Baby name consultation: A, M, E name for baby no. 3

Amy is one of the very first mamas I ever did a consultation for, and I’m so excited that she and her husband have another little one on the way, a baby girl! This little lady joins big sibs:

Kristy Marie
Martin Kane II (called Kane) (birth announcement here)

I love each of those names! Amy had explained that Kristy was named “after the two greatest people I could think of — Christ and Mary, giving honor to God first (and in our 1st born) and my love/connection to Mary,” which is just so amazingly beautiful. And Kane is named for his dad (Martin Kane) and his grandpa (Martin Craig; goes by Craig, like Kane goes by his middle), and the II is a nod not only to his dad, but to JP2 as well. What a cool way to do it! And Kane has dad’s middle name, and Kristy has Amy’s middle name — so many meaningful connections!

For this baby, Amy writes,

One thing I noticed later was, while common, we ended up picking names that actually have several different spellings and people get it wrong sometimes. This can bother me a tiny bit at times.

Another fun thing that unintentionally happened was we ended up with the initials KM and MK, opposites of each other. We use these sometimes as shorthand in text and Kane’s name sign is just MK finger spelled (my husband asked for that, to honor/include the Martin part and we are proud of it) [read more about name signs here]. Sometimes I call them by both their first and middle names together so they know them. So I kind of like the idea of maybe an M name, to keep a sort of pattern — K and K, then (technically) M and M, or K/MK/M. It might be fun, but not necessary.

I would also like to veer AWAY from K names. I am not sure I want to be stuck with that pattern, especially if we want have more kids (plus initials KKK???). I do like that my brother and I were Amy and Adam with matching first letters, and I had cousins Kelly/Karen/Katie. Husband, however, seems to only come up with K names. He wants the names to match somehow. I might consider a C name that has a K sound, like Catherine for example.

Interestingly enough, both my kids are names that I NEVER would have thought of, I don’t really consider ‘my style’ or ones that I even really like. But yet, I LOVE them because we ended up realizing that there were about 600 reasons to name them what we did, I LOVE the meanings and they just absolutely fit or feel right. They could be no other.”

(That’s one of my favorite parts of their name story! I love when parents love their kids’ names, even if they didn’t start out that way!)

I don’t really like nicknames or names that can easy hand themselves over to nicknames. I know, this makes you sad 😉 I would to just prefer to name my kid what I intend/want them to be called. But I did like your article on nick names as a first name vs a formal first name. Good thoughts and comments.

I would like to name after my family somehow. Kristy and Kane are both heavily from Marty’s side. He also named both of them (I kind of want a turn, wink)… after they were born (we went into the hospital with little to no firm ideas for both). So I am trusting in his instinct a little bit still. Mostly because I am lacking in ideas… again.”

Except she isn’t! Amy has some great ideas! I’m going to start with her middle name ideas, because they have bearing on what the first name might be:

Victoria (“after my mom … I think I might regret not using it if I don’t (What if we don’t have more kids or more girls?). Marty knows this and he is on board, knowing that will probably be her middle. But one ‘problem’ (if you can call it that) I might see with this is, it’s pretty long (one of the rare 4 syllable names) making it kind of hard to pair with other names. I feel like I would need something short/er (no one syllable names jumped out at me). Especially because the other kids names are pretty short and easy to say (KM is only 4 syllables combined, MK is only 3, combined“)

Elizabeth (for Grandma Betty)

Fiat (For “Mary’s yes,” of course [not the car!] — from the Latin for “let it be done” … “Now this I would ONLY pair with Marian … This is something that I have considered ever since my first pregnancy … I would want that as a reminder or for her to say yes to God’s will, whatever that may be for her“)

I just have to jump in here and say, ever since Amy suggested the combo Marian Fiat in a comment a while ago I’ve been smitten! What an ah-MAZ-ing idea!

