You guys! I’m SO EXCITED to post today’s consultation! I know you’re all familiar with Haley Stewart from the blog Carrots for Michaelmas and podcast Fountains of Carrots — she and her hubby Daniel are expecting their fourth baby! Haley’s been struggling with hyperemesis gravidarum (please keep her in your prayers!), so I’m extra happy to provide this little fun little bright spot for her.
Their little green bean (=gender unknown) 🌱 joins big sibs:
Which are amazing names, all of them. I love the handsome Benjamin (who I understand is only and always Benjamin, not Ben), and Lucy and Gwen are the sweetest! And those middle names! The Tolkien Elanor and the Marian Stellamaris! 😍😍😍
“So we’ve been brainstorming baby names for baby #4 (I’m 14 weeks, so we’ve got another 5 weeks before we find out the gender).
We are pretty settled on a girl’s name, but not the middle name and not quite settled on a boy’s name.
We do tend toward names from the British Isles because of the Scottish last name.
For a girl we both really like Evangeline. (nickname Eva)
Other favorites have been Rosemary Catherine (after Our Lady and Catherine of Siena, shortened to Rosie Cate — which I like despite it’s sugary southern feel.)
Marigold, Felicity, Genevieve, Mairwen, Dorothy, Margaret (shortened to Greta–and after my mom Margot), Magdalena (Lena), Marietta (Etta), Josephine, Imogen(e), and Beatrice (or Beatrix).
Middles we like are Catherine, Carole (after Daniel’s mom), Elizabeth, Anne, Jane, Alice, Miriam, Aurora, Ivy, Violet, Daisy, Helena/Helen, Rose, Mary
For Boys we aren’t in 100% agreement. While I’ve typically been the one that pushes for more “out there” names, this time Daniel is the one pushing for unusual names. I think I can get on board but … I’m not quite there yet.
Daniel likes: Beowulf, Cynewulf, and Merlin for first names. I could live with any of these and I do love the idea of calling a little guy “Wulfie.”
St. John (Sinjin) — Daniel likes this one, too, but everyone thinks of St John Rivers from Jane Eyre and that’s probably not great and no one will pronounce it right. But … LOVE
Joseph Romero after St. Joseph and Bl. Oscar Romero
Arthur — This is probably my favorite. I think it sounds great with Benjamin and it’s a classic.
I also love Gilbert (Gil) but Daniel has vetoed this one — MAYBE I could sneak it in as a middle.
Middles we like: Solanus, Luke, Joseph, Anselm, Romero, Ignatius, Kolbe, Gawain, William, Seamus, Basil
Oh! And Daniel came up with a few more names he likes (that miraculously don’t have the syllable “wulf” lol):
Llywelyn, Beorn, Abel“
I should preface my thoughts by saying Haley and her co-host Christy had invited me to be on their podcast two years ago, in which I offered name ideas for both of them for future babies, so I listened to it again as research for this post — I refer to it quite a bit below. (If you haven’t listened to it, I highly recommended it! It was so fun to listen to again!) Also, Haley loves literature and frequently writes about Austen and Anne and so forth, so I loved including literary names as well.
So first off, I love Evangeline nicked Eva. When I was doing my standard research in the Baby Name Wizard for Haley (you all know that, for each entry, it offers boy and girl ideas that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity), I looked up both Evangeline and Eva for inspiration, and loved seeing that Lucy is a style match for Eva, as is Lena (on Haley’s list as a nickname for Magdalena) and Clara (Haley mentioned in the podcast that Clara was a contender for Gwen’s middle name). And I love that Evangeline is long like Benjamin. I think Evangeline/Eva is great for this baby!
I also love Rosemary Catherine nicked Rosie Cate — Haley mentioned it in the podcast as well, and I loved it then and still do! It’s funny because I think Haley must be more sensitive to the southern influence, being that she lives close to it — for me, being from the northeast and living here my whole life, my first thought when hearing double names isn’t southern (though I know it’s certainly a thing down there) … maybe more like Irish? Like Mary Clare, Mary Kate … actually I guess the Mary doubles are what I’m mostly thinking of, which always make me think of Ireland. But for me other double names have that similar feel too, especially if they’re sweet names like Rosie and Cate. They also have a sophisticated feel to me — like country-club-pearls-and-cardigan. Which, comes to think of it, is kind of my idea of “southern” too! Anyway, all that to say, I love Rosemary Catherine/Rosie Cate and I wouldn’t not use it because it feels too southern (but Haley — and many of you — would know better whether that would be an issue or not).
