Name Sage: A Short, Spiritually Meaningful Name
By Abby Sandel
We are expecting our third child. We have a boy and a girl already: Cruz Andres and Veda Josephine. I like that both of their names are four letters (though we’re not committed to four letters) and have spiritual ties, but I can’t seem to find a name that I truly love for a third child.
Our top names so far are Makaio and Eden. We have some family names we might use for the middles. I would love if you could offer me any suggestions at all. I don’t have any set rules for the names, but I want to love it, and I also want it to flow with Cruz and Veda.
Our last name is a long, common one – starts with an R, ends with a ‘z’ sound.
The Name Sage replies:
This makes for a few challenges with naming a third child. A name like Noah or Maya would fit in some ways, but could also feel too ordinary compared to style stand-outs like Cruz and Veda. Much as I love the name Eden, and think it hits the right notes for many reasons, would you be upset if Eden shared her name with other kids – often? Over 2,000 girls were named Eden last year, and more than 2,000 the year before that, too. That’s about twice as many as Cruz, and ten times as many as Veda!
Makaio – the Hawaiian form of Matthew – might actually go too far in the other direction. Cruz and Veda are unusual, distinctive names, but they’re easy to say and spell. Makaio fits with your global, eclectic style. But is it too much name?
Now, let’s talk about name length. You’ve said that you don’t feel strongly about sticking to four letters, and there are plenty of great names that break the pattern. Plenty of siblings have names of different lengths, in terms of letters and syllables.
That said, there are some great names that happen to come in at four letters and meet your other criteria, too. So I’m inclined to keep my other suggestions on the shorter side.
Since you’re not certain about Eden and Makaio, let’s see if we can brainstorm some new name possibilities. If none of these feel quite right, it might be a signal that Eden and Makaio are The Right Names after all!
Boys’ names first:
- Koa – Koa looks like a creative spin on Noah. Not so. Koa is a type of tree native to Hawaii, and the word means warrior. The name is fierce and gentle at once. If you decide that sticking with four letters matters, I’ve also seen it spelled Koah.
- Zion – Eden always makes me think of Zion. It’s undeniably spiritual. However, it’s been nearly as popular as Eden in recent years, so while the sound and meaning seem ideal, it’s not necessarily as unusual as Veda and Cruz.
- Tyge – Here’s a name seldom heard in the US. Astronomer Tycho Brahe would have been called Tyge in his native Denmark. It sounds like the first syllable of tiger. Cruz, Veda, and Tyge. It comes from a Greek name and means “hitting the mark.”
- Kito – I love the idea of an ends-in-o name for baby #3. Kito is definitely unusual in the US – it’s a Swahili name that means precious jewel. Kito feels energetic, distinctive, and a good match for Cruz and Veda.
- Caio – Here’s my favorite of the many ends-in-o options. It comes from the Latin Caius – rejoice. I understand it’s reasonably popular in Brazil, but I’ve never met a Caio in the US. The first syllable sounds like the increasingly familiar Kai.
Now, on to names for girls:
- Ciel – Ciel is the French word for sky, and also heaven. In Spanish, it’s Cielo, and you might respell it Cielle to make the pronunciation more obvious. I think of Ciel as a great substitute for Eden – a spiritual name that packs a lot of meaning into just a few letters, and has a very current sound.
- Vrai – Maybe I’m stuck on French names because of Ciel. Or maybe I’m suggesting Vrai for all the right reasons. Vrai has a bold, unexpected sound – it rhymes with fray. And Vrai’s meaning is great, too – truth. I like the way that Vrai and Veda share a V, but maybe the names are too close?
- Ever – As word names go, Ever is much more straightforward than Vrai. Plus, Ever still has that great ‘v’ sound: Cruz, Veda, and Ever.
- Zuri – Another Swahili name, this time meaning good or beautiful. It’s sometimes heard for boys, but has been catching on for girls in the US in recent years.
- Naia – Naia might feel like a twist on the very popular Mia/Maya names. But Naia is also a Basque name meaning wave. It’s popular in Spain, but uncommon in the US. Cruz, Veda, and Naia.
Updated, 12.28.15: He’s here! Welcome to Koa Nigel West.