For first names, Amy and her hubs’ list includes:

Molly (“So there is one name that is bothering me. It randomly popped into my head one day in daily Mass and I haven’t been able to shake it — Molly … Marty recently said that he thinking more about it too (a good sign he would agree to it). To me it has the same feel as Kristy and Kane — similar time period feel, a name I never considered or even really liked, but it seems to fit (when I picture her or saying her name). It’s short, and seems to fit with Victoria. I like that it has 5 letters (all the other cousins have 5 letter names, Kristy is 6, Kane is 4, not important, but a fun fact/connection). It’s common enough to be known as a real name and not something that is too ‘out there’. But it still seems sparse enough in use that it is not ‘top ten’ or even top 100 (I think). It is easy to say/spell and doesn’t have a nick name. It is sweet/cute, but I think it can be an adult name too. In my mind, this name would be my attribution to my inspirational grandmother Millie. I just changed one letter/sound. I figure if (for example) Bill can come from William (different letter), why not? I think about the nicknames you come up with a lot of times. Many of them seem like kind of jump to get to with maybe just 2 similar letters or something. Plus with Victoria it would come from both my paternal side (Millie, great grandmother) and maternal side (Victoria, grandmother)

Katie (“I mentioned my husband keeps thinking of K names. His main suggestion is Katie, and he said he was going to stick to that unless I/we came up with something better. He likes that it seems to match Kristy (starting K, ends in the e sound, both have a t and 2 syllables). I agree and I don’t think it is a bad suggestion. It’s just … we already have a Katie in the family (a cousin, and like I said, I have a cousin Katie) and we wouldn’t really be naming after her/them, we are not especially close. It is also a form of Katherine. A name he wanted forever with Kristy’s pregnancy (while I respect the name and think it is good, I don’t really like it and I already have a cousin who used it so I don’t feel comfortable using it) and the original form of his mom’s name (Kathleen — again, after his family)“)

AVE initials (“I like the idea of A names, but can’t seem to land on one I like.
This mostly came from your idea in Kane’s consult, that the initials would be AVE (a round about way to honor Mary) — cool! [Their last name begins with an E.] I might even consider using Ave as a nickname (!). It’s not the top ten Ava, but it might be mispronounced/misspelled all the time (and does it match Kristy and Kane?). If I went with this idea, I would actually want to avoid A names that also have a V in them and/or that end in A (cutting out some great ideas). This is because it would be specially paired with Victoria and it seems like too many of the same sounds/letters repeating, rhyming or too matchy matchy. I also like that an A would kind of be naming after me. We have the K in our current kids, but also an M for Marty. It might be nice to round out with an A for me. And A names tend to be pretty. I like Azelia/Zellie because it reminds me of my Aunt/Godmother (and Kristy’s) Lynelle, we always called her Nellie. She was just diagnosed with a rare heart cancer … That is a name that I feel is more my ‘style’ that I tend to be drawn to and like. Makes me think of a pretty white flower but without blatantly giving an obvious flower name like Rose/Lily. I doubt Marty would be on board for this one … [and] is it too long, ‘out there’ compared to KM & MK“)

Begins with E (“I also like the idea of E names. I really believe that I named Kristy with a K after an inspirational friend of mine, Kyla, who passed away when I was pregnant with her. I didn’t realize this until later as the Kristy spelling just jumped out at me and was the same one that Marty thought of (without discussing it with each other). Recently I have had another inspirational friend, Ellen, pass away and wouldn’t mind considering a mild honor name for her too. I remember really liking Evelyn when I was pregnant with Kristy. But like the A names is it too many of the same letters/sounds when paired with our last name (plus a v sound in there). Evelyn also recently became very top tenish. Marty’s mom’s middle name is Ellen and he has suggested it, but again, always his side never mine. I guess there is Elizabeth and my mom suggested Emily, which is not bad, but I have no connection to it“)

For reference, some of the boy names on their list include:

Adam Craig
James
Magnus
Lincoln
Calvin

Okay, so I reread the consultation I did for Kane before working on this one, which was a good refresher. I also really like Amy’s reasoning behind her ideas of an M name or an A name, and I really took those into consideration when trying to think of names for this baby.

Mostly though, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of Molly Victoria!! Ohmygoodness I love it so much! Molly is a variant of Mary, so Amy would have her nod to Mary, but it’s kind of a sneaky one because not everyone knows it’s a Mary variant! I think it goes really well with Kristy and Kane, and Amy would have her M name, and it sounds amazing with Victoria! I love that it has five letters, and is so similar to her Grandma Millie. Amazing! So that one gets my very heartiest vote. (I also still love Marian Fiat!)

