Baby name consultation: Canon/outside- or inside-the-box/heavy-hitting names are all considerations for baby no. 5!

It’s Thanksgiving week! Woo! I am so grateful for all of you!! I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and enjoy today’s consultation by Theresa (who I’m also so grateful for!)!

Mama Katie writes in asking for help naming their 6th child!

We are 21 weeks along and haven’t found out the gender yet, but I just might if I can’t figure out the name! Ha!

This baby will be joining big siblings:

Gabriel (in heaven)
Paul Christopher sometimes called “PK”
Immaculata Gracie “Gracie”
Jacinta Katherine “Cinta”
Joseph David sometimes called “Bubba” or “Buddy”

She writes about names they’re currently drawn to:

Celine – especially after reading her relationship with her younger sister, St. Therese, this is probably our top runner. June – my mom’s name and my husband’s maternal grandmother – and I like the feel of it even as a first name, but I don’t want to have three J’s in a row – Jacinta, Joseph and June. Maybe a middle name for Celine, with the nickname of CJ? Christiana – I have always liked this name, but I don’t really want to have it shortened to “Chris.” Margaret Mary – This is my great grandmother’s name reversed (She was Mary Margaret) – but I also have a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus). Maria- since I have a niece Mary, I have thought Maria would be a pretty name, but I’ve also considered making little one’s name even more like Celine Martin and having it be “Marie-Celine”…Timothy – the biblical connection to St. Paul, as well as our beloved pastor of our parish. I’m not sure about what to use for a middle name! Maximillian. Frassati – this has been a pipe dream of mine, because my husband wouldn’t go for something so out of the box for a boy. Haha. Roy – I don’t know if this would work in at all, but my dear father passed away a year ago, and his best friend is named Roy, and Roy has become so dear to me. My husband might reject that name, but it is in the background for me anyway. We have started attending the Traditional Latin Mass, and I keep looking in the Canon for some of those heavy hitting names, but I’m unsure of any of the names.”

Some thoughts on names they like but maybe don’t feel quite like “the one”.

Celine– I really love this one for them! I think it’s sweet just like their other girls, I love the connection to Celine Martin and sweet St. Therese. I think it’s a great fit with all of their kids. Since all of the Martin girls, except the oldest, went by the second part of their names, I think just Celine to honor her and Therese would be lovely. I like the sound of Celine with their others better than Marie-Celine. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Celine are so so sweet. I really really love this.

June– I like this for them but I agree that three Js in a row is a bit much. I like the sound of Celine June, June grounds it. Two names in a row that end in the N sound might be a bit much, though. I think there may be better names out there for them.

Christiana– I love this name, too! I really love Christiana June, too, and I think they could keep it from getting shortened to “Chris” by just insisting her name is Christiana. I knew a Christiana in college who had never been Chris. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Christiana sound amazing together.

Maria– Cute, good, standard, traditional name. I think it may be too close to their niece Mary, though. I think there are better names for them out there.

Margaret Mary– I like this but I don’t love it. It’s not as sweet as their other girls, but I do love the connection to her grandmother and the Sacred Heart.

Timothy– I really like this for them! Gabriel, Paul, Immaculate/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Timothy sound great to me. I think this name is really right in their wheelhouse. As far as a middle name with it, I think any of the other names they like would go well with it. Timothy Maximilian and Timothy Roy stand out to me.

Maximilian– I love this name for them. It fits right in with everyone else. The only drawback is it would almost definitely get shortened to Max (in my experience, this one gets shortened a lot more commonly than a name like Christiana does). Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Maximilian sound complete to me.

Frassati– I like this but I don’t think it fits with their other boys. Their boy style strikes me as very traditional, maybe a little old man chic. Frassati matches their girls, though! I think they could stick this in the middle spot and get the best of both worlds!

Roy– I’m not completely sure what it is about this name, but I really love it for them. It gives that old man chic that I think is their sweet spot and it has such a sweet meaning and connection for their family. I think this would be especially great in the middle spot.

Okay, on to new suggestions. Their current children’s names and the names they like really inspired me and I had a hard time getting it down to 5 names for each gender! Let’s start with the girls.

Girl

(1) Anastasia

This is a name found in the Canon, a great saint, and it’s a little frillier like their other girls. It’s slightly popular right now at #181 and I think that’s a great place for them to be. It means “resurrection,” so it has a direct connection to Jesus, too. Full disclosure, this is my oldest daughter’s second middle name and we adore it. I would’ve considered this as a first name for another daughter if I hadn’t already used it. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Anastasia sound incredible together! I really really love Anastasia Celine or Celine Anastasia or even Anastasia June! Really, this name goes with every other name they like and I love how it fits into their family.

