Baby name consultation: Help pick the right combo for baby no. 5/boy no. 3!

(I forgot to let you all know that I was going to be away on vacation last week! So sorry for the quietness of the blog! If you follow me on Instagram, you’d have seen that I got to meet and spend a few hours with Colleen from Martin Family Moments — it was so fun! She was so great! We talked and talked about all sorts of things, just like you do with your dear friends, and her hubby and kids hung out with my hubby and kids, and I got to meet two of her sisters, it was all just really familiar and family-like. It’s hard to make that happen when meeting someone for the first time — it’s a rare gift! Thanks again Colleen! 💕😘)

Christie and her husband are expecting their fifth baby — third boy! This little guy joins big sibs:

Kolbe David (“After Maximillian Kolbe and David of Wales“)
Isaac Austin (“after a more obscure saint named Isaac of Cordoba with a super cool and relevant story and Augustine of Canterbury“)
Eva Therese (“after Mary the New Eve and Therese of Lisieux“)
Alexis Chiara (“after OL of Perpetual Help – Alexis means help in Greek – and Bl. Chiara Badano“)

Great names, right? I really love all the significance in each one, I love how they’ve incorporated Marian names in unexpected ways, and I love that I’m posting this on the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, one of my very very favorites — happy feast day to Christie’s oldest!!

They have, as Christie put it, “a pretty specific naming schema” for their kiddos, and in fact “already have a list of names to consider, and just need help finding the winning combo” — I’m happy to participate in baby name conversations in any way that might be helpful! And I really love what Christie and her hubs have done so far, and the names on their list. As she explained,

Our kids’ names are like super-infused with meaning, Catholic dork style (and proud of it).”

(Yasssss!!! 👊👏😍)

Our boys are named after a saint we admire and want them to look up to, and another saint who was a first evangelizer of the British Isles that honors their paternal heritage all over that region. Our girls are named after a saint we admire and want them to look up to, and some sort of homage to Mary. We don’t care which name comes first of the two saints, just whatever sounds good.

A few other name preferences:
– We hate nicknames beyond infancy, and don’t want to give our kids names that they will never go by (just ask us: we’re a Christopher and a Christina). Obviously our kids do get nicknamed, but it’s things that won’t stick for forever.
– our last name is Collins, so no Phil, Tom, or other celebrity drinks/people ending in Collins!!! And my husband also threw out Nicholaus because that’s the origin of the last name Collins (I mean… ok, fine, hubs)
– I’m Italian/Cajun/Irish in heritage and we lived in Rome for two years and still study the Italian language and culture as a family. If only Marcellino Collins was, like, even okay-sounding LOL!
– not too obscure of a saint (minimum: must be able to find a holy card or book or something about the guy)

Finally, we want there to be some sort of pilgrimage that makes sense for their saint because our dream is that a high school or college graduation present will be a pilgrimage with just one parent and that child to “their” spot. For Kolbe, that will be Auschwitz, for Isaac it’ll be Cordoba (very southern Spain), for Eva it’ll be Lisieux, and for Alexis, Rome. So far that’s a pretty trans-European experience too.”

I loved reading all of this!! I laughed out loud in several spots, and I also think the pilgrimage idea is so cool.


For the heritage name: we’ve scoured all the early evangelizer saints and let’s be honest…we’re not naming a kid Cunegard or anything without vowels (or entirely composed of them), so it’s a bit restrictive. Here are the remotely good ones.


For the saints-we-look-up-to name, there are lots. Some were tossed out because they were too out there for my husband (Ephrem, Cyril, Cyprian, Fulton). I’ve researched other ways to name a kid after each of them and I’ll include that info.

Augustine (Augustine, but we already used Austin…)
John the Apostle (John)
Gregory the Great (Gregory, Magnus)
Peter Damien (Peter, Damien)
John Paul (born Karol Jozef, Karol means Carl and Charles: John, Paul, Karol, Carl, Charles, Jozef, Joseph)
Ambrose (Gio and Giotto are Italian diminutives/derivatives: Ambrose, Gio, Giotto)
Benedict (established monastery at Monte Cassino: Benedict, Bennett, Monte)
Leo the Great (Leo, Magnus)
Bonaventure (born Giovanni, and he’s the Seraphic Doctor, if there’s anything there, Bonaventure)
Phillip Neri (darn you, Phil Collins, for being famous!: Neri?)
John Bosco (born Melchiorre, Forrest for a play on words – bosco = woods/forest, Bosco, John)
Thomas More (Thomas)
John Chrysostom (John)
Dominic (middle name was Felix after his father: Dominic, Felix)
Francis of Assisi (Francis)
Damien of Molokai (born Jozef: Damien, Jozef))
Francis de Sales (born Francis Bonaventura: Francis)
Peter Julian Eymard (Peter, Julian mayybbeeeee)
Louis Martin (we don’t like Louis, but maybe Martin)
Nathaniel (Nathaniel, Nathan)

