Baby name consultation: Long and feminine plus nickname for baby girl due before Christmas

Genie is a longtime Sancta Nomina reader, and I’ve had the privilege of doing two previous consultations for her (here, here) and posting two birth announcements (here, here)! I’m excited to post a new consultation for her for her baby girl due in less than three weeks!

This baby girl joins big siblings:

Malachi Benedict Aquinas

Noah Oliver Francis

Liam Michael Damien

+ Aelred Dominic John (with Jesus)

Henry Andrew James

Moira Elizabeth Charlotte

George Maximilian Joseph

Genevieve Immaculee Grace

Such amazing combinations! You’ll see that Genie has a particular knack for putting names together in the most beautiful ways!

She writes,

We need a some fresh girl name inspiration to add to the list we’ve built since our courtship. None of them are really sparking us right now

Our trend so far for girls seems to be first names on the longer, classic side that have a saint and or Marian connection & nickname potential. We like the Marian names to be fairly obvious. And like her sisters, this baby will have two middle names from saints and Our Lady since my kids need all the heavenly help they can get! There have also been literary connections in the past but I don’t see that as a hard requirement. I’m still trying to come up with a nod to Our Lady of La Salette

We’ve been praying for this baby’s guardian angel to help us know her name and are hoping her birth day will also aid in that discernment. For example Lucy for 12/13 or Sophie as a nickname from the O Wisdom Antiphon on 12/17. There doesn’t necessarily need to be a link to Advent or Christmas.

Name combos that have been on the list are:

Josephine Felicity Mariae nn Joy/Sophie/Zosia: This was our other front runner with Beatrix for Evie’s name last time. And as the next brother up, George, usually goes by Joe Joe we felt the nickname Josie was too close.

Beatrix Evangeline Anne/Clare/Jane nn Beasy:  Beatrix has my favorite meaning of “She who blesses” and reference to Mary. Jane was DH’s Grandmother’s name, but is it too much with the G in Evangeline? 

Lucy Elinor Anne/Agnes/Jane/Violet nn L.E./Ellie/Lulu: DH likes Elinor as a first name but we haven’t found a combo of middle names we like with it. His big draw to it as a first name is that his birthday is the feast of St. Helena and the nickname “Ellie”. To me the Lucy in front flows well but the Marian connection doesn’t feel as strong with this combo. I’m also concerned that Ellie is too close to [Genevieve’s nickname] Evie or that our oldest daughter would feel left out with her M name. I really love Violet as a name to but nothing complete has come to us for it.

Emmelia Magdalene Rose nn Emmie/Millie/Mila: We’ve just always loved this combo in honor of St. Basil’s mom, the “Mother of Saints.” 

Margaret Gemma Therese nn Meg/Megsy after Little Women: St. Margaret Clitherow is my confirmation saint

We also like Cecilia as a first name. And I really like Catherine as a first name for Sts. Catherine of Siena & Alexandria … We would use Kitty as a nickname

Cecilia Catherine Thérèse has been thrown around. We wouldn’t use Cece as a nickname but thought Kitty might still work with that combo? I could also see Cecie like Cecily as one. But again the clear Marian connection is lacking to me.

Marigold (one of my favorites!), Penelope, Kateri, Naomi, Adelaide, Anastasia, Bernadette, Faustina, Perpetua, Faith, & Regina are other middle name options we’ve noted.”

Of course you have to know that I basically swooned through Genie’s entire email! Such gorgeous names!! I bolded the combinations because I didn’t want you to miss any of them, and I kept that up in my ideas below as well.

Josephine Felicity Mariae is my particular favorite — I love the way it looks and sounds! And the nickname ideas of Joy, Sophie, and Zosia are fantastic! But I really also love Beatrix Evangeline Clare (Clare’s my favorite of the second middle name options, just based on sound) nn Beasy (so cute!), Lucy Elinor Jane (Jane’s my favorite of the second middle name options, due to the family connection) nn L.E./Ellie/Lulu (Lulu’s darling), Emmelia Magdalene Rose nn Emmie/Millie/Mila (I love Mila), Margaret Gemma Thérèse nn Meg/Megsy, and Cecilia Catherine Thérèse nn Kitty or Cecie. Absolutely beautiful, each one.