(2) Annunziata

This one was directly inspired by Immaculata and Gabriel. I think they lean a little unusual and frilly in their girl names and this one fits that to a T. I love the Marian connection for their girls (Jacinta is Marian to me because of being one of the visionaries at Fatima). It’s a reference to the Annunciation, tying in some of their other children and I think it’s just such a sweet name. If, like Immaculata, she’s a little hesitant about her name, she can always shorten it to Annie. However, I think Immaculata may be more into her name if she had a similarly named sister. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Annunziata/Annie sound so spectacular!

(3) Hildegard

Not many families could pull this name off, but I think theirs totally could. It’s outside the box like their other girls, unusual but not weird, and has a powerhouse saint connection (St. Hildegard of Bingen). It means “battle enclosure” and is outside of the top 1000 names. It can shorten to Hildie or Hilda if necessary, but I like the whole thing. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Hildegard sound stunningly Catholic and they all fit together well.

(4) Beatrice

I thought of this one because it was a style match for some of their girls and names they like and because it’s a little bit frilly but still sweet. It means “blessed, happy” and is at #565 right now. There is one saint and several blessed by this name, so it’s steeped in Catholicism. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Beatrice are all so sweet together.

(5) Aurelia/Aurora

I wasn’t sure which of these they’d like better, so I’m including them both. Aurelia means “golden, gilded,” is at #516, and there’s Bl. Aurelia of Wirberg for patronage. Aurora means “dawn,” is at #36 (so significantly more popular, although not enough to see a double in their circles, most likely), and has Ven. Aurora Calvo Hernández-Agero for patronage. I like that both of these are a little unusual and frilly and super sweet, just like their other girls. These are just a little outside the box, especially in Catholic circles, and I think that’s their sweet spot for girls. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Aurelia/Aurora are so beautiful together.

On to boys!

Boy

(1) Thaddeus

This is such a sweet, traditional name that’s in the Canon for the Apostle St. Jude Thaddeus. It’s uncommon (it sits at #818) but it’s not weird. And it shortens to the super sweet Tad (or Tadpole when he’s really little. Swoon!). It means “heart” or “gift of God” and may be related to the mega-popular Theodore. I think Thaddeus is a great fit and bridge between their girls and their boys. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Thaddeus sounds really great, very Catholic, and somewhat
traditional to me.

(2) Silas

I thought of this name because St. Silas/Silvanus was a companion of Paul and I thought that would be a sweet way to honor brothers. Silas means “wood, forest” and sits at #91, meaning it’s gaining in popularity but is not overly popular. This one is a little more up-and-coming than their other children’s names, but I don’t think it’s a mismatch. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Silas sound fun, modern, and yet traditional.

(3) Walter

I said elsewhere that I think their boy style is old man chic and this name is old man chic! It sits at #271 which means it’s up-and-coming but not overly popular, traditional but also modern, uncommon but not unusual. This is their sweet spot. There are plenty of Sts. Walter but I always think of Ven. Walter Ciszek who was an American chaplain in the Army. Fitting, since the name means “ruler of the army.” Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Walter sound so great together–– traditional,
outside the box, uncommon but not weird, very Catholic.

(4) Charles

This name is pretty popular at #50 right now but it also gives me the old man chic vibes that their other boys (and names they like) give me. It means “man” which is cool and can relate to St. Charles Borromeo or even Pope St. John Paul II as his given name was another form of Charles, Karol. This name is up-and-coming but yet traditional, which is a good spot for them to be. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Charles sound like a complete set to me.

(5) Blaise

This name is way less common than it seems at #997! I was shocked to find this out. I would’ve put it in the #400s but the numbers don’t lie. What that means is that this name is uncommon but not weird and modern-sounding. It also sounds energetic for its homophone “blaze.” It really means “lisping” but meaning is what we put into a name. St. Blaise is the patron saint of throat problems. Gosh, I just really love this name for them. I think it checks every box for them. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Blaise sound so cool, modern, traditional, and Catholic to me. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that this is my favorite. Blaise Timothy, Blaise, Roy, and Blaise Thaddeus stand out to me as full combos.

These are my thoughts. What do you think?


Read all about how to get your own baby name consultation from either Theresa or myself here.

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 ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Pia Susan!

Longtime readers will remember Mandi from her (now quiet) A Blog About Miscarriage (she’s also on Instagram, and is happy to be a source of support and info for anyone who needs it) — we were able to celebrate with her through welcoming four living babies among so many losses, and I’m thrilled to share that she’s let me know she had another baby — a beautiful little girl with the gorgeous name … Pia Susan!

Mandi writes,

Pia Susan just turned one in September! My fifth living baby/fourth girl (after Lucia Rose, David Newton, Jr., Cecilia Claire, and Maria Therese).

