel spelling), or Isa. I don’t think Isabel Martha sounds terrible!

(5) Veronica

I was surprised (pleasantly so!) to see that Veronica is a match for Claudia, Teresa, and Vivian! It’s such a beautiful name, and so Catholic, and it can take the nickname Vivi that they’re already considering! Other nickname ideas include Ronnie and Ricky, which don’t repeat initials; Nica and Nicky, which do; and Vera, Vero, and Vica.

(6) Genevieve

I wonder if K and her husband might be interested in Genevieve with the nickname Vivi? I like Eleanor and Genevieve together, and I know of several Genevieves who go by Vivi. I don’t hate Genevieve Martha together — the rhythm isn’t quite as good as Gwendolyn Martha, but I don’t think it’s terrible either.

(7) Annabelle nn Anna, Annie, Belle

Annabelle is a style match for Eleanor! I looove the name Annabel(le) — I included Annabel in my book of Marian names because I discovered that it arose in Scotland in the Middle Ages as a variant of Amabel, which is a variant of Amabilis, which is part of the Marian title Mater Amabilis. I love that! The spelling Annabelle adds in the Anna+Belle idea, which is lovely. Nicknames include the same-initial ones like Anna, Annie, and even Abby, and the different-initial ones like Belle/Bella. I also love Annabelle Martha — a very cool combo! — and it could also allow for the nickname Amy (like Missy, I love Amy — such a sweet, old-fashioned nickname that is dropping in popularity after a huge resurgence, which makes it perfect in my opinion).

(8) Susanna nn Zuzu (or Anna/Annie)

I spent some time trying to think of names that have different-initial nickname possibilities, and after weeding out the ones that repeat K’s family initials (like Josephine nn Sophie or Posy and Julia nn Lia) or that don’t seem their style (Dolores nn Lola; Magdalena nn Lena or Dolly), one of the ones that was left that I love for this family is Susanna with the nickname Zuzu. While I’m nervous for K and her hubby that going down the path of trying to stick with different-initial nicknames while not repeating any initials already used will set them up for running out of names, Zuzu is the kind of nickname that is unlikely to cause problems because there are so few names that begin with Z — I don’t think using a Z name now will reduce their future possibilities at all! Zuzu is a traditional nickname for the Susan names (and the name of George Bailey’s daughter in It’s a Wonderful Life!). If they like Susanna but not Zuzu, they could also do Anna or Annie as different-initial nicknames (Susie/Suzy/Sue are also possibilities of course).

(9) Lucille or Louisa nn Lucy

My last idea is 100% inspired by Nora — Lucy is a style match for her, and since K specifically said that Lydia, Audrey, and Claire don’t “strike the right balance of formal and nickname,” I thought she might like the idea of Lucille nn Lucy or Louisa nn Lucy. I particularly like Louisa as a sister to Eleanor, though I know that Lucy is not a traditional nickname for it (I think it’s brilliant though!).

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What name(s) and nickname(s) would you suggest for Eleanor/Nora’s little sister?


The five baby name consultation openings I had for January have been taken, but Theresa is available to help you out! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

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: Retta Joy!

I posted a consultation for Ashley and husband last spring, and I’m excited to share that their baby girl has been born and given the fantastic name … Retta Joy!

Ashley writes,

We named her Retta Joy. She is named after St. Gianna Beretta Molla and St. Joseph as the Scottish name for carpenter is Rett (this would have been our boy name, Rett Thomas).”

Isn’t Retta Joy such a beautiful and unexpected name?! I love the connection with Rett for St. Joseph!! (Read more about the connection here.) How cool!! And for Retta to be for St. Gianna too — so many layers of meaning! Such a great job!!

( As a side note, my grandmother was Mary Loretta and she went by Rett with her friends — Loretta is a nod to Our Lady of Loreto, so if they wanted to include an additional Marian connection to their little Retta, that could work!)

Congratulations to Ashley and her husband and big sisters Emma Grace, Kennedy Faith, and Lillian Hope, and happy birthday Baby Retta Joy!!


The five baby name consultation openings I had for January have been taken, but Theresa is available to help you out! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

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!

