Baby name consultation: Danish + Irish inspiration for Baby No. 2

Lindsay and her husband are expecting their second baby, a little green bean 🌱 (=gender unknown)! This wee babe joins big brother:

William Thomas

Solid, handsome, there’s nothing wrong with a name like William Thomas!

About his name, Lindsay writes,

So many people in my family have the name William, my brother, cousins and uncles on both sides, my dad is a Bill from Wilber like his dad. I always knew I wanted a William of my own. When I met my husband, he was introduced as Nolan…come to find out his first name is William and just goes by his middle name! His dad was William. his mom’s dad, some uncles and a nephew too! We chose Thomas after his brother in law who raised him after his parents passed when he was a young. And also St. Thomas More who I’ve always been drawn to.”

Again, perfection. 👌

About this new baby, Lindsay writes,

We just found out we are pregnant with our second! We didn’t know our son’s gender until he was born. We went in with two full names per gender and wanted to meet our child first before settling on a name. The other boy’s name that we didn’t use is still a huge contender should this baby be a boy. So I’ll start with our two boy name options.

Here’s the other boy name that we didn’t use the first time around:

Thatcher Pio (If we hadn’t chosen William Thomas for our first son he would have been Thomas Thatcher and go by the middle name…so that is why Thatcher is still in the mix but trying to find another middle name since we’ve used the name Thomas)

We love Padre Pio in our family 🙂 and we want to name a son after him. But I’m not convinced this flows. What do you think? Thatcher is my paternal grandmother’s maiden name and I just love it. So English and solid but also I’ve never heard it as a first name.

Thatcher is a first contender for me but my husband still wants to go in with two names for each gender. We both love Theodore! I know it means “gift of God” so that’s wonderful but I’m not sure about middle name because I do want a name from my side in there. Guess I’ll have to figure that one out! I know there is a St. Theodore but I don’t know any info.

For girls…

The two names that were our contenders the first time around are still tip top. But a fun thing has happened that makes it hard to decide which! Here they are:

Stellamaris Anne
I’ve always loved Stella and then I heard Stella Maris and just love it to give a nod to our Blessed Mother. I would make it the full first name so I can have one middle name. We’d mainly call her Stella. Oh and is there a specific pronunciation for Maris? I always went with Mare-is as in the sound of Mary. But then on the Fountains of Carrots podcast I heard it as Mar-is. Does it matter? Anne: My sister’s middle name is Anne and I’d just love to acknowledge her and my Mother in law’s middle name is Ann and she always had a love for St. Anne. She died when my husband was young so I never met her but his nine siblings gave me a St. Anne medal at our wedding. I was on day 5 of a St. Anne novena praying that we could conceive (we had trouble getting pregnant the first time) when I found out I was pregnant this time around. So needless to say I really want this child to have Anne in her name should she be a girl! Oh and I love Anne of Green Gables … a literary nod that I like hehe. I would say the entire name is my personal front runner but the other option means a lot to my husband and it has grown on me. But using Anne with this other first name option gets tricky. I’ll move on to explain.

Eleanor Francis (Frances)
To begin, my dad’s middle name is Francis. Is it weird to spell it that way for a girl? I thought I read somewhere that both spellings used to be interchangeable for genders. Maybe I made this up haha. Anyway, I also looked up St. Frances and she is so wonderful … what an amazing patron saint for a young girl! Now onto the first name … Eleanor. Eleanor is my husband’s grandmother’s name. It took me a while to really love it but I do now. I love the classic, timelessness of it. I like all these nicknames (Lenny [don’t want it to turn into Lynn], Nell, Nellie) but am still hesitant about what we would use … maybe it would help once we know our girl. I like the name as is but we are a nickname type of family so I would kind of like to have an idea so it doesn’t turn into something we don’t want. And I’m not sure my husband is sold on a nickname. For particular reasons we don’t want any type of El nickname or Nora.

The dilemma is that I do not want to use Anne with Eleanor because I would probably still want to use Francis as a middle name and that doesn’t work in my opinion with Stellamaris. So basically first name/middle name combos are solid as they are.

Hopefully I’ll have more girls and here is the rest of the running list basically in order to give you a sense of our style:

Zellie
Imogen (don’t think it really has any religious/catholic tie though)
Liesel
Willa (although haven’t decided if I can really have a William and a Willa haha)
(I’ve thrown around the idea of making Zellie a front runner this time around to fix my Anne middle name problem)

We also like Louis for a boy and Benjamin but they would not be front runners right now. My husband likes Henry and Oliver. I like both but they are way down the list and I’m not sure I’d ever really want to use Oliver.

Some ideas for future middle names based on family names and Saints are:

Katherine, Virginia, Avila, Goretti

Boys middle names are harder for me.

Oh and I’ve tried to find cool Danish names because I’m Danish so if any neat ones pop up in your mind I’d love to hear them and my husband is Irish. I’ve always love Irish culture and we went there on our honeymoon 🙂 “

I’m such a HUGE fan of hearing all the details! I know some of you who I’ve done consultations for apologize to me for giving me lots of details, but I say the more the merrier!

Alrighty, so diving right in: I love Thatcher Pio! I absolutely think they go together well, great combo!

Theodore’s also great, and while I obviously don’t know what names Lindsay has on her side of the family, just trying to think of middle names that come to mind quickly as going well with it, I love the idea of Theodore John — a nice short middle following a longer first. Most families have a John somewhere! I also love that there’s St. John of Avila, which can tie into the Avila she listed as a possible future middle. Or if she wanted to tie in her husband’s Irish, perhaps Theodore Sean? Or Jens or Hans, both Danish forms of John? Or Theodore Bent, where Bent is a Danish form of Benedict? I actually really like the idea of using a Danish name in the middle, because then it automatically becomes a name from Lindsay’s side, just by virtue of its Danish-ness, and also because it balances out Pio a bit. William Thomas and Thatcher Pio, super handsome as they each are on their own and very Britishy (except Pio), are nevertheless quite different at first glance — William Thomas is all super traditional and no surprise, while both Thatcher and Pio are unusual and surprising. So if they did something like Theodore Jens or Theodore Bent for this baby, it would make a really nice bridge between William Thomas and Thatcher Pio. Does that make sense?

Some other short Danish names that I thought could pair nicely with Theodore include:

— Bernt (Bernard)
— Carl (Charles)
— Claus (Nicholas)
— Elias (Elijah)
— Frans (Francis)
— Klemens (Clement)
— Poul (Paul)

There are a whole bunch of other options here, including pronunciations.

