UPDATE: We went with Frederick Gus! It was a down-to-the-wire decision but in the end, Freddy just felt more like us. I have found myself calling him “Freds” instead of Fred and I kind of love it. Amazing what a single letter can do!

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Amy writes:

We’re due with our second boy in December.

We definitely like longer, uncommon but established names with lots of nickname potential.

Our first is named Ignatius, nickname Iggy. We fully expect he may want to go by Nate or Nash or something similar in the future and that’s great.

Both boys will have our last names hyphenated: husband’s is a very well known Indian name, and mine is German.

Middle name for this baby is likely to be Gus or Gustav, which is a family/honor name. (We did consider Augustine/Augustus as a first name, but eventually rejected it. There’s the Catholic thing. But also, Auggie and Iggy are too close.)

Our current list:

  • Benedict: We both love this one, but we worry it’s too Catholic, particularly when paired with Ignatius. Neither of us are religious nor have ties to Catholicism.
  • Frederick: We love Freddy but don’t like Fred. I don’t mind it on a young kid but I just cannot imagine a child of mine growing up to be a middle aged Fred. I think it’s a deal breaker…
  • Sullivan: My husband likes, but I’m not sold. It feels too trendy for us.
  • Montgomery/Monty: Maybe too southern?
  • Wolfgang: Honestly, this might have recently moved to a top contender! Is it too much? It doesn’t have quite the same level of nickname potential as Ignatius.

Are there any names out there we might have missed? Is one of these actually The One?

Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your second!

I love the name Ignatius, but completely get that it’s a tough act to follow.

It’s also true that when I think of long, interesting names that go with Ignatius, so many of them do give a Catholic and/or Biblical vibe – especially when paired together.

So let’s start out by evaluating your current list.



I agree: it’s the right sound, but the wrong vibe.


If only this name felt more Cumberbatch than Pope Emeritus. But I agree, Ignatius and Benedict sound very religious together, and that’s potentially awkward for you. Too bad!


Part of me wants to cheer for Frederick. It’s great with Ignatius! Freddy/Freddie is amazing, and even more so with Iggy. Plus, there’s also … Fritz? Red? Derick, Eric, Dirk, Rick?

Or maybe he’d just be Freddie forever? (When I was in my early 20s, I had a highly-respected, awesome human being of a boss in his 60s who was still always Charlie. It works!)


Maybe it’s not exactly perfect, but I think Montgomery comes really close – it’s a gentlemanly name, one that isn’t prefaced by Saint. And Monty is just plain fun.


Maybe Wolfgang is a lot. But in the best possible way! Iggy and Wolfie are really sweet together, and Wolf is a perfectly reasonable nickname for an older child or an adult.

Another factor: a Wolfie born in 2023 will share the playground with at least one Leo, probably a Raven or a Wren, and possibly a Bear.  Animal names are mainstream, and so Wolfgang is different – but only a little.



Iggy and Bertie? Or Iggy and Alby? Very sweet. And Al and Bert are equally good grown-up nicknames, though maybe not as current as Nash and Nate. Abe, though, would work. If anything, Albert tones down Ignatius just a bit. (Though I would note that there is a Saint Albert the Great … it’s just that the name has been used so widely that it doesn’t have an especially saintly vibe.)


I think this is a little bit like Montgomery, but with more of a medieval vibe.


A literary invention with roots in English history, Cedric is seriously old school, but in a good way.


Dashiell is, well, dashing. Of course, if he’s Dashiell called Dash, then your Ignatius couldn’t be Nash. (Or he could, but that might be a much.)


I’ve held off on names ending with R, because I think your combined surname also ends in an R. But I’m not sure that takes Evander off the list. Like Ignatius, it’s ancient, polished, and long, with lots of potential nicknames.


Maybe talking about Wolf made all the Leo names come to mind, but this is one of the best. Thanks to the popularity of the movie 300, Leonidas is very much on the list of potential Leo names parents can consider.


This one is really rare – possibly moreso than even Ignatius. But with nicknames from Ludo and Luc to Vic, it seems too good to resist.


Literary, poetic Tennyson seems worth considering, too.

I’ll add one last thought: I can see that Augustine/Augustus aren’t great options, but there’s another long, traditional but unexpected boys’ name that shortens to Gus: Constantine. It’s related by custom, as many Greeks living outside of their homeland adopted Gus as a nickname for Konstantinos.

I’m not sure Constantine would be my first pick, though.

From your list, I’m all in on Wolfgang.

From the fresh ideas, I’m really torn. I love Barnaby Gus, I think, if only because it takes Montgomery in a little more of a Benedict direction.

But I do think there are so many good options – it’s hard to choose!

Readers, over to you! What would you name a brother for Ignatius?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. There is a Saint Wolfgang, so I immediately thought of him. Maybe y’all should just become Catholic and embrace all the great Catholic names. 🙂 Angus (another Saint) can easily be nicknamed Gus. You do know that there is a Saint Frederick, right? Catholics will think any name you use is Catholic.
    But maybe go with the name of a famous general (Gustavus Adolphus) and that will make a hard turn away from the overtly religious sounding names. Ulysses, Frederick the Great, Stonewall, MacArthur, Napoleon?

  2. My first thought was Alister. Long, uncommon but very established.

    Then I thought of Soloman, but maybe that is too biblical? Iggy and Solo?

    Constantine is an awesome name. I know one with the nickname Costa.

    Last may be a long shot, but you do like uncommon. I once knew, … and was delighted by his name … a Ptolomy nn Tommy/Tom. Ignatius and Ptolomy. Iggy and Tommy?

  3. I absolutely love Ignatius! And I agree with Abby: Wolfgang seems like a perfect fit for his little brother.

    If you’re open to using Gustav – or Gustavo! – to the first name position, I think it would work really well, too.

    A few other options for the sake of brainstorming:

    Wilfred “Freddie” or “Will” or “Wilf”)
    Aurelien “Aurie”
    Leander “Lee”

  4. I hate to suggest another “Catholic” name, but… is there a better nickname than X, for Xavier???

  5. You have such great options, but Wolfgang is my favorite. I agree that Sullivan isn’t quite right, and Benedict (while amazing!) is too Catholic. I like the suggestions of Albert and Barnaby, and will add Bertrand as well.

  6. I love Ignatius. In reading this post before seeing Abby’s reply, my first thoughts were Evander (my favorite for you) and Leonidas. That said, I love the suggestions of Dashiell and Malcolm, and I l really like Augustine nn Gus as well. I would add Edmund, nn Ned, Teddy, or Mundo. Or maybe Christopher nn Kit.