Birth announcement: Benedict Reid!

Longtime Sancta Nomina friend Jenny Uebbing (creator of the Mama Needs Coffee blog and the Off the Charts ministry/membership site designed to support, equip, and educate married couples in their use and knowledge of NFP, and endorser of my book!) has had her baby! When I saw the baby’s name, I was so excited because of my long history with Jenny and names — I had the privilege of doing a consultation for her fourth baby (and birth announcement) and her fifth baby (and birth announcement), and I remembered that this baby’s first name AND middle had been long discussed by Jenny and her hubby as possibilities, but they’d never felt quite right. Of course, it’s because THIS baby was meant to have these amazing names! I’m thrilled to share that Jenny has had her fourth baby boy and gave him the fantastic name … Benedict Reid!

Jenny writes,

Wanted to let you know we had another strapping boy: 9 lbs 14 oz, we’re calling him Benedict Reid for Pope Benedict and my dad (3 generations named Kenneth Reid, wanted to honor his victory over cancer this past year) nn Benny and Big Ben😂.”

I looove it!! My own little Luke has the middle name Benedict in part because we love Pope Benedict so much, and I love the nod to Jenny’s dad in the middle. A super heavy hitting Catholicky Catholic name like Benedict can definitely take a less faithy middle! I think it’s such a great combination!

Congratulations to Jenny and her husband and big sibs Joseph Kolbe, John Paul Francis, Genevieve Therese (Evie), Luke Maximilian, and Zelie Grace, and happy birthday Baby Benedict!!

Benedict Uebbing


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 — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Finnian Agustin!

I posted a consultation for Rosa and her husband back in October for their fifth baby and first boy — I’m thrilled to share that Little Man has arrived and been given the amazing name … Finnian Agustin!

Rosa writes,

Our son was born earlier this week 2.5 hours after we received a blessing from our new Bishop Austin.

After MUCH deliberation/frustration/discernment he finally has a name!

Meet Finnian Agustin.

Finnian after St. Finnian who taught the Apostles of Erin and was friends with St. David of Wales (a nod to David).

Agustin after our new bishop Austin (both diminutives of Augustine). That particular spelling is the Filipino variant (my ethnicity). Saint Augustine is no shabby patron either!

Thank you for all your tips and recommendations!

If you remember, Rosa dearly wanted a way to nod to her beloved Uncle David in her baby’s name — I love that she found a great connection between St. Finnian and St. David! And I love all the meaning of the middle name as well! So many significant layers to this little guy’s name!

Congratulations to Rosa and her husband and big sisters Arabella, Victoria, Jeanne (with Jesus), and Kateri, and happy birthday Baby Finnian!!

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Finnian Agustin


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 — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Ariston Blaise!

I posted a consultation for Moira and her husband back in June for their baby boy, and then I actually did a second round of ideas for them privately a few months later, when they were still having a hard time deciding on a name, but turns out they didn’t need the help because they came up with an amazing name that I’d actually never heard of, and I LOVE it! They named their little guy … Ariston Blaise!

Moira writes,

We chose the name Ariston Blaise. As you know, we had a lot of difficulty finding a name that we both loved and that met our desires for significance. This one kind of found us — we were studying our book, Encyclopedia of Catholic saints put out by Our Sunday Visitor and in going through the A’s, Mike asked me, “what do you think of this one?” It totally surprised me, as it’s not a name I would’ve guessed that he would’ve chosen. We looked him up and he is a bishop/saint, more well-known in the eastern church, who is considered on the level with Saint Basil the Great and St. John Chrysostom. One of his defining characteristics that he excelled in contest against demons. That trait seemed very strong, and a neat connection to Ariston’s dad’s name, Michael. This name has the ending sound I love — vowel with an N — complements his brother’s name, Brendan, and (though it is technically Greek) has a strong, not quite but almost Irishy feel to me.

For the middle name, Blaise, I had throat surgery two months before his conception, and we feel that Ariston is such a gift from God, and is due to his intercession.

So there you have it — two names that were never in the running and we love!

Ariston Blaise!! I’ve found myself saying his name in my head many times since first reading the email, I just love how it sounds, what a cool combo! In addition to the Ariston they read about in the Encyclopedia of Catholic Saints, I also found that it’s the name of a third-century martyr. It’s not everyday I hear a saintly name that I’ve never heard of before — you know Ariston is going in my mental files for future consultations!

Congratulations to Moira and Mike and big sibs Anna, Carol, Brendan, and Natalie, and happy birthday Baby Ariston!!

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Ariston Blaise


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 — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Rosemary Ruth!

I did a consultation for Janelle and her husband a few years ago — one which I’ve referred to many times since, and I can see from my site traffic that it continues to be one of interest to you all! They were looking (ideally) for a first+middle combo that included the name of a theologian plus having a science/nature reference, and they had a pattern in their older children of same first+middle initials, so there were a lot of rules/parameters/hopes to keep in mind — it was so fun to work on! And the name they ended up choosing is fantastic.

