Baby name consultation: Boy no. 3/baby no. 4 needs great first name with friendly nickname

Kim and her husband are expecting their fourth baby and third boy! This little guy joins big sibs:

Charles Patrick (Charlie)
Peter Augustine (Pete)
Magdalene Lucy (Maggie)

What a great set! I absolutely love how sophisticated each full first name is, and how friendly all the nicknames are!

Kim writes,

I love Henry and the cheerful ring of it, but that name is out for my husband. The following names have already been used in our family: Francis, James, John, Andrew, Thomas, Joseph, Dominic, Stephen, Matthew, Patrick, Nicholas, Anthony, Samuel … [also] we have the Baby Name Wizard and don’t like any of the sibling suggestions for the kids’ names.”

So you all had to know how excited I got to see that Kim and her hubs had already looked through the Baby Name Wizard — my go-to when starting a consultation, as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity — and didn’t like any of the ideas! The more challenging the name challenge, the more fun I have with it!

I also want to say that I really love the combo Magdalene Lucy … Lucy’s so unexpected to me in the middle spot, and it just flows really really well with Magdalene. Lovely! (Their boys’ names are great too! Magdalene Lucy just particularly struck me.)

So I took a couple of different routes when coming up with ideas for this baby boy. I actually did start with the BNW, as usual, in order to see what names Kim and her hubs don’t care for, and also to do some extended research, by which I mean I started looking up names that I thought felt like their style, and then looking up their style matches, etc. I also used Nymbler and the Name Matchmaker on the babynamewizard site, plugging in both their kiddos’ full names and nicknames, as well as looking at matches for just the boys’ names and for the sib set as a whole. There were definitely a few names that kept popping up over and over again, in all the different sites/sources I used, two of which were also listed as style matches for their kids’ names in the BNW (i.e., names Kim and her hubs don’t like), but I included them below anyway—sometimes a discussion about a name can sway parents one way or another. It’s worth a try!

I also gave good weight to names with “friendly” nicknames — when Kim said she loves the “cheerful” feel of Henry, I think it’s similar to the vibe I get from the nicknames of her kids. I definitely think of Charlie, Pete, and Maggie as having a real friendliness to them, and I thought it revealed the kinds of names Kim and her hubs would gravitate toward.

Okay, without further ado, here are my ideas:

(1) Long and heavy hitting, like Augustine and Magdalene
I had so many ideas that I decided to group them into categories! I was struck by Peter’s middle name Augustine and Maggie’s full name Magdalene—I often see those names pop up in lists by families who love longer, heavy-hitting names (“heavy hitting”=catacombs + incense kinds of names), and I wondered if that might be a category Kim and her hubs would like to consider for their next baby. In particular, I thought of:

  • Sebastian—Sebastian’s actually a style match for Dominic, which is on Kim’s list of names they can’t use. But Dominic also goes along with the heavy-hitting feel of Augustine and Magdalene, so I was interested in its style matches, and Sebastian struck me as a good possibility. There are some really cute nickname possibilities: Seb and Sebbie are pretty traditional, and Bash is one I only heard of a few years ago (Grace Patton has a Sebastian nn Bash) and fell in love with. I’ve also heard Bas/Baz and even Ian!
  • Theodore—Theodore’s one of those names that kept showing up over and over in my research. According to the BNW it’s a style match for August (since the BNW doesn’t have an entry for Augustine, I’ve had pretty good luck with substituting August in the past), and the Name Matchmaker offered it as a match for all Kim’s kids’ names. The nicknames Ted/Teddy and Theo struck me as really great matches for Charlie, Pete, and Maggie.
  • Nathaniel—Nathaniel has that really biblical feel of Magdalene, and it’s also the name of one of the Twelve Apostles, so it’s really saintly as well. But what really sold me is the nickname: Nate is a great, friendly nickname, similar in my mind to Charlie, Pete, and Maggie.
  • Benedict—Ben is also a nickname that I think this family might like, based on the feel of Charlie, Pete, and Maggie, as well as Lucy and Henry. Benedict is a great way to get to it if they wanted to channel the “long and heavy hitting” vibe of Augustine and Magdalene.

(2) Long and normal-ish
Augustine and Magdalene definitely have a different feel to me than Charles, Peter, Lucy, and Henry, though of course they do all go together by virtue of their saintliness, which is one of the things I love about Catholic naming. If this family didn’t want to go 100% the Augustine/Magdalene route for this little boy, a sort of compromise option might be a name that’s longer, like A and M, but not as weighty, if that makes any sense. In that vein, I thought of:

  • Alexander—Sebastian had a few style matches that I thought were swirling around the right area, like Nathaniel (suggested above) and also Alexander. Charles, Peter, and Alexander have a really royal feel to them, as brothers, and Alexander has loads of fun nickname options, like Xander/Zander/Xan/Zan, Sandy, Sander, and of course Alex. Given that their other kids go by Charlie, Pete, and Maggie, I’m guessing Alex is probably mostly their speed, though I think Sandy would fit in really well—a friend of mine named her son Sandy, which surprised me so much at first, but the more I’ve thought about it over the years, the more it’s grown up me. Certainly it used to be used a lot more for boys and I’d love to see it come back again.
  • Benjamin—I listed Benedict above, as it has that monastery feel of Dominic and Augustine, but Benjamin comes across as a bit friendlier I’d say. And again, I’d say Ben is a great fit for this family, and I also love Benny and Benji.
  • William—William is absolutely a name I would have thought was spot-on for this little boy! When I saw it listed as a style match for Charles I thought Nooooo! I’m so worried that means Kim and her hubs don’t like it! But I’m just going ahead and listing it here anyway! I think William is such a great match as a brother to Charles and Peter, and the nickname Will seems perfect as a brother to Charlie, Peter, and Maggie, and a great match for the feel of Henry as well.

