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BIS LIVES Blog

Not-So-Typical Unique Catholic Baby Names

different catholic baby names

Spring is here, bringing with it warmer weather, blooming buds, and baby showers. Personally, I know over a dozen couples who are expecting babies in the coming months, including my husband and I! We’ve obviously been thinking about possible Catholic baby names for our little one, wanting something unique (but not too crazy) that also sheds some light on the importance of our Faith.

Unique Catholic Baby Names

All this brainstorming has resulted in a long list of names, and I’m a little sad I can only use one of them (for now). In the hopes that all my brainstorming Catholic baby names won’t go to waste, I’m sharing this list with you, as I know many of our Blessed is She sisters are also expecting babies. Maybe you’ll find the perfect name for your own little one!

Catholic Baby Names for Boys

  • Ambrose // St. Ambrose was a brilliant preacher who convinced St. Augustine that God exists
  • Asher // One of Jacob’s 12 sons
  • Beckett // After the martyr, St. Thomas Beckett
  • Blaise // After St. Blaise (pronounced “Blaze”), who was both a bishop and a doctor
  • Bosco // Rather than the typical and popular “John,” go with Bosco and assign your son the awesome patronage of St. John Bosco
  • Constantine // The emperor who legalized Christianity and stopped the persecutions of the early Church
  • Cyrus // After King Cyrus of Persia who frees the Israelites from the Babylonian exile and permits them to return to Jerusalem
  • Damien // After the science-minded St. Damien
  • Drexel // A male alternative under the patronage of St. Katherine Drexel
  • Fulton // After Fulton Sheen (this one is on my short list)
  • Gerard // Most famous for his poem, “Dappled Things,” Gerard Manley Hopkins was also a Catholic priest
  • G.K. // Another personal favorite, you could name your son after the famous apologist G.K. Chesterton
  • Guy // After Guy Fawkes; though he isn’t a saint, he did take a public stand when Catholicism was outlawed in England
  • Ignatius // Choose between Ignatius of Antioch or Ignatius of Loyola for his patron – plus, “Iggy” is a fun nickname.
  • Jerome // Without St. Jerome, Scripture may never have been translated from its original Greek
  • Judah or Jude // Another son of Jacob, or his patron could be Judah Maccabee, or the awesome St. Jude (or all three!)
  • Louis // After St. Louis Martin, father of the Little Flower
  • Merton // Thomas Merton was an inspiring Catholic monk, writer, and mystic
  • Rex // The latin meaning of this name is “king,” so your son’s namesake could be Christ the King
  • Shepherd // Not only would he have a classic Southern name, but he’d also have an incredible namesake: the Good Shepherd (and you could call him “Shep” for short)
  • Simeon // Another son of Jacob, but also the prophet who foretells of Mary’s Sorrowful Heart
  • Solanus // After the recently beatified Solanus Casey (a cute nickname is “Sully,” or even “Casey”!)
  • Titus // After the companion of St. Paul
  • Urban // There’s a plethora of Popes named Urban, and if you’re a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, it’s a double whammy!
  • Xavier // After the missionary St. Francis Xavier

Catholic Baby Names for Girls

  • Angelica // After the choirs of Heaven, or the feisty founder of EWTN
  • Brielle // Shorten the traditional “Gabrielle” and still name your daughter after the archangel
  • Caeli // Pronounced “cha-lee,” it’s part of the latin Marian antiphon, “Regina Caeli” or in english, “queen of Heaven”
  • Charlotte // This may be a stretch, but Pope St. John Paul II’s given Polish name was Karol, which translates to “Charles” in English, the masculine form of “Charlotte”
  • Colbie // After another polish saint, St. Maximilian Kolbe
  • Dinah // Everyone remembers that Jacob had twelve sons, but Dinah was his only daughter
  • Dorothy // After the saint or Dorothy Day (she could go by Dot or Dottie)
  • Edie // Name your daughter after St. Edith Stein without making her sound like an old woman
  • Faustina // A bit of a mouthful, but what a saint she’d have as her patron (you could even call her “Tina” for short)
  • Felicity // After the new mom and early Christian martyr
  • Flannery // Flannery O’Connor was a brilliant writer and devout Catholic
  • Jael // (pronounced “jay-elle”) An Old Testament woman who kills an enemy general while he sleeps to help the Israelite army
  • Jordan // After the river in which Christ was baptized
  • Keturah // Pronounced “kah-tur-ah,” this is the name of the woman Abraham married after Sarah died
  • Lily // After one of the greatest saints in heaven, St. Joseph
  • Leah // She may not have been loved by her husband Jacob, but Scripture says that God favored her
  • Philomena // For the young Greek princess who was martyred for refusing to marry a Roman official (you could call her “Mena” for short)
  • Phoebe // This was the name of St. Paul’s friend who delivered his letter to the Romans
  • Rosary // A different take for anyone with a devotion to Our Lady (you could call her “Rosie”)
  • Sarai // Sarah’s name before God changed it
  • Siena // “Catherine” is pretty common, but “Siena” is more unique and specific to this Doctor of the Church
  • Stella // Another Marian name, after Our Lady, Star of the Sea
  • Talitha // Hebrew for “little girl,” Jesus uses this phrase when he resurrects the daughter of Jaris (“Tali” would be a cute nickname)
  • Verity // Derived from “veritas” which is Latin for “truth,” this name was made popular by the Puritans, but it reminds me of Pontius Pilate’s struggle to see what is true
  • Zelie // Canonized very recently, St. Zelie was the mother of St. Therese