Janelle emailed me recently to let me know they’ve since had another baby! Their new little lady has a name that’s just as great and meaningful as her big siblings’ names … Rosemary Ruth!

Janelle writes,

Rosemary Ruth follows our naming rules of nature reference, Bible name or faith meaning, and alliterative first/middle. Rosemary (and various names that can be nn Rosie) has been rising in popularity but it still fits with the generational association of the other girls. We call her Rosie or Rosaroo. The other kids call her Gherkin.”

(Gherkin!! 😂 ❤ )

I appreciate that her name reminds me of my grandmother Marie, who lived a long and faithful life worthy of remembering and emulating, and my mother and my husband’s aunt, whose middle names are also Ruth.”

Isn’t Rosemary Ruth a fantastic combo? I love how it checks off all their boxes, and has family significance as well. Great job!

Congratulations to Janelle and her hubs and big sibs Elanor, Peter, Inessa, and Andrew, and happy birthday Baby Rosemary!!

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Rosemary Ruth


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 — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Baby name consultation: First boy after four girls needs a rare-ish, more unexpected type name

Rosa and her husband are expecting their fifth baby — and first boy!! He joins big sisters:

Arabella Katherine
Victoria Elizabeth
Jeanne Frances (in heaven)
Kateri Gianna

I love these names!! They’re so feminine and beautiful!!

Rosa writes,

We are having the hardest time finding an agreeable name for this little one. I’m desperate! I’m convinced he will never have a name 😂. I’ve taken to calling him Sine Nomine.”

(Sine Nomine! SO BRILLIANT!! I told Rosa that I wish I’d thought of that when I was expecting Luke — as it was, all I came up with was Sanctino, which isn’t even correct!)

Names my husband likes so far are Kieran, Xavier, and Beckett. Unfortunately we have a friends or family who have boys with these names. They are all at least 4 years older than our little man though. [Hubby] just doesn’t love the idea of copying names. I’m also afraid Kieran and Kateri might be too close.

[Hubby] is a HUGE fan of the nickname Ace, so he would concede to Ignatius as a middle name.

I don’t have any names that I am especially turned off by although James and Michael are on the no list for [my husband]. [He] has also said no to the following names that were on my maybe list: David, Kolbe, Fulton, Pius, Leo, Liam, Aquinas (Quin), Thomas, Fin, Augustine (Gus), Wyatt, Casey.

I would love to honor my favorite uncle, David. He just passed away this summer at age 65, may his soul rest in peace. I actually had been calling this little guy David Ignatius since just a few days after I found out I was pregnant, but [husband] has rejected David. Unfortunately David is also my Father’s name and [my husband] has drawn a clear line on namesakes for any of our parents, that means David, Dewitt, Robert, and Edward are also off the table. I have totally failed in finding any David derivatives. I would also love to honor our Blessed Mother. My Birthday is on the Feast of Our Lady of Victory/the Rosary and I have been especially drawn to Mary ever since I was little. My favorite of her titles are Mother of Mercy and Cause of our Joy. The key would be finding names that [my husband] likes, I’ve been drawing blanks on that front too.”

This papa is a tough customer! I enjoyed trying to find names that I thought Rosa would love, that her hubby would be okay with as well. Hopefully our thoughts — yours and mine — are helpful!

Okay, so since they haven’t had any boys yet, I was interested to see what names are on Rosa’s and her husband’s list, to see if they would follow the style of their girls (which I might describe as long and slightly exotic-feeling), or if they would have a totally different style for boy names (as often happens). I think, after seeing their lists, that they retain the “exotic-ness” — or perhaps better described as being on the more rare and unexpected side — with most of them, and then they do have some long ones as well (Aquinas, Augustine). So they’re not terribly different from their girls, which made research a bit easier — I always like to try to find names that fit in well with the older siblings.

I like the names on Mister’s list — Kieran, Xavier, and Beckett are all interesting and somewhat unexpected, and Xavier especially is a good match with their girls’ names. I agree with Rosa that Kieran and Kateri are overly similar — I wouldn’t call it a deal breaker necessarily, but since there are so many other names that could fit the bill, I would encourage them to cross Kieran off the list, or perhaps move it to the middle name spot. If Beckett is off the list, I wonder what Rosa and her hubs would think of Bennett? It’s so similar to Beckett, and it’s a medieval diminutive of Benedict, which gives it a great saintly connection. Actually … I quite like the full Benedict with their girls! I wonder what they would think of Benedict?

I love the nickname Ace too! Ignatius is a great way to get to it; some others that I’ve mentioned on the blog include Aloysius, Athanasius, and Atticus — I particularly like Atticus for this faily, and there are at least two Sts. Atticus. It was also listed as a style match for Arabella, Victoria, and Kateri when entered all together on the Name Matchmaker on babynamewizard.com.