Since we’re talking about Danish names, these are the three ideas I had for Danish names that would make good first names for boys in my opinion:

(1) Matthias
I love how (1) biblical, (2) Catholic (since Matthias was chosen to take Judas’ spot by the rest … perhaps they could be thought of as the first Church Council? 🙂 ), and (3) Scandinavian Matthias is! Such a great name, and I saw too that Mads is the Danish diminutive for it, cute!

(2) Oscar
I’m a huge fan of Oscar — I did a spotlight on it here, and wish it would get more play!

(3) Sander
Alexander is a name I feel like I should love — it’s totally my style *on paper,* according to the Baby Name Wizard (which, as you all know, lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity) — but I’ve never been able to love it. But Sander, which is a Danish diminutive of it, I do love! I think it’s so cool and unexpected, but familiar at the same time.

I also love Louis, Benjamin, Henry, and Oliver, and used them all as inspiration when coming up with new ideas for this family.

Re: their girl ideas, Stellamaris Anne and Eleanor Frances/Francis are both so lovely!

I love putting Stella and Maris together in one first name so they could have one middle name, perfect! Regarding Lindsay’s pronunciation question, I’ve always said MARE-is, like she does, and looking it up quickly on behindthename they list two pronunciations as equal — I believe their MER-is is the same as our MARE-is, and their MAR-is is like Haley’s pronunciation. So I would say either is fine — you get to choose your favorite!

The Anne connections are all amazing!! I can totally see why it’s important to Lindsay to use Anne in her first daughter’s name! So let’s move on to Eleanor for a minute, and I’ll offer some Anne ideas then too.

Re: Francis for a girl — Frances is currently the female variant and Francis the male, but in the old days there was a lot of interchange! So I wouldn’t be surprised if they used to be used for both boys and girls. That said, Brooke Shields named her daughter Rowan Francis, and if I remember correctly she used the Francis spelling specifically because she was honoring a male Francis (maybe her dad?). Especially as a middle name, there’s no harm in choosing whichever spelling one wants! It’s also good to note that Frances and Francis are the *same* name, so Frances in honor of Lindsay’s dad should be totally fine and understandable and obvious. But it’s also very modern and current to use boy names for girls (like how James is getting a lot of play among celeb baby girls, mostly as a middle, but then Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively used it as a first). So I think whichever way they decide to go is great!

That said … I might think that the Francis spelling, being a bit more unusual for a girl, would be more in line with Thatcher Pio than William Thomas, and might therefore make a nice bridge between Lindsay’s oldest and her subsequent children.

Also, in doing research for her somehow I came across Nonie as a nickname for Eleanor! Cuuuute!! I debated whether I thought it was too similar to the unusable Nora, and thought I’d let them decide.

So it seems like, if I’m understanding correctly, that Eleanor Anne would technically be the “best” option — the first name Lindsay’s husband loves and the middle name that she thinks is so perfect and meaningful for a first girl. But as Lindsay pointed out, Stellamaris Frances/is doesn’t have such a great flow. My one suggestion is to consider Maristella instead — it’s the same name as Stellamaris, and can take Stella as a nickname, and Maristella Frances/is sounds a lot better than Stellamaris Frances/is. I posted a birth announcement for a Maristella not too long ago, such a beautiful name! I’ve also thought Maristelle would be a gorgeous variant (like Maris Estelle, which is a French-y Maris Stella), and I think it could still lead to Stella as a nickname (I’ve never actually seen Maristelle though).

Lindsay’s other girl names are so fun! I get a definite Brit vibe from Imogen, and I too love it! And while there’s no *officially* holy Imogen that I could find (i.e., Servant of God/venerable/blessed/saint), a quick google search did yield a Mother Imogen Ryan who was Mother Superior of a Sacred Heart convent and had dealings with Dorothy Day, and wrote a book for children under the name Mary Imogen Ryan. I love the idea of Mary Imogen — Mary+[anything] automatically makes a name Catholicky Catholic I think! And loads of Mary+’s go by their middle names!.

I love Zellie, and Zellie Anne is lovely! Liesel is beautiful too, and Willa! I love that Lindsay included it so I could use it for inspiration, but William and Willa would be really bold!

As far as Danish girls’ names, these were some I quite liked for them from the list of female Danish names provided at behindthename:

(1) Anika, Annelise
Anika is a Danish diminutive of Anna/Anne — I’m guessing Lindsay would still prefer Anne, being that Anne is her sister’s middle name and Ann was her mother-in-law’s middle name, but Anika’s a sweet way to get an uncommon Anne name. Annelise is another great Anne name, and is actually the Danish form of Anneliese, which is Anna and Liese (from Elisabeth, so similar to Liesel on their list!) put together.

(2) Britt or Brit(t)a
These are short forms of Birgitta, which is related to Bridget. I like them both, very cool! Kind of Danish and Irish at the same time!

(3) Hildegard
I know! This is such a big clunky name! But St. Hildegard of Bingen is awesome, and I just die over the nickname Hildy/Hildi, so sweet! (I would totally also do just Hildy or Hildi as a given name too, though neither were included in the list of Danish names.)

(4) Milla
I wonder what Lindsay and her hubs would think of Milla instead of Willa? I think sibs William and Milla would be totally fine! I did a spotlight on Ludmila last year, for St. Ludmila, who was a holy grandmother — I’ve often thought that she would be a nice and unusual way to honor a grandmother in a grandchild’s name, and I think Mil(l)a’s the most current way to do so.

I had some other ideas too, based on research in the Baby Name Wizard, using the names Lindsay likes, as well as my own mental files:

Girl
(1) Clara or Klara
Clara’s a style match for Theo (I looked up both Theo and Theodore, as I thought both gave great ideas), Stella (no entry for Stellamaris), and Louis! It also totally rocks as a sister to Eleanor in my opinion. The spelling Klara is Danish, which could be perfect for them!

(2) Lucy
Lucy is also a match for Theo and Stella, and also Henry! It’s such a sweet name and also fits in really well with Eleanor.

(3) Eva or Evelyn
Yes, Eva was also a match for Theo and Stella! It reminded me of Evelyn, which I thought they might also like — it has that Brit feel to it, to me, probably because of (male) author Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited, great Catholic themes).

(4) Gemma
Gemma! I love love love it for this family! It was only listed as a match for Willa, which is great enough, but it’s also got lots of use in the UK, which fits with Eleanor and Imogen, and it’s super saintly in the same vein as Zellie. So great!

(5) Beatrice or Beatrix
Again, a nice English feel, and quite a good style match for them otherwise, being similar to Theodore, Eleanor (Beatrice), and Imogen (Beatrix).