An important resource is gone

You guys. I was working on a consultation the other night and couldn’t find what I needed in my trusty Baby Name Wizard book, so I went to babynamewizard.com to use the Name Matchmaker tool, only to find … babynamewizard.com, and all its tools, is no more. I’m devastated.

Laura Wattenberg, the creator of and brain behind The Baby Name Wizard (the amazing book, the amazing site, the site’s amazing tools [Name Matchmaker, Name Finder]) (I’m still thrilled and amazed and so grateful that she wrote an endorsement for my own name book!), had posted recently on her new site, Namerology, that the BNW site had been shut down by its new owners, but I didn’t really think that meant it was *shut down,* like, *not existing anymore* — I figured it just meant it was no longer progressing, it was just staying as it was forever and its info would become outdated.

I used to spend hours reading the threads on the BNW discussion boards, and I’ve used the site’s tools heavily for my own naming and in consultations. Laura still posts great, meaty content on Namerology, and she does have some name tools (but not the kind that offer style matches, which I have learned so much from and really rely on) and a discussion forum that I’ll have to look into some more, but it’s not the same.

When I was working on the consultation and discovered I could no longer access the Name Matchmaker, I went to Nymbler, which was also created by Laura, and was a precursor to the BNW stuff. I hadn’t used it in a while, and was surprised at its new look and the new way it works … I can’t tell yet if I think it will be helpful or not (though it did help me with the particular thing I was working on the other night).

Anyway. This is such an end to era! The baby naming world has suffered a real loss.


The five baby name consultation openings I had for January have been taken, but Theresa is available to help you out! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

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: Lawrence Joseph David!

I posted a consultation for Beth and her husband back in May (after posting a consultation and birth announcement for their third baby a few years ago — I love watching the Sancta Nomina families grow!), and am so happy to share that they’ve welcomed their baby boy and given him the tremendous name … Lawrence Joseph David! And they’re calling him Laurie!

Beth writes,

Lawrence Joseph David was born October 17, and we couldn’t be happier! This baby was such a hard one to name; even as we filled out his birth certificate application at the hospital, we were still a bit uncertain! But what really decided it for us was hearing his 3 siblings calling him “baby Laurie” as we FaceTimed them from the hospital. So far we call him Laurie almost exclusively, but some extended family call him Lawrence. We figure with 3 such strong names, he’ll have his choice of names and nicknames as he grows 🙂 we ultimately went with the 2 middle names to honor both grandpas (Brian Joseph and David) and also St. Joseph for the year of St. Joseph and King David, my husband’s confirmation saint. And as described in my original post, St. Lawrence has a particular connection to us because I entered the Church on his feast day: receiving my first communion, being confirmed, and having my and my husband’s marriage blessed (so it’s a second anniversary for us). Also in our research before this baby was born, we found out he is one of the patron Saints of librarians, which made us laugh because my husband and I met while working at a library and we actually got engaged in that same library! With all of those invitations from St. Lawrence, we felt like it was time to name a baby for him 🙂 “

I agree with Beth — it definitely seems like one of her babies had to be named after St. Lawrence!! And I LOVE that they’re calling him Baby Laurie — I’ve heard from many of you that you would love to get your husbands/families on board with a Lawrence nn Laurie, it’s so fun to see it actually happen!

Congratulations to Beth and her husband and big sibs Charlie, Cate, and Henry (and Felicity in heaven), and happy birthday Baby Lawrence (Laurie)!!

Lawrence Joseph David


The five baby name consultation openings I had for January have been taken, but Theresa is available to help you out! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

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: Boy name needed for rainbow baby that fits with big sibs

Happy Monday, feast of St. Francis de Sales! He’s one of my favorite Saints and one I’ve taken as a personal patron because he’s a patron of writers. St. Francis de Sales, pray for us! Here’s the third of my five January consultations — enjoy!

I posted a consultation for Sara and her husband when they were expecting their twin girls several years ago, and then posted a birth announcement for her beautiful babies, and I’m so excited that Sara’s expecting again! This little one joins big sibs:

Landon Thomas

Brooks Grayson

Caroline Rose (Cali)

Evelyn Pearl (Evie)

I have always loved their taste in names — Landon, Brooks, Caroline/Cali, and Evelyn/Evie is just such an attractive bunch!

