Birth announcement: Ariston Blaise!

I posted a consultation for Moira and her husband back in June for their baby boy, and then I actually did a second round of ideas for them privately a few months later, when they were still having a hard time deciding on a name, but turns out they didn’t need the help because they came up with an amazing name that I’d actually never heard of, and I LOVE it! They named their little guy … Ariston Blaise!

Moira writes,

We chose the name Ariston Blaise. As you know, we had a lot of difficulty finding a name that we both loved and that met our desires for significance. This one kind of found us — we were studying our book, Encyclopedia of Catholic saints put out by Our Sunday Visitor and in going through the A’s, Mike asked me, “what do you think of this one?” It totally surprised me, as it’s not a name I would’ve guessed that he would’ve chosen. We looked him up and he is a bishop/saint, more well-known in the eastern church, who is considered on the level with Saint Basil the Great and St. John Chrysostom. One of his defining characteristics that he excelled in contest against demons. That trait seemed very strong, and a neat connection to Ariston’s dad’s name, Michael. This name has the ending sound I love — vowel with an N — complements his brother’s name, Brendan, and (though it is technically Greek) has a strong, not quite but almost Irishy feel to me.

For the middle name, Blaise, I had throat surgery two months before his conception, and we feel that Ariston is such a gift from God, and is due to his intercession.

So there you have it — two names that were never in the running and we love!

Ariston Blaise!! I’ve found myself saying his name in my head many times since first reading the email, I just love how it sounds, what a cool combo! In addition to the Ariston they read about in the Encyclopedia of Catholic Saints, I also found that it’s the name of a third-century martyr. It’s not everyday I hear a saintly name that I’ve never heard of before — you know Ariston is going in my mental files for future consultations!

Congratulations to Moira and Mike and big sibs Anna, Carol, Brendan, and Natalie, and happy birthday Baby Ariston!!


Ariston Blaise

My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from and Amazon — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!


Baby name consultation: Name of Greek origin needed for baby no. 4/girl no. 3

Rebecca and her husband are expecting their fourth baby on earth — their third girl! This little lady joins big sibs:

Sophia Kathryn (“Holy Wisdom and Catherine of Siena as well as a nod to my sister Kathryn“)

Chloe Patricia (“first green plant of spring, Saint Patrick, and her great grandmother is Patricia“)

Theodore Robert “Theo” (“God’s gift, Robert Bellarmine, and my dad is Robert“)

Jude Raphael (with Jesus) (“we prayed a novena for the intercession of Saint Jude when we realized we might lose him, and Raphael ‘God heals’“)

Albert Alphonsus (with Jesus) (“2 saints we love“)

Rebecca was sure to note that their miscarried babies were given names of saints they love, but they “would be less likely to name children who join us on this Earth after birth” with those names.

I love Sophia, Chloe, and Theo(dore) together, such a great group of names — sweet and sophisticated at the same time.

Rebecca writes,

We would sort of like to stick with the Greek theme we’ve stumbled into and have a few names we do like but none that we’re fully attached to. Saints/biblical names are a plus but not essential as first names. Our list includes Phoebe, Daphne, Elia, Eliana, and to a lesser degree Emma and Olivia. I’m hoping for Margaret (Mary, Margaret of Scotland, my mom’s middle name) or Rose (saint Rose of Lima and I just love it but [my hubs] doesn’t as a first name) for a middle name.”

Alrighty, so first, I wanted to offer some thoughts on the names Rebecca and her hubs are considering:

— I like both Phoebe and Daphne, they’re interesting picks and not terribly common
— Elia and Eliana are both lovely, and they made me think of Elena and Eleni—both are Greek forms of Helen, and I know a Greek family who has a little Eleni, it’s such a sweet name
— Emma and Olivia are great names, and very popular these days because of it. If popularity bothers them, the similar-but-longer Emmeline was listed as a style match for Theodore in the Baby Name Wizard (which, as you all know, I always consult when I start a consultation, as it lists for each entry boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity). I also found Emmeleia on the Greek Name Days site — such a pretty name! (That web site is such a great resource — I would definitely recommend taking a look through it)

As for new ideas, these are based on my research in the BNW (including its listing of Greek names in the back of the book) as well as a search through for Greek girl names and the list provided on Nameberry of Greek names, all of which resulted in some good ideas of Greek origin, but I also included some non-Greek names that I thought they might also like:

(1) Evangeline or Eva
I really like Evangeline for this family. Though it’s totally not a big deal at all, I like that Sophia, Chloe, and Evangeline all have different endings, and I like that Evangeline is long like Theodore. I also LOVE the sweet nickname Evie! I’ve also seen Lina used as a nickname for it. If they prefer something shorter, Eva is the Greek version of Eve, and is quite lovely itself.

(2) Georgia, Georgiana
I was surprised by Georgia, as I wouldn’t have thought of it as a Greek name, but indeed it’s categorized as such — not only was it included in the lists of Greek names I looked at, but the BNW also says that it’s “more common in England and Greece than in the U.S.” It also caught my eye because it’s a style match for Theodore! I also love the longer Georgiana.

(3) Anastasia or Stasia
Anastasia is such a gorgeous name that, like Evangeline, has a nice length. But if they thought it was too long, I love both Ana and Stasia as nicknames, and I love Stasia as a given name on its own as well. (I don’t know if Rebecca and her hubs care about repeating initials though?)

(4) Anna or Annabel(le)
Speaking of Ana, what about Anna? I love Anna, and it’s got that pan-European usage that Sophia has, which is so great, and it’s biblical like Chloe and has Greek usage like all of them, including Theodore. But actually, Annabel(le) was my first thought for them Ann-wise after Anastasia — it was listed as a style match for both Theo and Olivia in the BNW, which I thought was pretty amazing (though it loses the Greek).

(5) Irene
A reader emailed just the other day to tell me of the increase she’s been seeing in the number of little girls named Irene. Those of you who follow Simcha Fisher know that she also has a little Irene. It’s Greek for peace, and though it’s been more of an “old lady” name until recently, those names are coming back!

(6) Lucy
Lucy’s another that isn’t Greek, but it is a style match for Theo and Emma and it has that sweetness that I get from their other kiddos’ names, I love it!

(7) Lydia
I love Lydia for this little girl!! It’s Greek, and biblical like Sophia and Chloe, and a style match for some names that also match up with Theo!

(8) Thais or Tessa
Thais is a bit out there as a suggestion, but it’s one of my very favorite husband-would-never-agree names! When I saw it on one of the Greek lists, I had to include it. Pronunciation could be an issue — those familiar with the opera, or from a non-English-speaking country, will be familiar with the pronunciation tie-EES (which is made more obvious if you use the diaresis: Thaïs); I’ve seen TAY-iss, TACE, and THAY-iss as other pronunciations that people use and go by. (I did a spotlight on Thais here.) Tessa is similar but much easier, and though it was listed on Nameberry’s Greek list, it isn’t actually Greek or of Greek origin as far as I can tell. But I love Tessa as a sister to Sophia, Chloe, and Theo (the full T(h)eresa is lovely too! And Tessa is a great nickname, if they prefer that route).

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the little sister of Sophia, Chloe, and Theo(dore)?