Baby name consultation: Baby no.2/girl no. 2 needs a name that brings together punk rock, Doctor Who, and Catholicism!

Happy Monday, everyone! Enjoy today’s consultation by Theresa!

Mama Jordan writes in asking for help naming their second child, second daughter. They’re just completely stuck! This daughter will join big sister:

Amelia Rose

Jordan says she loves the following names but is having a hard time getting her husband on board: Molly, Madeline, and Isabelle. The only name that Dad has put forth is Haley/Hailey and Mama Jordan only sort of likes that one.

Names they can’t use include Stefanie, Victoria, Michele, Cora, Helen, Christine/Christina, Josephine, Aubrey, Caroline, Penelope, Ariana, and Jocelyn.

They are considering Jane, Claire, and Margaret for middle names.

Jordan and her husband love punk rock, Doctor Who, and Catholicism, making this a super fun consultation!

First, about front-runner names:

Molly– I really love this name for them. It’s sweet but substantial and has a long history. Bonus points that big sis Amelia loves it. It’s a form of Mary and currently sits at #186, making it less popular than Amelia but still on par with her. If they don’t like Molly, what about medieval rhyming name Polly, also from Mary? Polly is a Doctor Who name and ranks out of the top 1000, making it like the complete opposite of Amelia, but in a sweet way. Honestly, I prefer Molly and Molly Jane at that, but Polly could be a great compromise.

Madeline– I love this name with this spelling, as it evokes the children’s books. It’s the French form of the name Magdalene, so it has a powerhouse saint to back it up. It ranks at #95, making it on par with Amelia, and Amelia and Madeline sound like perfect sisters to me. I love Madeline Jane, Madeline Claire, and Madeline Isabelle. Alternatively, Molly Madeline is really sweet and she could be called M&M (can you imagine the Halloween costume!).

Isabelle– This is my absolute favorite for them. There’s just something about this name that speaks to me and to their family and style. It fits so perfectly. Amelia and Isabelle. Maybe it’s that they both start with vowels. I just love this name for them. Isabelle Jane, Isabelle Claire, and Isabelle Margaret are all stunning. I also really like Isabelle Madeline. It’s also a form of Elizabeth which is Mama Jordan’s middle name and I like that connection to her. It ranks at 117 currently, meaning it’s popular but won’t be heard everywhere they go. Some other forms of Elizabeth that I like for them are Lillian (Amelia and Lillian, swoon!) which started as a form of Elizabeth before it became an embellishment of Lily and ranks at #51, which is on par with Amelia. I also like offbeat Liesel for them. It doesn’t even rank in the top 1000 in America ever but I love it’s lilting sound and how it goes with Amelia (Amelia and Liesel). I think their best bet here, though, is Isabelle. It’s modern but with substance and roots, it’s cool and breezy, it fits with Amelia, it has beautiful family ties, and it goes with every middle name they’re considering.

Haley/Hailey– I like this. It doesn’t have as much substance as the others (there are no saints to go along with it and it doesn’t have as storied a history as any of the others) but it’s cool and modern. The spellings currently rank, in order, #559 and #77. It’s actually more popular than I would have guessed. It’s nice that dad Nate likes this name and I love its subtle punk rock tie-in (Haley Williams is the singer of Paramore). Amelia and Hailey don’t sound mismatched to me but they don’t quite seem right, either. What about Isabelle Haley?

On to new suggestions. I looked up Doctor Who and punk rock names, I used a style match for names like Amelia and ones they already like, and I went off of some intuition. Here’s what I came up with.

(1) Genevieve

It means “family woman,” is French, and ranks at #155, making it common but not popular. Madeline was a style match and I thought the sounds of Amelia and Genevieve go well together. St. Genevieve was a powerhouse, too. I think this is a name that packs a lot of punch for a little girl, but isn’t overwhelming. There are also plenty of nicknames to go with this name, if they want to go that route, from Genny to Viva. Genevieve Claire, Genevieve Margaret, and Genevieve Isabelle stand out to me.

(2) Juliet/Juliana

I wasn’t sure which of these names they’d like more, so I’m including them both. Juliette was a style match for Amelia, Madeline, and Isabelle but I thought they’d like the Juliet spelling better because of the song “Check Yes, Juliet.” This spelling ranks at #295 right now. There is also Ven. Juliette Colbert de Falletti di Barolo to go along with it. The drawback is, of course, the Shakespeare play. Most people are over that by now, though, so it wouldn’t be anywhere near an issue until she got to high school, maybe. Juliana was inspired by Juliet and The Juliana Theory. It has the same root as Juliet (they come from Julius meaning either “downy-bearded” or “sky father”; not the best but also we infuse meaning into names beyond their etymological meanings). Juliana ranks at #210 right now and has St. Juliana Falconieri to go with it. I love the sound of Amelia and Juliet or Amelia and Juliana. I love Juliet Isabelle, Juliet Claire, Juliana Isabelle, Juliana Madeline, and Juliana Claire. They could even name her Juliana Jane and get away with it. These are just such versatile names.

(3) Eloise

This name came up as a style match for Madeline and it just struck me as sweet and playful yet substantial, like Amelia. Amelia and Eloise sound beautiful together, too! This name means “healthy; wide” and sits at #109, which surprised me! There is a Bl. Helwisa aka Eloise to go with it, too. Eloise Claire really stands out to me and for something different, I really love Eloise Elizabeth.