(3) Middling
Despite the fact that Augustine and Magdalene are so long, two-thirds of Kim’s kids’ first names as well as her favorite name for this little boy (Henry) are actually much shorter, so it would be silly to not include some names like that. A few rose to the top for me, including:

  • Oliver—I’m guessing they hate Oliver, since they surely saw it listed in the BNW as a match for Lucy and Henry, but in the off chance that they might come around, I had to include it! Oliver is such a great name, and St. Oliver Plunkett such a great saint. I also love the nickname Ollie—it has that same friendly feel to me as Charlie, Pete, and Maggie.
  • Bennett—Each of my categories here has contained a formal name for the nickname Ben! I really do love Ben for this family, and Bennet(t) is yet another name that they might like. It’s a medieval variant of Benedict, which gives it great saintliness, and it has long use as a last name (a la the Bennet sisters in Pride & Prejudice).
  • Martin—Martin was strongly recommended by the Name Matchmaker as a good match for all their kids’ names as a set. I love Martin as a brother to Charles and Peter, and I love Marty as a brother to Charlie, Pete, and Maggie.
  • Nathan—I suggested Nathaniel in the first category, and I want to include Nathan here — they’re both driven by the nickname Nate, which I love with the other kids, and Nathan’s biblical too.

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for Charlie, Pete, and Maggie’s little brother, remembering that they have Augustine and Magdalene in the mix as well?

Baby name consultation: “Nursing home,” Spanish, and saint/New Testament boy names for born baby no. 3

Mandi, who blogs at A Blog About Miscarriage and sells Lilla Rose hair accessories, is one of our longest, most devoted readers! I posted a consultation for her when she was expecting her second born baby, and then a birth announcement when the baby was born, and I frequently look to her for resources for families who have lost a baby to miscarriage and input on naming miscarried babies (here and here). I loved her pregnancy announcement and her coining of the term “golden baby” for a baby born after a rainbow baby. She, who lost four babies of her own, is such a great resource for anyone mourning a little one, and I’m thrilled she’s part of our community.

I’m also thrilled to post another consultation for her today!! She and her husband are expecting their third born baby, who joins big sibs on earth:

Lucia Rose
David Newton, Jr. (Davey)

And in heaven:

Francis Michael
Julian Gabriel
Adrienne Rafael
Christian Michael

Though they don’t know the baby’s gender, they’re all set with a girl’s name, so they’re just hoping for help with a boy’s. Mandi writes,

In terms of boy baby names, I feel like we are starting from scratch. I knew before I even met David that I wanted my eldest son to be a Junior. It worked out perfectly that David was a family name already. His name was kind of the obvious choice and we didn’t think about any others.

It’s kind of hard to know what names my husband will like or reject, so I’ll mostly just tell you my thought process and likes and then he’ll just have to approve or veto ideas. He did at one point say he liked men’s names like “Ralph” – kind of old fashioned, I guess? I am not a fan of Ralph specifically but not opposed to names you would generally associate with the nursing home crowd (if that was even what my husband meant, hard to tell).

We would want familiar, traditional boys names, along the lines of David. A few names we like but wouldn’t use (at least at this time) are John, Michael, Robert, and Francis. Other names I like are Joseph, Peter, and Thomas. I have always loved the name Guillermo but it’s a no-go for my husband as are other more strongly ethnic names (I generally love Spanish names, hence Lucia) though he at one point mentioned liking Joaquin.

Another important consideration is that we would want the name to be directly connected to a well known Saint (or biblical figure, though despite my son named David, I am more strongly drawn to New Testament names). Added bonus if we have a strong connection to the Saint, but obviously you would have no way of knowing that and it’s not necessary – we can always develop a devotion after the fact. We would most likely use a family name for the middle – probably Alan or Milo after my grandfather or David’s.”

Can I just say that what Mandi said about her husband (“It’s kind of hard to know what names my husband will like or reject” and “if that was even what my husband meant, hard to tell”) is so familiar! In my own marriage and many of yours, husbands’ name tastes can be so mysterious, no matter what ideas they offer!

Anyway, this was a really interesting consultation to work on—between Mandi’s husband maybe liking names like “Ralph” and her loving Spanish names, and having a desire for “familiar, traditional boys names” + “directly connected to a well known Saint/biblical figure” I was interested to see what I’d come up with! I’m kind of digging my list of suggestions—I’m eager to see what you all think!