The names from Rosa’s list that feel like the closest style matches to Arabella, Victoria, Jeanne, and Kateri to me are Kolbe, Fulton, Pius, Leo, Aquinas, Thomas, and Augustine (though I like all the names on her list). But what I’d really love to do is find a way for Rosa to have her David Ignatius! I love that combo, I love the meaning, I love how significant it is to her. Some variants of David that might work include:

— Dawson: This is my favorite for them — it means “son of David,” but I wouldn’t let that worry them (the -son name are used out of context of being an actual son all the time: think of popular names Jameson, Emerson, Addison, Madison, etc.) — I would just think of it as a David variant. You all know that I always start a consultation by looking up the names the parents have used and those they like/are considering 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 did so here, and Dawson was actually a specific style match for Colby (standing in for Kolbe, which doesn’t have its own entry), and since it’s a surname it’s also similar in style to Xavier, Beckett, Fulton, Aquinas, and Casey! Dawson Ignatius is very handsome!

According to behindthename.com, Daveth is a Cornish variant of David — I like Daveth! It’s interesting! Daveth Ignatius is pretty amazing.

— Taavi is another David variant — a Finnish one — and I’ve actually had two readers that I did consultations for end up naming their sons Taavi! Check them out here and here.

— Dewey is a Welsh variant of David, and it kind of reminds me of Wyatt, so maybe Rosa would like it? Dewey Ignatius feels kind of retro cool.

Another really cool thing about the David names is that I included David in my book of Marian names because of the Marian title “Tower of David” (as listed in the Litany of Loreto) — Rosa said she’d love to honor our Blessed Mother, so a David name would definitely do it!

Regarding her dear uncle, since her hubby doesn’t want to use his first name, I wonder if Rosa’s uncle’s middle name is an option? Is his last name one that could work as a first name? Did he have a hobby that might lead to a name? Favorite saint? Even favorite ball player or similar? I was also thinking how Jonathan and David were friends in the bible — maybe Jonathan could nod to him in a way Rosa’s husband is okay with? I hope she can figure out a name that ties to her uncle!

As for names that might tie into Our Lady of Victory/Our Lady of the Rosary, Mother of Mercy, and Cause of Our Joy, some that I included in my book are:

— Dominic: St. Dominic is traditionally considered the saint to whom Our Lady gave her rosary, which makes it a great Marian/Rosary name! Another fun tidbit is that Dominic means “of the Lord” and was traditionally given to boys born on Sunday. Very cool! AND Dominic’s actually a style match for Rosa’s girls’ names! I love how long and sophisticated it is. I did a spotlight of Dominic here.

— Rosario: Not only could Rosario honor Our Lady in Rosa’s son’s name, but also herself! Though Rosario is feminine in Spanish, it’s masculine in Italian.

— Royce: Royce is a name I don’t see used too much, but I included it in my book because it’s from a medieval variant of Rose, which makes it Marian and Rosarian (and also a nod to Rosa)! It’s kind of debonair, no?

— Clement: Clement means “merciful” and many of my readers considered it for their babies during the Jubilee Year of Mercy (and other times too! Like this little guy).

— Leeson: If you can believe it, Leeson is an English surname that derives ultimately from the Latin laetitia, meaning “joy,” by way of the common medieval variant of it, Lettice, and its short form, Lece. Causa Nostrae Laetitiae is the Latin for “Cause of Our Joy,” so Leeson is a legit name that can be used for a boy that directly connects to Our Lady, Cause of Our Joy! Lee is an easy nickname, or they could totally use Leo, like from Rosa’s list!

Finally, there are a few names that seem like they’d be good matches for this family, based on my research in the Baby Name Wizard and in the Sibling Project on my blog (Kateri’s entry in the BNW focuses on Native American names as style matches, so I started the Sibling Project to list Catholic style matches for names like Kateri) and the Name Matchmaker on babynamewizard.com.

Based on all that, these are my additional suggestions for Rosa’s little guy:

(1) Sebastian
According to my research, Sebastian is a style match for all of their girls’ names, and it’s long like theirs, so it had to go on the list! Nickname options include Seb and Sebby, Bastian (like in Neverending Story — except Bastian was his given name), Bash (like Grace Patton’s son, brother of the Clement linked to above), and Baz. So many options! I think Ace could be tricked out of it, too, if Rosa’s hubby wanted to do so. St. Sebastian is the patron of athletes, so the Ace nickname could come from that, too.

(2) Tobias
Tobias was listed as a specific match for Arabella as well as Sebastian, which, since Sebastian is a match for all of the big sisters, makes Tobias a pretty good fit I think! I don’t know if you all are familiar with Emily Stimpson Chapman, but her little guy is Tobias who goes by Toby and he’s just the cutest. Even if they don’t care for Toby as a nickname, I love the full Tobias, so handsome!

(3) Felix
I loved that Felix is listed as a style match for Xavier from Rosa’s hubby’s list and Leo from hers! I’ve done birth announcements for two little Felixes — both named Felix Thomas, funny enough! Here and here, in case you want to get a feel for the kind of names Felix would be a brother for.

