Spotlight: Callixtus

I really wanted to post a name spotlight today, and could not for the life of me think of a name to spotlight! I have a running list of names I’d like to feature, but I can’t put my hand on it at the moment (and if any of you are waiting for one that I’ve promised, maybe shoot me an email to remind me! So sorry!). So I asked my oldest, who I had to pick up early from school because he wasn’t feeling well, what some of his favorite names are, and was surprised that Callixtus was in the mix! So that’s today’s name!

My son was like, “I’m not sure you’ve heard of this name,” and I was like, “Do you even know me, boy?!”, but beyond being a collector of Catholic names (although I admit I’ve been surprised a time or two by new-to-me names), I knew a friar/professor in college with the variant Callistus (his religious name), and I’ve actually given it some thought, mostly because of the nickname Cal, which I love (the friar went by Fr. Cal).

Behind the Name gives Callixtus as a variant of Callistus, “the spelling perhaps influenced by Latin calix ‘wine cup.'” Callistus is from the Greek Kallistos, meaning “most beautiful,” and the feminine name Callista is from the same. I just said to my son, “Callixtus is from the Greek for ‘most beautiful'” and he said, “Oh! I thought it came from ‘chalice.'” What a smartie! Our “chalice” comes from “calix,” so he really did know more about the name than I did!

There are a bunch of Sts. Callistus, including two Popes (Pope St. Callistus I and Pope St. Callistus II), and funny enough, when I searched for Callixtus, only Pope St. Callistus I comes up — he’s got an interesting story. I kind of like the X spelling — X is a hot letter right now, and I really do like the connection to “chalice.” I also looked up Calix because I thought I’d remembered seeing that name on a child before, and it does seem to be mostly given as a short form of Callixtus, though a calyx is also the “chalice-shaped” part of a flower. I’m loving all these connections to the chalice! Callixtus is such a meaningful name!

What do you think of Callixtus (or Callistus)? Would you name a boy so, or have you? What nickname would you tend toward (Cal or Calix), or would you use a different one?

Birth announcement: Samuel William!

I posted a consultation for Meghan and her husband back in April, and I’m delighted to share that Meghan has let me know her little boy has arrived and been given the so-handsome name … Samuel William!

She writes,

[H]ere he is, Samuel William 😍. Yes, I said no names that started with S and no top 25 but I couldn’t get Sam out of my head and your advice and also seeing comments from your readers helped us along in the decision. Thank you! I lost out on the middle name selection but the boys (Dad, William and son, Benjamin William) wanted to have a shared name like the girls and I do (we all have the middle name Elizabeth). Oh and Ben and Sam share a birthday along with a common middle name so how cool is that?! Thanks again for everything!

I have such a soft spot for Samuel/Sam, and I’m so happy they went with it! I also love the shared William between Dad and his boys (and the shared Elizabeth between Mom and her girls, so great!). Great job Mom and Dad!

Congratulations to Meghan and her husband and big sibs Benjamin, Mae, and Rose, and happy birthday Baby Samuel!!

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Samuel William and his big brother and sisters

Baby name consultation: Traditional name with cute nickname for baby no. 6 (boy)!

Ashley and John are expecting their fifth baby on earth (sixth overall) — a boy! This little guy joins big sibs:

George Charles
Caroline Renée
Joseph (in heaven)
Augustine David “Gus”
Madeline Mae

Such a classic, handsome set of names! Ashley writes,

Our girls are each named after their grandmothers and our boys are named after strong saints we liked, Charles is a nod to my husband’s mother (Carolyn) who died while I was expecting him. We love the idea of family names, but can’t quite find any relevant ones we like at this point. My husband has a decent extended family, some of which we don’t want to overlap, but I have a huge family (1 of 11) and have quite a few names we love but can’t use, I will list those below.”

(One of eleven!!)

We have realized that we love having a strong formal name for our Gus, with a planned nickname. I find it hard that we don’t have short nicknames that we like for Caroline and Madeline (not a fan of of the obvious Carrie, Lynn, Maddy), so I’d like to plan that in with this baby. For example, we recently met someone with a daughter named Bernadette Claire that they call Birdie Claire. We LOVE this, as the traditional name and cute newish nickname are a perfect combination. We would like to make sure it “fits” with all our others.”

