Happy Monday, everyone! There are some great feast days today: St. Marianne Cope, who was from Syracuse, NY, which is just a couple hours from me; the Espousal of the Virgin Mary (how beautiful!); and Abel the Patriarch (at least one Sancta Nomina family as an Abel!), among others. We also have a snow day here — my boys are outside building snowmen and forts as I type this and my mom sent over some brownies, which we’ll have when the boys come in. And now I’m sharing a baby name consultation with you! What a nice day! 🙂
Elise and her husband are expecting baby number two — a little green bean 🌱 (gender unknown)! This wee babe joins big sister:
Isn’t that just so beautiful??
“We aren’t finding out the baby’s gender until birth (we did the same with my daughter). Our daughter’s name is Felicity Hope. She was born screaming and sputtering and I remember distinctly saying to my husband ‘but she’s so mad — Felicity means happiness!’ when he suggested Felicity. But it is 100% perfect for her as she has been the sweetest and most happy-go-lucky girl since. We can’t imagine her with any other name. We like that it is a recognizable name but not common. I also love that she gets to hear her name in mass on occasion 🙂
We feel like we hit the jackpot on her name and are in a bit of a conundrum with this next baby. We are hoping for a name that again is easily recognizable but not common. One of my pet peeves growing up was getting called ‘Elsie’ so hopefully we can avoid a name that would be easily mispronounced as well. We both come from large families (I’m one of 5 with a close extended family and my husband is one of 12) so that makes it tricky for repeat names.
Whatever first name we go with we are certain 100% that if we have a boy his middle name will be Wayne (after my father). My due date is 3/22 — which is right around 3/19 St Joseph’s feast day which will be the 9th anniversary of my father’s death.
It’s funny because the top boy names we had while pregnant with Felicity are still on our list but our new frontrunner is Gilbert. It seems to fit with our recognizable yet not common name. (funny fact which we noticed when hanging stockings is that thus far our family members, including our dogs, have the beginning initials of B (bear), C (Copper), D (Daniel), E (Elise) and F (Felicity) and our last name [begins with an H] — so G (Gilbert) would be the next letter in the sequence)
Here’s a list of names we considered for Felicity if she had been a boy/ names we have been considering:
Arthur — we have since had a nephew named Archer born so maybe too close
Edmund — I still really like this one Edward is a family name on my side and Edsko is a family name on my husband’s so this is like a compromised variation
Ambrose — my husband isn’t a fan so likely not
Our girl list (some are names we considered for Felicity others are newer ones)
Florence — right now this seems to be our favorite. But we didn’t know if having two F girls would be too much/ too similar. We call Felicity Flissy and I’m thinking we would likely nn Florence to something like Flora (though I think Wren would be cute too).
Lucy — this is also a favorite and almost was Felicity’s name however it’s a little too popular we feel. I think it’s a cute name (also part of the canon) so maybe a variation? Had considered something like Lucinda but not sure. I liked the nn Lulu so could work with Lucy or a name similar
Lillian — Lily would fit with St Joseph’s feast day but again maybe too common of a name
Iris — a new one my husband likes but I’m not 100% on board yet
Middle name likely Rose (same as mine) or Ann (family name on both sides)
Names we like but probably wouldn’t use:
James — though not really loving this like we had
Gideon — my husband doesn’t care for this much
Rilian — from Chronicles of Narnia though may be too out there
I liked Josephine — a nod to St Joseph if baby was born on 3/19 — though it is a middle name of a niece and I’m not sure the parents would be fans of us using it as a first name
Camille — my husband isn’t a fan of this anymore
Eloise — I liked it bc it’s similar to my name but it’s been pretty popular lately and my husband has a nickname mental block
Cora — love this name but my husband not so much
Vera — I like this one but same as above“
I love all this! I, too, love that Felicity is “a recognizable name but not common” and I totally get that Elise and her hubby feel like they “hit the jackpot on her name”! I also love Felicity paired with Hope — unexpected and beautiful! Great, great job!!
As for the names they’ve discussed/are considering, here are my thoughts, in case they’re helpful:
- How meaningful that Elise is due right near St. Joseph’s feast day, which is also the anniversary of her dad’s passing! I’m guessing Joseph Wayne isn’t their favorite idea, but I love all the significance that combo would hold … If they like that idea but it’s not feeling sparkly enough for them, maybe an unusual nickname for Joseph? OR — even better — I found some cool, unusual variants that I’m including in my list of official suggestions below!