We decided to carry on the Saint names ending in ‘ia’ for a girl and had about 4 names we were choosing between, Pia being one of them. The priest for the Latin Mass we started attending a few years ago gave a beautiful homily on the Latin word ‘Pia’ in relation to the Blessed Virgin Mary about a month or so before my due date and it just clicked. Even with the Marian connection, she’s named after Padre Pio who my son has a great devotion to. Susan is after my husband David’s aunt and she is tickled pink to have someone named after her. Her nicknames are Pizza, Pisu, Pippy, and Sweet Pea amongst others. She is super, super tiny (she’s in 3-6 month clothes at 13 months) so the name seems to fit really well. We get lots of compliments on it, though many people are surprised by it since it’s pretty rare.”

I love all of this!! Pia Susan is just amazing, both on its own and for its Marian, Padre Pio, and family connections, fantastic!! I love, too, the nice connection for Mandi’s girls of all having names that end in -ia — it’s one of those details that’s so immensely satisfying for a name lover, but doesn’t hit anyone in the face in a too-obvious way — just lovely!!

Congratulations to Mandi and David and older sibs Lucia, David/Davey, Cecilia/Cici, and Maria Therese/Maite, and happy birthday to (not quite a baby anymore) Baby Pia!!


Read all about how to get your own baby name consultation from either Theresa or myself here.

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 ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Baby name consultation: Baby no.2/girl no. 2 needs a name that brings together punk rock, Doctor Who, and Catholicism!

Happy Monday, everyone! Enjoy today’s consultation by Theresa!

Mama Jordan writes in asking for help naming their second child, second daughter. They’re just completely stuck! This daughter will join big sister:

Amelia Rose

Jordan says she loves the following names but is having a hard time getting her husband on board: Molly, Madeline, and Isabelle. The only name that Dad has put forth is Haley/Hailey and Mama Jordan only sort of likes that one.

Names they can’t use include Stefanie, Victoria, Michele, Cora, Helen, Christine/Christina, Josephine, Aubrey, Caroline, Penelope, Ariana, and Jocelyn.

They are considering Jane, Claire, and Margaret for middle names.

Jordan and her husband love punk rock, Doctor Who, and Catholicism, making this a super fun consultation!

First, about front-runner names:

Molly– I really love this name for them. It’s sweet but substantial and has a long history. Bonus points that big sis Amelia loves it. It’s a form of Mary and currently sits at #186, making it less popular than Amelia but still on par with her. If they don’t like Molly, what about medieval rhyming name Polly, also from Mary? Polly is a Doctor Who name and ranks out of the top 1000, making it like the complete opposite of Amelia, but in a sweet way. Honestly, I prefer Molly and Molly Jane at that, but Polly could be a great compromise.

Madeline– I love this name with this spelling, as it evokes the children’s books. It’s the French form of the name Magdalene, so it has a powerhouse saint to back it up. It ranks at #95, making it on par with Amelia, and Amelia and Madeline sound like perfect sisters to me. I love Madeline Jane, Madeline Claire, and Madeline Isabelle. Alternatively, Molly Madeline is really sweet and she could be called M&M (can you imagine the Halloween costume!).

Isabelle– This is my absolute favorite for them. There’s just something about this name that speaks to me and to their family and style. It fits so perfectly. Amelia and Isabelle. Maybe it’s that they both start with vowels. I just love this name for them. Isabelle Jane, Isabelle Claire, and Isabelle Margaret are all stunning. I also really like Isabelle Madeline. It’s also a form of Elizabeth which is Mama Jordan’s middle name and I like that connection to her. It ranks at 117 currently, meaning it’s popular but won’t be heard everywhere they go. Some other forms of Elizabeth that I like for them are Lillian (Amelia and Lillian, swoon!) which started as a form of Elizabeth before it became an embellishment of Lily and ranks at #51, which is on par with Amelia. I also like offbeat Liesel for them. It doesn’t even rank in the top 1000 in America ever but I love it’s lilting sound and how it goes with Amelia (Amelia and Liesel). I think their best bet here, though, is Isabelle. It’s modern but with substance and roots, it’s cool and breezy, it fits with Amelia, it has beautiful family ties, and it goes with every middle name they’re considering.

Haley/Hailey– I like this. It doesn’t have as much substance as the others (there are no saints to go along with it and it doesn’t have as storied a history as any of the others) but it’s cool and modern. The spellings currently rank, in order, #559 and #77. It’s actually more popular than I would have guessed. It’s nice that dad Nate likes this name and I love its subtle punk rock tie-in (Haley Williams is the singer of Paramore). Amelia and Hailey don’t sound mismatched to me but they don’t quite seem right, either. What about Isabelle Haley?

On to new suggestions. I looked up Doctor Who and punk rock names, I used a style match for names like Amelia and ones they already like, and I went off of some intuition. Here’s what I came up with.