Bernadette Claire nicknamed Birdie Claire is adorable!! I love that they want to try to find something with a similar feel for their little boy.

Lastly, I am an avid reader and re-reader of the Baby Name Wizard Book and would say (you probably already know this) but our favorite categories tend to be Antique Charm and Ladies and Gentlemen. We love French names like Jacque (we live in Cajun South Louisiana and they are very common here, but haven’t bitten the bullet on any and at #5 are uncertain they fit with the others).”

Names that they like but aren’t sure of:

Phillip (“don’t like Phil“)
Frederick (“my husband’s middle name and a family name but he likes Fritz, and I don’t really like Fred or Freddy… maybe I could come around on Fritz“)
Peter (“but don’t like Pete or Petey“)
Bernard (“don’t love but LOVE the idea of Bear for a nickname“)
John double names
Other double names
Raymond (“neither of us love Raymond, but it is John’s Dad’s middle name and we love St. Raymond Nonnatus… thought you may be able to come up with a creative way to use this“)
Blaise (“love this name, but aren’t sure it fits well with our others“)
Dominic (“maybe, again need a cute nickname“)
Benedict (“maybe, but don’t like Benny!“)
Jacque (“in Cajun French South Louisiana, these French names come up a lot and this is one we really like, but aren’t sure it fits with our others“)
Nicholas (“my middle name is Nicole, but again can’t find a good nickname we like… not a fan of Nick“)

Family names they could “maybe incorporate in a cute way”:

John Henry

And names to avoid:

Anything ending in ‘ine’ as it was an accident that our middle 3 have that in common.”
Close family member names (“none of these are off limits for middle names!“):
John Charles

Alrighty, before listing the ideas I have for Ashley and John, I wanted to offer some thoughts on the names that are currently on their list, especially with the “Birdie Claire” style of nickname that they like:

Phillip: I love Phil(l)ip, and tried to get my husband on board with it, to no avail! The nickname idea I loved for it was Finn. I especially liked the idea of Philip paired with an N middle name to make sense of Finn as a nickname (like Philip Neri … Philip Nicholas would also be quite nice), and there’s precedent for a Ph- name going by an F- nickname in that actress Julia Roberts named her son Phinnaeus and he goes by Finn. Otherwise, Pip is a traditional nickname for Philip that’s adorable, and they could even do Pippin. They don’t grow so well into manhood I suppose, but Flip’s another fairly traditional nickname for Philip — I worked with a Philip/Flip for a while who’s older than me and I always thought it was a pretty cool nickname.

Frederick: I love Frederick because of it being John’s middle name! I think Fritz is cute, and the fact that Ashley doesn’t like Fred/Freddy reminds me of my parents’ neighbor who named their baby Frederick and insisted on the full Frederick because they didn’t care for the Fred nicknames, but when one too many people called him Fred(dy) anyway, they decided to nickname him Erick. So that’s an option too, as is Rick/Ricky, which are cute and retro.

Peter: I thought this was a great opportunity to research some of the non-English nicknames and variants of Peter, to see if there’s any good nickname inspiration there. Pier, Piers, and Pierce are all variants … Pero is a Serbian/Croatian/Macedonian nickname for it … Pierrick is a Breton diminutive, which is cute on its own or could lead to Rick(y) as a nickname, which would be a really unusual way to nod to the Richard in their family! People would be so confused! Haha!

Bernard nicked Bear: I actually can’t believe Ashley said she loves the nickname Bear because I recently decided I love it myself! But for me — and this might solve their Bernard/Benedict conundrum — I like it as a nickname for Benedict! Something like Benedict Richard or Benedict Raymond would provide a B+R sound that would make sense of Bear as a nickname AND honor family/saint!