Though they don’t know if this baby is a boy or girl, they have some solid ideas for girls, so they need help with boy names. One thing that Sara shared that I didn’t previously know is that she lost a third baby during her pregnancy with the girls, and they’d like to consider using Everett as the baby’s middle name if they have a boy, in honor of the baby they lost. Additionally, Sara writes,

We could also use my husband’s name, Erich, or his middle name, Edward, as a middle if it needed to be shorter. That’s all assuming this is a baby boy! We are going to have it be a surprise but I’ve had so many dreams that this baby is a boy I’m really focusing on boy names for now. With all my others I dreamt their gender early on and it was correct.”

For style considerations, names on their girl list include:

  • Rosalie/Rosalind Grace nn Rosie
  • Margaret Grace
  • Magnolia “Maggie” Grace (“both of my husband’s grandmothers are Margaret so either of the last two options feels like a nice honorary name with the nickname Maggie“)

For a boy, names they’ve considered include (in order of preference):

  • Theo (“cannot use Theodore and also don’t like a third boy being Theodore because of those darn chipmunks 🙂 Love the meaning, “God’s Gift,” and that feels so relevant to the story I told you above. I like this name a lot, however, it sort of feels like a nickname and it seems very trendy right now, I know a Teddy and two Theodores off the top of my head, one of which is my cousin’s new baby! And my boys despise it for some reason although my husband likes this option“)
  • Rowan/Owen (“like both of these … Rowan is a nice option that we keep going back and forth about although it doesn’t have any real personal significance“)
  • August (“I love this one, husband thinks it’s weird that he wouldn’t actually be born in August and maybe thinks it’s a little pretentious? I love the nickname Auggie but may not be able to convince him about this
    one
    “)
  • Jasper (“like this option but not sure about the -er ending” [their last name ends in -er])
  • Max/Maxwell (“Maybe not in keeping as well with the other kid’s names. I want all the names to feel like they belong together although this is still a cute name“)
  • Julian
  • Phoenix (“feels especially relevent because of the “rising from the ashes” but honestly, I just don’t think the name fits with the other kids and the association with the city is not my favorite. Plus I can never spell it correctly!“)

Names they can’t use include:

  • Phineus/Finn
  • Felix
  • Oliver

And finally, Sara would prefer names with meaning/significance that aren’t “overly odd/unique but not super popular (like in the top 5) and goes well with all of the other kids … Lastly, I would prefer not to repeat initials with the other kids since it’s hard enough to keep everyone straight as it is!

Okay, let me first offer my thoughts on the names currently on their list for a boy, in case they’re helpful:

  • Theo: (The “chipmunks” comment made me laugh!) Theo can certainly work on its own — it’s no. 172 on the SSA list for 2020 as a given name, which means it’s both not unheard of as a given name (check out this little Theo as one example), and also far less popular than Theodore (no. 23). Theophilus (a biblical name) and Theobald are two names that can take Theo as a nickname that are less popular than Theodore (neither one are in the top 1000). I wonder what Sara and her hubby would think of Thaddeus? I often think of Theodore and Thaddeus as being two sides of the same coin — in fact, I posted about this very idea once ages ago, with that very title! Theodore and Thaddeus can both take Ted as a nickname (I know a Thaddeus called Ted), and I don’t even think it’s necessarily a stretch to say that Theo can work as a nickname idea for Thaddeus. If they like Thaddeus but not Ted or Theo as nicknames for it, Thad and Tad/Taddy are also possibilities. Regarding its meaning, it’s actually possible that Thaddeus means the same thing as Theodore! I love the name Thaddeus. Also, Matthew and its variants (Matthias etc.) also mean “God’s gift.” Thaddeus is no. 789 and Matthew is no. 30.
  • Rowan/Owen: These are both great names! I’m surprised that Rowan is the one that seems to rise to the top for them, as I think Owen feels like it fits better with the other kids. (But of course, who cares — if they love Rowan, they should use it!)
  • August: I LOVE August for this family! I think it’s a great fit for their kids in general, and as a brother to their other boys! I’ve seen others wonder if August is weird for a non-August-born baby, but I think it’s helpful to remember that August has a whole other meaning — it’s an adjective that comes from (according to the dictionary) “the Latin word augustus, meaning ‘consecrated’ or ‘venerable,’” which really ties into the faith and saintly connections (St. Augustine, for one) and is, I assume, why it was used as a name in the first place. That said, I can see how one might think it’s pretentious, since its main dictionary definition includes “marked by majestic dignity or grandeur” and “having a formal and impressive quality,” but I really don’t think that’s what *most* people think when they hear it, as evidenced by the fact that it was given to a fair number of baby boys born in 2020 (ranked no. 155), and the nickname Auggie absolutely brings it into the “easy and friendly” category. I wonder if Sara’s husband would husband find Augustus or Augustine more to his liking?
  • Jasper: I probably would have suggested Jasper to them if it wasn’t already on their list — it’s a great fit with the other kids! That said, I do see what Sara means about the repeating -er ending … I guess I wouldn’t cross it off altogether, but I’m pretty sure there’s a better option for them.
  • Max/Maxwell: I think Maxwell is absolutely in keeping with the other kids’ given names, and Max has a similar feeling to Cali and Evie. I like this option!
  • Julian: Similar to the other names here — I could see it working well!
  • Phoenix: I agree with Sara that it’s a style departure from the other kids’ names, though I, too, appreciate the meaning of “rising from the ashes.” Something interesting that Sara might like is that Phoenix actually means “dark red,” and Rowan is the diminutive of an Irish word meaning “red” (so basically, “little red one”), so Rowan could provide a connection to the Phoenix idea if she wants it to!