(1) Genevieve

It means “family woman,” is French, and ranks at #155, making it common but not popular. Madeline was a style match and I thought the sounds of Amelia and Genevieve go well together. St. Genevieve was a powerhouse, too. I think this is a name that packs a lot of punch for a little girl, but isn’t overwhelming. There are also plenty of nicknames to go with this name, if they want to go that route, from Genny to Viva. Genevieve Claire, Genevieve Margaret, and Genevieve Isabelle stand out to me.

(2) Juliet/Juliana

I wasn’t sure which of these names they’d like more, so I’m including them both. Juliette was a style match for Amelia, Madeline, and Isabelle but I thought they’d like the Juliet spelling better because of the song “Check Yes, Juliet.” This spelling ranks at #295 right now. There is also Ven. Juliette Colbert de Falletti di Barolo to go along with it. The drawback is, of course, the Shakespeare play. Most people are over that by now, though, so it wouldn’t be anywhere near an issue until she got to high school, maybe. Juliana was inspired by Juliet and The Juliana Theory. It has the same root as Juliet (they come from Julius meaning either “downy-bearded” or “sky father”; not the best but also we infuse meaning into names beyond their etymological meanings). Juliana ranks at #210 right now and has St. Juliana Falconieri to go with it. I love the sound of Amelia and Juliet or Amelia and Juliana. I love Juliet Isabelle, Juliet Claire, Juliana Isabelle, Juliana Madeline, and Juliana Claire. They could even name her Juliana Jane and get away with it. These are just such versatile names.

(3) Eloise

This name came up as a style match for Madeline and it just struck me as sweet and playful yet substantial, like Amelia. Amelia and Eloise sound beautiful together, too! This name means “healthy; wide” and sits at #109, which surprised me! There is a Bl. Helwisa aka Eloise to go with it, too. Eloise Claire really stands out to me and for something different, I really love Eloise Elizabeth.

(4) Etta

This came up as a style match for a few of the names they like and I thought it was just good enough to include. I love that it’s short and punchy. It’s a short form for names like Henrietta and Loretta. Singer Etta James’s first name was actually Jamesetta. Anyway, Etta as a stand-alone name ranks at #932 right now, so it’s basically the opposite of Amelia while still holding up to her. Carson Daly of MTV named his daughter Etta. I think Ven. Antonietta Meo would be a sweet patron to go with this name. Etta Jane might be too close to Etta James but I like Etta Claire, Etta Margaret, Etta Isabelle, Etta Elizabeth, and Etta Madeline.

(5) Blair

When I think of Mama Jordan and Dad Nate and Amelia, I think slightly preppy. This name is slightly preppy! I actually love that it’s girl-leaning-unisex; gives it a punch that not many other names have. It means “plain, field, battlefield” and currently ranks at #315. Amelia and Blair sound super cute and preppy to me. There’s a Gossip Girl reference there, too, that no one but fans of the show would ever ask them about. I love Blair Margaret or Blair Isabelle.

(6) Tabitha

This name came up as a style match for some of the other names they like and I can see why. It’s just a little offbeat and cute but with history. It’s Hebrew for “gazelle” and was the name of the woman in the New Testament whom St. Peter restored to life (she’s also known as Dorcas). It’s out of the top 1000 names, though, which really surprised me. This name has been used in Riverdale, Stranger Things, and X-Men, giving it fandom credibility without being in your face. I love the way Amelia and Tabitha sound together. Tabitha Jane called TJ is so so cute. I also love Tabitha Claire and Tabitha Isabelle or Isabelle Tabitha.

(7) Honor/Honora

Finally, when I think of preppy, I think Honor. It’s an old virtue name, giving it substance. Amelia and Honor or Amelia and Honora just sound old school cool chic to me. Neither name is in the top 1000 and never have been. Honor Isabelle sounds stunning to my ear. I also like Honora Claire and Honor Margaret.

Okay, these are my thoughts. What do you think?


Read all about how to get your own baby name consultation from either Theresa or myself here.

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 ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Clement Joshua Samuel!

I’m so happy to share that Josh and Mari, who have allowed us all to watch their family grow through their previous five babies, have welcomed baby no. 10 — their fourth boy! They’ve given him the so-handsome and totally on-theme name … Clement Joshua Samuel!

Josh writes,

Hi Kate, he’s here! Born Oct 20. We decided to go with Clement Joshua Samuel — your ideas and the comments of your readers were super helpful to us in choosing his name … We’re calling him Clement for now but CJ may stick — we’ll see!

Isn’t that just a perfect name?! For those of you who remember this family, all their boys have first names beginning with C and middle names ending in -el … for this little guy, Josh was considering giving his own name for a middle name, which would have been totally great and understandable, but I love the twist of having two middle names — one Josh’s name, the other continuing the big brothers’ -el theme! Fantastic!