- Gilbert: Ahhh I love that this is their top boy name!! Of course I love Gilbert Blythe and G.K. Chesterton, and it’s definitely a “recognizable yet not common” name. It also swings their whole vibe to a distinctly British one in my mind, which I love! I also love that a G name would be the next in their sequence — those kinds of patterns are so fun if they can work out!
- Arthur: This feels very similar to Gilbert to me, nice.
- Ephram: This is one of those names I have a hard time pinning down … it has kind of a sophisticated feel to me, which goes along with the British vibe.
- Edmund: I like the idea of trying to come up with a compromise name between Edward from Elise’s side and Edsko from hubby’s, and Edmund seems great.
- Dominic: Elise didn’t comment on it, so I’m thinking it’s not a favorite? I do love it though! Felicity and Dominic are a pretty amazing pair.
- Ambrose: I love that Ambrose fits with their British-y feel and also with the Catholicky Catholic side! And really, Edmund and Dominic do too.
- Florence: I was surprised that Florence is their top name! It’s a great name, but I would have thought of it as having a different feel than Felicity. That doesn’t have to be a problem though! I’d much rather they choose names they love! I like Flora a lot — in fact, I would have thought of Flora as Felicity’s sister quicker than Florence. Wren is cute too! As for the two F’s, I wouldn’t worry about that — I would say three in a row makes a pattern that might be weird to break, but otherwise no big deal.
- Ester: Est(h)er reminds me of Ephram with its Old Testament-ness, and I’ve always loved that Esther was a queen — so nice for a little girl!
- Lucy: Ohh yes, I love Lucy for this family! I wonder if they’ve considered Lucia as a longer name? Or, since Elise mentioned Eloise, one of my favorite offbeat ideas to get to Lucy is Louisa with the nickname Lucy — maybe that? Felicity and Louisa, Flissy and Lucy?
- Lillian: The Lily names were what my mind went to as well when Elise mentioned being due near the feast of St. Joseph, but they certainly are popular. Lilia is a variant I don’t see too much, if that helps. Also, any of the Lucy names could work as a nod to St. Joseph because of his title Light of the Patriarchs!
- Iris: I’m so interested that Elise’s husband likes this but that she isn’t sure yet! In my experience, husbands don’t tend to be the ones that like fresher, less expected options! Grace Patton has an Iris, if that helps.
- Middle names of Rose and Ann: Lovely.
- James: For some reason, James feels very British to me! I can totally see them liking it.
- Gideon: Gideon has long been a favorite of mine! Funny, though, that they have both Gilbert and Gideon on their list — when the actor who played Gilbert Blythe died in 2015, I posted about the nickname Gil and since Gilbert isn’t my personal style, I’d come up with other ideas to get to Gil — Gideon Louis was a combo I liked!
- Rilian: Gilbert, Gideon, Rilian, and Lillian are kind of all swirling around a similar sound family, so it makes sense to me that Elise and her hubby like them all. If William wasn’t so very familiar, I wonder if they would like it? What about Maximilian? I have another idea below in my list of official suggestions that’s inspired by these three as well.
- Camille: I’d love for both parents to love the name they choose, so if either of them aren’t on board with a name, I’d definitely shelve it for now.
- Eloise: See my comments above re: Lucy.
- Cora, Vera: These are great names, and since Elise likes them but hubby doesn’t, I included some ideas below inspired by them that might do the trick instead.
So I think they have a lot of great ideas!! But of course I can always come up with more. 😉
You might have seen from other recent consultations I posted that my trusty Baby Name Wizard is seeming increasingly out of date, but I did look up the names Elise and her hubs like in it to be sure I was on the right path. I also took a look at a few posts I’d done and one that was done for me that I thought might have some good ideas for this family:
This post I did on names to honor St. Joseph
This spotlight on a family who has Gilbert on their list for a boy
This birth announcement for a British-American family who has similar taste in names to this family I think
This consultation Abby from Appellation Mountain did for me when I was pregnant with my youngest, as I myself love boy names with vowel clusters like Gideon and Rilian.