(6) Verity
I thought some of Lindsay’s more offbeat ideas — Thatcher, Zellie, Imogen, Liesel, Willa — were more indicative of her taste than some of the others, and I relied heavily on their style matches when finding names I thought she might like. Verity’s a match for Imogen, and I would also put it in the Zellie category in the sense of Catholicky Catholic names. (And I love the character of Verity on Poldark!)

(7) Violet
Violet was another great style match for them, similar to Stella, Eleanor, and Oliver. It can also be a Marian name!

Boy
(1) Charles
I couldn’t not suggest Charles to this family after seeing it listed as a style match for William, Eleanor, Louis, Henry, and Stella (Charlie) — wow! It’s a great name!

(2) Everett
Everett was listed as a match for both Theodore and Eleanor, which is great enough, but I also really felt like it had a Thatcher feel to it. Everett’s derived from Everard, and there are several holy men by that name!

(3) Felix
Felix is a match for Theo and Imogen, and was included in the list of Danish names! I’ve also seen it used/considered by families who also use/consider Zellie.

(4) Garett/Gareth
Gareth is a match for Imogen and Gemma, and it reminded me of a comment that was recently left on the blog about a family who used Garrett for a son in honor of St. Margaret. I thought that was so brilliant! I quite like Garrett — it has an Irishy feel to me, and I think it could easily hold its own with Eleanor/Imogen/Oliver-type names; behindthename also says it’s likely derived from Gerard or Gerald, which provides good patron saints. If they prefer Gareth however, Margarethe is the Danish form of Margaret, and perfect patron for a Gareth! (I almost suggested a variant of Margaret to them — lots of great options that totally fit their style! — but then I thought it was a bit much with brother Thatcher.)

**Speaking of Margaret Thatcher, I’m going to interrupt myself for a minute — Lindsay specifically asked,

I do have one more big question about Thatcher. Many of the Irish people loath Margaret Thatcher … am I right? I love Ireland and hope to go there with family in the future … and I don’t want my son, Thatcher, to be looked down upon by the friendly Irish because of his name. Think I’m looking too far into this and thinking people would be more judgmental than they actually would be?

Do any of you have a good sense of how Thatcher would be received in Ireland? **

(5) Simon
Simon is a match for Willa and Oliver, and I also love it with William and Thatcher!

(6) Sebastian
Sebastian actually didn’t show up as a style match for anyone, but I can see it working really well with William, Thatcher, Eleanor, Imogen (that English feel) as well as Stellamaris and Zellie (Catholicky Catholic).

(7) Bennett
Finally, I love Bennett for this family — it’s a match for Willa, but it’s also got a surnamey feel like Thatcher; it’s got that Austen vibe like Eleanor; and it’s a medieval variant of Benedict!

Whew! Those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What would you suggest for a little brother or sister to William Thomas, given all the info here? What are your thoughts about first name Thatcher from an Irish perspective?

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Baby name consultant: Saintly, musical, Irish, not “plain”

Laura and her husband are expecting their second baby, a little green bean (=gender unknown). They already have:

Clara Louise

Which, beyond being just gorgeous, classy, and classic, is meaningful to Laura and her hubs because, as Laura writes,

St. Clare and St. Francis are very special saints to me, and I entrusted prayers for my husband and myself to them back when we were still dating. Clara is also a nod to my favorite piece of classical music, The Nutcracker. (Hubby and I are both musicians.) Louise is my maternal grandmother’s middle name. We call her Clara-Lou and Lou-Lou as a “nickname.” I had Clara picked out when I was 11! I loved the meaning: “clear/bright/illuminated famous warrior.””

Beautiful, right? Such meaning! Laura continues,

We’re not planning on finding out the gender this time around, and are just having an impossible time thinking of a girl’s name that we both like! What’s more, in all of my girl-name research, I’ve come to think my lined-up boy’s name is too boring.

Our top contender is: Rosalie Caoilfhinn (KEE-lin). I love that it’s a nod to our Irish heritage. (We’re both German/Irish). My husband is not totally thrilled with Rosalie, and I have my concerns about whether Rosalie is too cute for a teenager to wear. Also, I dislike Rosie, Rose, Lee and Ros, as nicknames.

My husband really likes Diana, for which I don’t care. It has too strong a mythology/princess connection for me.”

Some of the names Laura likes that her husband doesn’t include:

Anessa Coeli (“I love that Agnes is St. Clare’s sister, but Agnes is a tough name for a little girl. “Lamb of heaven” just tickles me pink but hubs thinks it’s horrid-sounding.”)
Anita/Antonia/Annette
Elizabeth/Elsabeth/Ilse/Ilsa/Ailis
Carina/Corinne
Maria Lise
Bonnie Josephine
Eibhlín/Aibhlín
Eithne (“Gaelic pronunciation of en-ya“)

And “names initially suggested by my husband, but when I reminded him of them, he hated them” (!):

Alice
Marian
Miranda

For the boys, Laura says,

“… my first boy plan for forever was William Thomas. It’s in honor of both my grandfathers, and also my father, William “Bill.” I simply adore Saints Thomas More and Thomas Becket. “Will” was my planned nickname. Now, however, these names sound so…plain to me! And Liam is the name of a good friend’s son.

My boy name problem is the opposite of my girl name problem. I love too many! Arthur is a top pick if I have a second son. Pascal, Andrew, Paul, Bernard, Peter, Augustine, Éamon, Mark, George, Kieran, Kevin, Francis (though the F.F. is a big problem for my husband), Patrick, Seamus … I can’t even list all of the boys names that I like!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but not only is Clara Louise amazingly lovely, some of Laura’s other ideas had me practically drooling, they’re just so beautiful. Like Anessa Coeli! My husband wouldn’t go for a name like that either but it’s so my taste — a little offbeat, a great rhythm, and packed full of faith-y meaning. Love it! (It also reminded me of this consultation, with their Inessa.)

I love too that they’re into the Irishy Irish names, I would totally have gone that direction if my husband had been open to it (he’s not. At all.).

Rosalie Caoilfhinn blows me away with its beauty. What a great combo! However, I do think that a possible nickname is sort of a must, especially if they’re worried that Rosalie won’t wear well at certain ages. I was trying to think of alternatives to Rosie, Rose, Lee, and Ros and thought of Ree (like Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman), and also a traditional nickname for Rosemary is Romy, which I’ve always liked — Caoilfhinn is an awesome middle, but I wonder if they’d consider Rosalie M__ nicked Romy?