Congratulations to Josh and Mari and big sibs Ariana, Audrey, Caleb, Amelia (“Millie”), Anne-Catherine Gianna (“Gianna”), Charles, Anessa, Christian, and Aurelia-Rose (“Rosie”), and happy birthday Baby Clement!!

Clement Joshua Samuel


Read all about how to get your own baby name consultation from either Theresa or myself here.

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 ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Louis Sebastian!

I did a consultation for Monica and her husband several years ago, and posted a birth announcement for her third baby — I’m thrilled to share that she’s since had another baby! She had her second boy and gave him the fantastic name … Louis Sebastian!

Monica writes,

You did a consultation for us between our 2nd and 3rd babies, and a birth announcement for our 3rd. I thought it would be fun to share that we just welcomed baby #4, Louis Sebastian, on Monday, at a whopping 9 lbs 14 oz. He joins big siblings Magdalene Eve-Marie (Maggie), Genevieve Rose (Genny), and Judah Abraham.

We had the hardest time yet settling on his name. In general, we tend to agree on a lot more girl names than boy names. I’ve analyzed it into the ground this time, and come to the conclusion that my preferred boy names are ‘sweet spot’ names: not super common but not totally unheard of. I liked the names Blaise and Eamon this time, as well as Roman in the past. My husband likes names on both ends of the spectrum, but not so much in that middle ground (with the exception of Judah!). He liked Peter, Charles, Louis, and Casimir this time. We both like John paired with an unexpected middle, but decided to save it for later. We kicked around Magnus, but mainly as a middle name since it sort of conflicts with Magdalene/Maggie.

In addition to our general taste, there were a few other considerations: I preferred a non-biblical name this time to loop in Genevieve, and I didn’t want a third “J” sound in a row (hence John going on the back burner).

We particularly like King Louis IX of France, who was the first to institute the law of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ He’s baby’s primary patron, although St. Louis Martin is a good secondary patron for an October baby. (Especially if he had been born on St. Therese’s feast, though he ended up missing it.). St. Sebastian is another cool patron for a little boy. Louis is also my Grandpa’s middle name. We think Louis is French and non-biblical enough to tie in Genevieve nicely, and Sebastian adds a little bit of flair while still being a strong and masculine combo. We do like that strong, masculine sound! (Cf. Judah Abraham)

I absolutely love the in-depth analysis Monica offered of her and her husband’s name taste, and the explanation of inspiration and patronage for her newest little guy!! Louis Sebastian seems like an absolute perfect fit!!

Congratulations to Monica and her husband and big sibs Magdalene/Maggie, Genevieve/Genny, and Judah, and happy birthday Baby Louis!!


Read all about how to get your own baby name consultation from either Theresa or myself here.

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 ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: W1ll@ R0s3!

Theresa did a private consultation for this family, and is happy to share this wonderful birth announcement!

Mama Tracey writes in to say her little girl has arrived!

We ended up going with W1ll@ R0s3. It was my husband’s number 1 all along and it has grown on me. I like how it ties in my husband’s first name (W1ll1@m) and his father’s name (also W1ll1@m) and also my husband’s grandmother who died before my husband was born (W1ll13 M@3). And then my grandmother’s maiden name was R0s3. And lots of saints connected too…Thank you so much for your help! Your thoughts on W1ll@ R0s3 really helped settle it for us. I’m incredibly indecisive and we didn’t finalize it till she was born!

Congratulations to Tracey, Wylie, and big sisters M@ry @l1c3 and Cl@r@ J@n3!


Read all about how to get your own baby name consultation from either Theresa or myself here.

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 ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Clement Kolbe!

Happy Thursday!! Theresa did a consultation for this family last summer and has shared this wonderful birth announcement! Enjoy!

Dad Zach writes in to say their baby boy has been born!

Just wanted to give you an update — our baby boy was born on October 4th! 10 days late, I guess St. Francis of Assisi really wanted in on the action. We decided to name him Clement Kolbe! We were set on Xavier for a bit but after a while we really started loving Clement for Our Lady Of Mercy! We also have had a dedication to Maximilian Kolbe and thought Kolbe as a middle name would be perfect! Thanks so much for all your help with our consult!

Congratulations to Zach and Bayley, and big sister Josephine!


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 ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Baby name consultation: Baby no. 10 (a boy!) needs a name that fits into the theme!