(4) Etta

This came up as a style match for a few of the names they like and I thought it was just good enough to include. I love that it’s short and punchy. It’s a short form for names like Henrietta and Loretta. Singer Etta James’s first name was actually Jamesetta. Anyway, Etta as a stand-alone name ranks at #932 right now, so it’s basically the opposite of Amelia while still holding up to her. Carson Daly of MTV named his daughter Etta. I think Ven. Antonietta Meo would be a sweet patron to go with this name. Etta Jane might be too close to Etta James but I like Etta Claire, Etta Margaret, Etta Isabelle, Etta Elizabeth, and Etta Madeline.

(5) Blair

When I think of Mama Jordan and Dad Nate and Amelia, I think slightly preppy. This name is slightly preppy! I actually love that it’s girl-leaning-unisex; gives it a punch that not many other names have. It means “plain, field, battlefield” and currently ranks at #315. Amelia and Blair sound super cute and preppy to me. There’s a Gossip Girl reference there, too, that no one but fans of the show would ever ask them about. I love Blair Margaret or Blair Isabelle.

(6) Tabitha

This name came up as a style match for some of the other names they like and I can see why. It’s just a little offbeat and cute but with history. It’s Hebrew for “gazelle” and was the name of the woman in the New Testament whom St. Peter restored to life (she’s also known as Dorcas). It’s out of the top 1000 names, though, which really surprised me. This name has been used in Riverdale, Stranger Things, and X-Men, giving it fandom credibility without being in your face. I love the way Amelia and Tabitha sound together. Tabitha Jane called TJ is so so cute. I also love Tabitha Claire and Tabitha Isabelle or Isabelle Tabitha.

(7) Honor/Honora

Finally, when I think of preppy, I think Honor. It’s an old virtue name, giving it substance. Amelia and Honor or Amelia and Honora just sound old school cool chic to me. Neither name is in the top 1000 and never have been. Honor Isabelle sounds stunning to my ear. I also like Honora Claire and Honor Margaret.

Okay, 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: Clement Joshua Samuel!

I’m so happy to share that Josh and Mari, who have allowed us all to watch their family grow through their previous five babies, have welcomed baby no. 10 — their fourth boy! They’ve given him the so-handsome and totally on-theme name … Clement Joshua Samuel!

Josh writes,

Hi Kate, he’s here! Born Oct 20. We decided to go with Clement Joshua Samuel — your ideas and the comments of your readers were super helpful to us in choosing his name … We’re calling him Clement for now but CJ may stick — we’ll see!

Isn’t that just a perfect name?! For those of you who remember this family, all their boys have first names beginning with C and middle names ending in -el … for this little guy, Josh was considering giving his own name for a middle name, which would have been totally great and understandable, but I love the twist of having two middle names — one Josh’s name, the other continuing the big brothers’ -el theme! Fantastic!

Congratulations to Josh and Mari and big sibs Ariana, Audrey, Caleb, Amelia (“Millie”), Anne-Catherine Gianna (“Gianna”), Charles, Anessa, Christian, and Aurelia-Rose (“Rosie”), and happy birthday Baby Clement!!

Clement Joshua Samuel


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: Louis Sebastian!

I did a consultation for Monica and her husband several years ago, and posted a birth announcement for her third baby — I’m thrilled to share that she’s since had another baby! She had her second boy and gave him the fantastic name … Louis Sebastian!

Monica writes,

You did a consultation for us between our 2nd and 3rd babies, and a birth announcement for our 3rd. I thought it would be fun to share that we just welcomed baby #4, Louis Sebastian, on Monday, at a whopping 9 lbs 14 oz. He joins big siblings Magdalene Eve-Marie (Maggie), Genevieve Rose (Genny), and Judah Abraham.

We had the hardest time yet settling on his name. In general, we tend to agree on a lot more girl names than boy names. I’ve analyzed it into the ground this time, and come to the conclusion that my preferred boy names are ‘sweet spot’ names: not super common but not totally unheard of. I liked the names Blaise and Eamon this time, as well as Roman in the past. My husband likes names on both ends of the spectrum, but not so much in that middle ground (with the exception of Judah!). He liked Peter, Charles, Louis, and Casimir this time. We both like John paired with an unexpected middle, but decided to save it for later. We kicked around Magnus, but mainly as a middle name since it sort of conflicts with Magdalene/Maggie.

In addition to our general taste, there were a few other considerations: I preferred a non-biblical name this time to loop in Genevieve, and I didn’t want a third “J” sound in a row (hence John going on the back burner).

We particularly like King Louis IX of France, who was the first to institute the law of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ He’s baby’s primary patron, although St. Louis Martin is a good secondary patron for an October baby. (Especially if he had been born on St. Therese’s feast, though he ended up missing it.). St. Sebastian is another cool patron for a little boy. Louis is also my Grandpa’s middle name. We think Louis is French and non-biblical enough to tie in Genevieve nicely, and Sebastian adds a little bit of flair while still being a strong and masculine combo. We do like that strong, masculine sound! (Cf. Judah Abraham)

I absolutely love the in-depth analysis Monica offered of her and her husband’s name taste, and the explanation of inspiration and patronage for her newest little guy!! Louis Sebastian seems like an absolute perfect fit!!