Another nickname idea for Rosalie Caoilfhinn, which may just complicate things rather than make them easier, is Róisín, said ro-SHEEN, which I like as a nickname for this combo because it kind of takes a little from Rosalie and a little from Caoilfhinn sound-wise. It’s an Irish name meaning “little Rose” and was used as a middle name by this family.

They could also do just Ro — I have a friend named Rosey who sometimes goes by Ro and I always think it feels really affectionate.

With the boy names, I kept coming back to Laura’s comment that her boy names now “sound so…plain to me!” so I focused pretty heavily on finding names that wouldn’t sound “plain” — to me, for a boy, that means “more unusual,” whereas for a girl I’d think it would mean “frillier” maybe. The fresher a name sounds — the more uncommon — I think the less plain it seems. So when I was thinking about boy names, not only did I have some name suggestions, but I also had some strategies that I thought Laura and her husband might find helpful. Like:

  • Alternate versions of names they like
    For example, Laura said the name she’s loved and planned forever is William Thomas — it has loads of meaning for her in her family and saint-wise as well. What if she considered Wilhelm or Willem instead? Or Tavish, Tam, or Tomek? I’d probably think of doing one “normal” paired with one “unusual” name, rather than have them both be alternates, like William Tavish or Willem Thomas. Wilhelm and Willem can both take her planned nickname Will as well, so it would only mean a slight tweaking of their plan and still a clear nod to Laura’s dad. Looking at the other names they like, Andrew could become Ander; Paul could become Pavel; Peter could become Pierce or Piers; with their love of Irish could totally do Caoimhín instead of Kevin … you get the idea, and there are other variants besides those I listed — behindthename.com and dmnes.org are great resources for that kind of thing!

(I interrupt this broadcast to tell you of a major name FAIL on my part, in regards to Laura and her husband’s name ideas: Their last name begins with an F, and all the while I was working on this for them, it never once occurred to me that William Thomas F__’s initials would be WTF. Fortunately, one of Laura’s friends caught it and pointed it out. You guys — I really think it’s important to run your name ideas by some people before birth! And not just me, clearly. Relying on my opinion/advice will apparently have your child ending up with initials that will torment him or her for life. :/ )

  • Unusual nicknames for “plain” first names
    Another way to jazz up names that you think are a little too plain is with an unexpected nickname. I was thinking about William and Laura’s idea of Will, and thought even if Will just changed to Wills, like the prince, it might provide enough sparkle for them to feel content with it again, you know? Wills is one more letter than Will, but it has a whole different feel to me — a little international and just … unexpected. I also saw that a Dutch nickname for it is Pim — I love that! I’ve mentioned here a bunch of times about Francis and Gregory, two names that I personally *intellectually* like — I know they’re great, traditional names with great saintly patrons — but if I were to use them I’d need just a little something, and the idea of the nickname Finn for Francis and Rory or Gus for Gregory does that for me. I’ve seen Packy and Patch for Patrick, which are so fun and different. And Pasha for Paul is so sweet!
  • Double names
    Double names are much more unusual for boys than they are for girls, and even pairing two “normal” names together really packs a punch — I’ve written about John Henry recently, for example. John Paul’s always a great example — on their own, John and Paul are solid and traditional and may even be characterized as somewhat “plain,” but put them together and it’s a totally different name. Mark Bernard’s striking me right now as kind of a cool combo from Laura’s list — I like the repeated “-ar” in both … double names can be a bit clunky for everyday, but Mark Bernard, for example, has less syllables than some of the really long boy names like Alexander or Nathaniel and is the same length as Augustine on their list.

Alrighty, on to my other name suggestions. As you all know, when I’m doing a consultation I almost always start by looking through the Baby Name Wizard, which has the amazing feature of listing, for each entry, boy and girl names that match the entry in terms of style/feel/popularity. I looked up all Laura and her husband’s name ideas for both boys and girls and wrote down all the style matches and then looked for patterns and overlap and came up with seven ideas for girls and eight for boys:

Girls
(1) Something to do with Anna
I always take notice when the same name and/or its variants starts showing up as a match for several of the names a couple likes, and in this case, it was all sorts of Anna versions. Anna itself was the one listed most often, but Anne, Anita, Annika, Annabelle, Amabel (which is not an Anna name but is where Annabelle most likely originated from, and has a great Marian connection as well), and Aine were also. The last one, Aine, really jumped out at me because of their love of the Irish names, especially Eithne, which is so similar, but maybe Aine is just different enough for Laura’s husband? They could spell it with a fada as Áine or without, or they could spell it Anya, which I don’t mind at all as it (1) makes the pronunciation more obvious and (2) I think it helps remind people that Clara has musical/balletic ties because Anya has a Russian feel which always makes me think of the ballet. (And now you’ve gotten a glimpse inside my weird namey head where associations make loads of sense to me and probably don’t to anyone else! Haha!) Something like Aine/Anya Roisin would be really pretty.

I was really interested to see Amabel and Annabelle listed because, first of all, as soon as I saw Annabelle I immediately thought there’s a good chance it’s the kind of name Laura would like. And Amabel, the origin of Annabel(le), is a medieval feminine form of Amabilis, which means “lovable” and was the name of a (male) saint. “Lovable” is such a great meaning for a little one! But wait — there’s more! “Mater Amabilis” is a title of Our Lady — usually translated as “Mother Most Amiable” but amiable literally means lovable — so Amabel (and therefore Annabel/Annabelle) can be considered Marian! I LOVE finding stuff like that out!

The other Anna names are great too, of course, but Annabelle and Aine were really the ones that seemed like great ideas for this family.

(2) Sylvie
Both Sylvia and Sylvie showed up several times in my research, but my gut is saying Sylvie is more their taste than Sylvia. I personally love Sylvie — I feel like it’s the Sophie less traveled — elegant but sweet.

(3) Juliet
Julia, Julie, and Juliet were all big winners here style-wise as well, but as with Sylvie vs. Sylvia, I suspect that Juliet would be Laura’s favorite of those. I think Clara and Juliet are amazing as sisters — even though Juliet’s a literary name rather than a musical name, I think it evokes a similar artsy, cultured, feminine feel as Clara. Love it!

(4) Harriet
I’m not sure what I think about this suggestion. It doesn’t feel like Laura’s taste to me, but the Baby Name Wizard is saying it fits her style. It tied with Anna as having the most mentions in the lists of names that were similar to the other names she likes! Behindthename gives the traditional Harriet nicknames as Etta, Ettie, Hallie, Hattie, Hatty, and Hettie, all of which I like on their own as a given name, so maybe Laura and her husband would prefer one of those? Or maybe they do like Harriet? I do think it’s one of those names that’s coming back on the heels of Alice and Matilda-type names, so we’ll probably see more little Harriets running around soon!