John double: I LOVE John doubles!! I think it’s such a handsome way to name a boy! I love that Ashley’s husband is John too, that makes it extra meaningful. I did a massive consultation a while ago for a dad who was angsting over whether to name his son John + like he and his dad, or to go with the name he and his wife actually loved. There are loads of good ideas in there, if I do say so myself. 😉 They could also come up with nicknames based on John +, like … John Raymond could be Jay, which isn’t that creative I guess but I do like the nickname Jay … John Peter could be JP, which could also nod to John Paul II (or they could just do John Paul, of course!). A John Richard or John Raymond could nickname to Jordy, which is so cute (though one potentially weird thing for them is that Geordie — said the same as Jordy — is a traditional nickname for George, which is their oldest son’s name). They could do the full John Frederick, Jr. and call him something like Jed.

Raymond: I’ve actually struggled with Raymond myself! The best I’ve come up with is that Redmond/Redmund is an Irish variant of it, which is cool — I like the surname vibe, and the nickname Red is adorable! Actually, I think they could totally do Raymond nicknamed Red if they wanted. If their little guy has red hair no one will bat an eyelash; if not, they’ll just have to explain, but that’s kind of cool — a nice little opportunity for evangelization!

Blaise: I love it too! I definitely think it fits in with their other kiddos’ names — it’s got that super saintly feel that Augustine especially has, but also their others. I just did a birth announcement for a Blaise whose mom was worried it didn’t fit with the other kids, but they used it anyway and they’re thrilled with it.

Dominic: I looooove Dominic!! My dad grew up with a Dominic that they called Dommy, which I think is really cute — like Tommy with a twist. Nico is another that’s not unusual for Dominic, I love Nico.

Benedict: Not only can Bear work as a nickname for Benedict as I mentioned above, but I’ve also thought Buddy and Bede (two-for-one! St. Benedict and St. Bede in one name!) could work (how cute is Buddy!), and I’ve also seen Ned. Also I think Beck could work, which could be fun.

Jacque: I’m not sure how to say this name — in my head I keep saying Jake, but when I looked it up on it sounded more like Jack. Either way, my hearty recommendation for Jacque is to use it as a nickname. It’s a variant of James/Jacob (they’re the same name, just different languages), and Ashley and John have their James family member, so if I were in this situation I’d probably totally name the baby James ___ and call him Jacque. James Frederick is quite handsome, and is a really explicit nod to Ashley’s husband (same initials and everything!) without being a Junior.

Nicholas: We considered Nicholas nicknamed Cole, and just Cole as a given name, for our youngest, so I can definitely recommend Cole as a nickname. Nico can also work, and also Colin, which sometimes derives from Nicholas.

Family names: As for their family names, one of my favorite favorite Richard names is Dickon — he’s a character in The Secret Garden and I think it’s such a great sounding name. Alas, anything that has those first four letters in it is not going to fly these days. If Ashley and John are into Irish names, I quite like Donal and Donnell as nods to Donald. I already mentioned James; interestingly Reginald, Reynold, and Ronald are all variants of each other! Not sure if that’s helpful though … William could possibly work as an honor name for Wilbur except that it’s on their No list. Daniel’s great, and I love John Henry too as a combo, and I love that there’s already a precedent in their family with both John Henry and John Charles to do the John double. Love it!

I love both the “Antique Charm” names and “Ladies and Gentleman” names in the Baby Name Wizard as well! So I’m hopeful that my ideas might hit the mark. I’m not as strong on French names, but I was inspired by the list in the BNW.

Okay, on to my new ideas! As you all know, these were mostly inspired by my research in the Baby Name Wizard, but also a bit by my own namey head:

(1) Arthur
This “Ladies and Gentleman” name was a style match for both George and Frederick, but I’m not sure I would have taken notice if it wasn’t for the fact that Ashley loves the nickname Bear. Arthur’s generally considered to be related to the word “bear,” and I’ve seen other families use Bear as a nickname for Arthur. And I actually started thinking about the nickname Bear recently after re-reading one of the Regina Doman’s The Shadow of the Bear — a retelling of Snow White — in which the main male character’s name is Arthur but he goes by Bear. One hesitation is that Ashley and John’s last name is quite a bit like Andersen, so Arthur might not be the best first name. But if they liked it, they could do John Arthur, and call him Bear as a nickname of his middle name.

