Happy Monday, everyone! I’m still flying high from last week — so many things happened! My oldest graduated from high school on Friday, and the Baccalaureate Mass the night before and the graduation itself were so meaningful for my boy and for our whole family. We are all so grateful for God’s goodness!! And then — Friday itself!! What big news!! I never thought I’d see the day!! A friend pointed out to me that not only was Friday the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but also the Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist (he who first recognized Jesus’ humanity while both were in the womb) and the birthday of the woman who founded the March for Life, Nellie Gray. Wow!! What a day!! Keep praying!! And enjoy this consultation from Theresa Zoe Williams!
Mama Kaitrin writes in needing help naming identical twin girls!
“Twins are amazing for lots of reasons, but naming twins, you know, means the names have to sound good together etc,! With the impending preemie delivery I’m feeling increased pressure to have names, and I thought your help would be great!”
These babies come after three big brothers, two of whom are also identical twins, and one
sister (in heaven):
Jude Rian (twin)
Cormac Kelly (twin)
Jane Mari (in heaven)
Absolutely stunning names!
Mama Kaitrin says that she likes the way names that start or end in vowels sound with their last name.
“I love Classic names and husband leans more to liking more modern or different names — he loves Maren for example. I don’t dislike, but I love so many before that,” she writes.
These babies also have a lot of powerful intercessors in heaven including St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Anne, St. Clare, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, St. Joan of Arc, and Servant of God Chiara Corbella Petrillo.
Mama Kaitrin says that her husband really really wants one of the babies to have the nickname Tess, so I kept that in mind when putting together this consultation. She writes,
“Last month we felt pretty set on 1. Mary Therese, calling her ‘Tess’/ and 2. Anne Beretta and calling her ‘Etta’ (one of our big intercessor asks this pregnancy has been St. Gianna Beretta Molla, and neither of us love Gianna). I love the sound of Etta Aldridge. sweet and feminine. But I feel Tess and Etta doesn’t sound quite right — maybe even switching the order to Etta and Tess helps my ear a bit, I know that’s funny and strange. But Tess and Rosie sounds cuter to me so I can’t say goodbye to Rose. And is Mary Therese too common? Or does that not matter since we’d be calling her by middle name?”
She also says,
“I definitely don’t want rhymey twin names, but coordinating or stylistically similar would be fun, I think.”
Names they can’t use include: Molly, Maggie, Annie, Anna, Norah, Grace, Camille, and Gianna.
Names they like include: Julia Clare, Mary Alice, Julia Mae, Miriam, Gemma, Beatrice, Vivian, Rose Faustina, Rose Eline, Ruth Eline, Chiara Joan “Joni”, Margot, Bernadette “Etta”, Therese Eline and Miriam Clare, and Mary Therese “Tess” and Anne Beretta “Etta”.
Such great info! So, on to names!
Some thoughts on names they like.
Julia Clare- This is such a sweet combo, I really like it. I think it leans a little different from their boys, which is fine for a girl! I don’t know how much I like this next to a Tess sister, though.
Mary Alice- Classic combo, cannot go wrong here. Clunky cool.
Julia Mae- Same thoughts as Julia Clare. Mae is hot in the middle spot right now, but I love the subtle nod to Mary.
Miriam- Very different from their other children in a good way! I think this really opens them up. I never would have thought to pair her with sister Margot (more on that name below) but I really love it.
Gemma- I love this name, it’s super sweet. Gemma and Tess sound pretty good to me.
Beatrice- Again, a little different from their others. I don’t know how much I like it next to Tess, though; they sound mismatched to me.
Vivian- Same thoughts as Beatrice.
Rose Faustina- I love Rose for them but not sure how I feel about Faustina in the middle. I agree that Rose/Rosie and Tess are super cute together!
Rose Eline- I love all the meaning with this name.
Ruth Eline- Sounds very different from their boys. Ruth and Miriam would make incredible twin sisters, though!