First though, I wondered what Mandi and her hubs would think of considering Alan as a first name? She said it’s a middle name contender, in honor of her grandfather, but it totally has the feeling of Ralph to me … although, looking at the SSA stats, I can see that Ralph was far more popular in the early part of the twentieth century, dropping out of the top 100 in the early 60s while Alan peaked in the 50s/60s before settling into the top 200 and staying there even til today. Ralph and Alan were similar in popularity in the 50s though, and that mid-century overlap is actually really similar to David’s popularity arc (top ten from 1937 to 1991, peaking at no. 1 in 1960—right around when my three Uncle Davids were born! Remarkably, from 1957 to 1971, it was one of the top three names). Anyway, I think Alan would be an interesting name for them to consider for a first name, given that Ralph is already sort of in the mix, and I know that I’m totally being influenced by the fact that I’m currently reading Fr. Calloway’s Champions of the Rosary and Bl. Alan de la Roche was a total rockstar (also a Dominican, and I’m a lay Dominican, woot!). Alan Milo has a really cool ring to it.

As for other ideas, as always I started by looking up Lucia and David in the Baby Name Wizard, as well as Cecilia, Ralph, John, Michael, Robert, Francis, Joseph, Peter, Thomas, and Joseph. (And, for what it’s worth, Peter and Thomas are my favorites for them from the list of those they’re considering—I even had Peter on my own list of ideas for them until I remembered it was already on their list!) I also took a look through the list of Latino names in the back of the book for inspiration. Based on all that, and my own thoughts as well, these are my ideas for Mandi’s baby (if a boy):

(1) Stephen
This was my very first idea, before even cracking open the BNW. It’s the name of a well known saint AND a New Testament figure, and also one of my boys’ best friends is Stephen, and his brother is David, and there’s a pair of brothers in my family named Stephen and David! So to me, David and Stephen go together like peas and carrots. 😁 I like Stephen Milo a lot.

(2) William
This is totally inspired by Mandi’s love of Guillermo, and is the first of several ideas I have connected to her love of Spanish names. I was thinking that she could totally just call her son by the Spanish equivalent of his name—even if it’s just a fun, home-only nickname, maybe even just something she calls him from time to time. It may help satisfy her Spanish-name love without being too foreign for her husband, you know? So William is the English equivalent of Guillermo, and it’s also a style match for John, Joseph, and Thomas. William Alan and William Milo are both fine, imo.

(3) Henry
Henry is another that I liked for this family in part because it has a Spanish equivalent that would be easy enough for Mandi to whisper to her boy from time to time (Enrique), and also because it’s a match for Lucy (similar to Lucia) and Joseph. I quite like it as a brother for David/Davey! Henry Alan and Henry Milo are great.

(4) Gerard
When I was looking through the list of Latino names, Gerardo jumped out at me and I thought, “Huh. Gerard would be great.” It has a similar old-man feel to me as Ralph, and in fact peaked in 1956, so it fits in well with the mid-century peak of Alan and David. St. Gerard Majella is such a great patron for all oms, and especially for moms who have previously lost babies, as he’s the patron of pregnant women, unborn children, childbirth, mothers, and motherhood! Gerard Alan and Gerard Milo are equally fine I think.

(5) Charles
Charles matched up with Lucia (via the Spanish variant Carlo), Cecilia, John, and Joseph, and there are so many great patrons associated with the name—St. Charles Borromeo, Bl. Karl of Austria, and St. JP2 are the three that I always think of first. Charles Alan and Charles Milo both sound fine, and Charles Alan has a particularly nice feel to me.

(6) Edward
Edward is similar in style to Robert and Joseph and has even more of the nursing home feel, just based on its popularity arc—it was a top ten name until 1931 and has slowly decreased ever since. It’s a lovely, gentlemanly name, and I love St. Edward the Confessor. Like with Charles, Edward Alan and Edward Milo are fine, with the former having a particular sparkle to me.

(7) Martin
Martin was only listed as a style match for Peter, but as soon as I saw it I thought it was a great suggestion for Mandi and her Mister. St. Martin de Porres’ father was Spanish, and I love that Martin can have that Spanish connection without being strongly ethnic. Brothers Davey and Marty are super cute too! Martin Alan doesn’t flow as well, and I don’t mind the alliteration of Martin Milo, though I know some people don’t care for that kind of thing.

(8) Victor
Finally, Victor, which was a last-minute addition to my list! I was thumbing through the BNW recently, just for fun, and was reading the Victor entry where I was reminded that, as it says in the BNW, “Like Hector, Victor is currently most popular with Latino parents,” which of course made me think of Mandi! It’s papal and saintly, a great name! I did a post about nicknames for Victor, which continues to be one of the posts that draws the most people here from internet searches (a lot of people are searching for good nicknames for Victor!), and an article at CatholicMom, and I’m particularly loving the Spanish nicknames Vicho and Victo for them. Victor Alan and Victor Milo are both great.

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What other ideas can you offer Mandi and her husband for a boy baby?

Spotlight on: Felicity

Felicity’s one of those names that I love seeing considered. Though it’s more familiar to us here in this community than not, it’s actually fairly unusual — take a look at its popularity chart:


Isn’t that so interesting? From 1900 to 1997, it wasn’t in the top 1000 at all. Doesn’t that surprise you? Then on September 29, 1998 the show Felicity aired, which accounts for the name’s appearance at no. 818 in 1998 and the HUGE leap it made the next year! It stayed between 400 and 800 ever since, being currently at the most popular it’s ever been, at no. 360. Part of the reason for the recent increase in popularity might also be due to actresses Felicity Jones and Felicity Huffman (who’s one of eight! Six girls besides her: Mariah, Betsy, Grace, Isabel, Jessie, Jane, and one brother: Moore, Jr.) and also the Revolutionary War-era American Girl doll by the same name. But even still, no. 360 is really not that popular at all, especially given what we know about name popularity today (here, here). All in all, I think it’s sort of in a sweet spot of popularity — uncommon yet familiar.