I’m so reluctant to add anything to these beautiful names! I can’t imagine being able to come up with anything more perfect! But I do understand the feeling of “none of them are really sparking us right now,” so maybe something in my ideas will help freshen up the list.

I also wondered if any of the names on Genie’s middle name list would be considerations as first names? I particularly like Marigold, since she said it’s one of her favorites. I love that Mari, Maggie, and Goldie can all be nicknames for it … and maybe even Maisie, I think that could work, which could also be a nod to Genie’s Confirmation name, since Maisie’s a traditional nickname for Margaret. I love Marigold’s connection to Our Lady, Crowned (feast day August 22: The Queenship of Mary). Maybe something like Marigold Virginia Reine, to really drive home the regal connection? (And three Marian names!) I also love Adelaide, Anastasia, Bernadette, Perpetua, and Faith as first names for this family.

Genie mentioned a couple things that she’d like to find appropriate combos for, so I spent some time trying to come up with ideas for them:

  • Genie said she’d like to nod to Our Lady of Salette. I had a reader who considered Salette as a first name for a baby girl in honor of that title, and considered Sally as a nickname for it. I also thought Etta could work. Maybe Salette Evangeline Rose? Or what about “La Salette” or “de La Salette” as a middle name? Our Lady had pearls on her robe in that apparition, and Margaret means “pearl,” so maybe Beatrix Margaret de La Salette? Or Beatrix Marguerite de La Salette? Or using the Irish, maybe Beatrix Mairead de La Salette? There were also a number of roses present on her form, so maybe Rosa Mairwen de La Salette? (Mairwen is a Welsh name combining “Mary” and “white/fair/blessed”; I thought it went well with their Celtic sensibility as noted in Liam and Moira’s names.)
  • Genie said Hubby likes Elinor as a first name — I do think Ellie’s a sweet nickname, and while it is similar to Evie, Genevieve and Elinor aren’t similar at all. Also, since the three sisters would be Moira, Genevieve, and Elinor, all with different official first initials, I’d focus on that with Moira so she wouldn’t feel badly about Evie and Ellie. I wonder if they would consider Helena itself? Ellie can be a nickname for Helena, as can Nell and Lena. I particularly like Nell for them (and actually Nell can work for Elinor too!). Maybe Elinor Madonna Rose? (I love using Madonna as a middle name as it’s explicitly Marian and points specifically to her motherhood, which I love.)
  • Genie said she loves Violet but hasn’t been able to come up with a great combo — maybe Violet Josephine Thérèse? Violet Elinor Anne? Violet Gemma Thérèse? (I like Violet and Gemma together — she could consider any purplish gem to her own!) Does Violet represent Our Lady well enough in those combos though? Or Violet Rosemary Jane? (Too many flowers?) Violet Madonna Helene? (Kind of cool that Madonna, with its “holy mother” connection, clearly refers to Our Lady here, but can also nod to St. Helena.) Violets also used to be called Our Lady’s Modesty, and an interesting name that they might like to work into a name is Haidee: it’s a name that was created by Lord Byron for a character in Don Juan, and he based it on the Greek for “modest, reverent.” Knowing that Genie likes literary connections as well, and with such a lovely meaning, maybe she’d like to consider the doubly “modest” name of something like Violet Haidee Madonna?
  • In thinking of a combo with Cecilia as a first name with a clear Marian connection, maybe they could consider the spelling Caecilia? It’s the original Latin form of Cecilia (this family used it for their daughter; they also have an Anastasia Lucia, which I like for Genie’s daughter! Anastasia Lucia Rose maybe?), but I like Caecilia for Genie because they could possibly use Caeli as a nickname, which isn’t connected to Caecilia etymologically but is so visually, and Caeli could provide the Marian connection as in her title Regina Caeli. Maybe Caecilia Regina Rose, to really double (triple!) down on it? (Or even just Cecilia Regina Rose, if they don’t like the Caecilia idea but like the Regina Rose middles?) I would say Caeli like CHAY-lee, but it can be said KAY-lee or, if they use it as a nickname for Caecilia, they could just say SAY-lee. Other nicknames for Cecilia can include Celia, Celly, and Lia.
  • Regina Rose made me think that Perpetua Rose would also be a lovely double-middle combo — very Marian with the added meaning of “everlasting rose.”