(4) Cooper or Cupertino
Like Felix, Cooper was a style match for a name from Rosa’s hubby’s list (Beckett) and a name from her list (Colby, standing in for Kolbe), which I love to see! I’ve had a couple of readers consider Cooper in honor of St. Joseph Cupertino (like this one), and I’ve heard of a little boy given the name Cupertino as his first name and called Cooper as a nickname — I love all of these options! For this family, I feel like Cupertino goes best with Arabella, Victoria, Jeanne, and Kateri, whether or not they use the nickname Cooper, but Cooper Ignatius is pretty amazing too!

(5) Cassian (Cash)
It’s funny how my mind works sometimes in regards to names — thinking about Ignatius as a potential middle name for Rosa’s little guy and her hubby’s love of the nickname Ace just reminded me of other nicknames for Ignatius I’ve heard, like Nash … so when I saw Cash listed as a style match for Ace in the BNW I took notice due to its similarity to Nash … And Cash made me think of the name Cassian, for St. John Cassian, which I think is SO handsome! It kind of sounds like Kieran, and it’s a surname like Xavier and Beckett, so hopefully Rosa’s husband won’t hate it! Here’s a birth announcement I did for a little Cassian, I love it.

(6) Maximilian, Milo
Maximilian is a match for Arabella, Victoria, and Xavier, and Max is a match for both Leo and Gus, and Rosa had Kolbe on her list, so I thought Maximilian was a great name to suggest! Max is such a darling nickname as well. However, Milo is also a style match for both Leo and Gus, and I’ve actually suggested Milo or Miles on the blog before as a nickname for Maximilian, and I thought doing something like that would be a little more distinctive — which is definitely how I’d characterize this family’s name taste! A bonus feature is that Miles and Milo have a history in Ireland of being used as the anglicization of the old Irish name Maolmhuire, which means “devotee of the Virgin Mary” — how cool is that?? And actually, for that matter, Maximilian is an entry in my book of Marian names because of St. Maximilian Kolbe and his love for her! Maximilian Daveth is kind of cool … or Milo Dawson … maybe?

(7) Gabriel
Gabriel is a match for the big sisters’ names and also for Xavier. It’s also an entry in my book of Marian names, for the First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel announces to Our Lady that she’s been chosen to be the mother of God’s Son. Great name, great patron saint, great Marian connection!

(8) Blaise
Blaise is much shorter than Arabella, Victoria, and Kateri, but it’s the same length as Jeanne and, like Jeanne, is also French — I like that connection to their little one in heaven! And I think Blaise has the same sophisticated feel as the other girls’ names. I also thought Rosa’s hubby might like it since it sounds like “blaze” which makes me think of “fast and speedy” … a similar kind of sportsy feel as Ace.

(9) Evander, Leander
My last suggestions actually didn’t come from my research, but rather from one of the Taavi’s birth announcements — he has a big brother named Evander and I thought ooh! Could be a good fit for this family! The Ace nickname thing also keeps making me think of sports, and I thought Evander Holyfield might appeal to Rosa’s husband. Then I thought, maybe that’s a bad association? It can be connected to a saint via the name Ivor (behindthename.com says Evander is an anglicized form of Iomhar, which is a Scottish form of Ivor, which is one of the names St. Ibar of Meath is also known as), but Evander also made me think of the (less boxing, more saintly) name Leander, and I quite like that with Rosa’s girls! They could also use Leo from Rosa’s list as a nickname if they wanted to.

And those are all my ideas for Rosa’s little guy! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the little brother of Arabella, Victoria, Jeanne, and Kateri?


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 — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Birth announcement: Theodore Luke!

I posted a consultation for MaryEllen and her husband back in June, and she’s let me know their little boy has arrived and been giving the so-handsome name … Theodore Luke!

MaryEllen writes,

Theodore Luke was born on September 1. Our consultation with you sparked great conversation between [husband] & I.”

I just have to interrupt to say — this is what I hope for! It makes me so so happy that my thoughts/ideas/suggestions helped these parents come up with the name they love!

It was important to me that our son either have Tyler as a middle name or Tyler’s initials. We were drawn to Theodore because it means ‘gift of God’ & we came to discover that there was a St. Theodore who was martyred in the 4th century! Additionally, we were drawn to Luke because he wrote the Gospel where the prayers said during Liturgy of the Hours are drawn from.”

I love all these reasons, and Theodore Luke is SUCH a great combination!

Congratulations to MaryEllen and Tyler, and happy birthday Baby Theodore!!


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 — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Baby name consultation: Third consultation with all new name ideas for little green bean

Happy feast of Our Lady of the Rosary!! It’s such a great feast day!! (I have a bunch of names for this title of hers in my book, including Rosary itself — like this little lady!)