And of course, its saintliness! St. Felicity’s story is one of the very best — as New Advent puts it (using the variant Felicitas):

Felicitas, who at the time of her incarceration was with child (in the eighth month), was apprehensive that she would not be permitted to suffer martyrdom at the same time as the others, since the law forbade the execution of pregnant women. Happily, two days before the games she gave birth to a daughter, who was adopted by a Christian woman. On 7 March, the five confessors were led into the amphitheatre. At the demand of the pagan mob they were first scourged; then a boar, a bear, and a leopard, were set at the men, and a wild cow at the women. Wounded by the wild animals, they gave each other the kiss of peace and were then put to the sword.”

Felicity was the maidservant of St. Perpetua, also a mother of an infant who was martyred at the same time — they share a feast day: March 7. That Felicity is St. Felicity of Carthage, but there are others too, like St. Felicity of Rome who was mother to seven sons and was forced to watch them all killed in front of her in order to get her to renounce her faith (it didn’t work); she was then martyred.

Felicity’s also a virtue-type name — it means “happiness” — which puts it in league with names like Grace, Faith, Hope, Sophia, and Verity. It’s got so much going for it in its full form, but I feel like a big part of the conversation around the name Felicity involves nicknames — specifically, I know parents who decide not to go with Felicity because they can’t figure out a nickname they like. Some traditional ones are Fliss(y), Liss(y), Lissa, Fil, Flick, and Flicka (Felicity Huffman has a web site for women in general and moms in particular called What the Flicka), but what else can we get out of it?

Ages ago one of you (eclare) suggested Lily as a nickname for Felicity, which I thought was brilliant. Another of you (Margaret) has a daughter named Felicity who gets called Fin — a nickname from one of her middle names, but I totally think it could work for something like Felicity Nora. Zita is a Hungarian diminutive of the name, and Zyta a Polish short form — I really like both those options. The comments for the entry on behindthename include Fee and Felly as nicknames, which are cute. Cissy could probably work, as could Liddy, which I love. What other ideas do you have?

What do you think of the name Felicity? Would you name a daughter Felicity, or have you? Does she go by a nickname? Do you know any little Felicitys?




Baby name consultation: Spanish middles and Mexican saint names for baby no. 5 if a boy

I know Lina in semi-real life — we “met” online and have mutual real-life friends; she also runs F&P Birth and Breastfeeding Services: Women Serving Women (FB page here) (F&P stands for Felicity and Perpetua! 😍), which I know many of you might be interested in knowing about — so I’m delighted today to post this consultation for her fifth baby, a little green bean (gender unknown)! 🌱

This little one joins big sibs:

John Diego García (“named for the obvious saint, as well as my deceased FIL, John“)

Joseph Sebastián García (“named for both my husband’s grandfathers and my husband has a devotion to St. Sebastian and didn’t want it for a first name. I wanted to keep all middle names spanish, so its “Sebastián” instead“)

Rita Maureen García (“My middle name is also Maureen, after my grandmother, who is now deceased. Rita is … b/c she paid for our wedding 😉 “) (St. Rita is amazing! She’s one of the patrons of lost causes and I personally know of a couple other examples where she came through big time! Lina’s referring here to her prayers for St. Rita’s intercession in paying for their wedding.)

Michael Agustín García (“for [Bl. Miguel Agustín Pro] … Augustine was [also] my great great grandfather married to Lina, for whom I am named“)

Note that Garcia is Lina’s maiden name, not the family surname (which has more of an English/Irish feel) — I LOVE how she’s worked her heritage via Spanish names (accents and all!) and her maiden name into her kiddos’ names, and I just love the whole set together — they go by Johnny, Joey, Rita, and Mikey — sooooo cute!!

Even though they don’t know if this baby is a boy or a girl, they only need help with boy names (their girl name is Evangelina Claire García). Lina writes,

Since two of my boys have Mexican saints for names) … i would LOVE to find another mexican saint to use for a boy name.  Nothing has struck me … In the past, we’ve tossed around Ignatius (call him Nate), Gabriel, Lawrence Rey called Larry [Lina’s dad’s name is Larry King; Rey is Spanish for king] and…. who knows.  Seriously, we’re stumped … Oh and obviously our kids have 2 middle names since Garcia is my maiden, so it should flow with that.  and we don’t really want James b/c no more J names.

so tl;dr – boy name help, middle must be spanish, fantasy is mexican saint for the name.  thanks!!! 😀 😀 “

This was such a great consultation to work on! You all know I love when there are “rules,” and trying to come up with great combos that work in Spanish names and Mexican holies was fuuuuun!

So first off, I just have to say that I love the idea of Lawrence Rey for Lina’s dad! I wondered if finding a different nickname for Lawrence (or none at all — know a little Lawrence in my son’s class at school! He goes by the full Lawrence always, which cracks me up—such a big name for a little guy!) might help? I did some research on nicknames that are used for Lawrence, and thought of some that *could* be used (even if I didn’t find any evidence of them already in use), and I suspect that Lina and her hubs aren’t really offbeat in their taste in names/nicknames BUT Larry is pretty offbeat right now so what about:

Lenny: I love this idea … I think it (because of Leonard) has the feel of Larry/Lawrence, but is a bit more “with it” right now, what with Leonard on Big Bang helping to pave the way for those kinds of names.