Alrighty, on to new ideas! I kept the idea of “names with meaning” (especially the meaning of a baby after loss) in mind when I was doing my usual research, which you’ll see reflected in some of my ideas below. You all know that I always look up the names the parents 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, but I also had some gut-reaction ideas:

(1) Hardy, Garrett

Everett derives from Everard, which means “brave boar,” from the Germanic elements ebur “wild boar” and hard “brave.” (That hard element is also seen in Gerard: ger “spear” plus hard “brave.”) Though of course “boar” doesn’t seem like a meaning anyone would like, “brave” is fantastic, and the element hard is actually where the name Hardy comes from. Hardy is one of my favorites! I think brothers named Landon, Brooks, and Hardy are fantastic together — surname-y and firstname-y at the same time — and I love the more subtle but very real connection to Everett.

If they like this idea, but not Hardy especially, Garrett is derived from Gerard, so would have that same shared hard element with Everett-via-Everard, and I like that it also has the same ending as Everett. Garrett also has that Celtic feel of Rowan, Owen, and can’t-use Finn and Oliver, and also the bit of Country & Western feel that Landon and Brooks can have — very cool!

(2) Malcolm, Ambrose, Royce

I’m listing these three together because they were immediate ideas I had for this family while I was initially reading Sara’s email. Specifically, I wondered if Malcolm nicknamed Mac might be a nice replacement for Maxwell nicknamed Max? Like Garrett, Malcolm has the Celtic feel of Rowan, Owen, Finn, and Oliver, and Mac is just *that much* different from Max that it maybe feels a bit fresher.

I actually can’t remember why Ambrose came to my mind right away! But as I was working on this, I loved discovering that Brody is a style match for Landon, and I’ve seen Brody as a nickname for Ambrose — that could be a cool way to get around the “no repeating initials” rule! I actually really like Brody with Landon and Brooks. But then, I also remembered that Ambrose means “immortal,” which fits right in with the Phoenix idea! I’ve seen Amby used as a nickname for Ambrose, which avoids using another B.

As for Royce, it’s actually a male variant of Rose! Behind the Name says it’s from “a surname that was derived from the medieval given name Royse, a variant of Rose,” and I thought of it when I was reading Sara’s email because of how much she loves the Rose names. Transferring a Rose name to a boy is an unexpected move, but there’s no denying Royce is a masculine name!

(3) Miles

You all know that Miles is one of my favorite names ever! It’s got traditional usage in Ireland as an anglicization of the old Irish name Maolmhuire, which means “devotee of the Virgin Mary” — a totally Marian name hidden in a totally current boy’s name! Specifically for this family, Miles is a style match for both Owen and Maxwell, which I thought was pretty cool. It is rising in popularity so Sara will want to be sure she’s okay with that, but so far it’s still below her “no top 25” threshold (it was no. 59 in 2020).