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on May 26th, 2015 at 11:40 pm
Reuel, Chayil, Enoch, Tirzah, Hadar, Zoe, Shiloh,
on May 26th, 2015 at 11:43 pm
Cruz, Veda, and…
Paz or Pax
Lux or Luz
Boaz or Noaz
on May 26th, 2015 at 11:47 pm
My thoughts were Alma for a girl and Mars for a boy
on May 27th, 2015 at 12:27 am
Also Zak and Jachin (Yaw-keen)
on May 27th, 2015 at 12:40 am
I actually really like Eden, and think it goes well with Cruz and Veda! I agree with Abby on Makaio, though.
Just wanted to mention: “vrai” is a French word, but it is not a French name. And it doesn’t mean “truth” as in the abstract concept, it means “true” literally, as in “true or false” (vrai ou faux). I would find it a little odd to see it used as a name. If you want a name meaning “truth”, why not try Vera or Verity (Vérité in French, if so preferred).
From the suggestions, I like Zion the best, I think it goes fantastically with Cruz and Veda. I also like Caio and Zuri. From the comments, I really like Pax/Paz, Shiloh, Selah, Boaz, and Jubal.
Noel (prn. “nole”) or Noël/Noelle
on May 27th, 2015 at 4:14 am
Love Cruz and Veda!
From the two contenders, it’s not that Eden is kind of bland next to Cruz and Vida, it’s that it sounds way too much like Veda. Veda, Eden, Veda, Eden. Just doesn’t work. I really like the suggestion of Koa (or Koah) over Makaio.
Paloma – It’s a bit long, but I love the spiritual association of the dove. Besides being a symbol of peace, it’s also used as an iconographical symbol for God the father in Catholic art.
Dove – Dove works too and is 4 letters.
Luna or Selena – Depending on your take on spirituality, the moon can be a wonderful source of name inspiration. Luna works as a 4-letter name.
Adhara / Adara – Ditto above. Bonus: Adara is different but fits in with the Ad- trend.
Agnes, Aneska, or Inez – associated with the lamb, so may be spiritual to some. My vote would be Inez or Ines from this group.
Pax – Just throwing another vote for Pax. Fits in perfectly with Cruz and Veda and means “peace.”
Aaru – 4 letters, peaceful connotation.
Lior – 4 letters, “light.” Lucian or Lucius work too.
on May 27th, 2015 at 4:23 am
Also, “vrai” doesn’t really rhyme with “fray”. I’m not a fan of using words from other languages as names and then mispronounce them.
on May 27th, 2015 at 8:05 am
I love the suggestion of Ever. 4 letters AND has a ‘v’. Jackpot! I think Eden goes well with Veda and Cruz though 🙂
on May 27th, 2015 at 8:10 am
I like Alma and Pax
on May 27th, 2015 at 8:35 am
Of the names suggested, I would go with Caio for a little boy and Ciel or Naia for a little girl.
However, I also really love these names for Cruz and Veda’s little brother or sister:
Girls: Zita, Rani, Ines/Inez, or Alma
Boys: Ravi, Kane, Cale, or Ezra
on May 27th, 2015 at 8:59 am
I would go Ciel for a girl (although I prefer the Cielle spelling) and Kito for a boy!
on May 27th, 2015 at 9:03 am
I would suggest Naila. It is the name of one of my Egyptian friends and is derived from the river Nile (Nile-ah).
I think it’s beautiful – and has its links to religion through the Nile.
on May 27th, 2015 at 10:01 am
Everyone has made some great suggestions — I especially like Pax — but there’s another, oh so obvious, four-letter name: Sage.
on May 27th, 2015 at 11:00 am
I found a few more names that might be considered, trying to stick to four letter, and spiritual.
Gaia – which means earth, and is the name of the mother earth goddess.
Gaja – it is Esperanto for glad, or a variation of Gaia
Hero – a good meaning and a Shakespearean name.
Mira – means sea, ocean in Sanskrit, was the name of a 16th-century Indian princess who devoted her life to the god Krishna.
Pilar – means pillar in Spanish, and is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary.
Boys on the other hand proved much harder to find one to stand up to the greatness that is Cruz. I thought about offering up names like Lugh a figure from Irish mythology, or Frey, Tyr, Thor, Odin all of whom are Norse Gods. To me however none of them seem to fit with Cruz and Veda, like the girls names suggested do. Most other boys names I found seemed far too common, or too soft sounding. Such as Ilan which mean tree, or Lior which means light for me, both of which are Hebrew names. Though Lev, which can mean either lion or heart could be something to consider. Also Nero, but it is not a very spiritual name, it does have a good meaning, strong, vigorous.