I’m also interested in Amy’s husband’s idea of Katie, as she’d said she’s not really into nicknames. Because of that, I wondered what she’d think of the spelling Cady? It sounds exactly like Katie, but is less nicknamey. It might make people think of suffragette and civil rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, which isn’t terrible at all, and I also found that there’s a Blessed Madeleine Cady épouse Desvignes, which is pretty cool.

I still love the AVE idea for them, and I think Ave would be such a cool nickname! I’m not sure I would necessarily think of it as a style match for Kristy and Kane, but nicknames don’t really have to be similar in style I think. Azelia is unusual, but so pretty, and I have some other A ideas for them below.

I like Amy’s E ideas as well—Ellen, Evelyn, Elizabeth, and Emily are all beautiful, substantial names. I have some more E ideas below as well.

I’m intrigued by “just Betty”—I wonder if they would be interested in using that? Since it was the name Amy’s grandmother went by? Betty Victoria is really cute, and I’ve been seeing Betty pop up here and there (Kendra at Catholic All Year has one). Kristy, Kane, and Betty are cute! I know Amy said she doesn’t care for nicknames, but there are some that can stand on their own (like Molly started as a nickname), and I feel like there are some that would be a great fit for their family (I have some ideas below), especially with the mindset that Amy prefers to name her little ones what she intends/wants them to be called.

Okay! Without further ado, here are my ideas for Amy and her hubs, helped out as always by the Baby Name Wizard, but also a good deal of my own ideas:

(1) Alison or Allie
I started out looking for A names that I thought could fit their style, and I thought Alison Victoria sounded really great! I also thought that Allie also fit their style, mostly because of Katie being on the list, and also Kristy (which can be a nickname for the Kristin/Kristina names) and Molly, which a lot of those sweet nickname-type names are style matches for. I quite like Allie Victoria. With both Alison and Allie, Amy would have her AVE initials.

(2) Abbey
I’m using the Abbey spelling as I think it looks less nicknamey than Abby—they could think of it as a monastery-type abbey, a cool religious place name. I love Abbey Victoria, and Abby’s actually a style match for Katie, Molly, and Emily!

(3) Anna or Anne
Both Anna and Anne give the AVE initials Amy likes, while being full non-nicknamey names, and also—St. Anne! I also like just Annie actually—I have a cousin whose given name is Annie, it’s so sweet.

(4) Ella, Ellie, or Edith/Edie
Ellen and Elizabeth both made me think of Ella and Ellie, both of which I think would be great first names if they decide to go the E route. I like that Ella and Ellie can nod to both Elizabeth and Ellen, so they wouldn’t have to choose Marty’s side vs. Amy’s side, you know? And they’re shorter, like Amy likes, instead of the very long Elizabeth. Ella and Ellie also made me think of Edie, which I think could be really cute with Kristy and Kane, but since it’s nicknamey I thought I’d also mention Edith, which has a similar feel as Grandma Betty’s name grandmothers’ name but is coming back again, both because of St. Edith Stein (in Catholic circles) and the fact that Edie is one of the cutest nicknames. (If they did just Edie, they could totally claim St. Edith Stein as patron.)

(5) Elaine, Elaina, Alana, Alaina
Continuing with the E theme, Elaine is a style match for Calvin, and I wondered if Amy and her hubs would like it. I know a little Elaina, which is a pretty variant, and the similar names Alana and Alaina could give them the A name they might be looking for.

(6) Maggie
Like Katie and Molly, Maggie is another one of those names that started as a nickname and has evolved to have some good use as a given name on its own. It’s also a style match for Katie, Molly, and Emily (and Abby from above). It sounds really nice with Victoria, and it also gives them the M that’s a nice continuation for the M’s in Kristy Marie and Martin Kane’s names.

(7) Madelyn/Madeline/Madeleine
At one point I started flipping through the pages of the BNW looking for A, E, and M names that I thought they might like, and Madelyn jumped out at me. I like Madelyn Elizabeth and Madelyn Victoria, and I like that Madelyn has a Y in it like Kristy—maybe a nice connection for sisters? I like the Madeline and Madeleine spellings too.