(2) An Ed- name
Edward was a match for George and Joseph, Edmond for Frederick, and Edmund for Benedict. Add in the fact that Ned can be nicknames for all the Ed- names, as well as Benedict, and I thought they definitely deserved a spot on this list. (Ted’s also a traditional nickname for the Ed names.) I can’t tell which I like better — St. Edward the Confessor’s pretty amazing, and Edward fits so well with the royal feel of their older kids; Edmund is Narnia and St. Edmund Campion, which are both great; Edmond is Edmond Dantes in Count of Monte Cristo and I just die over Jim Caviezel in that role. 😊 Also, it’s French!

(3) Sebastian
Sebastian is a natural on any list that includes names like Augustine, Dominic, and Benedict, and it’s also on the French list (as Sebastien). Grace Patton introduced me to the nickname Bash for Sebastian and I love it so much! I’ve also seen Baz, and Seb and Sebby are probably the first nicknames people would think of. Lots of great options there!

(4) Theodore, Thaddeus
I find that people like Theodore, or they like Thaddeus, with a clear preference for one or the other. Theodore is a style match for August (which I used as a stand-in for Augustine, since there’s no entry for Augustine in the BNW) and Frederick, and Thaddeus is a match for Benedict. Both of them can take the nickname Ted; Theodore can also be Theo, which is kind of hot right now, and Thaddeus can be Tad and Taddy, which I think is adorable.

(5) Nickname Abe, or Ambrose as a given name
I looked up Gus to see what other nicknames were listed as similar to it, and Abe was the first one listed — I’ve been dying over Abe for a while, what a fabulous nickname!! There was a little towhead named Abram at our pediatrician’s recently, which I found pleasantly surprising, and Grace just named her youngest Abraham James with the nickname Abe. SO CUTE! I also really like Abel, and I think Abe can work as a nickname for Ambrose, which also makes me think maybe they’d like to consider Ambrose? It might be too much for Augustine’s little brother, but it’s been on our list for a while and I think that in addition to Abe, other nicknames that could totally work include Sam, Bram, and Brody (especially with a D middle … Ambrose Daniel? Or even a middle with a strong D, like Ambrose Frederick?). And I think Ace can work too!

(6) Maximilian nicked Miles or Milo
I used to suggest this one all the time on here! I haven’t in a while, but I wonder if Ashley and John might be interested in it. Like Augustine, Dominic, Benedict, and Sebastian, Maximilian is heavy-duty Catholicky Catholic. Max is a great nickname, but if they want something a little different, I definitely think Miles and Milo can work as nicknames for it. An added bonus is that Miles and Milo have traditional usage in Ireland as anglicizations of the old Irish name Maolmhuire, which means “devotee of the Virgin Mary” — an actual Marian name for a boy! So they’d get St. Maximilian Kolbe and Our Lady in one name! And Milo was actually a style match for Gus!

(7) Damien
My last idea for this family is Damien, and it’s solely because it was in the French list in the BNW and I love St. Damien of Molokai and I’d love to see more baby Damiens. But also, since I’ve had it on my own list I’ve thought of nickname possibilities and I think Denny is my favorite for Damien. It totally works, right? And Danny for Damian.

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the little brother of George, Caroline, Joseph, Augustine (Gus), and Madeline?

Birth announcement: Miriam Therese!

I did a private consultation for Liz and her husband a few months ago, and I’m delighted to share that her little girl has arrived and been given the beeaaauuutiful name … Miriam Therese!

Regarding Miriam, Liz wrote,

I really would love a Marian reference without going with just Mary and this feels like a good option. One of my great aunts (who was a professor of both mathematics and English at Seton Hill College) took the name Sr. Miriam Joseph … I feel like a good nickname is important and I LOVE Mimi.”

And Therese was chosen for wonderful reasons as well:

[St. Therese of Lisieux] was my parish and my grade school as a child and now it is our family parish again. My grandfather, dad, and uncles helped to build it in the 50’s. That church and the Saint shaped my faith life from a very early age.”

I just love the combination Miriam Therese! It’s just so lovely!