Other names we like okay that are also saints:
Owen (St. Nicholas Owen)

I love how Christie’s mind works! I loved reading all her ideas for naming after saints without using the exact name (who knew Gio and Giotto were Italian variants of Ambrose? So cool!).

I admit that at first I wasn’t sure what I could contribute, since Christie and her hubs have all their names pretty much figured out. But I did have some thoughts, both about the names they already have on their list, and even some new ideas that I think fit in well enough that they won’t hate them.

First off, I totally wouldn’t cross Italian names off their list just because they don’t have an Italian last name! Christie has Italian heritage, and as she said they lived in Rome and still study the language and culture as a family — to me, it would be kind of weird to not include Italian names in their considerations! Christie’s concern about it clashing with their last name reminded me of this post from Swistle, which discussed what her reader called the “Juan Pablo Jones problem,” and which I thought was spot-on. I especially like this bit:

I think it’s unnecessary for [your husband] to bring cultural appropriation into it when what you’re discussing is using names FROM YOUR OWN CULTURES. It sounds as if his concern is that other people will THINK it’s cultural appropriation: that is, if someone didn’t realize your cultural background, they might think you shouldn’t have used the name. I am generally on the side of worrying what other people think and of taking into account the society we live in (I don’t want to give a child a name that will make people think badly of her or of us), but this doesn’t seem like an issue here. First/last-name incompatibility could happen any time the parents didn’t come from the same cultural background, or any time a surname gets married out of usage. It seems like even (or especially) people hyper-aware of cultural appropriation issues would also be aware that the current particular surname doesn’t tell the story of the family background.”

So I’d say, use Marcellino with joy!

Secondly, working with the names they already have on their list, I felt like Finnian and Kieran from their British Isles list seemed like they’d fit well as first names with the other kids. I was also really struck by how many holy Johns they love, and if it were me, I would definitely take that as a sign that John is a slam dunk as a first name. I’ve also always loved that John goes in front of most any name for boys in a similar way as Mary for girls — I think a John ___ could easily go by John or a nickname of John, or the fn+mn as a double name (like John Paul), or the middle name, just like those girls with Mary ___ as a given name have traditionally found Mary, fn+mn, or just the middle name as options available to them that generally don’t raise eyebrows. I know I’ve said this a million times, but most of my dad’s first cousins who are women, as well as one of his sisters and his mom, are all Mary ___, and most of them go by their middle names in real life (signing their names as just their middles, or sometimes M. Middle), or by both Mary and the middle. And John is just the same in my opinion. Perhaps it doesn’t have the long history of use in that regard like Mary does, so maybe others might raise their eyebrows at a John ___ that goes by a double name or his middle name or whatever, but to me it’s an awesome option. I posted a huge John+ consultation post here, which might have some helpful info.

So I love the idea of John Aaron, John Patrick, John Aidan, John Finnian, John Andrew, John Brendan, John Kieran, and John Declan. I think they all sound just amazingly handsome and masculine but not overly macho or anything, just really nice combos. If it were me, I’d be tempted to call them by the double names because I’m so enamored of the John+ doubles! But even if he just went by John, I think they’d be pleased because John is an easy name to use and enforce that no nicknames are to be used. It’s great and solid for a man and increasingly unexpected on a little boy.

I also love the idea of going by the middle names, which I think might be more their style anyway, based on the names they’ve already used for their older kids — Kolbe, Isaac, Eva, and Alexis don’t have the feel that a family that would choose John for a son would traditionally have, I think. So doing something unexpected with a little John’s name would be more expected in a family that uses a saint’s last name as a first, for example.