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the little sister of Kristy and Kane? Is anything here helpful or inspiring?

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Birth announcement: Mary Christine!

I posted a consultation for Lauren and her husband back in October, and they’ve let me know their little green bean 🌱 has arrived — a little girl given the gorgeous name … Mary Christine!

Lauren writes,

I hope your Advent is off to a restful start. Sorry for the delay-we have been a little busy with moving and having a new baby girl, who we named Mary Christine 🙂 My husband was stuck on that one and it seems to be a great fit! She was born on October 27th.

Thank you again for your time and all of the great suggestions-we are all set if we are blessed with another little one!!

I looooove Mary Christine! SUCH a beautiful name and combo!! And a perfect fit with big sibs:

Michael Douglas
Annabelle Grace
John Walter

Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Mary Christine!!

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Mary Christine

Birth announcement: Cora Juliette!

I posted a consultation for Lisa from Joie de Vivre (which has since become A Pinch of Zest!) back in May, and she’s let me know her little green bean 🌱 has arrived — a beautiful little lady (!) with the beautiful name … Cora Juliette!

Lisa writes,

Hi Kate,

I just wanted to let you know we had a baby girl, born June 16th, and named her Cora Juliette. 🙂

We had a hard time settling on a girl name but a few hours before her birth decided on Cora after the Sacred Heart. Juliette was one we both liked a lot (and I’ve always loved “-ette” names!), so it was neat to re-read your Spotlight post and find out about all the saint connections to Juliette- we’ve taken on Bl. Juliette Verolot as one of her patron saints.

Thank you again for all your help! I always love reading your naming posts. 🙂 “

You guys! Cora Juliette!!! Cora for the Sacred Heart! And one of my all-time faves Juliette! Ahhhhhh I LOVE it!!! And so great to know about another holy Juliette! (I see she’s also known as Bl. Elisabeth-Julitte Verolot 😍)

If you remember, Cora joins her equally well-named big sisters:

Evangeline Grace (Evie)
Audrey Noelle
Heidi Josefina

What a beautiful bunch of girls! Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Cora!!

Cora Juliette with her sisters and her dad

Birth announcement: $alvad0r R0s3!

A mama I did a private consultation for has let me know her baby has arrived — a little boy with the amazing name S@lv@d0r R0$e! (She has requested alt characters for privacy.)

She writes,

Our son $a1vad0r R0$e arrived on April 1st — a very speedy (40 mins!) but peaceful homebirth. In many of your postings you talk about parents feeling a sense of “rightness” about a name. Well my husband settled on $a1vad0r R0$e and that was it. I love it and it suits him beautifully. We’d been expecting him to arrive early March, as my first son was 3 weeks early but $alvad0r was on his own schedule and arrived right at 41 weeks. We didn’t realize the Easter-appropriateness of his name until much later. So now we have our Ca$ and S@l, although we generally use their full names.”

I love love seeing Rose in the middle spot — it’s a family name for this couple and I think it really works for a boy when paired with such a great masculine first name as S@lv@d0r (am I being crazy changing up the characters each time I type out his name? Haha! Can’t be too careful!). And it’s a Jesus name — it means “savior”! Love it!! And paired with “Rose,” which can be a verb — an Easter meaning indeed!!

This little guy joins big brother:

Cas1m1r Cull3n

Which is also full of faith and family significance for them, and such a handsome name. Great job, Mom and Dad! Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby $a1vad0r!!

$a1vad0r R0$e with his big brother, and with his joyful parents at the moment of his birth

Names for the Joyful Mysteries

Yesterday was one of my very favorite feast days and the first of the Joyful Mysteries, which makes today the perfect Tuesday to post names associated with them! And also, Dwija’s little Helen was discharged from the NICU yesterday and is home with her family, happy and thriving. Joy all around!!

Today’s post is a continuation of my Mysteries of the Rosary series, having already done names for the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries, and your comments have been invaluable — keep them coming!

