Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What's in a Name?

As you probably can tell from reading my blog, I'm a big fan of traditional names (although a lot of my favorite traditional names are pretty trendy right now too). So I was interested to see this article, which was being debated over at Catholic Answers Forum (I didn't join in!):
"While names such as Sienna and Scarlett have become fashionable in recent years, Pope Benedict XVI called for a return to tradition.

During Mass at the Sistine Chapel, he said: "Every baptised child acquires the character of the son of God, beginning with their Christian name, an unmistakable sign that the Holy Spirit causes man to be born anew in the womb of the Church." He added that a name was an "indelible seal" that set children off on a lifelong "journey of religious faith"."

Read the entire article here.
So what do you think? Do you tend to pick traditional (or cultural) names/family names/ saint names? Or do you go for names that are unique (or are both? There are some pretty unique sounding saint names!).

Out of the first and middle names we picked, one (first name) was the name of great great grandparents on both sides (a name I'd picked out in fifth grade), one (middle name) was a great grandparent's name, one (first name) was a family name and a favorite saint and one (middle name) is the name of the baby's Godmother.


  1. Yeah, I read that post to and the name that they used as an example Sienna could also be spelled Siena as in St. Catherine of Siena. So I'm not sure that that is a good example.

    But as I said before we are traditional. I'm not sure though that we're going to stick with family names for baby #2. But we'll have to talk it over once that happens.

    Both HB's first and middle name are after saints. And H is a very old name that I would say isn't common unless you're 80.

  2. I love that picture of Maggie.

    Both of my girls have saint names for their first and middle names. My oldest daughter has my confirmation name as her first name. Her middle name is also a family name. My younger daughter has her big sister's middle name.

  3. I think I would like the first name to be a unique name while the middle name to be a traditional saint name for all my future children.

  4. great topic! All four kids have 2 saints/family names, but from my husband's language- luckily, America is a melting pot!

  5. I guess you could say we're more traditional with names. All of our boys' names: their first names came from the Bible (though that was not the original intent, we couldn't agree on names). Their middle names are all Saint names (again not directly intentional with the first two but their middle names are our fathers' first names). Our daughter we chose an older name as the first name and saint name for the middle name. It wasn't until after she was born we discovered there is a Beatified woman with her name... Adeline.

  6. We have all Saint names, first and middle. I love it. One of my friends just had a baby and named him Ambrose Steven Vincent! LOVE it! Talk about unique but also traditional.

  7. Saint and family names for all five!

  8. Combination lol. We tend to stick to Arabic and Irish for obvious reasons... family names.. and saint names are preferable. But we also like them to be unique too..

    Kalila worked out all the way around. Her 2x great grandfather's name was Kalil. The female version is pretty rare, we've even gotten asked if we made it up lol. And right after she was born a St. Khalil was canonized (or beautified? I can't remember exactly).

    Zavier is thought of as Spanish, but we found out it started in Arabic and is very rarely used there. Is not a family name and we did catch grief over that. It fits him though. Saint connection is pretty obvious :-) and special to me as well.

    Our two other girls names we have picked for the future I have never seen a saint named that, but there's always the middle name. One of the two is a family name on my side so I feel pretty strongly about using it.

  9. I'm getting a different translation of the text:

    "It is not by chance, in fact, that every baptized person acquires the character of son from the name Christian, indisputable sign that the Holy Spirit brings man to be born “again” from the womb of the Church."

    Which is not the same as saying to use traditional Christian names. I don't know Italian so I can't personally translate it but here is my source: http://www.zenit.org/article-31398?l=english

    I first read about this at Faith and Family Live: http://www.faithandfamilylive.com/blog/not_said_by_the_pope/

    As for your question about naming our children, I too prefer traditional names and preferably ones that have a saint attributed to them. We also prefer to use names that are in our family. Our son's name is Joshua. This is new for our family but it has great biblical roots with Joshua fighting for the Lord in Exodus. His middle name is Matthew which is my husband's first name. One of our main reasons for choosing these names was ease of spelling for strangers. The less guess work the better.

  10. Susi was named after a woman in the old testament (Susana) but her second name is Nahuatl. I tried looking for a middle name in Mayan, but did not find anything on line (not like I had a ton of time to search considering she was due any minute). I settled for Quetzalli in Nahuatle because it is the language that Our Lady of Guadalupe spoke and it celebrates where she comes from. Also, like the Quetzal, Susi is very beautiful and independent. :)

  11. If I ever have children (still looking for MR. Right) I plan to give them traditional names. I like Anna Mae for a girl. It would honor two family members I greatly admired. I'm not sure about boys names. I don't want to give me children the popular names. Jennifer was the most common name for baby girls the year I was born, and I didn't like being known at school as Jenny D. There were two other Jennifers in my grade school and at least 4 of us in my graduating class.

  12. Excellent list. It is very usefully for me. Thank you!

  13. We love unique saint names, and also some names from classic literature. My mom gave me this awesome booklet for Christmas -


    Made up and trendy names kind of drive me crazy. Names should have meaning, and I love the fact that the saints we name our children after are praying for them. But I've also thought about the fact that, hopefully, our children will be saints too, and future generations can name their children after ours!

  14. We named our son Dylan Daniel. We loved the name Dylan and Daniel worked great because it's biblical and my husbands middle name.

  15. Hi! I found your site a few days ago from a post you made on the CA Forum. I have loved what I've discovered so far..but I wanted to chime in on this discussion. So far we have 3 children, 2 boys and a girl. Our daughter's name is Brianna Michelle. Brianna after a dear friend of ours who passed away and Michelle because it's my middle name. Our 2nd is Jonah Michael..Jonah, obviously from the Bible (although you wouldn't believe how many people ask us if Jonah isn't a girls name!?!? REALLY!?!?! Read the Bible again!) and Michael for St. Michael and my husband's middle name. Then we have Micah Edward. Micah, again a Bible name (and we still have people say "Isn't Micah a girls name!?!?!" UGH!!!) and Edward, because I'm a Twilight fan!! (Only half joking...it's for my Grandpa and my husband's dad). If we have another girl we have already picked out her name as Julia Marie, after her great-grandmother. I love this topic (as you can see!). Thanks for sharing..I loved seeing other people's responses!


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