Today’s consultation is for a repeat customer! My friend Amy has been one of my longest readers and has contributed so much to my knowledge of the beautiful names of our faith through her comments on posts and emails to me over the years — in fact, I included one of her name ideas, Marian Fiat, in my book! I had the great privilege of doing a consultation for her second baby (and birth announcement) and a consultation for her third baby (and birth announcement), and I posted her explanation of how name signs are bestowed for those who use American Sign Language, and now I’m delighted to post this consultation for her fourth baby on earth, a little green bean!

This little joins big sibs:

Kristy Marie (after Jesus and Mary, with honor to God first in the firstborn)
Martin Kane II (goes by Kane)
Molly Victoria (speaking of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary — it used be known as the feast of Our Lady of Victory, and Amy loves that Molly’s middle name can also be for Our Lady of Victory!)
Joey Angel (died almost exactly a year ago at 9 weeks, miscarried at 11 weeks)

I love each one of these names and the reasons behind them, which Amy explained in her previous posts — she and her hubby have done an amazing job!!

Amy writes,

So we have a lot of hard hitting bases covered. Named after God, Mary, a saint, family, people we want honor/emulate, etc. So I feel like we are starting into territory that we may have more freedom to just pick something we like. However, I still really like having a name that has deep significance. In general, I feel like I have more criteria ideas than actual name ideas. But here is what I have so far.

For both a boy name and a girl name:

— I don’t want to start with a K or a hard C sound (like Catherine)

— After K, K, M, doing another K would leave Molly out and set us up for a pattern I don’t really want (all or a lot of Ks). I want to move away from it.

— I might want to avoid a y ending

— This is kind of opposite of the 1st criteria — Kane is pretty much the only one without a y ending (Marty, Amy, Kristy, Molly, Joey, even the dog Lucy). It would be nice to move away from this pattern too.

— Maybe start with M or A or even a J?

— Kristy and Kane, Molly and M____ have a nice ring. Or even teams on the initials — Kristy/Kane, Marty/Molly, Amy/A___. Or subtle, almost hidden patterns with the initials – K, K, M, M, J, J (Kristy Kane Martin Molly Joey J___)

— Normal/common/familiar name and spelling, that is not popular or rising in popularity. I like unique names and spellings! Plus the whole point of a name is to distinguish one person from another! But… I don’t want it to be a burden. I don’t want negative reactions to them (You named them what? Seriously? That is a weird name. etc.), always needing to correct people or spell it for them or being difficult for others to pronounce, and I don’t want them to be one of 4 kids in the same class/grade with the same name saddled with their last initial (Emma A. Emma B.). Besides I think I have seen research that shows people with more common names generally have better luck, they are hired more easily or considered for promotion more, taken more seriously, etc. I think try avoid top 100, maybe 200. In addition to this, we accidentally picked names that we realized have multiple spelling options (in Kristy and Kane, even Molly) and I don’t like how people can get them wrong.

— No gender neutral names — I reserve these for miscarried babies that we don’t know gender … It is similar to the familiar criteria point — I want it easier for my kid, not making people wonder or assume when they see the name in print if it matches the person (substitute at school: Jordan? Is he here today? No SHE is not)

— I tend to want a name you almost can’t nickname. I know this one makes you a bit sad 😉 But I want my babies to be called what we named them, that is why we picked that name. Granted, we kind of do this with Kane. Technically his first name is Martin and I am always correcting people like doctor’s offices and it’s a pain (breaking the common criteria point).

— My husband sent me an article where he found the patron saint of handgunners (Italian guy). We have never really considered patron saints before. That might be a good idea! I am a teacher of the deaf (and deaf myself), husband is a gunsmith and kung fu instructor. I don’t know if you would find anything down those lines… 🙂

For a boy name:

— Clearly masculine. Goes with the gender neutral point. A strong name, not soft

— [Husband] considers Craig for a middle, and maybe Adam Craig, after his dad Martin Craig, who goes by Craig. And sort of his brother, Andrew Craig. Plus we seem to have Craigs in the family — “gotta have it!” But I feel like we already named after his dad in Kane. However, I probably don’t mind it being in the more hidden middle spot. Besides he is a great man. The Adam Craig idea he came up with combining our 2 brothers (mine is Adam James) and makes for a cool nickname (ACE) from the initials, plus goes with the A initial criteria idea. 

— I have always considered Lincoln for a middle. It was my grandpa’s name on my mom’s side (Donald Lincoln) and I just think it sounds cool. Not sure I like it enough for the first name spot or if it matches our others for a first name plus it is rising in popularity pretty quick from what I see.

— James or Magnus? We considered James Magnus in the hospital with Kane and wanted to call him Magnus. Has the M or the J from the initial criteria point. James is my dad (and hero), but we already named after my mom (Vicky) in Molly … maybe a middle? There is already a James at the baby sitters. Magnus is strong, but is it too unfamiliar? Not sure if husband still likes this idea (he was the one who brought up Magnus before).

For a girl name:

— Clearly feminine. Goes with the gender neutral point. A pretty name. 

— I have always had Marian Fiat on my list, is it still there?? For reasons you know. Although, I am not feeling as strong about it this time around. But is still just so awesome! Fits the M criteria idea.