Congratulations to Monica and her husband and big sibs Magdalene/Maggie, Genevieve/Genny, and Judah, and happy birthday Baby Louis!!


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: W1ll@ R0s3!

Theresa did a private consultation for this family, and is happy to share this wonderful birth announcement!

Mama Tracey writes in to say her little girl has arrived!

We ended up going with W1ll@ R0s3. It was my husband’s number 1 all along and it has grown on me. I like how it ties in my husband’s first name (W1ll1@m) and his father’s name (also W1ll1@m) and also my husband’s grandmother who died before my husband was born (W1ll13 M@3). And then my grandmother’s maiden name was R0s3. And lots of saints connected too…Thank you so much for your help! Your thoughts on W1ll@ R0s3 really helped settle it for us. I’m incredibly indecisive and we didn’t finalize it till she was born!

Congratulations to Tracey, Wylie, and big sisters M@ry @l1c3 and Cl@r@ J@n3!


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: Classic and timeless but maybe also a little quirky for baby no. 3/boy no. 1?

Happy October 25! I just looked up the calendar at CatholicSaints.info to see whose feast is today, and the first one listed is “Dedication of all Churches where the Consecration Date is Unknown” — I love that we have a feast day for that! I also love this consultation from Theresa Zoe Williams — enjoy!

Dad Tanner writes in asking for help naming their first boy after two girls. He says,

We lean toward traditional and classic names, names of Saints or creative names related to to Saints, also Biblical names, old and New Testament. I like the English And Scottish saints, but it doesn’t have to be from those either.”

A little open-ended! I like that!

He lists some holy people the family admires, for a little inspiration: St. Francis of Assisi, St. Josemaria Escriva; St. John Paul 2, St. John Vianney, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, St. Mother Teresa, Servant of God Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, GK Chesterton, CS Lewis.

They like the names Francis, John Paul, and Lewis/Louis.

Names they can’t use include: Dominic, Jack, John, Thomas, William, James, Samuel, George, Adam, Jimmy, Patrick, Edward, Edmund, Gabriel, Theodore, Blaze, Bernard, Xavier, and Paul.

This little boy will join big sisters:

Rose Margaret
Josephine Elizabeth

Okay, some thoughts on names they like but don’t feel like “the one”.

Francis- I actually love this name for them. It has that classic, timeless feel like their daughters’ names do.

John Paul- I feel like this one is too close to John, which they can’t use. I love the connection to a saint they love, though, and that informed one of my suggestions below.

Lewis/Louis- I love this name for them! Either spelling, depending on how strong they want certain associations to be. I think this name has the same timeless, classic feel as Francis and their daughters.

On to new suggestions. I tried to keep them in the classic and timeless vein, but I also went a little bit afield, as this is their first boy and they have some wiggle room there.

(1) Chester

For G.K. Chesterton. I thought just Chester fit in nicely with their girls and also gave some pep to the sibling set. It means “camp, fortress” and is out of the top 1000 names. It’s pretty classic but not timeless. I think this name is just daring for a revival. Other ways they could honor G.K. Chesterton are to choose names they like that start with the same initials like Gerard Kevin and call him G.K. I really love Chester, though, as it’s unexpected but cool and classic and not weird. Rose, Josephine, and Chester sound cool together.

(2) Miles

This name derives from two that mean “servant of Jesus” and “servant of Mary”; how cool for a boy! This name currently ranks at #54, meaning it’s classic and cool, right where I think they would like to be. Rose, Josephine, and Miles sound like they belong together.

(3) Clement

I thought of this name because of their love for Pope St. John Paul II. Clement means “merciful” and Pope St. JP2 is famous for his devotion to Divine Mercy. It’s also old man, classic, which I think is right in their wheelhouse. I love siblings Rose, Josephine, and Clement! The name is out of the top 1000 names but it’s not weird, it’s a great-grandpa name, which are starting to come back into style. There are also many Saints Clement including the fourth pope.

(4) Peter

A little bit of a papal theme going! There is, of course, St. Peter the Apostle and First Pope to go along with this name, and plenty of other Sts. Peter to take patronage from. I love this name because it’s classic and timeless. This name will never be truly out of style. And it sounds like a perfect brother to go along with sisters Rose and Josephine. I think this name gives them a great bridge between the girls while opening them up to future names.

(5) Gerard

I mentioned this one above but think it makes a good name all on its own for them. Gerard is hardy and classic, with just a touch of old man. It means “brave spear” and is out of the top 1000 names. St. Gerard Majella would be the patron and that’s fitting as he’s the patron of expectant mothers. I love the sound of Rose, Josephine, and Gerard but it does give them two of the same sound at the beginning. I don’t know if that bothers them, it shouldn’t, and it doesn’t bother me at all, especially since they have different initials.

(6) Vincent

When I think of classic, timeless name with a slight old man feel, this name always comes to mind. It’s slightly popular right now, at #117, but that just means it’s also cool. I think that’s their sweet spot. St. Vincent de Paul would be the patron and the name means “to conquer”. I love siblings Rose, Josephine, and Vincent. Outside of Chester, this is my favorite suggestion.

(7) Henry

Finally, another timeless, classic, cool name. This name is pretty popular at #9 right now, but rightfully so! It’s a great name that’s finally having its moment. It means “home ruler” and St. John Henry Newman (or Bl. Henry Suso) would be patron. Rose, Josephine, and Henry sound classic and, actually, slightly British to me (which is helpful because some of the holy people they admire are British).