Chiara Joan “Joni”- I like this name a lot and I love that Mama Kaitrin has a fun connection to Joni like her husband did with Cormac. Chiara is pretty different from their boys, though, and I don’t particularly feel like Chiara and Tess go well together.
Margot- Love this name for them! A little different but not enough to feel out of place. Love this with sister Miriam, too. I like this name with Therese but not necessarily with Tess.
Bernadette “Etta”- Love this so much. I love Etta and Tess as sisters, too. Great name.
Therese Eline- Fun name but a lot of Es, especially if they’re pronouncing it Ther-EE-s instead of Tay-REZ.
Miriam Clare- I love this with sister name Therese Eline. I like Therese and Miriam together a lot.
Mary Therese “Tess”- Mama Kaitrin asked if I thought this was pretty common and the answer is, yes, even if they’re going to call her Tess. Now, that shouldn’t necessarily deter them but I do think they’ve got much better names and combos to work with than this.
Anne Beretta “Etta”- I like Etta and Tess together a lot, which is something Mama Kaitrin was worried about. I don’t care for this name with their other children overall, though. It just sounds sort of bland next to everyone else. I think there are better names that can get to Etta that pair better with Therese.
Okay, on to new names! One thing I’m assuming here is that one baby will be Tess. I think they’d be hard pressed to pass on that. It’s a great nickname with wonderful longer forms and it fits in well with their other children. It’s jam-packed with meaning and goodness for their family, too. So I was thinking of names to go with Therese/Tess. I will give some thoughts at the end on full name combos I think would go really well together.
Their sons’ names all lean very Irish/Welsh and even little Jane Mari in heaven has a Welsh name! Well, what name is, arguably, more Irish than Brigid/Bridget? They want a powerful patron for this baby and St. Brigid is certainly a powerhouse. There’s also St. Bridget of Sweden who is incredible. Brigid/Bridget and Tess sound like natural sisters to me and they can tie them together more through their middle names. They could also call this baby Birdie, which reminded me of Rosie, and I love how it sounds with Tess.
Clunky cool is what this name is, just like some of the names on their list. My Irish grandfather once convinced my grandmother to have another baby (she had notoriously high risk pregnancies) by saying, “We haven’t had a Frances yet!” Such a good, strong, solid name for a girl. Nicknames are plenty, but for them my favorites are Fran and Franny, though Frankie is super cute and in right now, too. I love the sound of Tess and Fran together!
3) Elizabeth nn Lily
This one is what I thought would suit both Mama Kaitrin’s and her husband’s styles best. He likes a little more modern and fun while she prefers traditional and classic. Well, I think this strikes that balance. Elizabeth is the most traditional and classic name there is for girls but it’s also been the most steady in the top 100, making it modern, too. What’s great about this name is that it has almost endless nickname potential! Lizzy, Bess, Betsy, Betty, Libby…the list goes on! But one slightly unconventional nickname that I thought they would appreciate is Lily. It gets at the cutesy nickname and flower name like she likes, similar to Rosie, while being fun and unexpected like I’m gathering her husband likes. Elizabeth and Therese are gorgeous sisters and Tess and Lily are so sweet and fun! I think this name is a home run for them.
Okay, some thoughts on whole combos they might like. I noticed in their patrons that they have three little clusters, mostly: Theresas (Calcutta and Lisieux), Claires (Clare and Chiara), and Joans (Joan, Jane, and Gianna). The following suggestions sort of play with these to get all their patrons in and to tie the girls together.
Therese Joan and Frances Clare (Joan and Clare are powerhouses and classic names)
Therese Joan and Elizabeth Gianna (this gives both girls a form of the name Jane to tie them together and to their sister in heaven)
Therese Frances and Elizabeth Clare (I love the pairing and Frances and Clare in the middle to evoke Sts. Francis and Clare, two incredible powerhouses and friends!)
Therese Elizabeth and Bridget/Brigid Joan (Classic but strong)
Therese Joan and Elizabeth Clare (This is my favorite combo)
These are my thoughts! What do you think?
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!