I also took a look at the upcoming feast days on CatholicSaints.info and the other O Antiphons (I wrote a piece with ideas based on them here) and thought these names might be helpful to add to Genie’s ideas (in addition to Lucy and the Sophia names):

  • Dominique: Dominic means “belonging to the Lord” and can be used for O Adonai (O Lord), Dec. 18
  • Kyrie: refers to “the Lord,” and can be used for the same
  • Aurora: Latin for “dawn,” the time of the rising sun, which can be used for O Radiant Dawn, Dec 21; this is also a Marian name — St. Bonaventure used Aurora in reference to Mary thirty five times in his Mirror of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary includes a reference to Our Lady as aurora in the closing prayer for Vespers
  • Emmanuelle, Emmanuella: for O Emmanuel on Dec. 23
  • A Spanish version of a name for Our Lady of Guadalupe, like Maria or Rosa
  • I know they’ve already used Immaculee, so if the baby is born on the feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8), maybe Catherine or one of its variants would be perfect, since it’s said to mean “pure”; Catherine could also be appropriate for Dec 28 — Holy Innocents
  • Bl. Clara Isabella Fornari (aka Anna and Chiara) on Dec. 9
  • Loretta for the feast of Our Lady of Loreto on Dec. 10
  • Bl. Elizabeth Rose on Dec 13
  • St. John of the Cross on Dec 14 for Jane as a first name (or middle); St. John the Apostle on Dec 27
  • St. Adelaide of Burgundy on Dec 16
  • Pope St. Anastasius I on Dec 19 for Anastasia
  • Bl. Cecilia of Ferrara on Dec 19
  • St. Anastasius II of Antioch on Dec 21
  • Mary, Mother of God on Jan 1 — Madonna would be perfect!
  • St. Basil the Great on Jan 2 for Emmelia
  • Holy Name of Jesus on Jan 3 for Emmanuelle/a

Then I did my usual research in the Baby Name Wizard, looking up names that are similar to the names Genie and her husband have already used and those they like, as it lists, for each entry, names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. And I looked through my book of Marian baby names as well. Based on all that, these are some new ideas:

(1) Natalie or Natalia

I know Genie said there didn’t have to be a Christmas or Advent connection, but I enjoyed finding names that I thought she might like that also had that connection! Natalie and Natalia literally refer to Christmas, as they come from the Latin natale domini: “birth of the Lord.” They can also be Marian names via her title Our Lady of the Nativity, or they could choose Our Lady’s own nativity (Sept. 8) as her name day. Nathalie’s also a pretty and unexpected spelling (French).

(2) Susanna

I always think of Susanna as a Christmas name, since Zuzu in It’s a Wonderful Life (Zuzu’s petals!) mostly likely had a Susan name (Zuzu is a nickname for the Susan names). Susanna is my favorite of the Susan names, and I included it in my book of Marian baby names because it means both “lily” and “rose” in Hebrew; because of its “rose” meaning, it could make a nice name for a baby born on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 9). Susie, Sukie, Anna, and Annie are all possible nicknames in addition to Zuzu. St. Susanna’s feast is August 11. (In case it’s helpful, Susanna Mariae was our choice for a baby girl through most of our boys, but for our last I’d actually switched it to Susanna Margaret Mary. St. Susanna and St. Clare share a feast day [Aug.11], so maybe Susanna Mariae Clare would be perfect?)

(3) Clara

Genie has Clare listed as a possible middle name, but what about Clara as a first name? I like it better than Clare as a first name for them and it has both a Christmas and literary connection via The Nutcracker. There’s a Bl. Clara Isabella Fornari whose feast day is Dec. 9 (she’s also known as Anna [her birth name] and Chiara [the Italian version]). I like the combo Clara Dominique Mariae.

(4) Catriona (or Riona/Rionach?)

Genie said she loves Catherine for Sts. Catherine of Siena and Alexandria, which made me think to suggest Caterina (St. Catherine of Siena’s actual name; Catherine is an English and French version). But then I thought the Irish version, Catriona, might be even more suited to her taste! It’s said like Katrina, or you can add in a half syllable: ka-TREE-ə-na, and they could use Kitty, or Cat, or Riona/Triona as nicknames. A really fun connection is that Riona on its own is actually from the Irish rionach, which means “queenly” — a nice Marian name! Rionach is a name in its own right as well! Maybe as a middle name? This mama named her daughter Elizabeth Ríonach (nn Liesel), which I think is so pretty! Catriona Perpetua Rose would also be lovely.