But even though I think John makes so much sense, because it honors all the Sts. John they love (and even St. Bonaventure, with Giovanni as his birth name), it does make choosing the patron saint and pilgrimage place difficult — which John would they focus on? Of course they could solve that by using the middle name as the patron and place, which is probably what I would recommend, especially since they don’t have any British Isles pilgrimage places represented yet among their kiddos.

So after swooning over all the John+ possibilities, my attention shifted to Leo, because when I did my usual research in the Baby Name Wizard (which lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity), I was really struck by what a good fit Leo is for this family based on the names Christie and her hubs have already chosen and those they like/are considering: In general, there wasn’t any real overlap among the names that were listed as similar to the names they’ve chosen, BUT Leo was listed as a style match for Eva as well as Oliver, Julian, Jude, Sebastian, and Felix — I thought that was pretty significant! I loved the combos Leo Patrick, Leo Finnian, Leo Brendan, Leo Kieran, and Leo Declan, and I didn’t know if they’d be interested in going full Irish, but if so I also love Leo Padraig (a combo I had on my list for a while). They could of course use the middle name to choose the pilgrimage spot, but I looked up St. Leo the Great and his Wiki entry said he was born in Tuscany, which is an amazing place to visit, but not sure *where* in Tuscany they’d go? He’s buried in Rome, but they already have Rome on the list for Alexis … A cool tidbit is that he played an important role in the Council of Chalcedon, and Chalcedon is in Turkey today, so that would be a good option I think.

Looking more through the list of saints they love, I was struck by these things/had these thoughts that might be helpful:

  • I agree about not using Augustine since they already used Austin (which you all probably know is a variant of Augustine)
  • I love that Gio and Giotto are Italian variants of Ambrose, how cool!
  • Love Monte as a nod to St. Benedict!
  • Seraphim is used as a masculine name, which could make a cool middle name as a nod to St. Bonaventure
  • We considered the full Philip Neri as a fn+mn and I really wanted to use Finn as the nickname! If Christie and her hubs didn’t hate nicknames, this could get around the Phil Collins issue, but as it is, I agree with them—no Philip! Neri would be interesting … I also wonder if they would consider Finnian to be a double nod to St. Finnian and St. Philip Neri because of the Finn thing I just mentioned? Or maybe they’re hating my idea of trying to double up saints in one name!! Haha! No worries if so, I never get offended about differences of opinion in naming! And I’m certainly under no illusion that I have all the right answers
  • I love Melchiorre/Melchior for St. John Bosco! I love the idea of naming for the Three Wise Men anyway, and knowing that it also is part of St. Bosco’s name is so cool! It also reminded me of Malachy—I don’t know if St. Malachy fits the criteria they’re using to define “early British Isles evangelizer,” but he was the first native-born Irishman to be canonized, which is pretty cool
  • I wonder if they would be interested in Morey for Thomas More? This family named their son Thomas More and call him Morey, which is also a nod to Great Grandpa Maury (genius!), but I think Morey is a great name on its own and fine as a nod to Thomas More
  • I’ve never seen Felix considered for St. Dominic, very cool!
  • St. Francis of Assisi and St. Francis de Sales, being both on their list, would make me want to use Francis as a nod to them both …
  • St. Francis de Sales has such great connections for this family—not only was Bonaventura his middle name, which could also nod to St. Bonaventure, but St. John Bosco was of course a devotee of St. Francis de Sales … again, I’m a fan of trying to tie together connections and honor lots of different people with one name, so I would find this all very inspiring—a way of checking several saints off their list of favorites with one child’s name. I’m not sure what name I would recommend though?
  • I thought of Christie on St. Peter Julian Eymard’s recent feast day; I discussed Julian a bit in my last consultation, which might be helpful?
  • I like Martin a lot, I always wonder why more people aren’t using it!
  • Love Nathaniel
  • I love Pio as a middle name! Ana at Time Flies When You’re Having Babies has a Joseph Pio, which I’ve always thought was an amazing combo
  • I would love to see them move Owen and Oliver from their “so-so” list to their “favorites” list! Oliver’s a style match for Eva, Leo, Julian, Jude, Sebastian, and Felix, and I know an Isaac who has a brother Oliver! I love St. Oliver Plunket. I also know an Isaac with a brother Owen (and a sister Olivia!), and St. Nicholas Owen is amazing!