These are my suggestions! 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: Clement Kolbe!

Happy Thursday!! Theresa did a consultation for this family last summer and has shared this wonderful birth announcement! Enjoy!

Dad Zach writes in to say their baby boy has been born!

Just wanted to give you an update — our baby boy was born on October 4th! 10 days late, I guess St. Francis of Assisi really wanted in on the action. We decided to name him Clement Kolbe! We were set on Xavier for a bit but after a while we really started loving Clement for Our Lady Of Mercy! We also have had a dedication to Maximilian Kolbe and thought Kolbe as a middle name would be perfect! Thanks so much for all your help with our consult!

Congratulations to Zach and Bayley, and big sister Josephine!


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!

Fun news on a wonderful feast day!

Happy Monday everyone!

Today is the feast of both Sts. Ignatius of Antioch and Margaret Mary Alacoque and I’m having goosebumps like crazy over here because I’ve recently been wanting to do a certain thing, but wasn’t sure it was a wise decision given all we have going on in my house, but also that maybe I have a little more time this semester than I have for the past year and a half, so maybe my feeling is a little nudge from heaven that I should do this thing I want to do, which is something I’ve been missing …

So I’d basically decided to do the thing, and was thinking I might do it today, but then thought maybe that was rash and I should chill out a little and just plan on doing it sometime this week, and so I thought I’d look to see what feast days are happening this week because I love timing things for a feast day, and it’s very clear that TODAY is the day! Because — and I know you’ll all appreciate this both for its own sake and also because it’s so connected to baby naming — Ignatius is the name my husband and I gave the baby we miscarried after St. Ignatius of Antioch specifically (his writings on the Eucharist were instrumental in bringing my husband into the Church and he took it as his Confirmation name), and Margaret Mary was the middle name I’d decided on for my last baby if he’d been a girl after St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (and also St. Rita, St. Gerard, and Our Lady — all in one name! — and St. M. M. Alacoque herself because of her devotion to the Sacred Heart — “Margaret Mary” checked all the boxes!) — I don’t know how I missed that they both have the same feast day! So yes, today’s Saints are CLEARLY a sign that today is the day to do the thing!

And what is this thing?? I just wanted to let you all know that I am available for consultations again! Theresa has been doing an amazing job for you all, and she’s going to continue doing an amazing job — if you want a consultation from her, please email her directly at TheresaZoeWrites at gmail dot com as you’ve been doing! If you’d like a consultation from me, you can email me at sanctanomina at gmail dot com. Payment details remain the same for both Theresa and me. Please note that if Theresa or I have too many to handle, we’ll share with each other (letting you know ahead of time if that’s the case). I have room for one consultation a week and not too much wiggle room for rush jobs (like if your due date is next week! I’d love to be able to help but I don’t have that flexibility at the moment) — if you email me with a consultation request, I’ll let you know when I can send you my thoughts/ideas/suggestions, so you can decide if it’s too far out.

I really thought that my time doing consultations may have finished, but this fall I’ve been feeling more and more that my big life change of going back to work two summers ago has finally started to just feel like daily life. Like having a new baby! The upheaval eventually calms down. I look forward to hearing from any of you who might like a consultation from me, and I hope you have a wonderful Monday and feast day, and a great week!


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: Baby no. 4/girl no. 2 for Studio Senn!

Happy 105th (!) anniversary of the Miracle of Sun at Fatima! Today’s consultation by Theresa Zoe Williams is for a repeat client — Kortnee from Studio Senn! I had the honor of doing a consultation for her last baby a few years ago and posting a birth announcement; I’m so excited to see that she’s expecting another girl, and to see what name ideas Theresa has for her! Enjoy!

Mama Kortnee writes in asking for help naming her fourth child, second girl. Big siblings are:

Fulton Douglas
Becket Raymond
Perrin Fae

She writes,

Middle names are all family names. First names are Saints (or in the case of Perrin,
a nickname because she was going to be named Peregrine) but all happen to be surnames of
sort or another
.”

Kortnee continues,

For girl names I am drawn to Irish/Scottish punchy names that tend to lean more gender neutral. But my husband says he likes more feminine names.”

Names they like that don’t feel like the one include Rory (for St. Gregory), Greer (for St. Gregory), Quinn (for Ven. Edel Quinn), Reese (for any of the Sts. Teresa), Emmerich (for Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich), and Lydia.

Middle names they are considering include: Ruth, Emile (pronounced em-eel), Catherine, Kate,
and Amelia.

Mama Kortnee presented a unique challenge of already thinking of all the names I would have suggested, so I had to dig a lot deeper.

Some thoughts on names they like but aren’t “the one”.

Rory- I love this punchy little name especially with their other children. I would have thought this would have been feminine enough with the -y ending for Kortnee’s husband but I get it. I love that they would tie this name to St. Gregory.

Greer- Another really fun and expected name! What I love about this one is that it’s unexpected but not weird. Totally right in their wheelhouse.

Quinn- This was the first name that popped to mind before I read they’d already thought of it. Ah, I really love this one for you guys! I don’t think Quinn (with similar sounding last name) is too much, either. It has a nice rhythm.

Reese- I feel like sisters Reese and Perrin are just meant to be. I really love this name and that it gives this child a female patron, too.