(5) Christiana

A Jesus name would be great for a Christmas baby, and Christiana is my favorite of them — so pretty! AND there’s a St. Christiana the Slave whose feast is on Dec 15! Something like Christiana Mariae Josephine would include the whole Holy Family in one name!

(6) Seraphina

When Genie said she likes longer names with a saint or Marian connection and nickname potential, I thought of Seraphina/Serafina right away. Of course it refers to the seraphim, but I think it can also be used as a name to refer to the angels in general, which is why I included it in my book of Marian names: for her titles Our Lady of the Angels and Queen of the Angels. Sera, Fia, and Fina are all pretty cool nicknames, and I think Sophie/Sofie could work, too, like she was thinking for Josephine.

(7) Verity (or Charity?)

Verity means “truth,” which is amazing anyway, but the name Verity also has a British-y feel to me (admittedly because of the lovely character of Verity in Poldark, which gives it a literary sheen as well), which I think fits in pretty well with Genie’s other children’s names. Maybe Verity Adelaide Madonna? Verity Rose Bernadette? Verity Sophia Faith? (That’s a powerful virtue combo! For that matter, what about Charity Sophia Faith? For “faith, hope, and love”?)

(8) Stella (or Stellamaris? Or Maristella?)

Stella is one of my favorite ideas for this family. I love that it can refer to the Christmas star, and I love that it’s Marian via her title Stella Maris. The full Stellamaris could also be used as a first name, with Stella as the nickname, or Stella as a first name and Maris as one of the middles, or Maristella, which is a lovely reordering of it (see birth announcements for Maristella Rose and Maristella Katherine, both of which made me think of Genie! Maristella Catherine Rose?) A very Christmasy combo would be Stella Aurora Emmanuelle, wow!

And those are all my ideas for Genie’s baby girl! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the little sister of Malachi, Noah, Liam, Henry, Moira, George, and Genevieve?


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) — perfect for the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!

Birth announcement: Genevieve Immaculee Grace!

Dear Genie from Barefoot Abbey (web site and Instagram) is a longtime reader for whom I posted two consultations for two different babies over the last few years (here and here), and a birth announcement for her first baby girl after five boys three years ago. I’m delighted to announce that she’s had her second baby girl — a sweet little lady named … Genevieve Immaculee Grace!

Genie writes,

Our little Sweet Pea, surprise baby girl was born on March 23rd … accidentally unassisted at home after a wild quick labor. I though it was my old back injury flaring up early in the morning but a couple hours later when I got up to take a shower it was baby time instead. I yelled for my husband and he got to the bathroom just in time to catch her. She was a planned homebirth but our third accidentally unassisted birth. 🤷‍♀️ (1 in the hospital & 2 at home) My husband and I are good catchers so at least we’ve got that going for us. 😂 “

(Ohmygoodness!!)

We named her Genevieve Immaculee Grace after the saints, with Immaculee for Our Lady of Fatima and Grace for the Blessed Mother as Mediatrix of all Graces. Her older sister’s patroness is Our Lady of Lourdes with Elizabeth as her second Marian name.

Even though my legal name is not Genevieve, my husband really liked it because of its similarity to mine. And it’s hard to go wrong with the saint who protected Paris from Attila the Hun by organizing a prayer and fasting campaign. St. Grace of Saragossa was also a providential patroness for her intercession with our rocky nursing journey through lip ties and poor latches. St. Grace was a 4th century saint that suffer a similar fate as St. Agatha — martyrdom by mastectomy. 😬

All the Bairns are smitten with her and have taken to calling her Evie Grace and Gigi. My favorite nickname for her though is Moon Pie, because she has the sweetest, little round moon face.”

Genevieve Immaculee Grace is such a stunning name! I love all the layers of meaning — I love how it connects her to her mother (Genie) and her Mother (Mary) and some great saints as well!

Congratulations to Genie and her husband big sibs Malachi, Noah, Liam, Aelred (with Jesus), Henry, Moira, and George, and happy birthday Baby Genevieve!!

Genevieve Immaculee Grace with her big brothers and sister ❤


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 — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!