(5) Lydia
We talked quite a bit about Lydia recently! It’s not going to deter me from suggestions it though. I’ve always loved Lydia — it’s biblical (the name of a woman who sold purple cloth — how cool for a little Lydia girl to have a color of her own!), and the nickname Liddy is too sweet. It was also a style match for Clara (as well as others on their list), which was a great plus!

(6) Frances
I’m loving Frances recently. In Dwija’s consultation I wrote, “Frances [is] fairly uncommon for a first name for a girl as far as I can tell, though Francis is all over the Catholic name stats for boys. Frannie and Frankie are sweet nicknames, and the full Frances is serious and bookish in all the best ways. Frances can be a nod to any of the Sts. Francis, but of course there are loads of female namesakes.” That’s pretty much what I want to say here too! Clara and Frances seem so well matched to me as sisters too, probably because Frances reminds me so much of Frances Hodgson Burnett, who wrote The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, which makes me think of great books for girls, in which I include Heidi, whose beloved friend is Klara. So. Once again, the weird ramblings of my mind. 🙂

(7) Miscellaneous others
There were a lot of names I came upon that I thought would exactly fit the part of Laura that loves Anessa and Elsabeth and Eithne but they weren’t overall style matches, just names that might have been listed as similar to just one name that’s on their list, but I couldn’t not list them here, even just as a P.S. Interestingly, most of them were listed as style matches for Pascal: Allegra, Aida, Ariadne, Elodie, Melisande, Ophelia, and Esme. A few Irish names too, like Mairead, Eimear, Catriona or Riona, and Aoife — names I consider to be a bit more accessible because they don’t have any b’s or h’s and they’re not seventeen letters long, haha!

Boys
(1) Frederic(k)
Frederick was far and away the biggest hit for Laura and her husband in terms of style matches — it was listed as similar to Rosalie, Josephine, Frances, and Arthur. It reminds of Chopin (and his spelling, Frederic, is a nice one and a little different without being crazy, especially for musicians!), and it can take the German nickname Fritz, which could be really fun. I also know a little Frederick who goes by Erick.

(2) Gilbert
I’ve long loved Gilbert Blythe but not his name … but more recently it’s been growing on me. I love the nickname Gil, one of my faves, and there’s Gilbert and Sullivan too. (So sorry if my musical references are making you musicians out there roll your eyes — I’m not a musician so my thoughts are really amateurish! But I’ll offer any connections that come to my mind, just in case.)

(3) Jasper or Casper
Both of these names refer to one of the Three Wise Men, whose known by one or the other depending on what you’re reading. I love them both, and they’re certainly not “plain”! Jasper is similar to Augustine and Josephine, and Casper to Elsa.

(4) Oscar
Oscar is similar to similar to Clara (!), Elsa, and Alice, and it’s offbeat and saintly with both Irish and German usage — what a great option for this family! I spotlighted it here.

(5) Tristan
Tristan has always had an artsy feel to me, probably because of Tristan and Isolde but also because it’s one of those “softer” names for boys, which I quite like. It’s also Irishy, which is a great bonus!

(6) Tadhg
I already mentioned Caoimhín, and I thought I’d suggest my very favorite Irish boy name: Tadhg. It’s said like “tiger” without the -er, and Tadhg is sometimes Anglicized as Thaddeus (and sometimes as Timothy, but my favorite is one of the Irish Martyrs who’s known as both Bl. Thaddeus Moriarty, OP and Bl. Tadhg Moriarty, OP). Tadhg has such a cool look and sound to me, and I like that it can be a name on its own, or conceivably used for a “nickname” for Thaddeus or Timothy (or really a “call name,” since it’s not technically a diminutive of either Thaddeus or Timothy).

(7) Style matches for Elsa
Like with the Pascal matches for girls, I thought the boy matches for Elsa were all right up Laura’s alley (some of which I’ve already mentioned): Oscar, Leo, August, Hans, Felix, and Casper.

(8) Style matches for Pascal
And once again Pascal seems a great benchmark for what might be considered “not plain.” All these seemed like they might be intriguing to Laura and her husband (some I already mentioned): Alistair, Aloysius, Artemas, Atticus, Augustine, Cassian, Dashiell, Gideon, Joachim, Leander, Leopold, Matthias, Milo, Jasper, Orlando, Phineas, Raphael, Thaddeus, and Tristan.

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest as a little brother or sister to Clara Louise, based on all the characteristics Laura and her husband like?

Baby name consultant: Third little green bean needs an old-fashioned out-of-use name

An email mishap caused one of my scheduled consultations to not post the day it was supposed to, so I’m making it up to the mama today with this out-of-the-ordinary not-a-Monday bonus post!

Amy and her husband are expecting their third baby, gender unknown. Their other children are:

Clara Grace
Hugh Joseph

I just love their names together! A beautiful sib set! Amy writes,

I really like names that are old fashioned but sort of out of use, (such as Hugh) nicknames aren’t a huge concern for me, although I would embrace it to have the long name of a saint ie Helena but go by Ellie … I really look forward to hearing what you have to say. I love my two children’s names SO much I feel like I have set myself up for an impossible task finding more names I love as much and we may likely have many more (this will be three in three and a half years).”

She’d also prefer to have a girl’s name that doesn’t end in -a. Names Amy and her husband have considered include:

Sybil
Lilian
Lucy
Felicity
Pauline or Paula nicked Polly
Jason
Jude

And other names Amy likes include:

Grover (“nixed for obvious reasons, but I still can’t get it out of my head! It worked for president Cleveland!“)
Jillian (“my grandmothers name“)
John Henry (“after St. Newman“)
Lewis (“but don’t want Huey and Louie“)
Georgia
Margot
Adelaide
Daisy

Additionally, Amy wondered about finding creative ways to work in the grandparents’ names: Barbara Lorraine, Anthony Paul, Mark Michael, and Melissa Mary.

