Birth announcement: Eloise Josephine!

Becca’s consultation was the first of the five I opened up for January, and when I posted it, she was expecting the baby any day — her first girl after four boys! I was so excited to hear from her that she and her husband had given their daughter the long-loved and beautiful name … Eloise Josephine!

As Becca had said in the consultation, “I swore if I would have a girl I would name her Eloise. So this whole pregnancy I’ve pretty much been trying to find a middle name that I like with Eloise but I can’t seem to find ‘the one’” — I’m so happy that she did! Eloise Josephine is absolutely gorgeous!

Congratulations to Becca and her husband and big brothers Henry, Theodore, Everett, and Oliver, and happy birthday Baby Eloise!!


I’m back on hiatus from doing consultations (though check back from time to time, as I hope to open up a few spots here and there as I’m able), 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!

New CatholicMom article, and info on Chinese and Japanese names

Happy Thursday everyone! A few things of interest today:

My January CatholicMom article is up! “Naming Your Baby After St. Joseph” was informed by a couple of blog posts I did recently to help expectant parents (and Confirmation candidates?) work St. Joseph into their babies’ names (or their own) during this year devoted to him.

Please share with anyone who think might be interested!

And I read two interesting articles recently:

Why 1.2 billion people share the same 100 surnames in China” on CNN.com. I was surprised to find that, though language and limited racial diversity play a role, technology is actually a huge reason why there are, currently, as few surnames in China as there are:

“… people with rare characters in their names, which aren’t compatible with existing computer systems, can get left behind — pushing many to change their names for the sake of convenience, even if it means abandoning centuries of heritage and language.”

“Abandoning centuries of heritage and language” is such a painful thing to read!

And there was this, which I found shocking:

Japan asked the international media to change how we write their names. No one listened” (also on CNN). I’m amazed that in this day and age, when there is more sensitivity than ever to one’s personal preferences about his or her name (whether it’s one’s given name, or a new name chosen later on), and that aside from names, cultural insensitivity is completely unacceptable, English-language media sources are refusing to switch to writing Japanese names with the surname first, as is their local custom and request.

For now, most media outlets are unwilling to make a change if no one else is, creating an inertia loop whereby inaction begets inaction. CNN Business could not find any major publication which refers to the Japanese prime minister as “Abe Shinzo,” and no outlet which responded to a request for comment suggested such a switch was imminent.”

There are some other factors at play — like the fact that Japan itself switched to the Western style of “family name (surname) last” in the late 19th century when communicating in English — but even still, wow.


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) — perfect for the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!

Names for St. Joseph

A few people have asked for help in coming up with ways to honor St. Joseph (beyond the obvious), which is a fun topic to pursue! I’ve spent quite a bit of time brainstorming and researching, and yet I feel like there must be more ideas out there, so please add yours in the comments! This is what I came up with:

In an article I wrote for CatholicMom a few Christmases ago entitled “Holy Family Names for Christmastime Babies,” I wrote:

Names in [St. Joseph’s] honor for boys include, of course, Joseph, and its variants in other languages, such as Josef and Jozef, Giuseppe, José, and Joosep. Several of the non-English diminutives and short forms are intriguing as well, including Pepe, Seppel, and Zef.

The feminine Josephine is currently popular, but other options for girls include Josephina, Josepha or Josefa, Josée, and Giuseppa, with the sweet diminutives and nicknames Josie, Posy, Josette, Josiane, Pina, and even Fifi.

In Matthew 1:19, we’re told that Joseph was a ‘just man,’ so Justin, Justus, and Justine or Justina could also work as honor names for him.”

There are a whole bunch of other variants listed at Behind the Name that you might like to peruse. Beyond the names related to Joseph itself or to his reputation as a “just man” are names related to the symbols associated with him, like:

  • The Lily names, since St. Joseph is often portrayed with a lily because of his chastity
  • Branch, as one of his symbols is a branch (see my post on Longmire for an example of Branch as a given name)
  • Carpenter, as he was a carpenter and is represented by a carpenter’s square specifically and carpenter’s tools in general. I’ve never heard of Carpenter as a first name, but it’s not really different from other occupation names like Mason, Taylor, and Carter, right? Maybe with Cap as a nickname?
  • Callixtus, which is a Callistus variant that may have been influenced by calix, which is Latin for “wine cup” and is where our “chalice” comes from — one of St. Joseph’s symbols is a chalice. (My spotlight on Callixtus here)
  • Cruz or Croix or other “cross” names, as the cross is one of his symbols.
  • Agnes, as a lamb is one of his symbols and agnus — Latin for “lamb” — is visually similar to Agnes
  • Rod (Roderick, Rodney, or any name that could nickname to Rod, or maybe ROD initials), as a rod is one of St. Joseph’s symbols

Aside from his symbols, perhaps also:

  • Stone, as CatholicSaints.info noted that he was a “Builder by trade; traditionally a carpenter, but may have been a stone worker”
  • David, since he’s a descendant of the house of David
  • Foster, since we refer to him as Jesus’ foster father

And the lovely Litany to St. Joseph offers these ideas:

  • Lucy, Lucia, Luz, Lux for his title Light of the Patriarchs
  • Chastity, for his chastity and his title Chaste Guardian of the Virgin
  • Prudence, as he’s prudent
  • Valiant, as he’s valiant
  • Faith, because he’s faithful
  • Patience, for his title Mirror of Patience
  • Glory, Gloria for his title Glory of Family Life
  • Pilar, for his title Pillar of Families
  • Consolata, for his title Consolation of the Afflicted
  • Hope, for his title Hope of the Sick

I also looked through A Dictionary of English Surnames (affiliate link) and found this:

Pretty cool!

I’ve been too-long delayed in getting this posted, so I haven’t gone through these prayers listed on CatholicSaints.info, but they may have some good ideas as well:

What ideas can you all add to the wonderful desire to honor our good St. Joseph in a baby’s name?


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) — perfect for the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!

Birth announcement: Peter Joseph!

Be sure to read the previous post — some fun things brewing in this month of Our Lady!

I’ve done a bunch of posts for Dwija from House Unseen, Life Unscripted, including a consultation for baby no. 8, then another consultation for baby no. 8 (so fun!), then a prayer request for that baby, then a name announcement, and a birth announcement. Baby no. 8 had lots of Sancta Nomina love! I’m delighted to now share that Dwija’s had baby no. 9 — a little boy, given the so-handsome (and feastday-appropriate for today’s feast of St. Joseph the Worker!) name … Peter Joseph!

Dwija writes,

We actually broke one of my naming ‘rules’ because we already have a P name (Paul). But when we saw his ultrasound photo, I had to agree with my husband that he was a Peter 😅. Peter is also a family name and fits well with our other kids. His middle name, Joseph, is not a family name, but my husband has developed a special devotion to St. Joseph recently. Also, he was born on the Feast of the Presentation, we liked the connection to Joseph and Mary presenting Jesus in the temple.”

I love all of this! It’s so fun hearing about someone breaking their name rules upon encountering the perfect name — only a very special name can do that! And of course I love the connection to St. Joseph, both through Dwija’s hubby’s devotion and through the feast day Peter was born on. Well done!

Congratulations to Dwija and her hubs and big sibs Kathryn Marisol (Katie), Elizabeth Anne (Lizzie), Paul Anthony, Cecilia Jean (Ceci), Mary Isabel, Nicholas Robert (with Jesus), John Charles (Charlie), and Helen Margaret, and happy birthday Baby Peter!! (Check out his sweet face on Dwija’s Instagram!)


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 the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!

It’s May! (Baby name consultations are now open!)

Happy May! Month of Our Lady! Feast of St. Joseph the Worker! (Which was instituted as a counter to the Communists’ “May Day,” as my historian friend shared with me today. Did you know that? I didn’t! How cool!)

Being that this is the month of Our Lady, I have a few goodies for you all! First up: I’m reopening baby name consultations! Details, including cost info, are here.

I’m also dedicating my site and its associated social media to Our Lady. We’ve been under the patroness of good St. Anne for so long, which is so wonderful and isn’t changing, but Mother Mary needs an official shout-out! (I mean, beyond alllll the Marian posts and of course my book of Marian names!) I’m adding wording to this effect under my roses (under my menu, to the right).

Be sure to check in frequently during the month for other fun things I have planned! (I’ll also be posting a birth announcement later this evening!)


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 the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!