These are the Joyful Mysteries (read more here) (and here’s how to pray the Rosary):

The Annunciation by Gabriel to Mary (yesterday’s feast!)
The Visitation of Mary to Her Cousin Elizabeth
The Nativity of Jesus
The Presentation of the Baby Jesus in the Temple
The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

Names associated with the Joyful Mysteries might include:

Girls

Angela, Angeline, Angelica, Archangela, Angel — the angel names all point to St. Gabriel

Annunziata — an Italian name referring to the Annunciation

Annunciación — a Spanish name referring to the Annunciation

Christina, Christine, Christiane/a, Kristin, etc. — the Christ- names refer to Jesus in the last three Mysteries

Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Elise, Elisa, Eliza, etc. — for St. Elizabeth, Our Lady’s cousin

Emmanuelle, Emmanuella — for Jesus, especially in the Nativity

Felicity, Felicitas — means “happiness,” for the Joyful Mysteries

Fiat — for Our Lady’s agreement to what Gabriel announced (“let it be done”); Amy suggested Fiat recently, and suggested the particular first name-middle name combo Marian Fiat

Gabrielle, Gabriela — for St. Gabriel

Jane, Joan, Jo(h)anna — for St. John the Baptist, who leapt in his mother’s womb for joy at being in the presence of his Unborn Savior

Josephine, Josefa — for good St. Joseph

Joy, Gioia — means “joy” in English and Italian, respectively

Joyce — behindthename says it originally came from a name meaning “lord,” and that its more recent popularity may be related to its similarity to the Middle English word for “to rejoice.” “Lord” or “rejoicing” — it’s all good for a Joyful Mysteries name!

Mary, Maria, Marie, etc. — for Our Lady, of course

Natalie, Natalia — literally refers to Christmas Day

Noel, Noelle — French for “Christmas”

Presentación — a Spanish name referring to the Presentation

Seraphina, Serafina, Seraphine — refers to the angels (specifically the seraphim, but I think the angelic meaning is what most people think of)

 

 

Boys

Angelo, Angel — see the Angel names above

Annunziato — see Annunziata above

Baptista, Baptiste, Battista, Bautista — alone or in combination with a John name, for St. John the Baptist (these are all listed as masculine by behindthename, but they could easily be used for girls as well, as I don’t think they come across as masculine [or at least not exclusively so] in America)

Christian, Christopher — see the Christ- names above

Emmanuel — see Emmanuelle above

Felix — see Felicity above

Gabriel — of course!

Jesús — it’s not considered reverent to use the name of Jesus in English, but it is in Spanish

John — for St. John the Baptist

Joseph — see Josephine above

Noel — see Noel above

Ryan — means “little king,” which especially calls to mind the Baby Jesus

Seraphim — see Seraphina above

What others can you add to this list? (There are lots more Christmas names, which I’ve posted about a few times — I just included the ones here that seemed particular to what I think of when I’m meditating on the Mystery of the Nativity.)

+ My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. +

Baby name consultant: Little sister for Justin

Kara and her husband are expecting their second baby, a little girl! Their older son is:

Justin Michael

Because, as Kara writes,

Our little boy is Justin Michael, Justin because we both love St. Justin Martyr and Michael because it is my husband’s middle name and I love the angels :)”

I can’t tell you how much I love that St. Justin Martyr was the inspiration here! I think his name definitely needs more use.

Kara had originally emailed me before they knew they were having a girl, and had said,

[My husband] is a cradle catholic and I am a recent convert, so we really want to name our children with saint names or Marian names … So far the names I have picked are Charles (to be called Charlie) Gabriel and Eloise Marie. I tend to like more unorthodox, old fashioned and elegant names, and my husband is very, very traditional.”

I included this bit for further info regarding their taste in names (Charles Gabriel, love!). After they found out they were having a girl Kara wrote again,

Just got the ultrasound results and it’s a girl! My husband and I both agree on Regina and Eloise but we are still unsure. Not sure what kind of middle name would go with Regina, and our last name ends in an a so the middle name needs to be substantial (lol). I also love Avonlea, Ava for short, but my husband is wavering. He really dislikes anything totally out of the ordinary. He likes Alexandra and Alexis but I don’t like either one … We would both really like a Marian component and possibly a saint as well.”

