Name Help is a series at Appellation Mountain. Every week, one reader’s name questions will be discussed. This is a special bonus #namehelp for a colleague and friend.
We’re relying on thoughtful comments from the community to help expectant parents narrow down their name decisions. Thank you in advance for sharing your insight!
Today’s #namehelp post is a such an honor to write, because it’s for the amazing Kate of Sancta Nomina! She and her husband are expecting baby #7 later this year.
If it’s a girl, they’re all set with a name deep with personal significance. But if it’s a boy? After naming six sons, as you might imagine, they’ve used up many of their favorites.
Kate doesn’t share her sons’ names on her blog, but this post will give you a very good idea of her style and thinking about each one. The names they’ve chosen are very similar to these: Robert, Raphael, Dominic, Joseph, Maximilian, and Charles.
So our mission is to help them find a name for a seventh son. It’s quite a puzzle! In their own words:
- He says “his style is Bob.” He prefers classic, solid names, the kind that you can find in a history book, on a responsible adult today, or on a child. They’re enduring choices, and many of their sons’ names fall squarely into this category.
- Kate leans more towards Joachim. Though she noted that she does pause and wonder how others will react to a less common name. In her words: I was just filling out the paperwork for Little League and imagining writing “Joachim” and having the city baseball officials/coaches be like huh?
- She also notes that a British + literary feel is a plus.
So finding a name that falls somewhere between Bob and Joachim is the first challenge!
But wait, there’s more:
- All of the boys’ names have some connection to family, but there’s no one specific left to honor. That’s okay, though – they’re happy to find a middle name that has family ties once the first is decided.
- The name should either be a saint’s name, or have a connection to a saint – but Kate is a genius about finding a connection between a name and a saint, so no worries if the tie isn’t obvious.
- They do tend to favor pan-European names, the kind that travel well – but then, that comes with the territory for most traditional/Biblical/saints’ names.
- Friendly nicknames are a plus! Ben, Jake, Max, and Nick are all in that category. Her husband likes the idea of Stan. (How awesome is that?!) It’s okay if the nickname isn’t obvious – Kate notes: “an unexpected nickname can make a more familiar first name feel fresh to me” – but it’s a tougher sell for her husband if the nickname feels like a stretch.
- Kate finds that she likes boys’ names with vowel clusters: Joachim, Simeon, Caspian, Tobias, Campion, Jeremiah, Elliott, Damien, and Matthias.
- But, even though she likes softer sounds in boys’ names, she prefers ones that are clearly masculine in use.
- Her husband is a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, so names like Nick (Foles) and Carson (Wentz) have come up.
- Two-syllable, ends-with-n boy names don’t work well with their two-syllable, ends-with-n surname.
Names they’re considering:
Benedict – Kate’s favorite! As she writes, ‘It’s unusual per the SSA data, but not unheard of or weird; it’s super-saintly and also has the Brit connection with Benedict Cumberbatch!” The problem? They can’t use Ben, so she’s considered Nick (the sound is almost there, and there’s the Nick Foles/Philadelphia Eagles connection), Boone (similar sounds, plus the meaning is nearly identical), and Bear. Benedict Gerard, nicknamed Bear, is her current favorite.
Jacob – Kate has suggested Joachim, nickname Jake, but if that’s off the table, Jacob called Jake also appeals. Yes, it’s very popular – but the name is on Kate’s family tree. Jacob Stanislaus, a nod to her husband’s Polish heritage, is one possibility.
Lincoln – Her husband’s most recent suggestion is Lincoln. Kate thinks Abraham fits better with their sons’ names, but Abe would conflict with one of their older boys’ names.
Ambrose – Possibly with the nickname Sam or Bram
Samuel – Though it’s a little close to an older son’s name
They’ve considered Nicholas, Cole, Colman, and Kolbe in the past (Kolbe comes from Saint Maximilian Kolbe), but they aren’t feeling quite right this time.