I love Haley and her hubby’s other favorite girl names too, there are so many great ones on their list! As for middles, I tried playing around with Evangeline with some of the middles on their list, just to see which ones I like the best (not that it matters what I like!). My favorite combos, based mostly on how they sound together, were:
Evangeline Elizabeth (long, but they sound so pretty together I think)
Evangeline Aurora (wow)
I also like the idea of double names with Evangeline … like Evangeline Rose –> Eva Rose; Evangeline Catherine –> Eva Cate; Evangeline Elizabeth –> Eva Tess (I think I saw Tess in a list of Elizabeth nicknames only once, but if Betty and Tetty are both traditional nns for Elizabeth [they are], and so is Bess, then it makes sense that Tess would be. Elizabeth/Tess is at the top of my own list).
For their boy ideas, I’m totally blown away by Daniel’s list! Beowulf, Cynewulf, Merlin, Llewelyn, Beorn, and Abel! Truly, it’s almost always the moms who have the more adventurous taste, I’m super impressed with Daniel’s outside-the-box thinking!
In fact, it was so outside the box that I wasn’t quite sure where to start with research for them. None of Daniel’s names are included in any of my name-matchmaking resources (I used Nymbler.com and the Name Matchmaker on babynamewizard.com in addition to the BNW book) except Merlin, Llewellyn (that spelling) and Abel (which I love as Benjamin’s brother). I did sub in Bjorn for Beorn, just to have some additional ideas, but of course most of them were Scandinavian, which didn’t turn out to be terrible — there were a couple that I thought really felt like their style, like Freya for a girl and Torin for a boy, but mostly I tried to stick to names that were at least Celtic/British, if not specifically Scottish, in my official suggestions below.
One of the things I was also surprised by with Daniel’s list is how not-Catholic the names are (besides the biblical Abel). Which is totally fine! But I did try to think of names with maybe a similar feel that had a faithy connection, and the only one I really came up with as sort of similar (in spelling anyway) to Beowulf is Boethius, aka St. Severinus Boethius — he was a philosopher some of my readers have mentioned from time to time, which prompted me to do this post. One of those readers had actually decided on Robert Boethius for her son, but she ended up having a girl (whose got an equally amazing name).
As for the names on Haley’s list, Sebastian Luke has been a longtime fave — she mentioned it in the podcast. Great combo. Haley’s right that St. John will never be said correctly, but I have to say that my primary association isn’t Jane Eyre but Four Weddings and a Funeral! I asked my husband too — he’s the one who introduced me to Brideshead Revisited and loves all those BBC productions like Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, etc., so he’d definitely have a sense of whether a name is too tied to a Bronte character, and he also didn’t remember St. John from Jane Eyre! So I’m thinking maybe the Jane Eyre association isn’t as bad as they think. But definitely yes to lots of pronunciation issues. If they can’t get past that, it would make a smashing middle name! Pronunciations don’t matter so much in the middle.
Joseph Romero’s awesome, and Benjamin and Joseph are great brother names, being that they were brothers in the bible!
Arthur’s great. Benjamin and Arthur together are great.
Haley raved about Gilbert/Gil in the podcast too, but she said her hubby disliked Gilbert and hated Gil even more! Gah! We also talked on the podcast about Gabriel, which Haley said she liked, but she didn’t care for Gabe — I’ve often liked the idea of Gil as a nickname for Gabriel, which I would totally push for Haley except that Daniel doesn’t like Gil!
I love all their ideas for boy middle names too!
I know Haley said they’re set on Evangeline/Eva, or possibly Rosemary Catherine, and if they decide not to do either of those they have an amazing list of other girl names they like, but there were some names that popped up in my research that, like Freya mentioned above, just felt like their style. I didn’t spend a huge amount of time on girl ideas, but I did just want to mention these few here before listing my boy ideas:
Zelda’s a style match for Merlin per the BNW, and it screams “literary” to me, never mind that it’s got the cool Z initial.
Biblical like Benjamin, it’s also a style match for Daniel’s Abel. Naomi’s gorgeous! And I love her story in the bible.
St. Edith Stein is one of the best, and her name’s a match for Arthur. How sweet is the nickname Edie??
Given that Haley specifically mentioned their Scottish last name, and Annabelle’s a style match for Evangeline, I thought it was worth pointing out that Annabel is actually a Scottish name! A variant of Amabel, which points to Our Lady!
(5) Iona, Isla
Iona’s a match for Llewellyn, and like Annabelle I thought it was worth a mention because of its specifically Celtic feel (St. Columba founded a monastery on the Isle of Iona). Ditto for Isla.
As for boy’s names, I basically just tried to find names that I thought would bridge the names on Haley’s list with those on Daniel’s, hopefully coming up with ideas that they both might like. This is what I came up with:
It was Haley’s love of the idea of calling a little guy “Wulfie” that make me think of Wilfrid. There’s a mom on a name discussion board I follow who has a little Wilfrid, and Wolf is his occasional nickname, so I thought Wilfrid could combine the “wulf” aspects of the names Daniel loves with the St. John/Arthur/Gilbert names on Haley’s list — I think Wilfrid could fit in well with them, and in fact the similar sounding Willis was also listed as a style match for Gilbert. AND there are a few Sts. Wilfrid!