— Some form of Nell? After a dearly beloved person — Lynelle. She was my aunt, Godmother, confirmation sponsor, confidant, maid of honor and Kristy’s Godmother who passed away just after Christmas a few years ago. We called her Nellie … I would love to find a way to name after her, maybe in a middle spot? She was just so special to me and never had children of her own (although I gave her Joey). Husband isn’t feeling it (Nell).

— A form of Mary in there somewhere? Pretty sure you can help me out in this realm 😉 Both our girls have a form of Mary, might be fun to continue the trend if a girl, even if it isn’t obvious. Marian would tick that box

 

I liked how Amy said that they’ve already covered “a lot of hard hitting bases” and now she feels like they might have more freedom to pick something they like. But then again, Amy said she likes having names with deep significance, and that’s something I kept coming to as well — I feel like she wouldn’t be content with a name that merely fits her style, she’ll want it to have layers of meaning like her other kids’ names do. So that made it an extra challenge for me, and affected my strategy: I basically looked for names that seemed like they’d fit Amy and her hubby’s style and that start with M, J, or A and don’t end in the y sound (and that were Marian, for a girl), and then I tried to backfit meaning into them. It’s not a bad strategy — I’ve used it when naming my own kids — hopefully it works well in terms of offering Amy ideas that she likes!

I also loved that Amy stated that she likes unique names and spellings — good for her to just own it! But I also love that she acknowledges that choosing unique names/spellings could be hard for one’s child. I think she has a great, balanced mindset here.

I laughed when Amy said she’d prefer a name that can’t be nicknamed, and then followed it with “I know this one makes you a bit sad”! Haha! Well, you all know I do love a good nickname, but if parents prefer no nicknames, that’s fine with me! I only ever want to help parents find names *they* like, no matter what I think.

As for the names Amy and her hubs are considering:

— I like Adam Craig for all the positive reasons Amy listed, but if she doesn’t love it then I think it should be crossed off the list, in order to help them whittle it down.

— I loved James Magnus when Amy was pregnant with Molly, and I can see it having extra significance this time around, with the J matching up with Joey’s initial and the M with Molly’s — especially if he went by his middle name, like Kane does. Then they’d have Kristy, Kane, Molly, and Magnus, which has a really pleasing rhythm. If James is problematic, though, because popularity/there’s a James at the babysitter’s/they already honored Amy’s parents with her mom’s name as Molly’s middle, maybe a different J name? I have some ideas below.

— I love the name Lincoln anyway, and the fact that it’s a family name for Amy is so great! As she noted, it has had a pretty steep rise in popularity and at no. 40 is far more popular than what Amy said she’d like. But as a middle name I think it’s perfect — unexpected and so cool.

— I still love Marian Fiat! I just love that it makes a phrase, while still being a name, you know? But maybe a different Marian name in the first name spot would be enough to freshen it up for Amy?

— I love Amy’s idea of honoring her Lynelle, and using Nell as the way to do so is a great idea. Some names that take Nell as a nickname or are contained within the name include Helen, Helena, Elena, Eleanor (which Amy had said in one of the previous consultations that her dad had suggested, along with Ellison), Ellen, and Elizabeth — in fact, “Nell” is a traditional nickname for any name beginning with El, as people used to say “mine El,” which shifted to “my Nell.” I remember from Molly’s consultation that Amy had a friend named Ellen who’d passed away, and Marty’s mom’s middle name is Ellen, and Amy also mentioned maybe Elizabeth for her Grandma Betty — Ellen or Elizabeth could be perfect candidates for middle names for all those reasons. I also came across Antonella and Marinella — both are Italian names, with the former being a feminine form of Anthony and the latter an elaboration of Marina. And Marianella is the name of the Italian town where St. Alphonsus Liguori was born. These three names seem bigger than what Amy would like as a first name, but they’d be great in the middle spot; additionally, Amy said in the past she might like a nod to her Italian heritage, and these would certainly do it! Both Marinella and Marianella would include the Marian element, and they’re also both similar to Marielle, which Amy had previously said Marty had suggested when she was pregnant with Kristy.

I spent quite a bit of time looking back at the consultations for Kane and Molly and the comments on the posts as well, and wanted to be sure to mention the following names as ones I think Amy and her hubs might like to revisit (some are ideas Amy mentioned before, and some are ones I previously suggested that I still think are good ideas):

— Alice or Elise: Amy had mentioned considering Alice for Kristy and the Spanish pronunciation ah-LEES — I like that Alice starts with an A, like Amy’s name and Joey’s middle, and I like that Elise is one of those El names that Nell could be a nickname for and has that same pronunciation as the Spanish Alice. Elise is a French form of Elizabeth, so that could be for Grandma Betty too.

— Samuel: I love the name Samuel, and the story of Hannah and Samuel in the bible is a great one of a mother longing for a baby and having her prayer answered — it might be particularly meaningful after the loss of Joey. Additionally, Amy said she might like to work gunsmith info into the name — Samuel Colt is the guy for whom the firearm company is named, so Samuel could be a subtle but real nod to Marty’s profession!