Do you have any ideas of your own for unique, Catholic baby names? Comment below!

Written by Grace Bellon, lover of bearded men, rich coffee, cheesy puns, cuddly doggies, and Catholicism. You can find out more about her here (warned ya she liked cheesy puns).

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66 Comments

  • Reply
    Lisa
    March 21, 2018 at 6:04 am

    This is such a fun post!! I recently read about someone with a daughter named Charlotte in honor of JPII, like you mentioned–and even sweeter, they nicknamed her Lola as a nod to Lolek! If we didn’t already have a Charles, I would definitely put that on our girl name short list 🙂

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 22, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Oh wow! I really love that! JPII is my favorite saint… and I’m polish so it’s a double whammy!

      • Reply
        Lisa
        March 25, 2018 at 4:25 pm

        Me too on both accounts! I am very happy to have named our Charles in JPII’s honor, but gosh, that Lola nickname is just too good! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jill
    March 21, 2018 at 9:38 am

    After seeing an advance screening of Paul, Apostle of Christ on Monday, I think Priscilla for a girl or Aquilla for a boy would be lovely.

    • Reply
      AnnaP
      March 21, 2018 at 8:49 pm

      Jill our daughter’s middle name is Prisca after this Priscilla. Priscilla means, little Prisca.

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 22, 2018 at 10:57 am

      I know a Priscilla! and she is a beautiful person inside and out! It fits her perfectly!

  • Reply
    CJ
    March 21, 2018 at 10:07 am

    I LOVE the name Philomena, it was actually my paternal grandfathers aunt’s name. I can’t convince my husband that it is a beautiful name for a baby some day, anyone have any tips on how to show him the beauty in the name?!

    • Reply
      Mena
      March 21, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      It’s my name:) I’m 29 so young and the only one my whole life with this name! St Philomena has took special care to look out for me! Everyone calls me Mena! I’m soooo happy it’s my name suits me well I think:)

      • Reply
        Grace Bellon
        March 22, 2018 at 10:56 am

        gosh- I can’t even figure out how to convince my own husband about baby names… lol

        prayer?

    • Reply
      Ann Marie
      March 21, 2018 at 4:49 pm

      How about the nickname Mena (mee-na) for Philomena? I’ve always thought that was super cute!

  • Reply
    Erin
    March 21, 2018 at 10:30 am

    I have two close friends at church, Caeli and Talitha!! I always say “Earth to Caeli” because she daydreams a lot haha!

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 22, 2018 at 10:55 am

      How ironic and appropriate (since Caeli actually means “heaven”)!

  • Reply
    Janet Wolken
    March 21, 2018 at 11:15 am

    My daughter and her husband named their little girl Avila after St. Teresa of Avila. I just love her name.

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 22, 2018 at 10:54 am

      I know of another little Avila as well! She gets called Avie by her grandpa

      • Reply
        Sarah Antonio
        June 22, 2018 at 11:10 am

        We have an Avila we call Avi! Our youngest is Bonaventure Blaise, but called Blaise. I had voted to call him Ven, but the rest of the family vetoed me.

  • Reply
    Ellie
    March 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    We have a Matthias (Matt) after St. Matthias! 🙂

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 22, 2018 at 10:53 am

      I love St. Matthias! What a guy to be able to step right in to that apostolic role!

  • Reply
    Anna
    March 21, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Our second son is named Pio after St. Padre Pio:)

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 22, 2018 at 10:52 am

      1. I LOVE Padre Pio
      2. So does my husband
      3. I’ve always like the combination of “Patrick Pio” or “Peter Pio” — but maybe that’s too much alliteration for a name? haha

  • Reply
    Ann Marie
    March 21, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    I’m a bit obsessed with all things baby naming! LOL Check out the blog Sancta Nomina for great Catholic Baby Naming! https://sanctanomina.net/

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 22, 2018 at 10:51 am

      what a great resource! I had no idea it existed!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    March 21, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    We named our daughter Liesel, which is a form of Elizabeth (family name too) and means “vowed to God”. This name was befittting since our daughter was born on the feast day of the Presentation of the Lord Jesus in the Temple! ❤️

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 22, 2018 at 10:50 am

      Oh my gosh, how perfect!! I think Leisel is a lovely name!