Names they can’t use:
Ruled out because her husband isn’t a fan: Simeon/Simon, Nicodemus, Bram (though maybe as a nickname), Caspian, Campion, Jeremiah, Miles, Edmund, Alexander, Jude, Sebastian, Cajetan.
Tobit/Tobias, Gregory – They want to avoid T and G names.
Colman – They’re avoiding two-syllable, ends-with-n boys’ names because they conflict with their surname.
William – There’s a famous figure whose name is very close to William TheirLastName, so this one is off the list.
Nathaniel – They’re probably going to avoid another -el ending name.
Nicholas – Ever since the Eagles won the Super Bowl, her husband has been joking that they need to consider naming their son Nick, after quarterback Nick Foles! As Kate writes, “Nicholas is more popular than I’d like, but I don’t hate it. I’m off of Cole though, and don’t love Nick … I like Nico and Nikolai but I don’t think we can pull them off.”
Please read on for my reply, and leave your thoughtful suggestion in the comments.
Dear Kate –
How exciting to be welcoming another member of your family! In the post you wrote about naming your sons, you mentioned that after five boys, it was tough to come up with a name for a sixth son. It doesn’t get easier, does it?
Here’s what leaps out at me: when you have a larger family, you get to define your style over time, by choosing multiple children’s names. So when your sons’ names are said together, they cover all of your interests and preferences. Some reflect your husband’s “Bob” tastes more strongly, while others feel more like Joachim. But you’ve met in the middle very nicely.
Now I’m wondering if it would make sense to look for the middle immediately. Because there’s a big, open space between the two extremes, and it’s chock full of great names. I’m going to (mostly) avoid suggesting more names along the lines of Campion and Nicodemus (though oh, how I adore Nicodemus!) and focus on the more traditional names that still feel a little unexpected.
Trouble is that I’m sure you’ve thought of all of these – maybe more than once! But I’m hoping I can encourage you to take a fresh look at some classic favorites. And I’ve thrown in a few that edge a little closer to the Joachim end of the spectrum, too.
Let’s jump into the names, going from the safest choices to the most daring, but trying (hard!) to stay in the middle:
Andrew, Anthony – Both Andrew and Anthony are impeccable, buttoned-down classics. And both could lead to the friendly nickname Andy. (I know, I know – it’s not traditional in any way at all for Anthony. But it works!) They open the door to more daring middles. In the US, we tend to perceive Anthony as rather Italian. But it’s also nicely British – it’s perennially popular in the UK, too. Think Anthony Hopkins, for one.
Patrick – The problem with Patrick: Pat isn’t the most current of nicknames. But Patch and Pax – both suggestions I found on Sancta Nomina – pull Patrick in a very different direction.
Frederick, called Freddie or Fox – Because you have Benedict called Bear on your list, but it’s not quite right, how about Frederick called Fox? It’s German, rather than British. And yet I think there’s something rather British about it at the same time. In A Room With a View, Lucy Honeychurch’s brother is Freddy; there’s young actor Freddie Highmore; and Lord Frederick Windsor is a member of the British royal family. But it’s also Polish – or, at least, the composer Frederic Chopin was born in the Duchy of Warsaw as Fryderyk Chopin. Style-wise, it reminds me of Robert or Joseph, a solid and traditional choice. But it’s much less expected in 2018, which edges it closer to Raphael and company.
Peter – I’d put Peter in the same category as Frederick. It’s unexpected only in the sense that we’re not using it very often these days. Again, I can find notable Englishmen by the name. (The queen’s grandson Peter Phillips, for one; The Who’s Pete Townshend, and who can forget Peter Pan? We often give him an American accent, but his story is set smack in the middle of London!) Obviously, it’s a heavy hitter among saints’ names, but here’s why it makes my list: not one, but two members of the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame answer to Pete.