Okay, so first off, I love Eloise Marie, just lovely. It’s fairly uncommon but familiar, and has sweet nickname potential in Ellie.

Their new idea of Regina is a great one! Like Eloise it’s pretty uncommon these days (even more so than Eloise), and very Marian, which is always my favorite! I think Regina Marie is a fine first name-middle name combo. Regina Caeli is another idea they might like — it means Queen of Heaven in Latin, and I’ve seen that full combo used as a first name/middle name set, as well as just Caeli as a first name — you can pronounce it KAY-lee or CHAY-lee as you like. Some other middle name ideas I had to go with Regina were Therese, Rose, and Bernadette — I like Regina Rose, Regina Therese, and Regina Bernadette very much — lots of faith significance in each one. The full Regina is lovely, but if they wanted a nickname, I know Gina is traditional and obvious, but I’ve also thought Ree, Ria, Rina, and the tomboyish Reggie could also work.

Also, this mom recently named her daughter Sylvie Regina, which Kara and her hubs also might like — it sounds like the name of the Marian hymn “Salve Regina,” and Sylvie is the French variant of Sylvia, which Eloise makes me think of. I love Sylvie!

Avonlea! What a fun name! And the nickname Ava is beautiful. I wonder what Kara and her hubs would think of the name Avila? It’s so similar in sound to Avonlea, and it’s also a place name, and can also take the nickname Ava, but it’s super saintly as it refers to St. Teresa of Avila. I’m also thinking of a mom I know who named her daughter Ava Maria, because it sounds like Ave Maria, so that’s an idea too.

As for Kara’s hubs’ favorites, Alexandra and Alexis are both sweet and feminine, and I have some ideas below that might suit his taste while still being a name Kara likes.

Okay! So here are my other ideas for this Little Miss:

(1) Genevieve or Evangeline
I’m including these two together because I think of them as being so similar — both with a heavy V presence; both long and sophisticated; both can take the super adorable nicknames Evie or Vivi. St. Genevieve is the patron of Paris, and was influenced by their idea of Eloise; Evangeline refers to the Gospel writers (the Evangelists) and was influenced by Avonlea (it was listed as a style match in 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). I love them both for Kara and her hubs, and I don’t know which one I would suggest more than the other! The fact that they both have those V’s in them reminded me of Avonlea, and the nicknames Evie and Vivi are similar in sound to Ava.

(2) Victoria nicknamed Cora
Victoria was listed as a style match for Alexandra, and as soon as I saw it I thought it might be just the name to bridge Kara’s name taste and her husband’s. It peaked in the 90’s, like Alexandra and Alexis, but like them it’s so sophisticated and feminine that I think of it as timeless. It means “victory,” which I associate with Jesus, and for an extra faith-y connection, Charlotte @ To Harriet Louise recently said she liked the nickname Cora for Victoria, which I thought was so amazing, and we’re talked a bit about Cora being used recently in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (here, including in the comments; cor means “heart” in Latin).

(3) K/Catherine
Originally I had Catherine on my list, for St. Catherine of Siena — Catherine is the French spelling of the name, which Eloise made me think of — but then I was thinking about Kara’s name, and her husband’s like of Alexandra, and it all made me think of how I’ve seen St. Katherine of Alexandria spelled with a K most often (though sometimes with a C), and that made me think — maybe Katherine Alexandr(i)a as a full name would appeal to them both? It could be seen as a subtle nod to Kara –sharing of initials and some other letters — and I think Kate is one of the greatest nicknames ever — spunky and sweet at once. (And I’m not just saying that because Katherine/Kate is my name! 😀 )

(4) Christiana
Another name that was a style match for Alexandra/Alexis was Christina, which does have a bit of a dated feel I think (though also timeless), but I’ve always loved the Christ- names, being that they’re Jesus names, so I thought maybe an updated version would suit Kara and her hubs. Christiana’s my favorite of them — I love its international feel, and the fact that it’s not as common as the other (also lovely, but well used) variants like Christina, Christine, Kristin, etc.

And those are my ideas for this family! What do you all think? What would you suggest for Justin Michael’s little sister?