Congratulations to Liz and her husband and big sister Catherine Josephine/Catie (aren’t Catie and Mimi the sweetest names for sisters?!), and happy birthday Baby Miriam!!

Miriam Therese (Mimi) at birth (bottom), at 2.5 months (top left), and with big sister Catie (Catherine Josephine)

Baby name consultation: Five-syllable, not-“harsh” name needed for boy no. 5

Two years ago I had the privilege of doing a consultation for Amanda and her husband, and then announcing the birth of her baby boy, and today I’m thrilled to post this new consultation for her new baby-on-the-way, another boy! This little guy joins lots of big brothers and one big sister:

Oliver Lawrence
Elizabeth Joan
Theodore William
Henry John Vincent
Adrian Leo

I’ve always loved their style, and also the precision with which Amanda and her husband have named their kiddos — each one has a five-syllable first+middle combo! This is something Amanda would love to continue if possible. She writes,

Vince really likes Conrad … I like Rodrick (or Roderick, but does that spelling make it three syllables?), Walter and Gregor. Trying to keep with the 5 syllables with middle name, and I realized after the last one that ALL of the boys have an “R”in their first name, which happens to be my maiden name initial, and I love that, so I’d like to continue it. And he needs his own first letter… O, E, T, H and A are out.

Conrad has still not grown on me. I’m ok with it for a middle name, but it is just too harsh sounding compared to the rest of our names (they all start with a vowel or very soft consonant).

Vince nixed Roderick, and he isn’t crazy about Walter or Gregor. However, he does like Gregory, and then I could always call him Gregor, or Rory. 😉

Sylvester has come back in… If you remember, my grandpa’s name was Sylvester Leo, and we named the last one Adrian Leo after him. Well, he passed away last year (about 8 months after Adrian was born). I asked Vince the other day, if I had no say, what he would name this baby. His answer was Sylvester Conrad. Lol! … He would want to call him Sly… My grandpa went by Slivy… And would want to call him Sully … I love it!

We both like Finnian, which is awesome because it’s so Irish, but it sounds a lot like Adrian to me….. What do you think? Finnian Conrad?

I kind of think there’s still something out there that I haven’t seen or thought of yet. And maybe it won’t come to me until I see his face. We’ll see, I guess!


I think they’ve done such a great job of finding fairly uncommon names that are still familiar! I love Rory for Gregory—Amanda and her hubs have some Irish interest in their names, and using this classic Irish name as a nickname for a heavy duty Catholic name is great. Finnian is a great name too—I’m a huge fan of the Finn names, and Finn as a nickname—and I do love Finnian Conrad—so handsome! But it does have the same ending as Adrian, and it doesn’t have an R in it, which Amanda had said was important to her. I wonder what they would think of Finbar instead? Finbar Sylvester works. Another idea I had is Francis with the nickname Finn—I suggested it quite a bit on the here for a while, I just love it—Francis has that same classic, saintly, old-man feel as so many of the names Amanda and her husband like, and it has an R, and Finn as a nickname for it makes it a bit easier to handle on a day-to-day basis.

And of course I came up with a few more ideas for them that I thought might be useful conversation starters for Amanda and her hubby! I started from scratch—I looked up all the names they’ve used and Amanda has mentioned liking (in recent emails and two years ago) in the Baby Name Wizard without looking at the names I suggested last time until after I’d formulated my list of ideas (when I checked I saw I don’t have any overlap between last time’s ideas and this time, interesting!). I then crossed off any names that didn’t have R’s in them (Simon, Sebastian, Bennett), or that sound weird with their last name (Jasper, Victor), or that I’d forgotten they considered previously (Raphael, which I still love for them—perhaps they’d reconsider?), and was left with these:

(1) Brennan
Last time I suggested Brendan and Brannock, but this time Brennan is inspired by Sullivan, which I looked up because of Sully, just to see if there might be any inspiration there. I like Brennan! It’s softer than Brendan, and it has an R in it.

(2) Roman
Roman’s a match for some of the names they considered last time (Ivan, Raphael, and Dominic), it’s got an R in it, and I love it with Sylvester.