Today is one of my very favorite feast days: the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary! The cover art of my book of Marian names was inspired by this beautiful holy card:

The inscription on the bottom, S.S. Nomen Mariae, means “The Most Holy Name of Mary” in Latin (Sanctissima Nomen Mariae). Fun fact: Mariae was the middle name we planned for a girl through several of our pregnancies! Two little ladies connected with Sancta Nomina have been given the name as well — one as a first name (Mariae Josephine, loooove), and this one (Theresa’s little girl!) as a middle (Theresa has fantastic taste and creativity!). I explain a little bit about how this beautiful feast came about in my book. A perfect feast day for those who love the names of our faith, especially the names of and for Our Lady! I hope you all have a wonderful one! Today’s consultation actually includes one of the names listed in my book for boys!

Josh and Mari are expecting their 10th baby — their 4th boy! I’ve had the great privilege of doing consultations for several of their older children (posted here, here, here; birth announcements here, here, here, here), and I’m delighted to offer some ideas for their newest little guy! (For those of you wondering, I did this consultation a couple of months ago, when I thought I might be able to do some this summer.)

Josh writes, 

So, as you probably remember, we have a theme going – the girls have A first names and C middle names (with some variants) and the boys have C first names and middle names that similar stylistically.  Here’s the rundown

Ariana Camille (16) 

Audrey Caroline (14)

Caleb Daniel (11)

Amelia Clare (“Millie”) (9)

Anne-Catherine Gianna (“Gianna”) (8)

Charles Michael (6)

Anessa Corinne (4)

Christian Gabriel (3)

Aurelia-Rose Celeste (“Rosie”) (2) 

#10 is a boy, so we’ll be looking to continue the theme generally.  Due date is November 3, so he’ll join two other sibs with November birthdays (Audrey and Charles) unless he gets here early, in which case he’d be our only October baby.   Here are some first names we’ve discussed and like

Clement

Carter

Caedmon 

For middle names, we’ve discussed Samuel as a possibility.  Thought about Raphael too since we have a Michael and a Gabriel, but I’m not sure I love it.  But I would say we haven’t definitely ruled it out either.”

As always, it was such a pleasure to work on this consultation for Josh and Mari! They’ve done such a great job with baby naming — I’ve always loved how they figured out to adhere to their themes (girl theme and boy theme) without it getting weird or feeling forced. I’m excited to help them again!

Okay, first off, my thoughts on the names they like/are considering:

  • Clement: I have always loved Clement for a few reasons — specifically to me, it’s the name of my parish’s patronal Saint, St. Clement Mary Hofbauer (and it belongs to a bunch of other Saints and a Pope as well!). Secondly, it’s a Marian name, as Our Lady is called “clement” in the Hail Holy Queen (“O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary”). Thirdly, it means “merciful” — such a great meaning! All that said, though, I admit I’ve often had a hard time really seeing it on a little boy! I actually knew an older gentleman named Clement, and it was so cool on him — it felt just perfect for a sophisticated old man — and of course I know that little boys grow up to be men. And “Clem” as a nickname seemed a little less thrilling than some of the other nicknames I love for boys. But then Grace Patton named her son Clement, and it took on a whole new life for me! So that’s my conclusion: I think it can be really great option for Josh and Mari’s little guy! (I’m still a little hung up on nicknames … I was just rereading the birth announcement I posted for Grace’s Clement and noted that she named the Clement videos on her Instagram “Clement Clips” and thought, “Huh. Clip is kind of cute!” You know me and my crazy nickname ideas!!)
  • Carter: I was surprised by Carter! Their other kiddos’ names have saintly connections, but I didn’t think Carter did. I shouldn’t have doubted, though! I’ve often argued that just about every name can have a saintly connection, and Carter, indeed, does: According to CatholicSaints.info, there’s a St. Carterius of Bourges and a Bl. William Carter. I’m very intrigued by Bl. William Carter, since I struggled a bit over new middle name ideas for this family — it seems difficult to move away from their established -el theme, but if they did something like Carter William, it would make a lot of sense — it would give them a good, solid reason to move away from -el names and would strengthen the connection to Bl. William. Does that make sense?
  • Caedmon: I see Caedmon from time to time on parents’ lists and I’m always surprised by it, since I’ve never met a Caedmon in real life. It’s such a cool name, though, and saintly, and it inspired some of the more Celtic-ish names I included in my suggestions below. My one hesitation with Caedmon is always pronunciation — apparently CAD-man is the correct pronunciation, but I’ve also seen CADE-man, so that will probably be something they’d have to deal with. It absolutely doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker though — loads of names have pronunciation issues!