— Vincent: I really like Vincent for them, as it has that Italian feel, and Amy had mentioned previously that they were close to a priest named Fr. Vince.

— Mandy: My favorite suggestion for Kane if he’d been a girl was Amanda Victoria — that was when Amy was thinking of AVE initials. I thought Mandy was a great fit as Kristy’s sister, and I continue to think it’s a great fit for Kristy, Kane, and Molly’s sister. The full Amanda means “beloved,” which is awesome — and is the same meaning as Amy’s name! — and Mandy also retains that meaning. I’m including Mandy here instead of Amanda because Amy doesn’t want a nicknameable name, if possible, and the M of Mandy fits with her hope for an A, J, or M name. I know it ends in Y, but they could use Manda instead if they prefer?

— Joanna/Johanna, Gianna: I’d previously suggested Joanna, and Amy said she prefers Johanna — I like them both! They’re J names, which fits what Amy’s looking for; they’re variants of John, which is Amy’s dad’s middle name; and they can nod to Marty’s grandmother Joan! I do wonder thought if the Jo- sound is too similar to Joey’s? Amy had also previously said she likes the name Gianna; while it doesn’t have the J initial, it does have the J sound, and it’s the Italian variant of Joanna/Johanna, and gets away from the possibly problematic Jo- sound, so it might be perfect!

— Jason: I suggested Jason for Kane and Amy didn’t love it then, but I continue to think it fits well with her other kids’ names, and I love that it’s biblical too. I know Amy doesn’t want nicknames, but Jay is a great one. (Ooh — I wonder if they would consider Jay as a given name?? I like that!!)

— Amelie, Emily, Amelia: A reader suggested Amelie for Molly, which Amy said she likes, and she also said she likes Amelia, as it could be a tribute to her, and Emily was a name that Amy had listed as a possibility in the past as well. Of these, only Amelia doesn’t end in the Y sound — it’s a beautiful A name!

— Jenna, Jemma: This was actually on my list of names to suggest this time around, and then I saw that Kristy’s favorite name for when Amy was pregnant with Molly (I think) was Jenna from Balto! Haha! I think it would be worth considering — it begins with a J and doesn’t end in a Y, I like it! Similarly, I’d suggested Gemma for them in the past, which Amy didn’t care for, but I thought maybe she’d changed her mind, especially if they spell it Jemma, so as to get that J in there.

— Calabria nn Callie: This was a name Amy had emailed me about outside of the previous consultations, which is an amazing name connected to her Italian heritage — I loved that she was considering it last time, and wondered if she still is? I love Callie with her kids’ names too, but is it too similar to Molly? And it begins with that hard K sound, so it’s probably off the table (at least for now), right?

Alrighty, on to new ideas! Coming up with new ideas was hard! Having done it twice already with similar criteria, I was starting to feel like I had nothing new to offer! But I came up with a few ideas that I’m kind of excited about:

Girl
(1) Justine (or Justina)
Justine is the name I’m most excited about for Amy and her hubs! I knew both a little Justina and a little Justine when I was younger and they were so darling, so I have all good associations with these otherwise pretty rare names (Justine dropped out of the top 1000 in 2009 and Justina dropped out in 2000). Of the two, Justine is my favorite for this family because it’s two syllables, like Kristy and Molly (kind of nice for sisters to share that! Thought certainly not necessary), and doesn’t have a natural nickname as far as I know. It begins with a J, has a great meaning (“just”), and there are actually several saints named Justina, who of course would be patron for a Justine. If they prefer Justina though, I love that too!

(2) Jillian (or Jill?)
For some of my research, I just perused the A, M, and J sections of the Baby Name Wizard to see if anything jumped out at me, and Jillian did! It’s actually a variant of Julian, which is where a patron saint would come from, but I think stylistically more the kind of name Amy would like. I’m hearing it a bit more here and there—Kristin from One Hail Mary at a Time named her baby Jillian Rose, for one example—but it ranked no. 735 in 2018 and is dropping. Lillian and Vivian were two names that did well for this family in my research, but I thought they were more popular than Amy would like — Jillian has their sounds without their popularity. Even as I write this though, I’m thinking Jill might be even more Amy’s style — not only does it have the same patron saint options as Jillian, but it dropped out of the top 1000 in 2001, which I know she’ll like!

(3) Maeve
This is another name that jumped out at me as I was looking through the BNW, because it begins with an M, because it’s one syllable (which I thought Amy might like, as a complement to Kane), because it has the long A sound like Amy and Kane, and because its meaning, given by Baby Names of Ireland as “the cause of great joy,” is why I included it in my book (because of Our Lady’s title “Cause of Our Joy”) — it seemed like the perfect meaning after the loss of Joey. It was no. 334 in 2018, so it fits Amy’s criteria of not in the top 100 or even 200.