    • Reply
      Rheagan
      March 29, 2018 at 4:15 pm

      We have a Liesl as well! Most people say, “Liesl? From the Sound of Music?”, but I loved it for its connection to Elizabeth, and it goes well with my husband’s Germanic surname. Win win!

  • Reply
    Lisa K
    March 21, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    I have twin boys, Jacob and Joesph. I LOVE the names Beckett and Blaise. Is it too late to change their names now that they are 25 years old? ?

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 22, 2018 at 10:49 am

      LOL! Maybe you can get them on board to just do it themselves? haha

  • Reply
    C
    March 21, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    My cousins just named their daughter Vibiana, which I had never heard before. St Vibiana is a 3rd century Roman martyr and the patroness of LA

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 22, 2018 at 10:49 am

      I have never heard of her either! It’s beautiful! Do they call her Vibby?

    • Reply
      Elisa
      April 3, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      Another form of Vibiana I’ve Vivienne, which is what I’m naming my baby girl!

  • Reply
    Emm
    March 21, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    We named our son Solanus, we call him Lonnie for short! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    March 21, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    I am pregnant with Bethany named for Mary of Bethany; aka Mary Magdalene. It is more unique than Mary and we really like it!

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 23, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      That’s beautiful. My own middle name is Madeline after St. Mary Magdalene– she’s been a wonderful patron saint! I love her dearly

  • Reply
    Sierra Anne Tippens
    March 22, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Our son’s name is Conrad and we found it on a Catholic baby name list- Conrad Joseph is his full name and we absolutely LOVE it. His first name means “bold speaker or great counsel” and he has really lived up to the meaning of his name thus far! We have also always wanted to name our daughter Lillian and call her Lily which is perfect that you referenced St Joseph with her since her big brothers middle name is Joseph! It’s a sign that our little girl has to be names Lily!

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 23, 2018 at 4:54 pm

      St. Joseph is another one of my absolute favorite saints. He’s the patron of our family, we pray for his intercession every day! Lily was on our short list as well! We ended up going in a different direction, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it made it’s way back around someday!

  • Reply
    Bridget
    March 23, 2018 at 12:50 am

    Just named my son born in October, Sebastian. My husband isn’t Catholic, but loved that his son is named after the patron saint of archers and athletes!

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 23, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      ok, I love the name Sebastian. Sadly, all my husband can picture is the crab from The Little Mermaid 🙁 Although, I recently mentioned St. Sebastian is the patron saint of athletes and that sparked hubby’s interest… Maybe over the years his fondness for the saint and the name will grow… 😉

  • Reply
    Bonnie Gaudet
    March 23, 2018 at 8:08 am

    My boys are Shepherd and Beckett. So funny that both of them are on this list! ❤️

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 23, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      Shepherd is in my Top 3. Sadly… my husband is still uneasy about it! I’m gonna bring it up with every pregnancy though! lol Thank goodness he finds my obnoxious persistence funny…

  • Reply
    Amanda Woodiel
    March 23, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Thank you for this thoughtful list! We named our daughter Mary Flannery, after Ms. O’Connor, whose writings–especially her letters–were instrumental in my conversion. Her real name was Mary Flannery, which not many people realize! We call our daughter both Mary Flannery and Flannery.

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 28, 2018 at 7:08 am

      That is beautiful! It’s so wonderfully unique, and yet well-known… Flannery O’Connor has had such an impact on this world. I love how personal it is to you.

  • Reply
    Grace Bellon
    March 23, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Shepherd is in my Top 3. Sadly… my husband is still uneasy about it! I’m gonna bring it up with every pregnancy though! lol Thank goodness he finds my obnoxious persistence funny…

  • Reply
    Sarah
    March 24, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    My son is Rex Emmanuel. King, God with us ! Definitely want a daughter named Stella but my husband just associates it with the brand of lager so I have a bit of persuading still to do….

    • Reply
      Grace Burnham
      March 27, 2018 at 11:17 am

      I think Stella is lovely. Although I was part of a household in college named Stella Mariae. Dont want the poor thing to think she was named after a household at Franciscan! 😉

      • Reply
        HXie
        October 25, 2018 at 3:24 pm

        We have a Stella and we call her cute nicknames like Stell, Stellita, Stells, and little cookie (after the Stella Doro brand cookies). It’s lovely to write and say and goes well with so many middle names. We picked Josefina as it’s a traditonal family name. Stella Josefina. Then you can serve Stellas at the baptism, birthdays and it will be your signature adult drink! Hehe. It’s neat hearing it in commercials and it was even used in her 1st grade math Homework in a subtraction word problem! And give Stella Doro Cookies a try! It’s a winner for sure!