Vincent – While we’re diving into Eagles history, have you ever considered Vincent? It feels a little outside of your usual style. Like Peter and Frederick, it’s both slightly uncommon and not quite stylish. But here’s the thing: Vince Papale’s story is the stuff of Eagles legend. Mark Wahlberg played Papale in a 2006 biopic titled Invincible; if you’re into sports movies, it’s very watchable. One sentence summary: Papale made the 1976 team as a dark horse, thirty years old when he started his rookie season, with no college football experience. Like Anthony, Vincent tends to read Italian, but that’s not so. It’s Latin in origin, with saints galore bearing the name. Saint Vincent de Paul was French and Vincent van Goh was Dutch. Vinnie is friendly, Vince is handsome, and Vin? Well, Vin is downright cool.
Stanley – So I’m intrigued by Stan. There’s Stanislaus, of course. But have you considered Stanley? There’s an Eagles link again (Hall of Famer Stan Walters), but also the Blessed Stanley Francis Rother. He’s the first US-born priest to be beatified, and his story is powerful – he strikes me as tremendously brave. And I think Stanley is a next-wave revival name, one that will be fully revived in another twenty years.
Constantine – Or maybe Constantine, called Stan? I’ve run out of Eagles connections. But there’s certainly a historical and saintly connection. While Constantine is pretty rare for a child’s name – it hasn’t made the US Top 1000 in years – it’s still nicely familiar.
Malcolm – When I think of boys’ names that are traditional, without being wildly common, Malcolm always comes to mind. It feels vaguely British (though I suppose it’s really Scottish!) and has a great nickname option: Mac. (Though Cole is hiding there, too, if you ever change your mind.)
Arthur – I noticed you talked about Arthur with the possible nickname Bear in this post last year. Arthur feels rather English to me – I mean, there’s King Arthur. And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories! (By the way, the author’s full name? Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle.) Plus, it pops up in the royal family, and is heavily rumored as a name for a future Cambridge prince. If Stanley might make a comeback soon-ish, I think Arthur is well on its way. Another point: while Artie isn’t for everyone, I think a little Artie would quickly change my mind. (Full disclosure: this is a huge name on my mom’s side of the family, and I married an Arthur – so I may be biased!)
Finnian – Caspian made me think of Lucian/Luke, but I think Finnian/Finn works even better. It has those vowel clusters you like, but reads as exclusively masculine. (Adrian crossed my mind, but it’s very close to Adrienne, so I ruled it out.) It doesn’t repeat sounds from your older boys’ names, and it shortens to the upbeat Finn. There’s an Irish Saint Finnian, and I think the ties to Mark Twain’s enduring Huck Finn make the name feel literary and adventurous.
Barnaby, called Bear – Okay, I’m kind of stuck on Bear! But it’s a great nickname. Barnaby feels nicely British to me, and of course there’s Saint Barnabus.
So we’re stuck somewhere between Jacob and Barnaby!
Let’s go back and look at the names that represent your older boys’ names: Robert, Raphael, Dominic, Joseph, Maximilian, and Charles.
This makes me want to revisit two names from your original list: Jacob and Isaac. They lean towards the more familiar. But they do fit in nicely. Another factor: The share the hard-c sound of Lincoln that appeals to your husband. Between the two, I’d favor Isaac. While it’s very common, it comes with a super-cool nickname possibility: Ike. Ike is a little bit like Linc, and matches with the whole Ben-Max-Nick category.
If not Isaac-called-Ike, there’s another name from your earlier lists that jumps out at me: Hugo. You mentioned that your husband liked it quite a bit when you were naming your sixth son. I like the idea of Hugh Owen called Hugo, too.
Back to my suggestions: I love the idea of Finnian, because it really doesn’t sound like your older boys’ names. But is it too out-there? I’m guessing yes. That takes me back to Arthur, nicknamed Bear. It strikes me as closer to Bob than Joachim, but not at all predictable or unexciting.
Okay, let’s open this up to the readers! What would you suggest to Kate for her seventh, if it’s a boy?
