An important resource is gone

You guys. I was working on a consultation the other night and couldn’t find what I needed in my trusty Baby Name Wizard book, so I went to to use the Name Matchmaker tool, only to find …, and all its tools, is no more. I’m devastated.

Laura Wattenberg, the creator of and brain behind The Baby Name Wizard (the amazing book, the amazing site, the site’s amazing tools [Name Matchmaker, Name Finder]) (I’m still thrilled and amazed and so grateful that she wrote an endorsement for my own name book!), had posted recently on her new site, Namerology, that the BNW site had been shut down by its new owners, but I didn’t really think that meant it was *shut down,* like, *not existing anymore* — I figured it just meant it was no longer progressing, it was just staying as it was forever and its info would become outdated.

I used to spend hours reading the threads on the BNW discussion boards, and I’ve used the site’s tools heavily for my own naming and in consultations. Laura still posts great, meaty content on Namerology, and she does have some name tools (but not the kind that offer style matches, which I have learned so much from and really rely on) and a discussion forum that I’ll have to look into some more, but it’s not the same.

When I was working on the consultation and discovered I could no longer access the Name Matchmaker, I went to Nymbler, which was also created by Laura, and was a precursor to the BNW stuff. I hadn’t used it in a while, and was surprised at its new look and the new way it works … I can’t tell yet if I think it will be helpful or not (though it did help me with the particular thing I was working on the other night).

Anyway. This is such an end to era! The baby naming world has suffered a real loss.

The five baby name consultation openings I had for January have been taken, but Theresa is available to help you out! Email her at to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

For help with Marian names, 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 (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Fun Friday Question: What name pocket are you in (if any)?

Don’t forget to enter The Catholic Working Mom’s Guide to Life giveaway if you haven’t already! You have until Sunday at midnight!

My dear friend KZG, who I’ve known for over twenty years, and with whom I lived and traveled while young, and who was a bridesmaid in my wedding and godmother to one of my boys, has also been one of my longest readers (in the beginning of the blog, she and my mom were my only two readers!) and biggest supporters/cheerleaders. She’s also the one who lets me know any time anyone in the Catholic blogosphere is pregnant — she has “introduced” me to so many of you! I gave her a special shout-out in my book for all the ways she’s been a bright light to Sancta Nomina (and always to me ❤ ).

So anyway, this past Tuesday she texted me, “Have you written about how popular Rocco is?” and went on to tell me that it’s super popular where she is (downstate NY), especially in the 4-6 year old age range (in her experience). So I responded how interesting that is, and that not only is it not terribly popular nationwide, it’s also on a downswing, so she must be in a pocket and I wondered why?


She reminded me that there’s a high population of families with Italian heritage where she lives, which makes sense, and we continued our text convo about other things and I mentally made a note to write about Rocco at some point in the future.

THE VERY NEXT DAY Laura Wattenberg, aka The Baby Name Wizard, who has a new web site called Namerology (she’s no longer at the Baby Name Wizard site), posted Maeve of Massachusetts, Meet Magnus of Minnesota, which was all about name pockets due to high concentrations of certain ethnicities (specifially Irish in Boston/Massachusetts, Swedish in Minnesota, and Italian in New Jersey [I would add downstate New York — Duchess and Westchester Counties, New York City, and Long Island — which borders New Jersey]).


The Swedish immigrants who flocked to Minnesota are recalled in the modern popularity of names like Ingrid and Henrik, and the Italian immigrants who helped shape New Jersey in names like Francesca and Rocco.”

Of course I texted her right away!! KZG is amazing!!

I can’t think of any names that are particular to my area as opposed to the rest of the country — I know loads of kids with the new top ten names, and the top names in New York State specifically (which KZG also sent me, name genius that she is) aren’t that different, and no names are coming to mind as those I hear that wouldn’t be as known to other places. (I will say that Sancta Nomina provides a Catholic name pocket though! 😂 The beautiful names of our faith are so familiar to me through interacting with all of you and the research I do for the blog/book/social media, etc. that I forget not everyone is as familiar!)

What about all of you? Do you hear names on the little ones in your town/area that aren’t common in other places? Happy Friday!

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!