Emmerich- Another right in their wheelhouse that I would’ve suggested. I don’t like this one quite as much as the others but I do love that it has nickname potential.

Lydia- One of my favorite names! But I agree that it doesn’t quite fit Kortnee’s style or that of the other children.

On to new suggestions!

(1) Clairvaux

Not a surname and not Irish (but French) this came to mind because it’s unexpected and gender neutral (being a place name) but it feels feminine and has the nickname Claire. I think this one might be right in the sweet spot between Kortnee and her husband. Patron would be St. Bernard of Clairvaux. It’s spunky and a little bit punchy but all over sweet.

(2) Reagan

This surname means “little king” and definitely leans girl while maintaining neutrality. It’s at #126 for girls right now. While not the name of a saint, it could be an honor name for Jesus with its meaning. It’s Irish, too! I like this with sister Perrin and the brothers.

(3) Peyton

This name sits at #99 for girls right now even though it’s gender neutral, so it feels more feminine while not being frilly. It’s also an English surname born by Ven. Patrick Peyton, so it even has a patron directly attached! I really love this one for them. My only hang up was that would be two girls with P- names. I don’t think this should bother them, though.

(4) Blaise

I thought, if Blake and Blair can be girls or boys, why not Blaise? It doesn’t rank at all for girls and is at #997 for boys, so it’s not common but it’s also not weird. St. Blaise would be the patron. I just thought, what a zippy, fun name for a girl!

(5) Brenna

This would be a feminine form of St. Brendan. Although not a surname, it’s punchy and Irish and I love it with their other kids. There are various meanings for this name depending on where you take its origin from, but since they’d use it as a feminine form of Brendan, it means “king or prince”. Brenna is out of the top 1000, which I think is perfect for them. Brenna gives me the same punchy, pixie-like, softly feminine feel as Perrin does, and she sounds great with all the kids.

(6) Finley

This name means “white warrior” and is at #211 for girls and #265 for boys, meaning it’s truly gender neutral. There is no saint Finley, but there are tons of Fin- saints that this name could take patronage from. All of those saints happen to be Scottish, too. Finley is also in the same wheelhouse as surname names, although not one itself. Fulton, Becket, Perrin, and Finley sound so sharp to me.

(7) Kiara

The most feminine name on the list, this is actually the name of an Irish saint! It has two possible roots that can make its meaning either “black” (from Ciara) or “clear, bright” (from Chiara). There are lots of possible patrons here including St. Kiara (the Irish saint), St. Clare of Assisi, or St. Ciar (an Irish abbott). I like that this name is feminine but punchy –– hopefully that bridges the gap between Kortnee and her husband better. I like siblings Fulton, Beckett, Perrin, and Kiara. Bonus, I think this name works well with almost all of the middle names they’re considering.

These are my thoughts! What do you think?


I’m not currently doing consultations, 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: Baby no. 10 (a boy!) needs a name that fits into the theme!

Today is one of my very favorite feast days: the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary! The cover art of my book of Marian names was inspired by this beautiful holy card:

The inscription on the bottom, S.S. Nomen Mariae, means “The Most Holy Name of Mary” in Latin (Sanctissima Nomen Mariae). Fun fact: Mariae was the middle name we planned for a girl through several of our pregnancies! Two little ladies connected with Sancta Nomina have been given the name as well — one as a first name (Mariae Josephine, loooove), and this one (Theresa’s little girl!) as a middle (Theresa has fantastic taste and creativity!). I explain a little bit about how this beautiful feast came about in my book. A perfect feast day for those who love the names of our faith, especially the names of and for Our Lady! I hope you all have a wonderful one! Today’s consultation actually includes one of the names listed in my book for boys!

Josh and Mari are expecting their 10th baby — their 4th boy! I’ve had the great privilege of doing consultations for several of their older children (posted here, here, here; birth announcements here, here, here, here), and I’m delighted to offer some ideas for their newest little guy! (For those of you wondering, I did this consultation a couple of months ago, when I thought I might be able to do some this summer.)

Josh writes, 

So, as you probably remember, we have a theme going – the girls have A first names and C middle names (with some variants) and the boys have C first names and middle names that similar stylistically.  Here’s the rundown

Ariana Camille (16) 

Audrey Caroline (14)

Caleb Daniel (11)

Amelia Clare (“Millie”) (9)

Anne-Catherine Gianna (“Gianna”) (8)

Charles Michael (6)

Anessa Corinne (4)

Christian Gabriel (3)

Aurelia-Rose Celeste (“Rosie”) (2) 

#10 is a boy, so we’ll be looking to continue the theme generally.  Due date is November 3, so he’ll join two other sibs with November birthdays (Audrey and Charles) unless he gets here early, in which case he’d be our only October baby.   Here are some first names we’ve discussed and like

Clement

Carter

Caedmon 

For middle names, we’ve discussed Samuel as a possibility.  Thought about Raphael too since we have a Michael and a Gabriel, but I’m not sure I love it.  But I would say we haven’t definitely ruled it out either.”

As always, it was such a pleasure to work on this consultation for Josh and Mari! They’ve done such a great job with baby naming — I’ve always loved how they figured out to adhere to their themes (girl theme and boy theme) without it getting weird or feeling forced. I’m excited to help them again!