One final thought I had was regarding an honor name for John Paul — I’ve seen Lolek considered a time or two as a first name, and we even discussed it as a possible “nickname” for Luke! So maybe Christie and her hubs would like to consider it as well? They seem to like the hard K sound (Kolbe, Isaac, Alexis, Chiara, and per their list Patrick, Kieran, Declan, Carl/Karol, Dominic, Felix, Luke/Lucas), and Lolek really does feel like an unexpected Luke.

And those are all my thoughts and ideas for Christie’s littlest guy! What do you all think? Based on all this, what name(s) and/or combo(s) would you suggest for the little brother of Kolbe, Isaac, Eva, and Alexis?

Birth announcement: Catherine Rose!

I posted a consultation for Shannon and her husband on Memorial Day for their little green bean 🌱, in which they were specifically looking for non-M Marian middle name ideas if they had a girl. Shannon’s let me know that they did indeed have a little lady! And they’ve given her the so-lovely name … Catherine Rose!

Shannon writes,

I just wanted to let you know that our little girl (!) arrived on July 3rd, and we named her Catherine Rose! We loved your suggestion as a way to honor Mary (with a non-M Marian name), and as a special, private way to incorporate our sweet Therese. (We hadn’t chosen a middle name for Therese, but we decided we would adopt Pieta as her middle name. It so beautifully reflects our sorrow of losing her.)

Thanks again for your insights and for all of your readers’ comments! We’re so grateful!

Isn’t Catherine Rose just so perfect?! It’s a beautiful complement for big sister Caroline Mary, and I love how it ties into her sister in heaven, Therese. And I love Therese Pieta! All around, just beautiful, meaningful names.

Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Catherine!!


Catherine Rose with big sister Caroline Mary
(I can’t get over how much Catherine looks like Caroline did as a baby!)

Birth announcement: Molly Victoria!

I posted a consultation for Amy and her husband just a couple of weeks ago, and I’m so excited to share that their little girl has arrived! She’s been given the gorgeous name … Molly Victoria!

Amy writes,

I get a lot of good reactions from people admiring when we tell her name (so sweet/pretty, oh i like that, smiles, etc). I didn’t really get that with [big sister] Kristy, and wanted it. I know it is dated (70s -ish) and maybe not “pretty” but I still am crazy about its meaning and so perfect for her.

It was a beautiful birth. I was able to go to daily Mass that morning and get a blessing from the priest (we were inducing so I knew it was baby day). We were also able to stop by a perpetual adoration chapel to be with Jesus for a bit on our way (again, because of the induction we knew we had time). I delivered at a Catholic hospital (where I was able to literally find my peaceful place in their chapel as labor tried to kick off) by my Catholic OB (who prays with me, was just ordained a deacon and may be part of her baptism) with Angels all around me (I can sense them during childbirth, they have been present in different ways with each of my births, even to my husband).

I just couldn’t shake it [Molly Victoria] and knew in the last weeks of pregnancy that I was set and wanted to go with it. I felt like it already matched her, even without meeting her yet. I could picture us using it and I had honestly started calling her that to myself. It was just too meaningful to me and anything else would have felt, I don’t know, slighted? My husband pretty much named our first two, so he let me have my way (not sure he really had any other pressing ideas, or he didn’t mention them cause he saw how attached I was to Molly).

Reasons I went with it:

She is named after my grandmother (Millie) and [the baby’s] grandmother (Vicky), both of whom we refer to as Nanny.

Specifically (in no particular order):
– I know Molly is not traditionally a variant of Millie, but it is MY variant. I figure if you can get Jack from John, Dick from Richard, Bill from William (etc.) I can change one letter and get Molly from Millie.

– I have already named after God (Kristy/Christ), Mary (Marie), and a saint (JPII), now I wanted to name for someone that I knew personally, who meant a lot to me, influential, that I admire and would want her to be like. The very first, top person I would have wanted was my Nanny Millie.

– Now we have 3 generations represented in the girls names, Kristy Marie shares a middle name with mom (and it’s cool our first boy shares dad’s middle name), Victoria for grandma, and Molly for great grandma.

– My other two had heavy representation from my husbands family ([big brother’s first name] Martin is grandpa’s name and he goes by his middle just like grandpa, Kristy is slightly named after her aunts Kristen Joy (Krissy) and Karin Marie like they were and the K for both my friend Kyla and his mom Kathy). I wanted my family represented this time and this gave me both sides (paternal – Molly and maternal – Victoria). Additionally, we have now named after grandparents on both sides, one male and paternal side (Martin) and one female and maternal side (Victoria).