(4) Megan
Kristy, Molly, and Megan seem like such perfect sister names to me — Megan was yet another one that jumped out at me. It was no. 545 in 2018 and is dropping, which makes it great popularity-wise for them, and it’s a form of Margaret, which is where the patron saint would come from. I think it’s a great option!

(5) Emilia
I didn’t include this with the Amelie/Emily/Amelia names above because I didn’t want it to get lost, and I don’t think we discussed it before. Emilia’s the Italian variant of Emily, and sounds like Amelia, I thought Amy might like it! It’s also John Paul’s mom’s name!

(6) Tess or Tessa
I know Tess and Tessa don’t start with the desired A, M, or J, but I really like them with Kristy, Kane, and Molly, so I thought I’d include them anyway, just in case. I like that Tess is one syllable, like Kane, and that Tessa is two syllables, like Kristy and Molly, and that neither one end in the Y sound. They’re derived from Theresa, so any of the holy Theresas can be patron.

(7) Barbara
I’m not sure if I think Amy will like Barbara or not, but St. Barbara is the patron of ammunition workers, artillerymen, and gunners, so I thought she might like to consider it, since she said she and Marty might like to consider patron saints of gunsmiths. Kendra Tierney just named her baby girl Barbara Josephine, and it’s actually never been out of the top 1000, though it’s at its all-time low right now at no. 930. Could be perfect for this family! If not as a first name, maybe as a middle?

(8) Mercy
My last girl idea for Amy and her hubs is Mercy, another one of the names that jumped out at me during my research because it begins with M and it’s got such great faith connections (Our Lady of Mercy, Divine Mercy). I know it ends in Y, and it’s a bit unusual for a first name, but not unheard of (Mercy and its variants were big among the Sancta Nomina families during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, for example).

Boy
(1) Jacoby (or Jake)
One of the things that constantly stymied me when I was compiling the list of names that I thought Amy might like was popularity — so many times I’d think I’ve found a perfect name, only to discover it’s way more popular than she’d like. Jacoby was actually inspired by Amy’s previous idea of James Magnus and how James would be for her dad, but even though in the James Magnus scenario they were intending to call him Magnus, I still thought Amy’s dad was good inspiration. I actually loved the idea of Jamie for this family, except that Amy said she wanted gender-specific names. James is way too popular, at no. 4, but its Hebrew counterpart Jacob only dropped out of the top ten in 2017 after years at no. 1, so that didn’t seem a good idea. Then I saw Jacoby in my research and thought maybe? It ends in Y unfortunately, but otherwise I think it’s pretty cool and unexpected. Or maybe they’d like just Jake as a given name? I love Jake, love love love, and as a given name it’s only no. 262.

(2) Justin
Justin is a pretty big style match for this family, and St. Justin Martyr is pretty cool. Whether they prefer Justine/a for a girl or Justin for a boy, I like this family of name for them!

(3) Phillip
Philip is a style match for Martin, and even though Kane doesn’t go by his first name, I still thought it would be interesting to include a Martin match. I love Philip! St. Philip Neri is pretty awesome. Then, when I was looking back at mine and Amy’s emails and the other consultations I did for her, I saw that Phillip is a relative’s name — a grandfather’s name, I believe. I also liked that PJ is a family nickname for Amy — maybe something like Phillip James for the grandfather and Amy’s dad would be perfect, with that extra nod to Amy herself?

(4) Gabriel (or Gabe?)
Amy said Marty told her about the patron saint of handgunners, and after doing some research I think he must have discovered St. Gabriel Possenti, also known as St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. As far as I can tell, he’s not actually the patron saint of handgunners — there’s been a push to have him so named, but the Church has not complied — but he’s a great saint regardless! The connection to Our Lady of Sorrows might be a nice nod to Joey, I really like that. I love the name Gabriel and think it could work with Kristy, Kane, and Molly, but if they wanted to use just Gabe, I actually like that too! Kristy, Kane, Molly, and Gabe … I like that Gabe is one syllable like Kane and has that long A like Kane and Amy.

(5) Francis (Frank?)
In addition to handgunners/gunsmiths (and kung fu or martial arts, neither of which I could find patron saints for), Amy also asked about patron saints of the deaf  — there are a few, with St. Francis de Sales being the most well known I think. AND the birth name of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows is Francis Possenti! Two for one patron saints! They could certainly use Francis as a first or a middle, but maybe Frank is more their speed?

(6) Jay
Finally, I know I mentioned this above, but I wanted to mention it again so it doesn’t get lost in the conversation: The more I think about it, the more I like the name Jay for this family! I like that it’s one syllable like Kane, with the long A like Kane and Amy. There’s no possible nickname, and though it ends in Y it doesn’t end in the Y sound. It can cover all the J-named people they might like to honor too!

And those are all my ideas for Amy’s little one! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for the little brother or sister of Kristy, Kane, Molly, and Joey, taking into account all the things Amy both likes and dislikes?


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 — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!