Of the names listed my favorites are Ciel and Ever, which is cute and rather straight forward for a girl. For the boys I think Koa and Caio fit best.
on May 27th, 2015 at 12:14 pm
For a boy, Arieh (Ahr-YE, according to Behind the Name) might work…it means “lion” & has a great nn of Ari, just like Ariel, but won’t be mistaken for a feminine name, as Ariel is pretty much viewed as a girl’s name now.
W/all the contretemps about the name Cohen, I’m not sure whether this would be considered offensive as well, but perhaps Torah for a girl?
on May 27th, 2015 at 12:50 pm
With Criz and Veda, I’d pick Shalom.
on May 27th, 2015 at 12:52 pm
Sorry, I meant Cruz. And Shalom is for a girl. For a boy with Cruz and Veda I’d pick Dove, which you could also spell Dov (still spiritual, slightly different meaning.)
on May 27th, 2015 at 1:08 pm
I love Koa(h) for a boy. I prefer the Koa spelling, Koah seems like it’s trying to be Noah.
For a girl I love Cielle. I get that the misspelling can be annoying for French speakers, but Cielle just seems prettier to me than Ciel, and helps with any confusion about pronunciation.
Also, JustBrowsing suggested Naila, derived from Nile, but I like the name Nile, for a boy or girl. Four letters, easy to pronounce/spell, and link to religion.
Cruz, Veda, and Koa
Cruz, Veda, and Cielle
Cruz, Veda, and Nile
They’re the right combination of uncommon but easy to pronounce/spell.
on May 27th, 2015 at 1:19 pm
Great suggestions! For girls, I’d add Iris, Lyra, Fable, Oona, Lotus, Cyan, Bijou. For boys, I’d add Atlas, Yule, Merritt. I think Ciel and Caio are my favorites, though, with Ever and Ezra as the runners up.
on May 27th, 2015 at 1:19 pm
on May 27th, 2015 at 1:50 pm
My university has a decent number of Brazilian exchange students, and I’ve met several guys named Caio. It really is a cool name. They get a lot of compliments.
on May 27th, 2015 at 2:19 pm
I really like the Paz or Pax suggestion. I think Paz would be great for a girl, and Pax perfect for a boy. I also think it flows well – Cruz, Veda, & Paz or Cruz, Veda, and Pax.
on May 27th, 2015 at 2:22 pm
Here are my suggestions. I’m sorry for any repeats – consider them a thumbs up =)
i’m not much help for boys, I’m sorry
on May 27th, 2015 at 3:06 pm
I love all of those boys names to go with Cruz and Veda but the girls much less. I do love the spunk in Zuri though and Suri
on May 27th, 2015 at 4:43 pm
Cora, Sera, and Lula came to mind for female, and Cory came to mind for boys.
on May 27th, 2015 at 5:00 pm
I only read through a couple previous comments so I hope I’m not repeating anyone, but what about Sage for either gender. I feel like it’s a known name and yet not crazy popular and goes very well with Veda and Cruz. I do like Eden and I think it goes well too. Not sure if it’s quite your style but I feel like I have to throw Odin and Thor out there because or their religious associations and I think they go nicely with your other children’s names. I also like Nico, but it doesn’t seem to fit the requirements.
on May 27th, 2015 at 8:46 pm
I would suggest the name of my daughter, Ziva, Eve, Eva or even the name Aviva that refers to the springtime, however, the strong “V” letters and sounds they contain may be too similar or repetitive of Veda’s name. The choice of more spiritual names is beautiful and meaningful and pondering on spirituality itself, it occurred to me to suggest the names Paz, Irene (my favorite for Veda and Cruz’s sister), Irina/Irena, Mary, Maria, Sol (for boy or girl), Luna and Gaia.