Okay, first off, my thoughts on the names they like/are considering:

  • Clement: I have always loved Clement for a few reasons — specifically to me, it’s the name of my parish’s patronal Saint, St. Clement Mary Hofbauer (and it belongs to a bunch of other Saints and a Pope as well!). Secondly, it’s a Marian name, as Our Lady is called “clement” in the Hail Holy Queen (“O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary”). Thirdly, it means “merciful” — such a great meaning! All that said, though, I admit I’ve often had a hard time really seeing it on a little boy! I actually knew an older gentleman named Clement, and it was so cool on him — it felt just perfect for a sophisticated old man — and of course I know that little boys grow up to be men. And “Clem” as a nickname seemed a little less thrilling than some of the other nicknames I love for boys. But then Grace Patton named her son Clement, and it took on a whole new life for me! So that’s my conclusion: I think it can be really great option for Josh and Mari’s little guy! (I’m still a little hung up on nicknames … I was just rereading the birth announcement I posted for Grace’s Clement and noted that she named the Clement videos on her Instagram “Clement Clips” and thought, “Huh. Clip is kind of cute!” You know me and my crazy nickname ideas!!)
  • Carter: I was surprised by Carter! Their other kiddos’ names have saintly connections, but I didn’t think Carter did. I shouldn’t have doubted, though! I’ve often argued that just about every name can have a saintly connection, and Carter, indeed, does: According to CatholicSaints.info, there’s a St. Carterius of Bourges and a Bl. William Carter. I’m very intrigued by Bl. William Carter, since I struggled a bit over new middle name ideas for this family — it seems difficult to move away from their established -el theme, but if they did something like Carter William, it would make a lot of sense — it would give them a good, solid reason to move away from -el names and would strengthen the connection to Bl. William. Does that make sense?
  • Caedmon: I see Caedmon from time to time on parents’ lists and I’m always surprised by it, since I’ve never met a Caedmon in real life. It’s such a cool name, though, and saintly, and it inspired some of the more Celtic-ish names I included in my suggestions below. My one hesitation with Caedmon is always pronunciation — apparently CAD-man is the correct pronunciation, but I’ve also seen CADE-man, so that will probably be something they’d have to deal with. It absolutely doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker though — loads of names have pronunciation issues!

So those are my thoughts on the names currently on Josh and Mari’s list. As far as middle names, I had the suggestion of William, which I explained in the Carter part above, and I looked back at my previous emails with them and their consultations and see that in addition to the Samuel and Raphael that they said they’re considering, I’ve suggested these as well:

  • Emmanuel
  • Nathaniel
  • Joel
  • Axel
  • Abel
  • Ezekiel
  • Reuel
  • Noel

Some new ones I’ll add include:

  • Angel: a not-uncommon name for boys of Hispanic descent, and it was also the name of the main male character in the English novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  • Bartel: Dutch diminutive of Bartholomew
  • Hansel: German diminutive of Hans, which is the German form of John
  • Israel: Jacob’s name was changed to Israel by God
  • Marcel: originally a diminutive of Marcus; also included in the names of quite a few Saints
  • Martel: from a medieval pet name of Martin
  • Peniel: A biblical place name (see Gen 32:30) meaning “face of God” — what a beautiful meaning!
  • Roussel: French form of Russell, from a nickname meaning “little red one” — maybe perfect for a baby with red hair, or who is particularly red when born? (My mother-in-law always talked about how red my husband was as a newborn, far redder than other babies she’d seen!)
  • Wenzel: a German name that’s technically pronounced VENT-zel, but the cool part is that it’s a medieval German form of Vaclav (Wenceslaus)! St. Wenceslaus is awesome! I did two posts on the name that might be helpful: here and here

(I used this web site to help with this list — it has a million names on here and I spent quite a bit of time scrolling through and only got about a third of the way down! Josh and Mari might want to spend some time on that page themselves in case there was a good option that I missed.)

So there are plenty of -el names if they’re committed to that theme! However, I think both Samuel and Raphael are good choices right now if they’re not sure they want to continue with this theme, since I sense that many people will not realize that Daniel and Samuel are -el names, since they’re so familiar (sometimes the details of very familiar names are almost invisible — a “missing the trees for the forest” type reversal of the old saying, if that makes sense), so if they use Samuel, I don’t think people will bat an eyelash if they use a non-el name in the future. And if they use Raphael, most people will realize they’ve now exhausted the archangels (without getting into discussions of Uriel and others that are questionable from a Catholic standpoint), and won’t necessarily expect an -el middle name going forward. Of course, the fact that this baby is their tenth baby and that they’re heavily weighted towards girls makes it more probable that this won’t be an issue to deal with again! (Or perhaps God has more boys in their future!)

Okay! On to my new ideas!

(1) Martin

This idea is really a cheat idea, since it’s (a) not a C name, and (b) Josh and Mari had it on their list in the first email they ever sent me, so it’s not an original idea of mine, but I’d thought I’d include it in the list because Mari is due on Nov. 3 — the feast of St. Martin de Porres! If they don’t want to go off-theme for a first name, then I’d highly suggest it as a middle name, ESPECIALLY if the baby is actually born on his due date! And in that case, I’d suggest changing it to its variant Martel, which I mentioned above — an -el name that nods to St. Martin! Seems like it could be perfect!