Based on all that, these are my new ideas for Felicity’s new baby:
My hands-down number-one idea for this baby if a girl is Gemma! It’s saintly (St. Gemma Galgani), with a very British feel (there are a bunch of British actresses named Gemma, weirdly!), and it starts with G! I mean, come on!! And with its G being a soft G, they can easily follow it with Gilbert in the future without it feeling like too many G’s. I absolutely love Gemma for Felicity’s sister, and Gemma Rose is to die for.
(2) Clara, Claire, Corinna
These are all names that I thought might scratch the “Cora” itch in a way that Elise’s husband will like better! Clara and Claire came to mind immediately because of their shortness and beginning with C; Clara especially seems like a good fit since it also ends in -a like Cora. But then I thought maybe Corinna would be even better, even though it’s longer, as Cora can be a nickname for it! I like all of these as Felicity’s sister.
Like Corinna for Cora, this the name that I thought might be a good substitute for Vera! I think Verity is such a cool name — it’s got an old fashioned feel while also holding new interest for today’s parents (one inspiration I’ve seen is the character of Verity in “Poldark,” which also gives it a nice U.K. feel). It means “truth,” which is fantastic. One possible negative is that it has the same ending as Felicity … but is that any different than Florence have the same beginning? Only Elise and her husband know how comfortable they’d feel with that!
I almost always suggest Juliet as a sister for Felicity! They’re style matches per the BNW, and additionally for this family, Juliet has that vowel-cluster-thing that they seem to like! I did a spotlight on Juliet here, including nickname ideas and saintly connections.
Adelaide struck me as having the same description Elise gave for Felicity and Gilbert: recognizable but not common. It’s such a pretty name — I think it has a similarly feminine feel as Felicity, and its possible nickname Ada gives me an old timey feel, a little like Florence, Ester, and Gilbert.
(1) Gabriel, Gareth (or Garrett), Grant
I wanted to start my boy name ideas with some G options, like I did for girl names. Gabriel is one of my very favorites, so I had to suggest it! Gareth is probably a closer fit for this family’s style, as I think it feels particularly British; Garrett sounds similar to Gareth and has the added connection of deriving from Gerard (saintly connection alert!). Finally, I’ve seen Grant considered by several families who like/have used the name Felicity. One family considered it a nod to the “grant us peace” part of the Mass, which I thought was so cool.
This is the idea I had for St. Joseph that I mentioned above! In my post on names for St. Joseph, I included an entry from A Dictionary of English Surnames (affiliate link) for Jessop, Jessopp, Jessope, Jessup, Jessep, all of which reflect a pronunciation of Joseph from mid-sixteenth century England. I LOVE discovering that kind of info!! I know that Jessop (or whatever spelling) might not be quite right for this family, but then again — maybe it hits exactly the right note!
When I think of British-feeling names for boys, Simon is almost always my first thought. I actually really love it for this family! It’s bookish and handsome and biblical, so great. I considered suggesting Simeon as well, since it has that vowel cluster, but I’m feeling like Simon is more their speed.
I was inspired to add Benedict to this list for two reasons: Dominic on their list of names they’re considering, and Benedict Cumberbatch for the British connection! Benedict is such a fantastic option for anyone loving a saintly + British vibe, and its medieval short form Bennett, which can also serve as a nickname, seems very similar in feel to Felicity in my opinion.
If only Julian started with a G, I’d feel like this might be the perfect boy name for Elise and her hubby! It’s got a vowel cluster and it can have a British vibe — the only downfall is that if they use Julian for a boy, they can’t use Juliet for a girl, and I like Juliet for them more than I like Julian for them (but their opinion is the one that matters!).
(Bonus) Caspian, Tobias, Mathias
Finally, I wanted to add these names as a bonus, because I wasn’t sure they were exactly right, but maybe they are, and they’re all awesome. Caspian is so cool and has the Rilian feel while being a little more mainstream I think, but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to make it one of my five main suggestions. And Tobias and Mathias I think could both be exactly right! But I suggested them both to Elise’s sister-in-law in a consultation I did for her a while ago, and I didn’t want Elise to think I was just repeating info! I also wanted to offer some other vowel-cluster names that I had on my own list, as noted in my consultation by Abby from Appellation Mountain: Joachim, Campion, Jeremiah, Elliott, and Damien.
And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for the little sister or brother of Felicity Hope?
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!