– Slightly silly, insignificant, but fun- Kristy has 6 letters, Molly has 5 and Kane has 4 (all the cousins have 5 letter names). Additionally, the first initials make a cool pattern. KM and MK are (unintended) opposites. Now we have K, K, M, however *technically* its K, M, M or I guess K, MK, M

– I had a hard time ignoring how this name came to me, in daily Mass, almost knocking me over. And then it wouldn’t leave me alone, haunting me. So many little incidence that said “pay attention to this name”.

– Molly is Marian (yah!) and Victoria for Our Lady of Victory, cool.”

SUCH a great name story!! So many reasons for Amy and her husband to feel so pleased and peaceful about the name of their little girl!

Congratulations to Amy and her husband and big sibs Kristy Marie and Martin Kane (Kane), and happy birthday Baby Molly!!

Molly Victoria and her family ❤

Birth announcement: Maura Kay!

Happy Monday everyone! The mama whose consultation I’d scheduled to post today decided she’d rather not have a public post, which is always fine — there’s absolutely no pressure to have a public post! I only want it to be a help! — and fortunately I have a birth announcement to share with you instead! Woo! 🎉

Back in March, I posted a consultation for Heather from the Go Forth with Heather and Becky podcast (a day before the episode with me as a guest posted!), and I’m delighted to share that Heather has let me know her baby girl has arrived and been given the lovely and meaningful name … Maura Kay!

Heather writes,

I wanted to touch base to let you know that our sweet baby girl has arrived, and to let you know about how we settled on her name!

Your consultation was very helpful for my husband and I, and really solidified my desire to name our daughter in a way that honored my mother. This caused us to lean towards Maura Kay as my mother and I both have the middle name Kay, and I also loved your suggestion of honoring my mother by using her initials and this name combination does both. Our older children are named after more well-known Saints (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton & Maximilian Kolbe), and I was unsure if St. Maura was too obscure where it is hard to find holy cards, medals, etc. and there just isn’t a lot of information about St. Maura. However, I love that it is an Irish variant of Mary, as my husband and I have a strong devotion to Mother Mary, and is a nod to my husband’s Irish heritage.

As I told you in the consultation, and on the episode of “Go Forth,” I love the name Catherine so much, and this was a strong contender until the end and I couldn’t commit without seeing her, which we have never done before with our other kids. I love St. Catherine of Siena, but my husband wasn’t sold on “Cate” as her nickname.

On the day she was born, I still couldn’t commit to a name, and it took quite a while for the nurses to leave our room for us to settle on her name. I thought she looked like a “Cate” and my husband strongly thought she looked like a “Maura.” Because I love both names, it didn’t take much convincing on his part to get me to agree to Maura Kay, especially where it allows her to share the family name of “Kay”. Maura Kay fits her so well, and we receive many compliments on her name! While her name isn’t one that is easily shortened like our Lizzie and Max, we all frequently call her “Mo Mo” which is a fun little pet name for her. Thank you so much for your help and guidance-your advice really helped us narrow down our name list and think about baby naming in a fun new way!

Maura arrived on June 6, 2017 at 6:46am and was 9.5 lbs and 21 1/4″ long.”

I love reading name stories where there was some uncertainty about the name and when the final decision is made, it was like Of course! Of course that’s her name! Maura Kay is just beautiful, and I love that it honors Heather’s mom and Our Lady all in one. Perfect!

Congratulations to Heather and her husband and big sibs Elizabeth (Lizzie) and Maximilian (Max), and happy birthday Baby Maura!!

image1 (22)

Birth announcement: Molly Amelia!

I posted a consultation for Kate and her husband back in March — they had decided on Molly as a first name for their baby girl and were looking for a middle name. Kate’s let me know that her little lady has arrived and been given the beautiful first+middle combo … Molly Amelia!

Kate writes,

I wanted to let you know that baby Molly has arrived. Although your suggestions gave us a lot to think about, we went with Amelia for her middle name. It has nice family ties for us as it was my great grandmother’s name and one of my closest cousin’s middle name.

We are happy to be home and her big sisters and brother already adore her. She’s such a sweet and easy going baby so far. We are really very blessed.

Thank you for your help with the naming process!!