First off I thought I’d address Amy and her husband’s desire to name a child in honor of his/her grandparents: Barbara Lorraine, Anthony Paul, Mark Michael, and Melissa Mary. I’ll address ways to connect explicitly to their names in my official suggestions below, but otherwise my very first thought was, maybe using their initials? If they named a child (boy or girl) with MM initials, they’d have the paternal grandparents taken care of right there! BL for Barbara Lorraine could be reimagined as something like Benedict Leo for a boy. Anthony Paul’s an easy one, since they already have Pauline/Paula on their list of maybes. Or maybe Amy’s maiden name as a first/middle could be the honor for her parents? Otherwise, I think I have some decent ideas below …

I think Amy and her husband have a great list of possibilities, so I thought I’d use them, as well as Clara and Hugh’s names, as inspiration for new ideas. I always shoot for three suggestions for each gender, but I actually came up with four each here:

Girls

(1) Marian
As you all know from reading the blog, I almost always start with the Baby Name Wizard book for inspiration, as it provides for each entry boy and girl names that are similar in style/feel/popularity. Marian was a big winner for this family! It’s similar to Hugh, Pauline, and Lewis. I love that it’s a Mary name, both for Our Lady, but also for Grandma Melissa Mary’s middle name! If Marian was paired with an M middle, both paternal grandparents would be taken care of honor-wise through MM initials, and if that middle name was Michaela?? Marian Michaela honors Mark Michael and Melissa Mary doubly! I am loving this idea!

(2) Sylvie
I was really focusing on trying to find doesn’t-end-in-a girl names for Amy and her hubs, and Sylvie was one of my favorites. Both Lewis and Marian have Sylvia listed as similar, but since Sylvia ends in a, I thought Sylvie was an easy fix. It’s a full and proper name on its own – the French form of Sylvia – and it’s sort of similar to Sophia/Sophie without all the hype. I really like Sylvie.

(3) Adele (Edel?)
Adele was another name that surprised me by revealing itself as similar to more than one of the names Amy and her hubs have used or have considered (or that I’ve thought might work for them). I like that it doesn’t end in –a, and it’s got such a pretty sound. I thought perhaps, if they didn’t care for the popularity of the singer, the spelling Edel might appeal? Ven. Edel Quinn’s first name is said just like Adele, but the spelling moves it in a different direction. (I talked about her a little a while ago.) But wait — what if they did the Adele spelling with Pauline as the middle? Would Grandpa Anthony Paul feel honored by Adele Pauline? So pretty!

(4) Juliet or Verity
Felicity was one of the names on Amy’s list that surprised me, just because I see it a LOT in Catholic families, which is great because it’s such a beautiful name and a great saint, but her taste otherwise seemed to go towards less popular. So I took a look at the names that were listed as similar, looking for more offbeat/older suggestions, and Juliet and Verity both caught my eye. Juliet is one of my personal faves, so this might be me inserting myself (sorry! I try not to!) but it’s such a gorgeous name, and it doesn’t end in –a, AND I’ve seen Jilly used as a nickname for the Juli- names, and I immediately thought of Amy’s Grandma Jillian and wondered if this might be a nice nod to her? Juliet nicked Jilly? Or even Juliet Ann, which could easily mush into Jillian on occasion/as a nickname? And Verity just struck me as having the same kind of “old,” distinguished, Brit feel as Hugh. It’s kind of cool and interesting, and definitely not heard very much at all, and the meaning of “truth” is always amazing.

Boys

(1) Miles/Milo
As with the girls, I looked for names that repeated in the lists of names similar to the ones Amy and her hubs like. Miles has been on my radar a lot lately, so when I saw it as being similar to their taste (especially Clara), I got excited. THEN when I remembered about Grandpa Mark Michael, I got even more excited, because as far as I can tell, name experts aren’t totally sure what Miles’ origins are, but one theory is that it started as a nickname for Michael. How cool is that?? So I loved it for this family, either on its own, or as Michael nicked Miles, or as Milo.

(2) Oscar
Ooh Oscar! I’m just not hearing Oscar much at all, and I think it needs more attention! It totally strikes me as the kind of name this family might like. I spotlighted it a while ago in light of Archbishop Oscar Romero’s upcoming canonization. Kind of cool for a baby boy born in the same year!

(3) Leo
Leo was another winner in the BNW book for Amy and her hubs, similar to Clara, Lucy, Jude, and Milo. It reminded me a lot of Louie, but different enough that it’s totally fine as a brother to Hugh. I also thought it could work as an honor for Barbara Lorraine – it’s similar to Lorraine (in fact, Lorraine contains all the letters of Leo), so could work as a first name in honor of her, but if they put it in the middle — something like Benedict Leo — it would be her exact initials. (Bennett is a medieval form of Benedict — maybe Bennett would be more their style?)

(4) Duncan
Duncan was kind of a wild card idea. It was another one that was similar in style to Felicity, but pretty unusual. I know one in real life, and he has a brother Garrett – I feel like Hugh might really work as a brother to Duncan and Garrett. So I thought it was worth a mention!

*These were my ideas when I first wrote back to Amy, but revisiting them today, I thought I might add Briony to the girl list — I’m loving the idea of Briony Lorraine (initials B.L., like Grandma!) or Briony Pauline (after Grandpa’s middle name) …  

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What names might you suggest for a brother or a sister to Clara and Hugh?

Baby name consultant: Green bean #4 needs a name that fits with older sibs

Krystin and her husband are expecting their fourth baby, a little green bean. 🙂 She writes,

[We] have a difficult time coming up with names we like because we have both worked with kids much of our lives and have run across many names that are either already used or have negative (to us) connotations, if you know what I mean! We both work in schools …”

Working with kids so often presents difficulty when baby naming! Their other kiddos are:

Luke Earl (“We always loved the name “Luke” due to the religious significance and his middle name is named after my husband and my husband’s father“)
Bennett Paul (“Love the meaning of Bennett (“little blessed one) and Paul is my dad’s name“)
Tessa Marie (“We always loved the name “Tessa” because of Mother Teresa and because it’s just plain cute, and her middle name is the same as mine, my mom’s name is Ann Marie, and we have several other Marys in the family“)

And the names they “can semi-agree on” are:

Grant Matthew (“in total, the name means “great gift from God”“)
Evangeline Rose (“with the nickname Lina because Earl does not like Evie, and Rose is my confirmation name“)

Krystin’s specific questions are:

What do you think of those name choices? Do they flow with our other kids’ names? I don’t love that Grant doesn’t have a built-in nickname (our kids don’t have “real” nicknames, but I do find that we call them by Lukey, Benny, Tess, etc at times just for fun) – but not sure if that really matters. I love the name Evangeline but worry it is a mouthful and that people won’t think that Lina works as a nickname. We both like that we don’t know of anyone else with those names and that they can “grow” with the child without sounding too kid-ish … I would love to hear your thoughts on those names as well as to hear other ideas that you might have as well for both girl and boy names!!”

I love Krystin and her husband’s name style!