As for a boy, Caio is a stunning name, as well as Asra, Arlo, Aleph, Cosmo, Pax, Rocco (St. Rocco) and Damon/Damian (St. Damian, St. Rocco’s twin brother), Piers, Piero, Pietro, Pedro, Peter and Petrus.
on May 27th, 2015 at 8:48 pm
I’m sorry, I’ve mixed up St. Rocco and St. Cosmo in my parenthesis as St. Damian’s twin. It’s actually St. Cosmo.
on May 28th, 2015 at 6:08 am
Here are my suggestIons. I tried to only pick names that: went well with Veda and Cruz; were short; and had spiritual or religious meanings.
on May 28th, 2015 at 10:13 am
Nova (new) for a girl
on May 28th, 2015 at 11:06 am
Cruz, Veda, and Tyge would be nice! I love Tyge, and I also love Bodhi! I think that Bodhi is packed with meaning and is short as well!
on May 29th, 2015 at 9:39 am
Boone for a boy means blessing. I think that would work very well.
on May 29th, 2015 at 2:04 pm
Anya: “grace”, #472
Calla: “beautiful”, outside of top 1000
Lyra: “lyre”, outside of top 1000
Mira: “admirable”, #613
Thea: “goddess”, #776
Asa: “born in the morning”, #522
Kai: “forgiveness”, #177
My favorites are probably Lyra (because I think it sounds wonderful with Cruz and Veda) and Kai (because it has meaning in multiple languages)
Sorry for any repeats, and good luck!
on May 29th, 2015 at 2:40 pm
I think for a girl Zita is perfect as it means Saint or Seeker so ties in well. It also goes with the four letter theme.
For a boy I think Cain/Kain is lovely as it is the name of Adam and Eve’s first son in the bible. Levi is also very nice and is the third son of Jacob and Leah in the bible and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of the Israelites. They also both follow the four letter theme.
Josephine means empress and Andres means manly/brave/warrior
Other Girls Names Meaning Empres: Ambrosia, Eugenie
Other Boys Names Meaning Manly/Brave/Warrior: Leonard, Carlos, Charles
on May 30th, 2015 at 12:18 pm
My favourites are: Naia, Zuri, Ciel, Tyge, Kito.
PPs made a bunch of suggestions, here are a few of mine:
Girls: Nova, Lotus, Lyra, Zola
Boys: Jengo, Noel, Sage, Ari
on June 1st, 2015 at 7:03 am
Cruz (cross) Veda (knowledge) and …
Disa (free spirit)
Jala (clear minded)
Atom (universal element)
Roam (wander, searcher)
Toki (many opportunities)
on June 1st, 2015 at 9:45 am
Cruz, Veda and Pax or Paz is my absolute favorite sibset suggested thus far.
Other favorites already suggested:
Here are a few that i think fit well and I don’t think have been suggested yet:
-Aura (read Nameberry description, beautiful underused name that fits in nicely with nice A names)
-Maven (one who understands)
-Salome (also means peace)
-Maris (of the sea)
-Milo (merciful or soldier)
-Theo (divine gift)
on June 1st, 2015 at 5:39 pm
For a boy I like Pax- Meaning “peace”, or Cedar – is a tree name, with a lot of biblical meaning. http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/cedar.html . I also think Zion sounds completely perfect with you sibling set. Also really like Abel – the good brother, his name meaning Breath, or Ivan- Slovic form of John,though these are more traditional names neither is very popular at the moment, both had a different, but not too different vibe to them.
For a girl
Zoya- Meaning life. Kitra- Meaning “Crown” in Aramaic (the language that would have been spoken by Jesus) Kit is also an adorable nickname. Eden is a fine name, and fits well with in you current children’s names.
on June 2nd, 2015 at 7:29 am
Cruz , Veda &
I’m suggesting this as I see you’ve picked Veda before. Avesta means knowledge and it’s the holy book of zoroastrian religion. Avesta & Veda fit perfectly together.
Kismet : meaning Destiny ( fits also with the international theme that you’ve adopted )
Raya : hebrew meaning friend
on June 3rd, 2015 at 12:43 pm
Tulsi – “basil” “Tulsi is more than a simple nature name: The holy basil plant is sacred in the Hindu religion, used to honor the god Vishnu and representative of his consort, the goddess Tulsi. The Tulsi plant is often planted in Hindu houses and is used for medicinal as well as ritualistic purposes.” http://nameberry.com/babyname/Tulsi
on December 29th, 2015 at 2:36 pm
Great choice! I love the name Koa, so handsome
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