Enzo: I know Lina’s hubs isn’t into Spanishy Spanish first names, but Enzo can be a nickname for Lorenzo, which of course is the Spanish Lawrence, so I thought they could do Lawrence nicknamed Enzo if they wanted to, which would be a fun way to work in Lina’s heritage in an everyday sort of way (and Enzo is so cool).

Lance: I’m not sure what they’d think of this? But I saw it listed somewhere as a possible nickname for Lawrence, being that it’s like a contraction of Lawrence … I could see it being really cute on a little guy.

Laddy: This is my own idea, inspired by Taddy for Thaddeus, Matty for Matthew, etc. Could be cute, no?

Laz, Lon, Ren: My guess is that none of these are quite Lina’s taste but I could be totally wrong, so I thought I should list them here. There are some more nickname ideas for Lawrence here.

Also, regarding their idea of Gabriel, there’s Bl. Gabriel Escoto Ruiz, who was born in Mexico (though he was martyred in the Spanish Civil War).

Alrighty, so you all know I use the Baby Name Wizard for almost every consultation, as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. I did use it when doing this consultation for Lina, but I actually didn’t start with it—rather, I googled “Mexican saints” and used these sites here and here, picking saints, blesseds, and venerables who had names I thought Lina and her hubs would like. I then cross-checked my ideas against the names the BNW said they’d like based on John, Joseph, Rita, Michael, Evangeline (no entry for Evangelina), Gabriel, and Lawrence (no entries for Ignatius or Nate). Based on all that, these are my ideas:

(1) Philip
I think Philip is my #1 idea for Lina and her hubs—one of my own personal favorites, with the great Mexican patron St. Felipe de Jesús. The nickname Phil has a similar feel to me as Larry, but it’s also the reason a lot of families don’t choose the name—if they love Phil, great! If they don’t, there’s also Pip (perfect for a little guy! And he can just be Philip as he grows up), Flip (I worked with a Philip called Flip, kinda cool … it also echoes the original Felipe), and Finn (especially with an N middle name … I loved the idea of Philip Neri nn Finn but couldn’t get my hubs on board).

(2) David
There are three Mexican martyrs that can work here: St. David Galván-Bermudez, St. David Roldán-Lara, and St. David Uribe Valasco, each one is pretty amazing. Davy/Davey’s a super cute nickname too, and I think David/Davey fits right in with Lina’s current and future kids’ names.

(3) Peter
Two Mexican martyrs here: St. Pedro Esqueda Ramírez and St. Pedro de Jesús Maldonado-Lucero. I’ve been digging Pete/Petey recently, so cute!

(4) Gregory
I love Gregory anyway—the BNW says, “Popes, saints, and Gregory Peck! Can a name get any more distinguished?” 😁—and there’s a Ven. Gregorio López who, though born in Spain, was a missionary in Mexico and is apparently much beloved there. This site calls him Blessed but as far as I can he’s still Venerable. Like Phil, I know some families are turned off of Gregory because of Greg, but Rory can work as a nickname (though I already know Lina doesn’t care for Rory, but I’m leaving it here in case it’s helpful to any of you), as can Grey, and I think even Gus could work if Gregory was paired with an S middle name.

(5) Paul
Ven. Pablo de Anda Padilla is the inspiration here—and he had a brother José and a sister María Rita! I know a couple little Pauls who go by Paulie, so cute!

(6) Louis
St. Luis Batiz Sainz is another Mexican martyr (what holy ground is there in Mexico, with all the martyrs’ blood!), and Louie is an adorable nickname!

And those are my main ideas for first names with Mexican patronage, based on what I perceive to be Lina and her hubs’ taste. There are a few others that I considered including in the above list and ultimately decided against for various reasons, but thought I’d list them here just in case: Matthew (for St. Mateo Correa Magallanes), Anthony (Bl. Antonio, Child Martyr of Tlaxcala; Bl. Antonio Pérez Lários), and Andrew (Bl. Andrés Solá Molist).

Some other names that I thought might make good middle names include Salvador, both for Jesus and for St. Salvador Lara Puente; Manuel, both for Jesus and for St. Manuel Moralez or Ven. Manuel Martín del Campo (I also love the nickname Manny, so cute!); and Rafael for St. Rafael Guízar y Valencia.

If they wanted to get a little crazy, I also love the ideas of Guadalupe (traditionally used for both boys and girls) and Tepeyac for middle names—so unexpected and Mexican! Or Cruz, which can refer to both Jesus and Mary. Or Mario, which has traditionally been used to honor Our Lady, even though etymologically it’s not related.

I also love the idea of Lorenzo as a middle name, for Lina’s dad!

And if they decided to go off the Mexican-Saint first-name idea (and doing a Mexican Saint in the middle could preserve their Mexican-Saint-name theme without pigeonholing them), Thomas and Francis are two that seem like perfect brothers to their crew (Tommy and Frankie!).