C in DC says
I read this again just before I went to lunch, and then I overheard the name Frank. Now, I love Franklin, but that doesn’t seem to be your style. So then I was thinking Francis, Francisco, etc., which lead to Francis Xavier, a delightful name and so traditional , but with good nn possibilities like Fritz and Fox and even Fax (more horse from Lord of the Rings than dying communications technology). And then I thought, what about Xavier or Javier in the first spot? Unexpected, saintly ties, vowel heavy, and Xav/Xavi/Javi make for great nns. There even appears to be an Eagle connection.
Also, have you thought about using a name meaning Eagle, maybe as a middle? Arnold, Ernest, Arundel, Aquila, a lot of other Ar- names.
Alban is quirky and saintly with “Al” as a nn (but ends in N), Paul is one of my utter favorites, Cyprian nn Chip, Bertram nn Bert…
Cyprian called Chip? Love!
Not sure if this was suggested already but the vowel cluster names made me think of Gideon. Beautiful flow, exclusively boy, and bible name to boot 🙂
Would you consider Benedict, with Ned for short? It’s very ‘English’ but also more unusual than Ben.
Anastatia Ellis says
I am partial to Arthur. We call ours Little Bear or Arthur. I also like Malcolm and Finnian. We were going to use Patrick three girls ago.
Anastatia, Little Bear is very sweet!
Solomon nn Solo or Ollie (since you liked Oliver previously)?
A saint but maybe too obscure a name for your DH: Nicasius nn Cass in lieu of Caspian/Nicholas…and, I mean, in that case, Cass is a reasonable nn for Nicholas, right?
Basil nn Bay?
Virgil nn Gil? different sound, same letters…it counts! Does that break the no T or G rule?
Micah or Micaiah nn Mike/Mikey, Mick/Mickey, Cai/Kai, Miha (mee-uh, mee-ha)
Ozias/Osias nn Si, Ozzie?
Jericho nn Ricky, Jerry?
This is something I’ve never looked into before but I feel like I’ve learned so much about Saints today! If you can’t tell I kind of love indirect/unexpected nicknames and name connections so for some they might be a stretch, like Jericho could be for St. Richard….the patron of parents of large families according to that website you posted. (https://catholicsaints.info/saint-richard-gwyn/)
I love Benedict Gerard and Finnian 🙂 I suggest Aaron and Victor (even though Aaron doesn’t fit the rules. ) Best wishes!
I vote for Luke or Frederick. I think it’s unrealistic to name a kid Benedict and think it will never get shortened to Ben. My mom attempted this for Jeffrey, and it still 30+ years later astonishes her that people won’t call him by his “real name!” Meanwhile, he’s self-identified as Jeff since he was a teenager.
It’s so true, kids will call themselves what they want!
what about Benedict, nn Ned?
Yes! It’s a great suggestion, nancyo! (And no worries that you’re not the first to think it – sometimes seeing an idea repeated helps reinforce that it really works!)
We’re considering it!
I adore Benedict
Other ideas – Lawrence (called Law or Lawson), Clarence (called Cal), Emmett, Davis, Zachary, Tobias, Richard, Jonathan, Phineas, Marius, Roderick. Or initials of KC for Bl. Casey.
Also Malachi or Malachy
I love a lot of these ideas! Thank you!
Have been thinking this weekend of your love for mash-up names to get a nickname. A fun way to get a Stan is using an “st” first name and “an” middle – like Stephen Anthony or Steven Andrew. I love both – very classic. Or go with the straight up Stephan or Stefan or Stevan – which gives the possibility of Stan as nickname right in one name with first 2 and last 2 letters. It is the less common spelling but still used. I was thinking of it especially with the promotion of the Polish cardinal (friend of JPII) who was just declared venerable a few months ago – Ven, Stefan Wyszyński.
I do love this strategy! Some cool ideas here, and I love the reference to Ven. Stefan Wyszyński!
