The Baby Name Post



Thank you to everyone who weighed in on the naming chops of my 3rd grade class. Now the real fun begins.

So, we’ve decided against giving you a name list to choose from in the traditional sense. Instead, we’re going to give you the formula we’ve decided upon following, and see what kinds of combinations you come up with on your own.

The formula is as follows:

First = Saint’s Name (celebrated in the Orthodox Church)
Middle = Family Name
Last = Saathoff

To assist those who may not be very well versed in one or both of the naming categories, we have a long list of family names mixed up below, and a few links where you can explore Orthodox Saints’ names and/or lives (for these are important to us, as well).

OCA – The Lives of the Saints
Orthodox Women Saints
Abba Moses – Orthodox Saints and Feasts
Online Chapel – Saints and Feasts
List of American Orthodox Saints
(Some saints only show up on one or two of these sites, so if you want to be thorough you could check them all!)

Family Names:

Boosalis           Michael           Robert
Stella           Birdie           Harry
Casey           Katina           Benjamin
Karen           Chris           Tonya
Margaret           Jack           Kathleen
Carol           Judith           Gerald
Patricia           Brooke           Richard
Kurt           Lois           Mark
Philip           Evan           Charles


“Let us afford our children from the first an incentive to goodness from the name that we give them.” – St. John Chrysostom



Our son was born, and his name is Basil Samuel Saathoff.

We played with some different names, such as Theodore and Chris, but this is the one that we settled upon. While at the hospital to get the emergency cerclage, we chose a boy and girl name for the baby, not knowing what might happen with the whole preterm labor business. After choosing Basil Saathoff then it was hard to change it, and ultimately we didn’t want to.

Basil comes from Saint Basil the Great, and it is a version of Vasili and Basileus meaning “royal” or “kingly.”

Samuel comes from Samuel the Prophet and Judge and my father, meaning “God heard” or “His name is God.”

Thus, it does fulfill the formula we came up with above and both were strong favorites from the very beginning. Thank you to everyone who took an interest. We wanted his name to have great meaning – not only in what the actual words mean but in who stands behind them. We hope for the three particular bearers of these names mentioned above to have special place in the life of our son throughout his life.

Right now I enjoy calling him “Mr. Basil.”



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14 Responses to “The Baby Name Post”

  1. Josh Says:

    HOLY CRAP, YOU’RE HAVING A BABY?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?

    I love you people!

  2. precisewoman Says:

    Josh, I’m glad to know we’re loved. But, while Saint may mean Holy, we’re not going to name our baby “Holy Crap.” Neither of us have any relations named Crap, although we do think of you as a brother!

  3. Anne Says:

    I have the obvious candidate.
    You must remember “Esther Calvin.” (I can’t remember her middle name.)



  4. precisewoman Says:

    Thanks Anne :)
    Of course I remember Esther, it’s hard to forget the quietest of all Coulter-ites. I think her middle name was Rachel, if I’m not mistaken. I hope the Bay Area is treating you well!

  5. vagueperson Says:

    Ok, for lack of submissions I’ll throw some out there:

    Barsanuphius Kurt Saathoff (boy)
    Theophylact Jack Saathoff (boy)

    Ermenhilda Karen Saathoff (girl)
    Elfleda Stella Saathoff (girl)

    Surely someone can do better than these!

  6. Julie V. Says:

    You’re right, there’s a dearth of suggestions around here. Being a mother to two lengthily-named children (one of whom has a name unpronounceable and unspellable by all), I’m going for sheer quantity of letters.

    Chrysostom Boosalis Saathoff
    If it’s a girl you can call her Chryssy; if it’s a boy you can call him….Chrysostom….I guess.

  7. Emmy Jo Says:

    My goodness, there are tons of Orthodox saints! I’ll do just girl’s names for now, and I’ll come back later to suggest some boys’ names.

    Girls’ favorites if you want something relatively safe: Emilia, Lydia, Genevieve, Anna, Anastasia, Charissa, Miriam, Cecilia, Katherine

    If you’re feeling more daring, consider: Xenia, Daria, Kallista, Junia, Isidora, Susanna, Lucina, Olive, Ariadne, Sidonia, Zenaida, Zenobia, Evanthia, Dorothy, Agnes

    Because your last name starts with an S, you might want to cross of your list the names that also start with an S sound.

    Here are some ideas for combos:
    Anastasia Karen Saathoff
    Anastasia Brooke Saathoff
    Miriam Katina Saathoff
    Miriam Patricia Saathoff
    Evanthia Margaret Saathoff (nickname Eve, Eva, or Evie)
    Junia Brooke Saathoff
    Lydia Margaret Saathoff
    Genevieve Lois Saathoff
    Emilia Carol Saathoff

    How do you feel about adapting family names to make them sound more updated or more rhythmically pleasing as middles? For example, Carol could become Caroline, Stella could be Estelle, Kathleen could be Katherine, and Margaret could be Marguerite.

    Do you like any of these combos?

  8. Jean S Says:

    Dorthy Brook Saathoff (I am a converted fan of elderly sounding names! Wouldn’t you love having a daughter you could call Dotty?)


    Damian Kurt Sathoff

    Stay healthy and my prayers are with you!


  9. vagueperson Says:

    haven’t decided yet!

    but it’s a boy

  10. Kristy Says:

    Have you two decided yet?

    If not, here are my suggestions:

    Julian Samuel Saathoff (celebrated June 21st – my guess for his birth date!)
    Jude Boosalis Saathoff (June 19)

  11. vagueperson Says:

    now there’s a little more homework! It would have been nice to align birthday with name day, but alas I’m not sure it is to be.

  12. kristy Says:

    Ok, I should probably know better, but how do you pronounce Basil? Is it bay-sil or bah-sil? Just want to get it right in my head so each time I read it I will remember. :)

  13. vagueperson Says:

    We pronounce it like the herb – Bay-zle.
    We have, however, given my mother the ok to say Bazzle, and grandparents are ok to call him Vasili if they like, too!

  14. brooke Says:

    Ok, I thought it was the othe way. That I was saying the herb and it was wrong. That the correct was the Bazzile, so I was saying BAyzil before. I’m confused.

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