So if I were going to put together some full name ideas, I like:

Philip de Jesús García (I loooove the idea of “de Jesús” in the middle!)
Philip Lorenzo García
David Manuel García
David Salvaldor García
David Lorenzo García
Peter de Jesús García
Peter Lorenzo García
Gregory López García
Gregory Lorenzo García
Gregory Cruz García
Paul Salvador García
Paul Manuel García
Paul Rafael García
Paul Lorenzo García OR Paul Lorenzo Rey García, which I know is a lot of names, but Paul is so short, I think it totally works
Paul Guadalupe García (again a short, familiar name like Paul can take a longer, more exotic middle really well)
Louis Rafael García
Louis Guadalupe García
Thomas Lorenzo García
Thomas Gregorio García
Thomas Felipe García
Francis Lorenzo García
Francis Gregorio García
Francis Felipe García (I love the alliteration here)
Gabriel Salvador García
Ignatius Manuel García

I could go all day coming up with handsome combos, but I’ll stop there! Haha!

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What would you suggest for a little brother for John, Joseph, Rita, and Michael, taking into account two Spanish middles and a preference for Mexican saints/blesseds/venerables?

Baby name consultation: Brother name for Jude and Isaac

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

Jude Patrick
Isaac Edward

Awesome names, awesome style, love them!

Stephanie writes,

We really like the name Hope for a girl … My husband really wants a Mark Edward III for a boy. I really don’t want to do a “the third.” I could possibly do Mark with a different middle name, and call him by the middle name, but I don’t like the confusion of the exact same name. My boy name preferences fall along the lines of Micah [though unusable because their last name sounds really similar to it], Blaise, Fisher (after St. John Fisher), and Ephraim. My husband isn’t as adventurous with his names, but he did mention Maccabee at one point! My husband is [also] open to Benedict.”

Okay, so first off, I kept in the bit about Stephanie and her husband liking Hope for a girl, for inspiration, but they really only need help with boy names.

Regarding the idea of Mark Edward III, I love Jude and Isaac together, and while Mark does fit in with them in because they’re all biblical and saintly, I feel like Jude and Isaac give off a particular vibe that Mark doesn’t. I’m not quite sure how to describe it … “scholarly” and “sophisticated” come to mind re: Jude and Isaac, but I don’t think Mark is unscholarly or unsophisticated, so that’s not quite right … Do you all know what I mean? Do you agree?

Also, they’ve already used Edward for Isaac’s middle name, and while “matching vibes” and different middle names isn’t a requirement at all if Stephanie and her husband like a particular name, these thoughts might be helpful for Stephanie in trying to convince her husband away from using Mark Edward III.

I was trying to think of various ways that Stephanie’s husband could have the *feel* of a III without actually doing a literal III, and I came up with:

  • Using the same first name, but a different middle name (and he could even go by Trey/Trip/Tripper if they wanted him to, for Mark III, even though he wouldn’t be III on paper [and would therefore avoid some of the paperwork nightmares I’ve heard about])
  • Using a variant of Mark — there’s Marco, Marcus, and Marek. I also discovered the surname Markson, which does actually mean Mark’s son (I saw it spelled somewhere as Marxon too, but then I couldn’t find that again … I think they could definitely do it though if they wanted to!)
  • Using Stephanie’s husband’s initials — an M first name and an E middle name. I think this is my favorite idea for them, and I have M.E. thoughts below
  • How about any nicknames Stephanie’s husband goes by? Any nicknames given to him by college/sports buddies, or some funny thing his family called him when he was little that could perhaps be fashioned into a first name?

Beyond that, I used Jude, Isaac, Hope, Micah (though I know this is off the table because of their last name!), Blaise, Fisher, Ephraim, Maccabee (!) and Benedict as inspiration in my research, which, as you all know, almost always starts by looking up the names the parents have used and those they like 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 also combed through my own mental files and came up with the following ideas:

(1) Matthias
Matthias is my favorite idea for them in the “use your husband’s initials” idea (and just in general too, I love it!). It’s got more of an Old Testament rhythm and sound I think, which fits in nicely with Isaac, but it’s actually a New Testament name, which is nice for Jude. And Jude and Isaac are two particularly Catholic biblical names, in my opinion, since St. Jude is so revered and St. Isaac Jogues is so amazing, and I’ve often thought Matthias is a really Catholic biblical name because he was chosen by the others to replace Judas—sort of like the first Church Council! 😁 Something like Matthias Ephraim for M.E. initials, or a less heavy middle like Matthias Evan (kind of fits with the Jude’s Patrick) or Matthias Eli, or, if they didn’t mind heavy, Matthias Emmanuel.

(2) Miles
Miles is my second favorite idea for this family in the M.E. idea. I’ve pushed it on a lot of people! One of its characteristics is that it’s used as an Anglicization of the old Irish name Maelmhuire, which literally means “servant of the Virgin Mary.” So great, right? A legit Marian name for a boy! I didn’t think of it though until I saw that it’s a style match for Isaac, Hope, and Julian, which I know isn’t Jude, but some use Jude as a nickname for Julian, so I’m really feeling it for this family! Because it’s so short I love it with Emmanuel; Ephraim and Eli both go quite nicely with it as well!