First off, my thoughts about their current ideas are: Grant Matthew seems just perfect! I think it absolutely matches the feel of the other kids’ names, nice job Mom and Dad! I do understand about it not having a natural nickname (as you all know, I’m a big nicknamer!), so I wondered what they’d think about Gray as a nick for it? Even though Grant and Gray are both one syllable, Gray seems just the tiniest bit easier to say, like you started to say Grant but didn’t have to pull your tongue to the front of your mouth to finish it. So I could definitely see Gray seeming like a short version of Grant. I’ve seen Gray used as a nick for Graham, which is similar to Grant in sound/length. So Graham’s a possibility? Also, I know a little Gabriel who mostly goes by Gabriel or Gabe, but ever since he was tiny his dad has also called him “G.” Just G, like the letter, and it’s so cute and affectionate and it could definitely work for Grant too.

Evangeline Rose nicked Lina is beautiful! I would say, if they love it, I would definitely go for it! And yes, I think Lina definitely works as a nickname for Evangeline, and I actually know another mama who’s planning to name a daughter Evangeline with the nickname Lina. However, since Krystin said she “kind of like[s]” it rather than “totally adores it,” I will offer that it strikes me as a little different in style than their other kids. Not totally! I could see it pairing really nicely with Luke, and it would be a pretty exact style match with Benedict, and Bennett is a medieval form of Benedict, so it’s all definitely swirling around the same place. But the other kids’ names are short-middle-ish in length, and Evangeline’s one of those looonnngg names, like Seraphina or Alexandria or Genevieve, all of which are gorgeous — I love them, I do — but I was thinking, for this family, maybe just Lina would be a better fit? I know a Lina in real life who’s just Lina, and Lena Horne’s given name at birth was just Lena – it definitely feels to me more like a formal name that could also work as a nickname for a longer name, instead of a nickname-used-as-a-first-name (though, full disclosure, I do think that’s how it started). Lina Rose? I think that’s lovely, and it works so well as a sister to Tessa Marie (as well of course as a sister to the boys, but I like Lina Rose and Tessa Marie as sisters, they go together nicely!).

Also, Krystin mentioned that she and her hubs like that they don’t know anyone with the names Evangeline/Lina and Grant … I do think it’s important to be aware that Evangeline seems to be shooting up the Catholic baby name charts, as far as the names I hear being considered and used by all of you readers and the families that email me (they usually hope to use the nickname Evie). Both Lina and Grant fit that “not used by many parents” criteria, though – neither one is very familiar to me for babies these days, which is really cool that they’ve “discovered” them!

Krystin also asked for other ideas for boys and girls, which I was delighted to do. (I can always come up with suggestions! Haha!) 🙂 I always shoot for three for each gender, and I did so here for boys, but came up with four for girls:

(1) Molly
Luke, Bennett, and Tessa/ Lukey, Benny, and Tess all made me think of Molly. It’s got that sweet, spunky feel that Tessa has to me, and I think it pairs really well with Luke and Bennett too. Molly Rose is one of those swoony names to me, so sweet! I also love that Molly is Marian (it started out ages ago as a nickname for Mary).

(2) Lily
You all know that I rely heavily on the Baby Name Wizard book as a starting point when doing consultations, as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in style/feel/popularity … Lily popped up as similar in style to Luke, Tessa, and Lina, and I think it’s an awesome suggestion for this family. And Lily is Marian, which is always a big seller for me.

(3) Claire or Clara
This is another one that did quite well for this family in the BNW book, as it’s similar to Luke, Bennett, and Lina. A one syllable name like Claire would please me aesthetically, because then they’d have two kids with one-syllable names and two kids with two-syllable names. (I know this matters zero! But it’s how my crazy mind works. 😛 ) Clara’s so sweet too though … it would be a hard choice for me!

(4) Juliet
Juliet is a total bonus here – three is my preferred number of suggestions, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have thought of Juliet for this family on my own, but the BNW says Juliet is similar to both Bennett and Grant, and I thought that was too much awesome to not suggest! Juliet’s one of my personal favorites, so I’m actually really excited to tell you about it. Juliet Rose? Oh my!

Boys

(1) Samuel
I really like Samuel with Krystin’s other kids, and especially Sam/Sammy. Sam and Ben are two of those nicknames that just really seem like brothers to me, and Luke and Tess totally fit into that too.

(2) Miles
Bennett, Tessa, and Grant are all style matches for Miles – ding ding ding! I never really gave two thoughts to Miles until I read that in Ireland it’s used as the anglicized form of an Irish Gaelic name that means “devotee of Mary” — I just love that Marian connection for a boy! And I also read that, while linguists/name experts aren’t totally sure of its origin, one theory is that it started as a nickname for Michael, and I think that is soooo cool! Miles is kind of similar to Grant, with no built-in nicknames, but I could see Milo very easily being a fun nick for it.

(3) Colin or Ian
These two just felt like they fit to me. They have that same literary and dashing feel that Bennett and Luke and Grant have to me, and they absolutely seem like brothers to Tessa as well.

Those are my ideas! What do you all think? What other names would you suggest for a little brother or sister to Luke, Bennett, and Tessa?


I love to do name consultations! If you’d like me to give your name dilemma a go, check out my Baby name consultant tab.

Baby name consultant: Saintly, different first initials, easy to spell

Caitlin and her husband are expecting their third little one, gender unknown (another green bean!). Their daughters are named:

Claire Camille
Margaret Joyce (called Maggie)

Beautiful names! Caitlin writes,

Their middle names are our paternal grandmothers’ first names. We’d like to continue that tradition, so we have the following names left to work with:

Jacqueline
Shirley
Paul
Francis
William
Warren

We’d like all of our children’s first names to be their patron saints. We gravitate towards classic English/Irish/Scottish names to tie in with our cultural heritage and our last name — Burch … We would like to do different first initials for everyone … And it has to be easy to spell.”

To give you a further idea of their taste, for boys Caitlin and her husband have considered:

James
Thomas
Henry
Patrick
Peter
George
Benedict

And for girls:

Alice
Beatrice
Helen(a)
Felicity
Jane
Julia
Agnes

Lots of names to work with! After much thinking and musing and taking to my Baby Name Wizard book for ideas, I came up with several ideas for each gender — I always shoot for three, but I had four for each that seemed so spot on to me that I couldn’t narrow it down any further:

Girls
(1) Alice
I was so excited to see that Caitlin and her husband had discussed Alice! It was the first one I had on the list I’d made for her as I was reading her email! I love Alice as a sister to Claire and Margaret/Maggie, and from their family names, I really like the idea of Pauline for Paul — Alice Pauline has such a lovely ring to it, I love it.

(2) Lydia
Lydia is one of my favorite names, and I was delighted to see it pop up in my research. I love that it looks short-ish like Claire but has the same number of syllables as Margaret. I quite like Lydia Shirley or Lydia Jacqueline or Lydia Frances (for Francis of course).