So those are my thoughts on the names currently on Josh and Mari’s list. As far as middle names, I had the suggestion of William, which I explained in the Carter part above, and I looked back at my previous emails with them and their consultations and see that in addition to the Samuel and Raphael that they said they’re considering, I’ve suggested these as well:

  • Emmanuel
  • Nathaniel
  • Joel
  • Axel
  • Abel
  • Ezekiel
  • Reuel
  • Noel

Some new ones I’ll add include:

  • Angel: a not-uncommon name for boys of Hispanic descent, and it was also the name of the main male character in the English novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  • Bartel: Dutch diminutive of Bartholomew
  • Hansel: German diminutive of Hans, which is the German form of John
  • Israel: Jacob’s name was changed to Israel by God
  • Marcel: originally a diminutive of Marcus; also included in the names of quite a few Saints
  • Martel: from a medieval pet name of Martin
  • Peniel: A biblical place name (see Gen 32:30) meaning “face of God” — what a beautiful meaning!
  • Roussel: French form of Russell, from a nickname meaning “little red one” — maybe perfect for a baby with red hair, or who is particularly red when born? (My mother-in-law always talked about how red my husband was as a newborn, far redder than other babies she’d seen!)
  • Wenzel: a German name that’s technically pronounced VENT-zel, but the cool part is that it’s a medieval German form of Vaclav (Wenceslaus)! St. Wenceslaus is awesome! I did two posts on the name that might be helpful: here and here

(I used this web site to help with this list — it has a million names on here and I spent quite a bit of time scrolling through and only got about a third of the way down! Josh and Mari might want to spend some time on that page themselves in case there was a good option that I missed.)

So there are plenty of -el names if they’re committed to that theme! However, I think both Samuel and Raphael are good choices right now if they’re not sure they want to continue with this theme, since I sense that many people will not realize that Daniel and Samuel are -el names, since they’re so familiar (sometimes the details of very familiar names are almost invisible — a “missing the trees for the forest” type reversal of the old saying, if that makes sense), so if they use Samuel, I don’t think people will bat an eyelash if they use a non-el name in the future. And if they use Raphael, most people will realize they’ve now exhausted the archangels (without getting into discussions of Uriel and others that are questionable from a Catholic standpoint), and won’t necessarily expect an -el middle name going forward. Of course, the fact that this baby is their tenth baby and that they’re heavily weighted towards girls makes it more probable that this won’t be an issue to deal with again! (Or perhaps God has more boys in their future!)

Okay! On to my new ideas!

(1) Martin

This idea is really a cheat idea, since it’s (a) not a C name, and (b) Josh and Mari had it on their list in the first email they ever sent me, so it’s not an original idea of mine, but I’d thought I’d include it in the list because Mari is due on Nov. 3 — the feast of St. Martin de Porres! If they don’t want to go off-theme for a first name, then I’d highly suggest it as a middle name, ESPECIALLY if the baby is actually born on his due date! And in that case, I’d suggest changing it to its variant Martel, which I mentioned above — an -el name that nods to St. Martin! Seems like it could be perfect!

(2) Cashel

Okay, back to C names! I’ve suggested Cashel many times in the past to families who love Irish or Celtic names, so Caedmon on their list makes sense of Cashel to me. The faith connection is the Rock of Cashel; this is the faith connection (from something I wrote for a baptism gift for a little Cashel):

The Rock of Cashel (Carraig Phádraig) is also known as St. Patrick’s Rock and Cashel of the Kings. In Irish, cashel (caiseal) denotes a circular stone fort and has come to mean “castle.”

The Rock of Cashel was long the seat of the High Kings of Munster. One of the kings, Aenghus, was baptized by St. Patrick himself at that very spot. In 1101, King Murtagh O’Brien dedicated the Rock of Cashel to God and St. Patrick and gave it to the bishop of Munster. Currently, the Ecclesiastical Province of Cashel includes the Archdiocese of Cashel & Emly, as well as the dioceses of Cloyne (in which lies Cobh), Cork & Ross, Kerry, Killaloe, Limerick, and Waterford & Lismore.

I love Cashel and I love the nickname Cash! And because Cashel is an -el name, they could also consider it for the middle!

(3) Campion

Campion is the surname of St. Edmund Campion and I think it’s a fantastic name for a boy. It has the awesome nickname Cam, which I‘ve always loved. It’s also a Marian name! I included it in my book of Marian names — the white campion is a kind of flower, which is where the connection to Our Lady comes in. Finally, campion means “champion” in Old French! What a great name for a boy!

(4) Canaan

I know a boy named Canaan — I’ve always thought he has the coolest name! Canaan is, of course, the name of the Promised Land, so it has great faith connections in that regard.

(5) Caetano/Cajetan

I saw Caetano in a list of C names for boys, and I immediately remembered that I’d had Cajetan on my own list for years! Caetano is an Italian form of Cajetan (as is Gaetano), and St. Cajetan is a pretty amazing Saint. Caj (pronounced like CADGE) is a pretty cool nickname too!