(2) Cashel

Okay, back to C names! I’ve suggested Cashel many times in the past to families who love Irish or Celtic names, so Caedmon on their list makes sense of Cashel to me. The faith connection is the Rock of Cashel; this is the faith connection (from something I wrote for a baptism gift for a little Cashel):

The Rock of Cashel (Carraig Phádraig) is also known as St. Patrick’s Rock and Cashel of the Kings. In Irish, cashel (caiseal) denotes a circular stone fort and has come to mean “castle.”

The Rock of Cashel was long the seat of the High Kings of Munster. One of the kings, Aenghus, was baptized by St. Patrick himself at that very spot. In 1101, King Murtagh O’Brien dedicated the Rock of Cashel to God and St. Patrick and gave it to the bishop of Munster. Currently, the Ecclesiastical Province of Cashel includes the Archdiocese of Cashel & Emly, as well as the dioceses of Cloyne (in which lies Cobh), Cork & Ross, Kerry, Killaloe, Limerick, and Waterford & Lismore.

I love Cashel and I love the nickname Cash! And because Cashel is an -el name, they could also consider it for the middle!

(3) Campion

Campion is the surname of St. Edmund Campion and I think it’s a fantastic name for a boy. It has the awesome nickname Cam, which I‘ve always loved. It’s also a Marian name! I included it in my book of Marian names — the white campion is a kind of flower, which is where the connection to Our Lady comes in. Finally, campion means “champion” in Old French! What a great name for a boy!

(4) Canaan

I know a boy named Canaan — I’ve always thought he has the coolest name! Canaan is, of course, the name of the Promised Land, so it has great faith connections in that regard.

(5) Caetano/Cajetan

I saw Caetano in a list of C names for boys, and I immediately remembered that I’d had Cajetan on my own list for years! Caetano is an Italian form of Cajetan (as is Gaetano), and St. Cajetan is a pretty amazing Saint. Caj (pronounced like CADGE) is a pretty cool nickname too!

(6) Curt, Cord

I’d previously suggested Conrad to this family, which I don’t think they loved, but both Curt and Cord caught my eye when I was looking up C names for them, as they’re both contracted forms of Conrad, so they can take any of the Sts. Conrad as patron. Curt and Cord have very different feels to me, so hopefully if they don’t like the one maybe they really like the other!

(7) Cruz

My last idea is Cruz, which has just the coolest, hippest, zippiest feel but also has very deep faith significance, as it means “cross” and has traditional use in both Spanish and Portuguese in honor of the Cross of Crucifixion. I also found evidence of its usage in honor of Our Lady at the foot of the Cross. How beautiful! Though it’s used in Hispanic cultures for both boys and girls, I think in America it has a predominantly masculine feel.

As a bonus, I really wanted to suggest Casey, with Bl. Solanus Casey in mind, but I didn’t think Casey was ideal for their last name, so I wanted to include it here in case it’s helpful for any of you readers. I also noted that Kolbe was on Josh and Mari’s original list several years ago — I still like it for them and think it can make a nice addition to their C theme — sort of keeping with it while still branching out. Interestingly, I looked up the surname Kolbe and discovered that some spelling variations include Colb and Colbe — maybe they want to consider one of those in honor of St. Maximilian while still sticking with their C theme?

As an addition to this post, Josh and Mari wrote again to let me know about some more ideas they have:

[D]o you mind if I ask your thoughts on a new idea we had — Clement Joshua?   Obviously Joshua is my name, which in a way fits a pattern with the boys (Daniel and Michael are also family names). We also thought “CJ” might be a cute nickname — we love the name Clement but aren’t wild about ‘Clem.’ 

Our oldest daughter is lobbying hard for Clement Ezekiel with “Zeke” as a nickname, which is also kind of cute. What do you think?

My immediate thoughts are that I love both ideas! I love using Josh’s name as the middle name — doing so trumps any -el theme or any other theme, in my opinion — and CJ is an easy, friendly nickname. This is probably my favorite of the two, because of the connection to Dad and how easy and natural it feels. I do love Zeke, though — what a fun, friendly nickname! And I love that Ezekiel keeps the -el theme, because even though it’s completely one-hundred-percent not necessary to continue with the theme, there’s something just so satisfying about sticking with a theme! What say you all??

And those are all my ideas! What other ideas/suggestions/thoughts can you share for the littlest brother in this beautiful family?


I’m not currently doing consultations, 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: One-syllable Advent/Christmas name for baby girl needed!

Happy Monday everyone! There are some beautiful feasts today according to my go-to feast day source, CatholicSaints.info: it’s the memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist, as well as the feasts of Our Lady of Tears, Our Lady of the Guard, and Our Lady of Valleverde (among many others. Every day’s a day to remember holy people!). Some cool things for you to research if you’re in a researching mood! Today’s consultation by Theresa Zoe Williams is for a mama that I’ve “known” for years via the internet, and she’s also a real-life friend-of-a-friend — I’m so excited to post this consultation for her seventh baby! Enjoy!

Mama Lina writes in asking for help with a middle name.

I am pregnant with my seventh and due mid December. We have five boys and a girl already and just found out we’re due with another girl. Our daughter is 10 so it’s pretty exciting! Her name will be Evangelina after two of my husband’s great grandmothers and we’ll call her Lina bc I love my name lol. I am named for my own great great grandmother.”