I have a huge soft spot for Peter, but in Ben doesn’t work for Benedict, what about Ned? It’s right in there, and has the Britis/unexpected feel.
It does have that feel, you’re right!
Ned would be a cool nickname for Benedict.
There’s always Septimus … you could call him ‘Tim’ 😉
That would be unexpected, unusual, and dang cool.
I’d never thought of a doable nickname for Septimus, Tim definitely works!
I am putting another plug in for Thaddeus, which I have always loved. Especially with the nn “Tad,” or even “Tadpole,” when he’s a baby.
Ohmygosh, SO cute!
C in DC says
We have a Constantina at our school. She’s adorable, and I think people are ready for Constantine to show up as a name again.
Constantina’s so pretty!
C in DC says
Julian or Julius for seven were my first thought. Both get to the nn Lee. Linus. Severus. Stephen/Stephos. Marcus. Philip. Johann. Dominic (Nick). Bartholomew (nn Tolo?). Albert or Gilbert nn Bear, especially if using the French prn of the names. George. Geoffrey/Jeffrey/Joffrey. Russell. Clifford (Ford). Roland. Carleton.
The connection to “seven” through Julian/Julius is cool! I like a lot of these, thank you!
I love the suggestions of Finnian, Barnaby and Constantine!
Some really great names on this list! Thank you!
Congratulations on your blessing!
Thank you! I like the surname style, these are cool ideas!
I’ll try to avoid repeats.
On the Bob end of things:
Leopold / Leonard/Leo
So many great names here! Thank you!!
I love Rupert and Silas!
I think Jem would be an adorable nn for Jerome while Jerome itself feels quite stately.
I like Jem for Jerome!
Congratulations! I really love both of your blogs, so this was a delight to read and consider! As always, great suggestions 🙂
My favorite by far is Peter – it seems just right! Second favorite suggestion is Luke. Andreas is a great suggestion too.
From a biased perspective, I’d encourage reconsidering Nikolai. We just named our new baby Nikolai (but he goes more often by Nick or Nicky). My husband is Czech (not too far off from Polish!), so we liked a name that had Slavic roots (though Mikulas would be the CZ variant), but still had all-American potential (Nick!). Plus, it’s hard to beat the St. Nicholas connection (that was very important to us for a few different reasons). I think it ticks a lot of your boxes and it’s worked great with my Midwest family too 🙂
I also like Stanislav – my daughter has a Stanislav in her class who goes by Stanny (so cute!).
Good luck and congrats again on lucky number 7!
I looooove Nikolai!! And Stanny! So cute! Thank you!!
Titus! I know u want to avoid T names, but it’s my fave as I have a Titus;)
I just deleted most of my boy list for our baby today thanks to my husband but I’ll list some here. Not sure if they fit in to your many guidelines haha.
Some have a European feel so there’s that….
Renae’s personal faves:
Thanks all for the great names suggested!! A may be adding a couple to my own list from here
Shame Matthias is off the table – such a good name.
Have you considered Judah?
Francis with the nn Frank?
John or Joseph?
I know, I love Matthias too! Judah, Nathanael/iel, Francis/Frank, John, and Joseph are all great, thank you!
Just pointing out that Lincoln is two syllables and ends in -n.
What about Nickle for Nicholas?
Haha yes, I’m sure Lincoln won’t make the final cut! Nickle’s cute, thank you!
Congrats! I couldn’t help thinking of Cato in place of Cajetan for some reason. I’d like to suggest Valerian nn Val or Van, Leander nn Lee or Andy, Zachary, Eugene, Theodore, Atticus, Dario nn Dare, and Nicander since you like Nicholas but not especially Nick – this could be Andy or Nico just as easily. Domenic gives me the same vibe.
This is such a great list of names! Thank you!
This is a weird one, but Constantine called Gus. It’s totally a thing.
I’m also thinking Lionel. And obvious, but Theodore called Bear.