I’m so so glad they went with a middle name that has such meaning for them! Molly Amelia is a gorgeous combo!

Congratulations to Kate and her husband and big sibs McKenna, Emily, and Benjamin, and happy birthday Baby Molly!!

Molly Amelia at 12 hours old and 5 days old


Birth announcement: Gemma Rose Katherine!

A year ago I posted the names of the Saintly Heart boys — the sons of Maggie from the Saintly Heart shop (peg dolls and books), and not too long after she had a baby girl! I’m thrilled to share that her name is … Gemma Rose Katherine!

Maggie wrote an awesome IG post about her little girl’s names and patron saints, as well as one about her baptism day saint, which you should definitely check out, and if you scroll through her feed you’ll find some pretty cute pics of that sweet little lady, including this gorgeous one from her baptism!

Congratulations to Maggie and her husband and big brothers Blaise and Savio, and happy birthday Baby Gemma!!

Baby name consultation: Baby no. 7 needs uncommon+recognizable+not-too-difficult name

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July tomorrow! God bless America! 🗽

Colleen and her husband are expecting their seventh baby, a little green bean (=gender unknown)! 🌱 This little one joins big sibs:

Jonathan Paul
Elizabeth Bernadette
Augustine Luke
Clara Marie
Simon Joseph
Catherine Gregory (miscarried at 13 weeks in 2016)

I’m a big fan of all these names!! And it was funny to see so much overlap with my family as well — I’m Katherine and I have a brother Jonathan and a sister Elizabeth! And we very nearly named our youngest Augustin. I love Clara and Simon too!

Colleen writes,

In theory I like nicknames but in practice we almost exclusively call our kids by their full given name … When we lost Catherine Gregory we were not prepared with a name and so we chose my confirmation name and my husband’s confirmation name together.

All our children have different first initials (with the exception of Catherine Gregory) and I would like to continue that, though I would be willing to break that rule for a really great name. For this baby we are looking for names that are not too common yet are recognizable and not too difficult to spell or pronounce … We love biblical and saintly names and I’m really drawn to names that instill a strong connection with a virtue or admirable characteristic. For instance, I associate Jonathan (the biblical Jonathan) with friendship and loyalty, Bernadette (St. Bernadette) with humility, Augustine (St. Augustine of Hippo) with willingness to repent and using one’s gifts to serve the Church, Clara (St. Clare) with a love for the poor, Joseph (St. Joseph) with fatherhood, etc. I have a similar association with each one of my children’s names and we talk with the kids about their saints and their corresponding attributes often.

We’ve settled on a middle name for a girl but that is it. If we have a daughter her middle name will be Jane after St. Jane de Chantal (and it’s also a nod to one of my favorite authors, Jane Austen, and one of my favorite books, Jane Eyre). I would love it as a first name but my husband is not a fan.

Some names I am considering include:
For a girl: Lucy, Helena, Teresa (nicknamed Tess or Tessa)
For a boy: Oliver, Asher, Blaise

My husband likes the options I proposed for a boy but doesn’t love any of the girls’ names. His favorites are Margaret (not nicknamed) and Charlotte, but both of those belong to family members and when he hears those names he wants to always think of those individuals first and doesn’t want them replaced in his memory.

Other names I love but can’t use for various reasons: Maura (too rhymey with Clara), Margaret nicknamed Greta (LOVE it but we have a niece named Gretchen), Abram (I love it but my husband does not).

For a girl’s name we are also considering calling her by both her first and middle names, for instance, Lucy Jane, Helena (or Nella) Jane, Tessa Jane.

Possible middle names for a boy are Thomas (St. Thomas Aquinas), George (my husband’s grandfather’s name and Blessed Pier Giorgio) or Louis (my husband’s other grandfather’s name, St. Louis Martin)

We unintentionally gave all our boys names with the same ending sound. I would prefer to break that trend this time around.

Names we can’t use or don’t like:

Thanks for helping us find the perfect name for our newest little blessing!

I love the names Colleen and her hubs are considering for this baby, and I especially love the idea of calling a girl by first name + Jane — Lucy Jane, Nella Jane, Tessa Jane are all so sweet. I love Oliver and Blaise for them too, but I was surprised by Asher — it’s a great name, but it strikes me as so different from the feel of their other kids and the other names they’re thinking of. I also wondered if they’d considered Thomas, George, or Louis as first name ideas? Thomas and George particularly struck me as good fits.