(3) Malachi or Malachy
Maccabee made me think of Malachi, as I think they can both take Mac as a nickname, which is so great. The spelling Malachy is Irish, and though Stephanie didn’t mention anything about being Irish and their last name is so German, I latched onto Jude’s middle name (Patrick) when looking for further information.

(4) Pierce
Pierce is listed as a style match for Jude and Blaise in the BNW and one of you readers left a comment about someone they know who named their son Pierce for how Our Lady’s heart was pierced by a sword. Amazing! I like that it’s biblical like Jude and Isaac (as it’s a form of Peter), but also fits that sort of distinguished, scholarly feel I get from Jude and Isaac as well.

(5) Fulton
Fisher on Stephanie’s list made me think of Fulton, and I thought I’d suggest it—maybe her husband would like it better than Fisher? It has more of a first-name feel than Fisher, since most people are familiar with Ven. Fulton Sheen; this post on nickname ideas for Fulton might also be helpful. I also see families who use or consider the name Fulton also use or consider Jude and Isaac, so I think it fits well. I really love how Fulton Mark sounds, if they were open to putting Mark in the middle!

(6) Bennett
Finally, I wondered about Bennett for this family. It’s inspired by Benedict, since it’s a form of Benedict, but it’s lighter and some find it a little easier to work with than Benedict. It’s also a style match for Hope, as well as Luke, and I’ve often thought of Jude and Luke as two sides of the same coin (people who like one tend to like the other, though the more adventurous usually land with Jude, while the others tend to go with Luke), so I thought it was a great fit with Stephanie’s boys. I think Bennett Mark sounds quite nice as well!

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What would you suggest for the little brother of Jude and Isaac?

Birth announcement: Simon Augustine!

I posted a consultation for Amanda and her husband back in November, and I’m delighted to share that Amanda’s let me know her little guy has arrived and been given the amazing name … Simon Augustine!

She writes,

You did a consult for us a while ago and we were SO THRILLED with your suggestions.  I wanted to let you know that Mr. Simon Augustine (Gus) joined us this past Tuesday, 1/17.  😊 We were torn on names right up until the month before he was born and then I was struck down with double pneumonia and cracked two ribs from coughing a week before our scheduled c-section.  We prayed and prayed and prayed for God’s will to be done, of course, but with the ‘wink wink nudge nudge’ that it’d be awesome to at least be partially healed before attempting a repeat c-section recovery.  😉  God heard and answered and the hospital allowed my c-section to be pushed back to 41 weeks (which is fairly unheard of after five sections!).  We felt also that we were being lead toward the name ‘Simon’ which is. of course, in honor of the apostle, but also means “God has heard”.  Our older kids had nicknamed him, “Gus” in utero after the chubby mouse in Cinderella and as a convert, my hubby has a special place in his heart for St. Augustine, so the choice was made.  😊

Thank you, thank you for all the time and effort you put into suggesting beautiful names for our little nugget – we LOVED considering them and re-considering them and it was barely a fight at all, which for us is preeeeeeetty amazing.  😝

What a story! What an amazing mama! And what a name!! I LOVE that the full name is Simon Augustine but they’re calling him Gus!

Congratulations to Amanda and her husband and big sibs Faith, Bennett, Maya, Cate, and Jude, and happy birthday Baby Gus!!

Simon Augustine “Gus”

Baby name consultation: A first name, C middle name for baby girl No. 5

Josh and Mari are expecting their seventh baby, and fifth girl! You might remember this beautiful family from a birth announcement I posted for them last year; to recap, this little lady joins big sibs:

Ariana Camille
Audrey Caroline
Caleb Daniel (Daniel is Josh’s middle name)
Amelia Clare (“Millie”)
Anne-Catherine Gianna (“Gianna” or “Gigi”)
Charles Michael (“Charlie”)

Such beautiful names, all! As you can see, there’s a clear A.C. theme for the girls, which Josh confirmed that they do, indeed, want to continue with, and that the only names they’ve really thought about so far include:

Angeline (Mari’s middle name)

I love working with themes! And I love the names they’re considering! Anneliese is a favorite of mine; Angeline is so wonderful because of it being Mari’s middle name; and Cecilia and Charity are two beautiful, faith-filled names (as are Anneliese and Angeline, of course). I would hesitate over using Anneliese though, since it’s an Ann- name and they’ve already got Anne-Catherine (and Ariana and Gianna). I really think my favorite idea for them is Angeline—they want an A name, and they’ve already used Josh’s middle name, so using Mari’s A middle name seems perfect. Angeline Cecilia has a beautiful flow, and a really heavenly feel to it. Angie, Lina, Cece, Celia, and Lia could all be nicknames.

That said, of course I have more ideas! 😁 I went through the Baby Name Wizard first, looking up each of the names Josh and Mari have used and those they like/are considering, looking for any A and C names that are similar in style/feel/popularity to their other kiddos’ names, and then I also perused the list of saints’ names in the back of the book for inspiration (it’s a bit more offbeat than the usual lists of saints’ names, which I thought would be helpful here, since so many A+C names have already been used), and of course picked through my own mental files. Based on all that, here are my A ideas:

(1) Avila
This is one of the first I thought of for this family. It can be for St. Teresa of Avila or St. John of Avila, and can take the sweet nickname Avvie, or even Ava.

