Follow-up to yesterday’s post: Opposite gender name?

Thank you to everyone who commented on yesterday’s post here on the blog and also on both Facebook and Instagram! It was so fun to read your responses! One thing several of you shared was the name you would have had if you’d been a boy (all my responders were women) — I didn’t think to share that part of my name story, but I wish I had! My parents planned to name me Joshua if I’d been a boy, which is a name both my husband and I quite like, but it doesn’t work with our last name. That would have been a fun way to name a boy after me though! I loved reading that too — that several of you considered names for your children that were names almost given to you. I’m a big fan of creativity in honor naming!

Happy Saturday, day of Our Lady and eve of Divine Mercy Sunday! (Notable fact: St. John Paul the Great died on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday.) ❤ ❤ ❤

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 the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!

Fun Friday Question: Who were you almost?

Happy Friday everyone! Is this — could this be — possibly — my *fifth* post of this week?? Did I put up a post every day since Monday?? I can’t even believe it myself!

I have more birth announcements coming for you (so! many! babies! 😍😍😍), but I thought I’d take a quick breather and ask a fun question. A while ago Abby from Appellation Mountain asked about your “pre-name” on Facebook — actually, I can’t remember what she called it, it was something like “pre-name” I think, but probably not because I searched several times for that term and similar ones to find the post and link to it and I can’t, so I must have it wrong — anyway, she meant the name you almost had, or the name(s) that your parents considered for you before deciding on the name they gave you. I’ve been meaning to pose the question here ever since!

I’ll start: My parents considered Tiffany for me! (Which I’ve come to sort of love since I discovered it’s medieval form of Theophania [=Epiphany] and was traditionally given to girls born on the Epiphany. How cool!) (I was not born on or near the Epiphany, though.) They settled on Katherine Marie before changing it to Katherine Morna immediately after I was born (my sweet dad acquiesced to my exhausted mom ❤ ). (Happy day! I don’t feel a bit like a Tiffany, but very very much like a Katherine Morna, and especially a Kate.) How about you? Who were you almost?

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 the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!

What goes with Reverie?

I read this dilemma over in the Baby Name Wizard discussion forum with interest — the mom of Reverie is stuck on what to name her second daughter. What a fun name Reverie is! Whimsical and sweet, and I love the nicknames Rev and Revi. But yeah — what do you name Reverie’s sister?

Amazingly, there’s actually a semi-famous little girl named Reverie — daughter of the mom who blogs at Girl’s Gone Child (whose name taste I’ve long been swoony over) — and she’s got two sisters with amazingly perfect names (in my opinion): Fable and Boheme. Fable and Boheme! I know Boheme is sometimes called Bo, and she’s the twin of Reverie — Rev and Bo! 😍 And with Fable — and the nickname possibility Fay/Fae — these three have got to be some of the best named sisters I’ve ever come across. (They also have a brother, Archer.)

But of course the mom in the Baby Name Wizard discussion probably shouldn’t consider Boheme or Fable, given how very *owned* they are (and this coming from a person who doesn’t consider it possible to own a name). Do you agree?

Anyway, I was interested in this list of girl names the parents of Fable, Boheme, and Reverie considered and never used:


I have to say, none of them hits me in the same way as Fable, Boheme, and Reverie. Zenith, Zephyr, Echo, and Azure come closest I think, but otherwise I think this list — great as so many of the names are, and some of my favorites — doesn’t really fit with the other three girls’ names’ feminity+unusualness. I’d love to know if you disagree!

Anyway, I’ve been working on a list of names I thought would be a good match to Reverie (from the BNW discussion I quite like Haven, Sonnet, Soleil, and Lumen nicked Lulu!), and came up with the following:

Reine (I met a woman recently named Reine, said like “Wren”)
Thaïs (which I suggested over at the BNW)
Juniper (maybe)
Charis (maybe)
Briseis (thanks to Mandi at A Blog About Miscarriage for turning me on to this name)

What do you think? What names do you think would fit for a sister for Reverie?

My weirdo namey mind strikes again

I know that some of you do this, I’m sure of it (right? right?), but I also know that it’s really weird, and I think you all are the only ones I can tell that might appreciate it!

I’ve been musing on the names Benjamin and Gwendolyn  for a while (since the Fountains of Carrots podcast, because Haley has a Benjamin and a Gwen) and how cool it is that they have the exact same number of syllables and rhythm and a rhyming first syllable and ending syllable but are completely different otherwise. I really love that kind of thing — names that are totally different but have a connecting thread. A real-life example that I love is someone I know whose kids are A!dan, Laur3n, and Mad3lyn — I love that all of them have the same sound at the end of their names, but spelled three different ways (-an, -en, -yn). The latter two are twins, and I think they’re names are awesomely matched in terms of each seeming very much their own but subtly connected through that last syllable at the same time.

Anyway, whenever I think of two names that I think really go well together for specific reasons — like syllables+rhythm+similar-sounding beginning and/or ending syllables — I like to try to think of a third, to make a nice group of three. It’s one of the reasons I loved so much the imaginary triplets post of a while back.

So yes, I have spent a ridiculous amount of my free mental energy thinking of the perfect name to go with the hypothetical sibling set of Benjamin and Gwendolyn. And then … I got it:


Benjamin, Gwendolyn, and Hendrickson.

It’s beyond weird how much satisfaction it’s given me to consider these three names together.


Five Facts Name Tag

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the Five Facts Name Tag I posted the other day. It was fun! I thought I’d post it here for those of you who haven’t seen it, and I’d love to see your answers.

1. What would you name your alter ego?
Vesper Verity Vita. It refers to prayer, truth, and life; Vesper’s also a Bond girl & Verity’s the sweet & determined Poldark character; and it’s alliterative like a Stan Lee superhero. Boom. 😀

2. What name would people be surprised you like?
Caden & Caley

3. What would you name your house?
Ballyboys! 😀 Bally’s Irish for “place of” and there are eight people in my house and I’m the only girl.

(I should also note that Ballyboys was a last minute idea — I’d previously named our house [yes I did] Acorn Manor [I think. I can’t remember for sure!], because we have a lot of oak trees and a looooooooottttt of acorns, and because Manor sounded hilariously grand for our modest not-big home. I named our first house, which had been my grandmother’s and was smaller than a postage stamp, An Cead Cottage — which I believe means The First Cottage [an cead means “the first” in Irish, unless it doesn’t — anyone who knows Irish, feel free to correct me!])

4. What would you rename yourself if you had to use a name that had none of the letters from your name?

5. What would you rename Instagram?

There were a few other Instagrammers who participated, and I was particularly impressed with some of the ideas for renaming Instagram, like Meagan at Tulip By Any Name who said “Happy Snappy” and Alexia Mae at Names Daily who said “Pixel Place.” So clever!

A couple of you also participated on IG but I won’t link to them unless you want me to (I live in fear of publicly posting something I shouldn’t!), or feel free to leave your link in the comments! Or just your answers if you prefer!