(6) Curt, Cord

I’d previously suggested Conrad to this family, which I don’t think they loved, but both Curt and Cord caught my eye when I was looking up C names for them, as they’re both contracted forms of Conrad, so they can take any of the Sts. Conrad as patron. Curt and Cord have very different feels to me, so hopefully if they don’t like the one maybe they really like the other!

(7) Cruz

My last idea is Cruz, which has just the coolest, hippest, zippiest feel but also has very deep faith significance, as it means “cross” and has traditional use in both Spanish and Portuguese in honor of the Cross of Crucifixion. I also found evidence of its usage in honor of Our Lady at the foot of the Cross. How beautiful! Though it’s used in Hispanic cultures for both boys and girls, I think in America it has a predominantly masculine feel.

As a bonus, I really wanted to suggest Casey, with Bl. Solanus Casey in mind, but I didn’t think Casey was ideal for their last name, so I wanted to include it here in case it’s helpful for any of you readers. I also noted that Kolbe was on Josh and Mari’s original list several years ago — I still like it for them and think it can make a nice addition to their C theme — sort of keeping with it while still branching out. Interestingly, I looked up the surname Kolbe and discovered that some spelling variations include Colb and Colbe — maybe they want to consider one of those in honor of St. Maximilian while still sticking with their C theme?

As an addition to this post, Josh and Mari wrote again to let me know about some more ideas they have:

[D]o you mind if I ask your thoughts on a new idea we had — Clement Joshua?   Obviously Joshua is my name, which in a way fits a pattern with the boys (Daniel and Michael are also family names). We also thought “CJ” might be a cute nickname — we love the name Clement but aren’t wild about ‘Clem.’ 

Our oldest daughter is lobbying hard for Clement Ezekiel with “Zeke” as a nickname, which is also kind of cute. What do you think?

My immediate thoughts are that I love both ideas! I love using Josh’s name as the middle name — doing so trumps any -el theme or any other theme, in my opinion — and CJ is an easy, friendly nickname. This is probably my favorite of the two, because of the connection to Dad and how easy and natural it feels. I do love Zeke, though — what a fun, friendly nickname! And I love that Ezekiel keeps the -el theme, because even though it’s completely one-hundred-percent not necessary to continue with the theme, there’s something just so satisfying about sticking with a theme! What say you all??

And those are all my ideas! What other ideas/suggestions/thoughts can you share for the littlest brother in this beautiful family?


I’m not currently doing consultations, but Theresa Zoe Williams is available to help you! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com 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 ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Mirren Therese and Brigid Evelyn!

(Theresa’s consultation for this family posted in June.)

Mama Kaitrin has emailed me to let me (Theresa) know her twins have arrived!

She writes,

Wanted to let you know the baby girls arrived safely (albeit early!) on the 4th of July! After several knocks from birth certificate people on my hospital room door — On the 6th of July we finally arrived at names! Haha It was soooo hard to really nail two down but we did it.”

The girls have been given the stellar names of Mirren Therese (tuh-rez) nicknamed Tess and Brigid Evelyn nicknamed Birdie!

Mama Kaitrin writes of the naming experience,

We think their nicknames will be Tess and Birdie, though already I kind of like how their formal names Mirren and Brigid sound together. Especially with our boys names Vaughn Jude and Cormac. Funny enough I’d never even considered Brigid or Bridget … but your suggestion of darling nickname Birdie was maybe what sold me on even considering. Then I ended up loving the sound of it with Mirren which my husband really loved even over Mary Therese or Miriam Therese … As my sister who walked with me the whole waffling time as we chatted names said — wow, best [money] you ever spent was for the name consultant!! Thanks again for the fun consultation.”

I’m so glad they found my consultation helpful! And what fantastic names they arrived at! Tess and Birdie are still in the NICU, so please say a prayer for them.

Happy birthday Mirren Therese “Tess” and Brigid Evelyn “Birdie”! And congratulations to mom and dad, and big brothers Vaughn, Jude, and Cormac!

Brigid (Birdie) on left; Mirren Therese (Tess) on right


I’m not currently doing consultations, but Theresa Zoe Williams is available to help you! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com 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 ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Margaret Lily!

Mama Megan writes in to announce that her little one has been born! I (Theresa) did a consultation for Megan and her husband in June.

Mama Megan writes,

I had significant bleeding … and our little one was delivered by emergency c-section … Thank you so much for your help. We went with the name Margaret Lily. 🙂 we love it! And everyone else who has met her loves the name! She is currently in the NICU and hopefully won’t stay long…You really gave us the confidence to go with that choice.”

Margaret Lily! Such an incredible name for an incredible baby. Welcome to the world, little Margaret Lily and congratulations to mom, dad, and big sisters Eleanor Grace and Annalise Rose.

Margaret Lily


I’m not currently doing consultations, but Theresa Zoe Williams is available to help you! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com 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 ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!