(4) Bennett, Austin

I’m including these two together because they’re both medieval forms of names that Sara either likes or have a meaning she would like, and they’re both surname-y and firstname-y like Landon and Brooks. Bennett is a medieval form of Benedict, which means “blessed” — a meaning I thought Sara would really appreciate being worked into her little boy’s name. Unfortunately, it repeats Brooks’ initial, but it seems such a good fit for them (even being a style match for Brooks, Everett, Owen, and Maxwell, and having the same ending as Everett) that I didn’t want to not include it. Maybe they’d like it as a middle name?

Austin is a medieval contracted form of Augustine, and Augustine of course comes from august. I know Austin and August have different feels, but the more I thought about it, the more I like how Landon, Brooks, and Austin sound together.

(5) Fulton

Fulton is totally inspired by the surname+firstname feel of Landon and Brooks and of course Fulton Sheen. I love it in this family! I wrote a post a few years ago offering nickname ideas for it (be sure to read the comments too!).

(6) Grant

Grant is a style match for Brooks, but what really encouraged me to include it here are the faith connections — I’ve suggested it a few times in consultations because of them, like how I said in this one (appropriately titled “Rainbow baby needs a meaningful name,” where the parents hoped to maybe honor the baby they lost to SIDS in their new baby’s name): “One possibility might be in Job 6:8, when he says, “Oh, that I might have my request, and that God would grant what I long for” … Another is the beginning of the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”” I’ve also suggested a faith connection can be the part in the Mass where we say, “Grant us peace,” which seems perfect for parents who have suffered loss.

(7) Samuel

Samuel is a match for both Caroline and Evelyn, which I thought could be really cool — Samuel goes great with Landon and Brooks and for it to be a style match for both the girls really loops everyone in together. But beyond that, the story of Hannah in the bible and her fervent prayers for a child — and for Samuel to be the answer to that prayer — can be very meaningful for any woman who has longed for a baby.

(8) John, Henry (John Henry?)

John is one of those ideas that I just had on my own, mostly because of Sara’s idea of considering Everett as a middle name. I think John Everett sounds SO handsome, and I’m loving the idea of Jet(t) as a nickname!

Then I saw that, like Samuel, Henry is a style match for Caroline and Evelyn (as well as Theo and Margaret), so I had to include it! But I was thinking that Sara might prefer a more unexpected name than Henry, so I thought again of John — John Henry is one of the sweetest combos for a little boy, and totally works for a man as well!

Finally, I want to go back to Sara’s love of meanings for a minute, because there are a bunch more names with meanings or connections she might like, so even though they didn’t seem to warrant a place in my list of “official” suggestions, I didn’t want to not mention them, just in case. Because she loves the meaning of Theodore being “gift of God” (Theo alone is the “God” part of that construction) and the connection of Phoenix to “rising from the ashes,” I looked up names meaning/connected to resurrection and Easter, as well as “gift” and “blessed,” and some miscellaneous names showed themselves as well (not all of these feel right [Anastasius] but might spark some inspiration):

Resurrection and Easter (“rising from the ashes”)

  • Anastasius (“resurrection”)
  • Paschal/Pascal (“related to Easter”)

Gift

  • Jesse (possibly meaning “gift”)
  • Matthew et al. (specifically “gift of God” as noted above)

Blessed

  • Asher (I like this one because it has the visual/audial “ash” connection, like “rising from the ashes,” though it actually means “happy, blessed”)
  • Baruch (“blessed”)
  • Benedict (“blessed”)
  • Macarius (“blessed, happy”)

Other

  • Dominic (“of the Lord”) (Jesse Dominic could roughly translate as “gift of the Lord”)
  • Gabriel (some people think of their lost babies as “angel babies,” and Gabriel itself was actually a style match for Julian)
  • Isaac (“he will laugh; he will rejoice”)
  • Kenneth (“born of fire”)

And you might like to take a look at these articles on naming rainbow babies:

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for the little brother of Landon, Brooks, Caroline/Cali, and Evelyn/Evie?


The five baby name consultation openings I had for January have been taken, but Theresa is available to help you out! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

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!