(2) Ava
Ava is actually a really good fit for them style-wise, and I know of families who have used it coupled with Maria, as a nod to Mary via the Ave Maria (Hail Mary). I could see Josh and Mari doing something like Ava-Maria C___, but even just Ava could be a nod to Our Lady, as it’s a variant of Eve and Mary is considered the New Eve.

(3) Alice, Alicia, Adelaide, Aleydis
All these names are variants of the same name, which is why I’ve grouped them together. Alice is such a sweet, vintage-y name that is popping up all over; Alicia is so similar in spelling but with a more modern feel; Adelaide has such a beautiful sound and the fun nickname options Addy, Ada, and Laidy; and Aleydis is such an unusual variant (I’ve also seen it spelled Aleidis). You can read about saints with these names here.

(4) Adeline, Adele, Adelia
These, too, are variants of the same name, though different from the grouping above (even though Adelaide and Adeline look similar they are unrelated as far as I know). Like Adelaide, Adeline is beautiful and nickname-rich—Addy, Ada, Della, and Lina. Adele is fairly associated with the singer, but not overly so I don’t think. My cousin recently named her baby Adelia, which I’d never heard of before, but turns out is a variant of Adele, and it opens up the possibility of Delia as a nickname. This St. Adele was German, which is a nice since Josh and Mari have some German in their ancestry.

(5) Aurora
I’ve been loving the name Aurora ever since I found out how Marian it can be. Aurie and Rory are both sweet nicknames for it.

(6) Abigail
I originally liked Abigail for this baby because it ties into the biblical-ness of Caleb’s name, but then I found a St. Abigail (her Irish name is Gobnait, which is usually anglicized as Abigail). Abby’s a great nickname!

(7) Amata, Amanda, Amy/Aimee
These names are all related as well—they all mean “beloved,” and can all take Amy as a nickname. Since their Amelia goes by Millie, I think Amy would be okay as a nickname; Amanda could also be Mandy (which is funny because I know a Mary Angeline who goes by Mandy!). Some saints by these names are here and here.

(8) Agnes
Like Alice, Agnes is an old name that’s coming back into fashion. I love the nickname Aggie, and St. Agnes is one of the best.

(9) Antonia
Though this is a feminine form of Anthony (and can take St. Anthony as a patron), there are a bunch of Sts. Antonia. Toni, Tia, and Nia are all doable nicknames (I would stay away from Annie because of the other Ann- names they have).

(10) Augusta
My last A idea is Augusta. I knew an Augusta when I was little—she went by Gussie, and I thought it was the coolest name. The great St. Augustine can be patron, or this St. Augusta.

Now, onto the C names!

(1) Charis (or Carys)
I love love the name Charis! Josh and Mari’s idea of Charity actually gave me the idea, because they’re so similar in spelling, though their meanings are different. Charity stems from the Latin for love, while Charis means grace/favor/gratitude, which is the actual meaning of the “charis” part of Eucharist. I’ve heard of families choosing Charis for their daughters because of the connection to the Eucharist, beautiful! A name that sounds exactly the same but is closer to the meaning of Charity is the Welsh name Carys, which means “love.” Either Charis or Carys could be a really pretty and meaningful middle name.

(2) Cara, Carine/Carina, Caritas
Speaking of names that mean “love,” Cara comes from the same root as Charity and in Italian literally translates as “beloved.” Carine/Carina are elaborations of Cara and might provide the right rhythm for a middle name. If they wanted to be more obviously Catholicky Catholic, Caritas itself (the Latin word Charity comes from) would be a pretty and unusual middle name.

(3) Cora, Corinne
Similar in appearance and sound to Cara and Carine, but different in meaning, Cora and Corinne are technically related to the Greek for “maiden,” which could point back to Our Lady, but a closer connection would be the Latin word “cor,” which means “heart,” and I know of several families that have chosen Cora for their daughters because of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It could also be chosen for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Either way, how beautiful and meaningful! (I should point out that though Corinne can be said the same as Carine, I’ve mostly heard it said kor-INN).

(4) Clementine
Josh and Mari had actually had Clement on their list for when they were expecting Charlie, and Mari wasn’t a huge fan, but I wonder if the feminine and fabulous Clementine would make a difference? It means “merciful” and I was pushing it on a lot of families during the Year of Mercy, haha! But a mercy name is always a good idea, even though the Year of Mercy’s over.

(5) Colette
I only recently learned about St. Colette, and I’ve been loving her! She’s a patron saint of women hoping to conceive, pregnant women, and sick children.

(6) Carmel, Carmela/Carmella, Carmen
These names all point to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and could be really beautiful tributes to Mother Mary, especially if Josh and Mari have a Carmelite sensibility.

(7) Casey
This might be too unisex for their taste (and they might even like to save it for a future boy!), but Casey can also be used for girls, and I’m thinking specifically of Ven. Solanus Casey, to whom my family has a special devotion.

(8) Chloe
Like Abigail, I was interested in Chloe for this baby because it’s a biblical name like Caleb, Daniel, Michael, and Anne. It’s got an unusual spelling and rhythm and could be really perfect as a middle name to the right first name.

(9) Christina, Christine, Christiane
Of course the Christ- names are always a beautiful, meaningful choice for a Catholic baby. If they liked this idea, I’d probably choose the one that went the best with the chosen first name, since each of them has a different rhythm and would pair best with different first names.

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What A+C ideas can you come up with for this family?