  • Reply
    Trini
    March 24, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Love this list!

    Saint Zelie’s name is actually Azelie! Zelie is the nickname. I know two little girls named Azelie – it is such a beautiful name!

    Marcella (pronounced Mar-CHELL-ah) is one of my favorite names. She was a friend of Saint Jerome’s.

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 27, 2018 at 11:19 am

      I always wondered if Zelie was a nickname, but after a moderate search, it seemed not to be. Azelie is beautiful!

      and I definitely knew how to pronounce Marcella, because I love the masculine, Marcello!

  • Reply
    Robin
    March 28, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    I love St.Clare of Assisi’s actual Italian name before it was anglicized “Chiara”
    (Key-ah-rah)

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 29, 2018 at 10:38 am

      My godson John Paul just welcomed home a baby sister named Chiara!

  • Reply
    Robin
    March 28, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    I love St.Clare of Assisi’s actual Italian name before it was anglicized “Chiara”
    (Key-ah-rah)

    Also love the name “Anneliese” to be named for St.Anne the mother of Mary, or for Blessed Anne de Guigne (a very holy child for a little girl to be inspired by!)

    • Reply
      Grace Bellon
      March 29, 2018 at 10:39 am

      I have never heard of Blessed Anne de Guine, but I am going to go look her up right now!

  • Reply
    Emily
    March 29, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    We have a son named Fulton….So fun to see it on the list! Great name and a great man.

  • Reply
    Mary Bacher
    April 5, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    We have a son named Kolbe Ignatius. Fun to see both on the list! Thank you for putting this together 🙂

  • Reply
    Amber
    April 18, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    I have a 6-month-old boy named Abram James (Abraham’s name before it was changed, of course). Abram was also my grandma’s maiden name, James was my grandpa’s name, so Abram James is triple special for me! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jane
    April 22, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Guy Fawkes may have been Catholic but he was basically a terrorist!! He wanted to kill hundreds of people!!! What he wanted to do was not justified and he is not a role model! (And what he did made things much harder for Catholics in England afterwards)

  • Reply
    Rain
    April 29, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    We have a son named Tytus which is the Polish way to spell Titus ❤️ Rosary for a girl is beautiful!

  • Reply
    Irishnannie
    May 17, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Love your lists of names!
    You & your readers might be interested to know of the book just published by the Marian Fathers of Stockbridge written by Katherine Morna Towne who writes the Catholic Family naming blog sanctanomina.net. the name if the book is Catholic Baby Names for Boys and Girls: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady!

  • Reply
    Mollie Brauer
    May 23, 2018 at 11:18 am

    This is a great list!
    I might be a little biased :)… but Avila should be added for girls!

  • Reply
    Bee
    June 2, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Very interesting list!

    I’m just a bit surprised at the pronunciation key for Caeli: according to Latin pronunciation, it would be KAY-lee.

  • Reply
    Deborah
    June 21, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    We named our daughter Siena. So happy to see it on this list!

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    June 21, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    We have a Benedict Joseph, Addison Perpetua, Jude, Noah & Thomas 🙂

  • Reply
    Marissa
    June 23, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Ave……..I would love to name my daughter “Ave”….every time her name would be said it would be like the Annunciation all over again!

  • Reply
    Pamela
    July 18, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    We named our first Kolbe Joseph – honoring St. Maximilian Kolbe as well as St. Joseph.

    Our second is a bit more traditional…we named her Francesca Marie – honoring our current Pope, St. Francis, and of course Our Lady.

    We are pregnant with our third and found this page when googling “non traditional Catholic names.” So fun to be inspired by BIS’ list as well as all the comments.

    Thank you all!

  • Reply
    Mark
    September 15, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    We have two daughters Gianna and Faustina.

    Another not-so-typical name that I really like is Jacinta

    • Reply
      Megan Wagner
      December 2, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      My middle child is Jacinta Faustina. I have Gianna on my short list for when another baby comes.

  • Reply
    Sarah E
    September 30, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    We names our first son Tobias.

  • Reply
    Cami
    October 11, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    We have a Rex Benedict (“blessed king”, conceived during advent), and Owen Patrick born on the feast of St. Patrick. Additionally, we have a Benjamin Eli and Emily Jean. I need another boys name for #5. We unintentionally have a trend of short e sounds in first names. Trying to choose something that might continue that but wishing I could somehow honor JP2. He is responsible for my reconversion through Theology of the Body and therefore my preparation for a Catholic marriage. He’s our family’s patron saint as far as I am concerned, 😉

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