(3) Louisa (nicked Lucy?)
Both Louisa and Lucy seemed like good options for this family — luckily I don’t think they have to choose! Lucy is such a natural nickname for Louisa in my opinion. Louisa totally has the Brit feel of Claire and Margaret, and Lucy is spunky and sweet. Louisa Jacqueline? Louisa Pauline? Louisa Frances?

(4) Eleanor or Violet
Charlotte and Eleanor were names that seemed spot on as sisters for Claire and Margaret, but Charlotte repeats the C initial, and at the time I did this consultation for Caitlin I was still of the opinion that Eleanor is not a saint’s name (I’ve since revised my thinking — there’s a good argument that it can be considered to be related to Helen(a), which was on the list of names Caitlin and her husband have discussed). Both Charlotte and Eleanor pointed me to Violet, and as soon as I saw it I thought it would work well — it can be considered Marian, which is so awesome. I really like Eleanor Frances, Eleanor Pauline, Violet Shirley, Violet Pauline, and Violet Frances.

Boys
(1) Henry
Like with Alice, Henry was my #1 suggestion for Caitlin even before I read that it’s one of the names they’ve discussed! Woo! I love Henry, and it seems a smashing brother name for Claire and Margaret. I like it best as Henry William, and Henry Francis has a really nice flow to it, but it always makes me think of Betty’s second husband in Mad Men (Henry Francis). I learned recently though that I’m dating myself by being influenced by Mad Men, so maybe it’s a non issue? It’s very handsome!

(2) Samuel or Benjamin
Samuel and Sam (Sam!) are great great names and a perfect fit for a brother of Claire and Margaret/Maggie. I like Samuel Francis best, but Samuel Warren works too. And Benjamin has a similar feel to me, and is a bit closer to the feel of Claire and Margaret than is Benedict (from their list), in my opinion. Benjamin Paul is nice because Benjamin is so long and Paul so short; I like Benjamin Francis a lot too.

(3) Edward or Edmund
I love Sts. Edward the Confessor and Edmund Campion — how to choose?! Haha! They’re both British-y, and they both have really cute nickname options (Ed/Eddie, Ted/Teddy, Ned … my dad even had a friend named Edward who went by Zeb!). Edward Francis, Edward William, Edward Warren, Edmund Francis all sound great to me.

(4) Joseph
What else to say? Joseph is classic, masculine, saintly, just. Joseph Paul, Joseph William, and Joseph Warren all work well; I’m not including Joseph Francis because of the ph and F running into each other, but I don’t hate it.

Those are my ideas! What do you all think? What other ideas do you have for a brother or sister to Claire and Maggie?

Baby name consultant: Ideas needed for #5 green bean

Laura and her husband are expecting their fifth baby! (“Green bean” because they don’t know if they’re having a boy or girl. Like “Team Green.” I’m kind of crushing on calling the babe a green bean! Is it weird? Or really cute? I’m thinking cute!)

She writes,

You must get tons of these requests all of the time, but if you have time, could you say a little prayer for our little one on the way and maybe even suggest a name or two?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — it is nothing short of a privilege to play a role in naming a baby! You all have given me such joy by asking me for my thoughts/suggestions/ideas, and be assured I pray for each of you and your babies.

Back to Laura! Her other kids are named:

Isabella Jane (called Bella)
Christian James
Gabriel Wayne
Quinn Michael

So many of my favorite notes are hit with this sib set!

Since Laura told me they’re “totally drawing blanks” and “kind of at a loss,” I tried to come up with some extra names for them (I always shoot for three, but was able to come up with four for girls and five for boys):

Girls
(1) Juliana
As you all know, I almost always start with the Baby Name Wizard book when coming up with suggestions, as it provides a list of boy and girl names similar in style/feel/popularity for each entry. Since Isabella is Laura’s only girl, I used the girl suggestions for her name as inspiration more than the boys’ names, and Juliana was a top suggestion for her. I love it for this family — I think it fits in so well with all the other kids.

(2) Hannah or Anna
Hannah was a match for a bunch of the names I looked up — both names they’ve used already and ones that seemed like a good fit. It’s soft and sweet, and Hannah’s story in the Bible is so great. Hannah is a form of Anna, and Anna popped up in my research as well, so it seemed a perfect suggestion.

(3) Lily
Lily reminds me a lot of Quinn — short and punchy; it’s also similar in style to a lot of names that seem like ones Laura and her husband would like. It’s also Marian, which you all know is probably my very favorite kind of name!

(4) Sofia/Sophie or Fiona
These two seem so similar in sound to me that I included them as part of the same suggestion. Sofia (or Sophia) or just Sophie as a given name is really similar to Isabella in my opinion — pretty, feminine, and popular — while Fiona brings in the Irish feel like Quinn. I like them both, a lot.

Boys
(1) Owen
Owen is far and away my first suggestion for this family for a boy. Quinn feels a little bit like an outsider, with a different style and feel from his brothers, and I feel like Owen bridges that gap really nicely.

(2) Nicholas (nicked Cole?)
Nicholas leans more toward the feel and style of Christian and Gabriel to me, which is great, but using a nickname like Cole brings Quinn right back in again. I love Nicholas nicked Cole (we seriously considered it for my youngest).

(3) Austin
Laura’s taste reminds me a lot of one of the consultations I did a while ago where the family has an Austin and a Christian and one of the daughter’s middle name is Isabel. Austin is fun because it started out as a contracted form of Augustine — so it’s heavy hitting saint-wise without hitting you over the head with it. And it’s got that British Isles feel that I could see Quinn fitting in easily with.

(4) Luke/Lucas
Luke and Lucas both showed up a lot in my research as similar to a lot of Laura’s picks and other names that I suspected might be ones she and her hubs might like. They’re great, solid names — Biblical like Christian and Gabriel, short and punchy like Quinn.

(5) Jude
I was particularly interested in the boy names that the Baby Name Wizard suggested as similar to Quinn, and one of my faves was Finn … but that’s out since it rhymes with Quinn, so I looked up Finn and saw Jude and immediately thought it made a lot of sense for this family. (In case it’s helpful, the others similar to Quinn are Donovan, Reid, Owen, Wyatt, and Griffin.)

I thought I’d share the other names I almost suggested but ended up deleting for whatever reason, in case they’re helpful: Abigail, Chloe, Colin, Caleb, and Charles nicked Charlie.

Those are my ideas! What do you all think? What else would you suggest for Laura’s new little baby-on-the-way?