When we introduce people to our baby son, Hugh Joseph, people almost always ask if Hugh is a family name. No… its not really. Although I love the idea of naming our children after family members we love and admire, My brother was named after both his grandfathers and its always meant a lot to him, but any family names we like have never ‘fit’ in the two instances that we have had children to name, maybe one day! We chose the name because we both liked it, and there were less names we could agree on as each pregnancy came close to the end.
I like that Hugh is a more unusual name. In the USA since 1999 it is been in the top 1,000 most popular baby names every year except for 2008, usually ranked somewhere around 980 by the Social Security administration. Here in Alberta there have been some babies named Hugh each year during the last few years, but never more than 10. So he may encounter having a friend or classmate share his name, but its pretty unlikely.
I like that the name is unusual, but not “Yoo-Neeke” in the way some made up or modified names can be. I like that people will be able to pronounce it, and everyone can tell he is a boy (and one day a man) just from his name. Everyone knows the name, but probably doesn’t personally know somebody with the name, until now!
In case Joseph as a patron by his second name isn’t enough, there is a Saint Hugh who is called “one of the most influential men of his era” and he became an Abbot of Cluny by the age of 25, which is pretty impressive.
Joseph we chose because we both have a very strong love and devotion for Jesus’ earthly father. Prayers and novenas to St Joe helped us get through our long long distance relationship and guided us as we discerned our vocation to marriage. Gotta thank St Joe and I know my little boy is in very very good hands named after such a wonderful saint.
My husband thinks its a little cheesy, but I found out that the name Hugh is from the Germanic element hug, meaning “heart, mind, spirit” and I thought that was sweet.
I should have written down all our reasons for choosing Clara Grace’s name, but I will share the fast version. Saint Clare, need I say more? The wonderful and inspiring friend of St. Francis of Assisi, who founded the Poor Clares.
Also the only-came-down-to-us-agreeing-on-one-name thing.
In case you just can’t get enough naming stories... Kathryn has more!