I’ve heard of Constantine/Gus! I love it! I’ve never considered Lionel, thanks! And Theodore/Bear is adorable.
Theresa Zoe says
My husband’s great-grandfather was from Greece and named Constantine but went by Gus!
If Nicholas is too popular, what about its English variant, Niles? That’s what my parents did. They originally thought they’d call him Nick for short, but that didn’t last long and he’s always been Niles.
I’ve considered so many Nicholas and Nic- variants, but I admit I’ve never consider Niles! Thank you!
Hi Kate! How about Alec, Becket, Casey, David, James, Matthew, Oliver or Samwise?
Great list! Samwise made me smile 🙂 Thank you!
What about Peregrine with a nn Perry? It was the name of the first child born in the new world, so if the Puritans used it then I assume there is a religious connection….plus it’s a little out there without being too crazy and Perry has that British vibe
Interesting about the first baby born here being named Peregrine, I never knew that! There are a bunch of Sts. Peregrine (http://catholicsaints.info/name-peregrine/), but my guess is that the Puritans were using it because of its meaning of “traveler.” It’s got the Lord of the Rings connection too, which is cool! Thank you!
Another great nickname for Benedict (my favorite) is Ned. Good solid masculine nickname, most often used in Britain! (And Nancy Drew ;)).
Ned’s a great option! Thank you!
What do you think of Christopher with possible nn Kit? British vibe and classic!
Favorites already mentioned-
Luke- love this name
Peter- great and definitely has a British/literary vibe
Arthur- I mean Arthurian legend, what’s not to love there
Congrats on baby number 7!!!
I don’t think I’ve given Christopher nn Kit enough thought! Nice idea!
I didn’t think there was anything I could add here. When I read the initial query my first thoughts were Benedict, Luke, and Ambrose which are already under consideration. But I have to say I love the suggestion of Constantine nn Stan!
Great minds think alike!!
I love Abby’s idea for “Stan” within a name and using for nickname. Are there other name besides Constantine where that happens? Was trying to think but only coming up with “Stan” at end options which I also like – for example Dunstan or Tristan. But with the “Two-syllable, ends-with-n boy names don’t work well with their two-syllable, ends-with-n surname,” rule cant use, right? Though I think if one emphasizes the “an” over “en” it might work.
What about Cajetan? I know, Kate, you have mentioned it before as “one of my favorite super duper Catholicky Catholic names” – but does it fall in the two syllable ending in N names you can’t use? But it could work based on what I commented above. It doesn’t end in “stan” but I feel the soft “j” sounds “s” (or “sh”) -like and could have Stan as a nickname.
I say Cajetan with three syllables! Hmm Cajetan nn Stan is interesting …
I have never been sure how to pronounce this name as I have heard it different ways. A quick search of people saying in on different you tube videos yields at least a half dozen different pronunciations. I think the most common English pronunciation is Caj’-e-tan with the strong J so probably what you are thinking. But other languages have the softer and more slurred sound of j – more jh or even jsh (think french, Italian). Cajh-tan or Cajsh-tan which would blur the middle and be two syllables. That is where I hear the possibility of Stan from the blend sh sound before the “tan”.
I really like the idea of Stan as a nickname for Cajetan!
Since your hubby like Stan, I am really leaning toward the Stanley (Bl. Stanley Rother) suggestion. Combined with the other Blessed from 2017 (who I know you have a special love for – Bl. Solanus Casey) you could have a heavy hitting contemporary saint combo – Stanley Solanus! Or maybe Stanley Bernard (birth name) – a very old name name – lol.
Meant to say very “old man name”
Stanley Solanus and Stanley Bernard are amazing suggestions! Stanley Bernard is definitely a very old man name!
I’m in the UK and Stanley is so mainstream here now – I think it must be heading over the pond soon. I know of a Monty Bernard and he’s extremely cute.
Good to know! I love seeing how trends travel!