I had planned to listen to the podcast again anyway, to see if there were any ideas in it I’d missed, but I was particularly compelled to do so when I was doing my research (I did all of it except the podcast first) and saw Malcolm in a list of Celtic names I was looking through. It felt so familiar, like I’d already suggested it to Haley, but it wasn’t in the podcast so I wonder where I got that feeling? Anyway, as soon as I saw it I thought it felt like a really good suggestion. Not only is it a good Celtic name — Scottish, in fact — but it’s got a great meaning: “disciple of St. Columba.” (Compare this to a name I reference on the blog quite a bit: Miles, an anglicization of the old Irish name Maelmhuire, meaning “disciple/servant of the Virgin Mary.” Malcolm is from the Scottish Mael Colium.) Mac would make a great nickname for a Malcolm!
Roald is a style match for Bjorn, but despite being a Norwegian name of course we know it as the British author Roald Dahl. I don’t know if Haley and her hubs like Dahl as an author or not, but with Cynewulf in play I didn’t think anything was out of bounds to suggest! And Roald is a bit more Arthur than Cynewulf.
This was in the same list of Celtic names as Malcolm, and I totally had Scottish names on the brain, so I thought it was a fun suggestion. It’s the Scottish form of Thomas!
What’s more British than Giles? Though it sounds different than Gil, Gil was my inspiration for it. On the podcast Haley had said, in response to my suggestion of Henry, that she and Daniel had been talking about George, and that Henry and George have such a Brit feel, especially with the last name Stewart. Giles fits that to a T! There are a few Sts. Giles.
Also on the podcast, Haley said that at that time John Paul Ignatius was Daniel’s favorite name, which added to my surprise at his current list. But Magnus — a style match for Bjorn and a name on the Celtic list as well — might be a way to nod to St. John Paul the Great (and other Greats: St. Gregory and St. Leo, as well as even St. Maximilian Kolbe if they want, since Maximilian and Magnus share meanings) in a new way, and in a style closer to the names they both have on their lists. Since they have Carole on their girl middle name list for Daniel’s mom, they could consider using a male variant like Karol/Karl/Carl as a middle name for Magnus and have it refer even closer to St. John Paul the Great (since his birth name was Karol — the Polish form of Charles). (Magnus Karol/Karl/Carl is also Charlemagne’s name reversed, which may or may not appeal to them.)
Of course you have to know this was almost 100% inspired by St. John. It’s got a similar sound and also refers to a saint (St. Clare), but in a much easier way spelling- and pronunciation-wise. It’s also a style match for Llewellyn, and Haley said in the podcast that she loves the name Clara. So maybe?
I was pretty aware of the fact that several names I thought they might like are also the names of children of fairly well known mamas in the Catholic world (e.g., Naomi — Ana Hahn; Edith — Rosie Hill), and Felix is one such (Jenna Wilber and Arwen Mosher, to name two), so I know that might reduce its appeal, but there weren’t too many names that were style matches for more than one name on Haley’s and Daniel’s lists (except for the Leo/Henry/Oliver names, which is where their girl style tends to lean), but Felix was a match for both Eva and Merlin. So I thought I had to mention it!
Tristan is a style match for Sebastian and Gavin (in place of Gawain), it’s literary, and it can be bestowed it in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows. I love it!
Interestingly, Ossian was listed as match for Bjorn, which is a variant of Oisín — which was included in the list of Celtic names. It’s definitely out there and has some pronunciation issues (o-SHEEN is, I believe, the correct way to say Oisín, and O-see-en for Ossian, and Forvo concurs [here and here], as does babynamesofireland.com, but I’m sure some people would come up with “Ocean”). I see the evolution of the O names happening thusly: Oliver was a big hit for a while, then became overly popular for some people’s tastes; then Owen; I’m currently seeing Otis and Oscar more and more; so using Oisin/Ossian might be getting in on the ground floor of The Next Big Name.
This is my last idea, and it’s inspired both by Haley’s mom and grandmother’s names (Margot and Margaret), as well as the fact that Gareth and Garrett have a Celtic feel. One of you shared about a family with a devotion to St. Margaret of Antioch, so they named a son Garrett in her honor (so similar to Greta on Haley’s list). I love that! And Gareth was on the Celtic list, and Margarethe is a German and Danish form of Margaret, so Gareth definitely still works for Margaret and Margot.
I think I’ll stop at eleven ideas! But I thought these posts might have some additional ideas that are similar to those Haley and Daniel might like:
And I’m assuming it wasn’t their favorite, but my idea of Jonathan with the traditional Brit nickname Jonty from the podcast is still one of the ones I love for them!
And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What do you think about Haley and Daniel’s ideas for girl names? What name(s) would you suggest for the little brother of Benjamin, Lucy, and Gwen?