(3) Frederick
Frederick’s a match for Conrad and Theodore; it’s long like Theodore, Sylvester, and Elizabeth; it’s got the same ending as Dominic and Aidric from their previous list and it has the cutest nickname options: Fred, Freddy, Fritz, Erick. Frederick Conrad could work, as could Frederick Gregor, Frederick Walter, and Frederick Ivan.

What do you all think? What other name(s) can you suggest for the little brother of Oliver, Elizabeth, Theodore, Henry, and Adrian?

Birth announcement: Margaret Sophia!

A mama who I chatted with over email a few times has let me know her baby has arrived — her first! A lovely little girl with the lovely name … Margaret Sophia!

She writes,

Margaret Sophia was born on September 7. She came close to being Margaret Sophia May (sort of after me, as I was born in May and honoring the Virgin Mary), but it wasn’t meant to be … Attached is a photo of our little Margot, as we’ve decided to call her. 🙂 “

Margaret Sophia is SUCH a gorgeous combo!! I think Sophia is sort of unexpected in the middle spot, which makes me love it even more, and it’s just beautiful paired with Margaret. And I love Margot as a nickname!!

Congratulations to the new parents, and happy birthday Baby Margaret/Margot!!



Margaret Sophia

Baby name consultation: “Unique, foreign, vintage” name needed for no. 5 green bean

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

Casimir Wesley “Cas”
Miette Faye “Mimi”
Errol Shepherd
Petra Frances

Aren’t these great names?! Casimir is one my husband and I considered for one of our boys, and I still have a soft spot for it. Miette is such a sweet, affectionate name! And Errol and Petra are both amazing as well … in fact, with Miette and Errol they’ve chosen two names I’ve never once seen any parent use or even consider. Well done!

Amina writes,

I would categorize our names as… unique, foreign, vintage.😬🤷🏽‍♀️

We weren’t Catholic when we named our oldest son, Casimir, but it happens to be a unique saint name, so hey hey! We actually got the name from a song and we loved it. We were dabbling into our conversion around the time and when we discovered it was a saint (and a famous polish general), that was cool too. It set the tone for the rest of the siblings. His middle name, Wesley, is after my husband.

Our second child, Miette, was not named after a saint, despite us being confirmed into the church during her pregnancy. We always loved the name, which is French for “little crumb.” A bit too endearing for some, but it works well for her. Her middle name, Faye, is also a family name. We figured there would be a Saint Faye, but alas, there isn’t, unless you count the Saint of Santa Fe, Saint Faith. We feel she has a strong connection to Saint Therese of Lisieux, French, and known as “the little flower”. Little crumb/ little flower, almost the same right? Her personality is spot on with what we’ve read about young Saint Therese.

Our third child, second son, Errol, just kinda got a name we agreed on. We love the soft but strong sound to it. His birthday falls near Christmas, so we decided on Shepherd as a middle name. We figured he doesn’t need a saint name with this duo as his name pays homage to Jesus.

Our fourth child, second girl, is Petra Frances. She was due around the feast of the assumption, and we almost named her Petra Remedios (I just love this Marian name, for our lady of Good Remedy), but I actually chickened out. Yep. I was eager to use Frances to pay homage to Pope Francis as well, and noticed she was due around a few Saint Francis/ Frances feast days. So, she didn’t get a Marian name, and she was born the 16th instead of the 15th.

So, the reason I am writing is that I am coming back to Remedios for a girl. After full on chickening out, we’d like to use it in the first name place. I think it just needs a super wear-able nickname. I’m not fond of Remy, which is the most obvious nickname. I have thought of Edie, Edda, Romy. Do you see any others?? We think she will be Remedios Inez, if that helps.

On our ongoing girl list we have names like Opal and Fig, as well as Phillipa, Perpetua, Simone, and Belen. (We probably won’t ever use Perpetua, as it’s too close to Petra.)

If we have a boy, we plan on naming him Aesop Junipero. I am finally letting my husband take the reigns on this one, as he’s been pushing Aesop for awhile. Junipero, we both love, after Junipero Serra. We were very moved by his canonization. My other contender is Ambrose, but my husband really wants Aesop.