I also feel Colleen’s pain over Margaret and Greta! I wonder what they’d think of Rita? Like Greta, it’s a diminutive of Margaret, so can take any of the Sts. Margaret as patron, or St. Rita (whose birth name was Margherita). I also wondered if they’d be interested in something like Goretti? It’s so similar in sound to Greta, but of course it’s a completely different name.

So you all know that I start each consultation by looking up the names the parents have used and like/are considering in the Baby Name Wizard as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. I did so here, and also had some of my own ideas:

(1) Martha
I like Martha for this family because it’s got the same beginning sound as Margaret, so I thought it might hit a similar note. Additionally, it’s actually a style match for Margaret per the BNW. I’ve heard it on a couple little girls recently, and Martha Jane is charming.

(2) Hannah
Hannah is a match for all their biblical names, especially the Old Testament ones. Not only that, but the story of Hannah in the bible is such a beautiful one! They could also use St. Anne as patron, as Hannah and Anne/Anna are variants of each other. I love Hannah Jane.

(3) Naomi
Of course this is another Old Testament name, and another wonderful model for a girl. I think Naomi really fits Colleen’s hope for a name that’s “not too common” yet is “recognizable and not too difficult to spell or pronounce” — do you agree?

(4) Veronica
I love Veronica because it’s so beautiful, but I also love that, though it’s not biblical, it *feels* biblical — though Veronica’s not mentioned by name in the bible, she’s there. It also strikes me as an exclusively Catholic name — I know non-Catholics use it, but the Church gave the name to the woman in the bible. Veronica Jane is lovely.

(5) Molly
Molly was mostly inspired by Maura — Molly’s a great way to use an Irish form of Mary without it rhyming with Clara. Additionally, I have a sister Molly! So to me it fits in perfectly with Jonathan, Elizabeth, and Catherine. It’s also listed in the BNW as a style match for Lucy and Tess. They could also use Mary as the given name and Molly as a nickname if they like, as Molly’s origin is as a nickname for Mary. Mary Jane nicked Molly, and Molly Jane are both great. (Also, regarding Maura, I wonder if Maureen appeals to them at all?)

(1) Isaac
Isaac seemed spot on to me — a heavy biblical name that also has a great saint association (St. Isaac Jogues), and it’s also a style match for Simon — perfect! I like Isaac Thomas, Isaac George, and Isaac Louis, all.

(2) Bennett or Benedict
I really wanted to suggest Benjamin, which is my other brother’s name, but since Colleen doesn’t want to have the “an/in/on” ending for a boy, obviously Benjamin’s out. But both Benedict and Bennett (which is a medieval form of Benedict) seemed like they might be their style. I like that Benedict is long like Jonathan, Elizabeth, Augustine, and Catherine, and I like that Bennett is shorter like Clara and Simon and has some of the Brit feel I get from them (the Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice are an example of the Brit feel I mean). Bennett’s actually a style match for Greta, and Benedict for Augustine! Benedict Thomas, Benedict George, Benedict Louis, Bennett George, and Bennett Louis all sound quite handsome to me.

(3) Leo
Leo’s a style match for Clara, Simon, Lucy, and Oliver, and I think it fits in really well with the other kids as well. It’s also the name of a Pope St. the Great, like Gregory. Leo Thomas and Leo George are great combos.

(4) Konrad
Conrad is inspired mostly by Greta — it’s a style match for it — but also by the fact that it’s a match for August, which I often look to for inspiration for style matches for Augustine (as Augustine isn’t included in the BNW). I’m suggesting the Konrad spelling in order to avoid repeating initials — it’s a totally legit spelling, a German, Scandinavian, Polish, and Slovene form of the name (according to Kord and Kurt are both traditional nicknames for it, which are cool. Konrad Thomas, Konrad George, and Konrad Louis are all fine.

(5) Philip
Philip’s a style match for all their New Testament names, as well as Teresa. I’ve long loved Philip, and one of the most fun things about it is the nickname Pip, which I think is darling for a little boy, and gets at that same feel I get from Clara, Simon, Lucy, and Oliver. I love the full Philip for an older boy/man as well. Philip Thomas, Philip George, and Philip Louis go nicely together.

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for the little brother or sister of Jonathan, Elizabeth, Augustine, Clara, Simon, and Catherine?