We just had our 7th, too! I can’t help but think of Caedmon for you, nn. Cade. An intriguing saint’s name from early English Christianity, a fresh and usable nickname–it has a lot going for it.
Congratulations on your seventh!! Caedmon is really intriguing, and I like Cade. Thank you!
Hope Taylor says
Augustus, nn Gus, might fit in well with this sibling set.
Theresa Zoe says
A little more on the Joachim side but Salvatore nn Sal is one of my faves and Sal, o me, passes the “Bob test”
Aw I love Sal!
Again I have to pull for Arthur nn Bear!! I also love Stanley/Stan and WOW Constantine/Stan is pretty awesome. I had a friend in Germany named Konstantin and I always thought it was just the coolest!! The nn Stan pulls it right back into the realm of possibility/Little League sign-ups, I think. So excited for you Kate!
Constantine nn Stan is pretty brilliant!
Heh, this is interesting to do without knowing the actual sibling names, but here are some ideas that came to mind!
Casper or Jasper – If he doesn’t like Caspian, perhaps Casper would get a better reception? Or Jasper for something a little more familiar?
Philip – Pip is such a cute nickname, while Philip seems like a classic name her husband would like.
Walter – Nickname Walt gives me the same “cute old man” vibes as Stan.
Julian or Julius – Has the vowel cluster she likes.
I love Casper, Jasper, and Philip/Pip! Thank you!
In a way Philip ties to Philadelphia Eagles too….!
K., you are brilliant!
Oh that’s cute!
They picked great names for the Odd Couple! I like them both!
Haha. I’ve never seen “The Odd Couple”, so that was pure coincidence.
Benedict, nicknamed Eddie.
Oooo, that is a great nickname for Benedict. I also love Nick and think that totally works. Benedict is a great name and fits your family. From the others you like, I am always a fan of Jacob and Luke – two of my favorites.
I was coming to suggest Abraham nn Bram – I see I was beaten to the punch by Josie so I’m seconding the suggestion. It’s a great intuitive nn with classic roots (Bram Stoker), the name is biblical, and it passes the “Bob” test.
“the ‘Bob’ test” — love it!
The German (/international?) form of Andrew would be Andreas, maybe that’s cool too?
Or maybe Stephen?
Great suggestions – posted my thoughts on using them to get nn “Stan”.
I’d be tempted to build off of what you and your husband like about Abraham and Lincoln, and see if it leads you to other good names.
Like maybe Grant? Frederick or Douglas? Thaddeus (Stevens)? Charles (Sumner)? Marshall? Martin? Quincy?
I’m going to suggest Conrad -uncommon Brit/pan euro feel while still being recognisable.
Geoffrey feels Brit-lit to me (although I know they want to avoid “G” names I prefer it to the “J” spelling. Ahh now I’m thinking of so many great “G” names (Grant, Graham…)
Abraham doesn’t have to be Abe, it can be Bram. Which is cool.
I like Nick a lot but I like both Nicodemus and Dominic more than Nicholas. How Dominic is the Dominic name? I would be willing to get pretty close if Dominic is called Nick.
Everett – I just like it a lot, Rett is usable, and it’s like Benedict. I refuse to believe there’s no saintly connection for a name like Everett.
Theodore – Ted, Theo, TJ… Theodore seems like it could get a lot of different flavours depending on what you want to do, and go with the overall range of style. It’s not quite Joachim, but it’s not Bob all the time.
Alastair – Ace for short. Alexander but a step less popular, without being made up at all.
Closest to Joachim, tiny shy word of recommendation for Thaddeus, which is a lot of name, but I like a lot and Thad is approachable.
Of the suggestions my favourites are Finnian and Vincent.
I do love Abraham nn Bram! You’re right about Everett — it’s a variant of Everard, and there are a few Blesseds and Saints Everard (http://catholicsaints.info/name-everard/), nice idea! But I have to say Thaddeus is my favorite of your suggestions, such a great name. Thank you!