I have Peregrine and Bonaventure on my boy list too, though I don’t think they will ever win my husband over. I love Arthur as well, to tone any names combos down.”

How cool is Aesop Junipero? I love it. So bold and offbeat but faithy and literary and familiar. I also love the categorization of their name taste as “unique, foreign, vintage.”

Re: nicknames for Remedios (awesome Marian name), I think the nicknames Amina has come up with (Edie, Edda, Romy) are pretty great. I did a quick search online for other ideas, and found this blog post, which explains that in Chamorro, the language of the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands (including Guam), nicknames are usually taken from the end of the name, and it specifically gave the example of Remedios nicknaming to Medo. I like that! And I think Medi works too. But maybe they’re too similar to Miette? Other ideas I had were:

  • Rio or Rios
  • Ria
  • Rida
  • Dee or Didi
  • Emmy

And if Amina and her hubs were open to looking at nicknames using a mashup of first and middle names, Remedios Inez can result in:

  • Rina
  • Riz

As for additional girl names, it was fun to try to come up with some new ideas! Since their style encompasses names from various languages, as well as word names and literary nods, I felt almost like the sky’s the limit! I also didn’t limit myself to saints’ names, as I agree with Amina that as long as the middle name is a saint, or either of the names has a tie to the faith, they’re covered.

These were my favorites for them:

(1) Hero
Hero is the kind of name only a certain kind of family can pull off, but I love it, and I think this family would be up to it! It was mostly influenced by Aesop on their list, and those who aren’t aware that the literary Heros were female might be confused, but otherwise it’s such a great name. There was a family on the BabyCenter name boards back when I was pregnant with my first (thirteen years ago!) who had a daughter named Hero, and I always thought that was so cool.

(2) Iona or Ione
These names are so similar in appearance, but totally different in background/meaning! Iona is Scottish, the name of the island where St. Columba founded a monastery, which provides a good saint connection. Ione is Greek and has the amazing meaning “violet flower,” which they could possibly consider to be Marian since violets are a symbol of Our Lady. They were particularly exciting because, as you all know, I usually use the Baby Name Wizard as my primary resource when doing consultations, but Petra, Simone, Ambrose, and Arthur were the only names from their list that it contained, so I didn’t think it was going to be too helpful BUT Iona was listed as a style match for Petra, and then when I took their names over to the NameMatchmaker, Ione was a match for Casimir!

Not only can Ione be possibly connected to Our Lady through its meaning, but there were also some sites that argued that Ione is a feminine form of John. Nameberry says, “Some livelier foreign versions of Joan include Giovanna, Siobhan, Ione and Juana” and apparently there are several places in literature (like Shakespeare!) where Ione was used interchangeably with Joan! You can read that here —  bottom of p. 156 and top of p. 157, the link takes you right to it. So St. Joan of Arc or Bl. Jane of Aza or any of the Sts. John could be patron for a little Ione!

(3) Annick
Annick was another result from my research on the NameMatchmaker—a match for Miette. I love that it’s a form of Anna, so St. Anne is an easy patron, and it’s certainly unique and I think it goes really well as a sister to Miette and Petra. I also love that it would give each girl her own name-ending (not that that matters at all! It’s just kind of cool).

Those were my top three suggestions—I tried to make them a mix of languages and inspiration—but there were a bunch of other names that I scribbled down for this family as I was doing my research as possibilities, like Zara, Stasia, Lorna, Aranza/Aranxa, Sonrisa, Annunziata, Immaculata, Jacinta, Iolanthe, Flora/Fleur, Cressida, Clio, and Greer, and Ines/Inez totally would have been on this list if they weren’t already planning to use it for a middle name.

Amina also said she was open to hearing ideas for boys, even though they’re pretty set on Aesop Juniper, so I didn’t spend a huge amount of time on it, but the ones that caught my eye when doing my research as similar to names they’ve used and like were: Bertram, Cajetan, Nunzio, Pascal, Tycho, Bram, Homer, and Archimedes.

And those are my ideas for this little one! What do you all think? Do you have any other nickname ideas for Remedios, or other ideas for girl names in general? If any boy names come to mind, feel free to list those as well!