This is fantastic news! And Evangelina is such a swoony name! All of the children have two middle names, the second one being Lina’s maiden name. Evangelina is joining big siblings:

John Diego nn Johnny
Joseph Sebastián nn Joey
Rita Maureen
Michael Augustín nn Mikey
Patrick Thomas nn Paddy
Charles Loyola nn Charley

Aren’t those such great names! Mama Lina writes,

Originally her name was going to be Evangelina Claire — we’ve had this name as our girl name for the last three kids lol. However now that we have her due during advent I really feel drawn to have an advent/Christmas themed middle name.”

Ooooh, I love a good themed name!

She continues,

The issue is that Evangelina is many syllables lol, as well as the fact that all my kids have a second middle name of [her maiden name]. So anything longer than one syllable just feels and sounds really bulky and like we’re trying to be British royalty. So we’re on a hunt for one syllable, girl name that is Advent/Christmas themed. Phew . All we can come up with is Rose and Joy (most likely to be born during Gaudete Week). I do like Rose a lot esp bc St Rose of Lima was a contemporary and friend of St Martin de Porres, a family patron, but just would love more options to consider!

I love a good challenge!

About names they like but don’t feel like the one.

Claire– I love the sound of Evangelina Claire! I can see why it was their go-to for so long. It fits in nicely with their other kids’ names and has a classy, put-together feel.

Rose– Hot in the middle spot, it’s a great name. I love the connection to Advent and Gaudete Sunday. Evangelina Rose is nice if maybe a little bland.

Joy– Evangelina Joy is a joy! I love this connection to Advent, too. This actually gave me some ideas. I can understand why this one doesn’t feel quite right, though. It’s a little less formal and feels maybe too casual, next to their other kids especially.

On to new ideas! I had a BLAST researching themes of Christmas and Advent and names to go along with them. I loved the added challenge of a one syllable name. Here’s what I came up with:

1) Pax/Paz

Another theme of Advent is peace, which these names mean. I wasn’t sure if they’d like the Latin Pax (which leans a little more masculine) or the Spanish Paz (which sounds a little softer and more feminine) better, so I’m including them both. Evangelina Pax or Evangelina Paz sounds beautiful and unexpected. I like these names with their other kids, too, who have middle names like Diego, Augustín and Sebastián. Pax or Paz fit right in!

2) Lux/Luz

Pax made me think of Lux and I again didn’t know if they’d prefer the Latin (which is fairly gender neutral) or the Spanish Luz (which is definitely feminine) better. These names mean “light” which may not seem like a very Adventy or Christmasy meaning but St. Lucy’s feast day is during Advent and her name means light also. Additionally, there is the light of the Star of Bethlehem which led the shepherds and the magi to the baby Jesus. I thought that was a cool connection! Evangelina Lux or Evangelina Luz sound beautiful — all those lilting Ls!

3) Mae

This one syllable form of Mary is hot in the middle spot right now and goes with just about any name. Evangelina Mae is so cute! Lina Mae!! Mary is a central figure in both the Advent and Christmas seasons, so it’s only fitting to honor her. The only downside I saw was that their other daughter Rita’s middle name is Maureen, itself a form of Mary. Both sisters would have forms of Mary for their middle names–– either they’ll love that or they’ll hate it (both of my girls have forms of Mary in the middle, so I’m on team go for it!).

4) Kris/Chris

Speaking of central figures of Advent and Christmas, you don’t get anymore central than Jesus the Christ Child Himself! These one syllable short forms of Christine or Kristina are laidback and familiar but unexpected. Evangelina Chris is really spunky and fun! This name is a little different than the direction they’ve gone with their other kids, but not in a bad or mismatched way. Plus, their boys have more formal, straightforward names while Evangelina is more embellished. With Evangelina Kris, they’d just be swapping the places.

5) Dawn

The O Antiphon on Dec. 21st is “Dawn of the East” in reference to Jesus and the more I thought about it, the more I liked Dawn. It symbolizes a new day, a new beginning and isn’t that what a baby is? Isn’t that what Advent and Christmas are really all about, a new beginning for Creation? I thought this was such a hopeful name. Evangelina Dawn is beautiful and unexpected and powerful. This name was a sleeper hit for me, it grew on me over time; perhaps it will do the same for them.

6) Rey

I know this is traditionally a male Spanish name but with the female Star Wars character taking this name, too, I think it’s leaning gender neutral these days. I thought of this name because Jesus is the King Who came to bring us back into His kingdom. Much like Evangelina Mae, Evangelina Rey is so cute! This would also keep in style with the other kids. I also like the tie in of sisters with middle names honoring Mary and Jesus.

7) Beth

This last one was really hard to settle on as I had a couple I was going between. I decided on this one because of its multiple layers. At first, this is a short form of Elizabeth and St. Elizabeth was the first to receive Mary and Jesus and rejoice. But it is also short for Bethlehem, the sacred place where Jesus was born. For an Advent baby, I thought this was the ultimate name! Elizabeth means “my God is an oath” and Bethlehem means “house of bread” giving the name Eucharistic ties, as well. Who knew such a short name could pack such a huge punch! Evangelina Beth is homey and classic and Lina Beth is so much fun!

Since I wrestled with the last name so much, I’m including one bonus name: Eve. Mary is considered the New Eve and I just love the alliteration of Evangelina Eve.

These are my thoughts. What do you think?


I’m not currently doing consultations, 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!