Honest opinions on Augustine?

What do you think of the name Augustine for a girl, and what are some possible nicknames? What do you picture when you think of Augustine? Feel free to be brutally honest.

Replies

1
November 5, 2017 12:09 PM

I have never heard it as a name for anyone that I know personally before, but what it immediately evokes for me is the city in Florida, St. Augustine. I don't know where you are located, but if you are in the States, I imagine that would be a common reaction. I don't dislike it, though. 

2
November 5, 2017 12:09 PM

My first thought was “isn’t that a male name?” But I looked it up and I hadn’t realized it had so much usage on females in the past. I do prefer Augusta for a girl, or Augustina if you want to be more elaborate. Honestly none of them are my style, but I can see the appeal. As for nicknames, Augie, Gussie, Ina, Tina, Stina, maybe Aggie?

3
November 5, 2017 2:48 PM

I had a brief 'Is that going to be for a boy or a girl?' debate with myself when I read your title (I decided girl). I can't really pin down a feeling about it; I find it somehow a bit frilly/princessy and quite fusty/clunky all at once, I certainly think it's quite a heavy name. That said I don't think there's anything wrong with it and it could fit in quite well with other names that are being used, it just depends what's popular in your area. Also I think it hits that spot where it's uncommon but has enough history of use that the majority of people would not struggle to say/spell it correctly. Being so long you'd have nickname options as well, the most obvious ones I think of are August and Tina/Tini (said teeny) but you could make many more if you don't mind about them being 'proper' names.

4
November 5, 2017 4:40 PM

i dont really like it,  nn Augie, Tina   sounds like a very old name, in an old village in Europe somewhere

5
November 5, 2017 5:30 PM

It is a very old name, see St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Augustine of Canterbury. While there may be a few parents who gave this name to daughters, it is a masculine name and has been for a very long time. I can't get behind it for a girl.

Also pronunciation is ambiguous. The saints are pronounced Au-GUS-tin and the town in Florida s Au-gus-TEEN.

6
November 6, 2017 9:15 PM

Are they really pronounced that way for the saints? I've only ever heard AW-gus-teen (and aw-gus-TIN-ee-in for things relating to him, but I'm not part of a faith tradition that venerates him, so it's not like I hear people talking about St. Augustine very often...I  took couple classes on western thought in college though so I definitely heard it there and that was the class where I learned to pronounce Goethe, and that stuck with me, so...)

 

I see Wikipedia lists both pronunciations, I wonder who uses each?

7
November 6, 2017 9:18 PM

"People will think you're gauche if you pronounce it 'GO-th'".

8
November 6, 2017 10:36 PM

I am a medievalist, and I can tell you that Augustine of Hippo and Augustine of Canterbury are always Au-GUS-tin. Both men are central to medieval studies, and they are referred to frequently.

Floridians call their local city St. Augus-TEEN.

9
November 6, 2017 11:39 PM

Well, obviously not *always*. You can skim through the many college lectures on Augustine of Hippo on youtube and say that 40% of professors teaching about him are using an incorrect pronunciation of his name (the one from Yale was first in my search results--seems a general western civ class, definitely not medieval studies),  but you cannot say that his name is always pronounced one way. 

From googling the most approximate answer to my question seems to be that Catholics say tin and lots of Protestants say teen (perhaps because they don't have as much of an oral tradition repeating the name so the original pronunciation got lost and the more intuitive-American pronunciation supplanted it). There were a couple of fun historical-esque disputations linked on gospel coalition defending the two sides for those to google to whom this kind of thing give a chuckle :D.

10
November 7, 2017 12:16 AM

I was speaking of my field of medieval studies. I have never heard an Anglophone medievalist use the -teen pronunciation.

Now I have heard some strange things over my years. Once I was the chairman of the hiring committee, and we were searching for a Shakesperian. One interviewee pronounced the River Thames to rhyme with names and with the th in thigh. She was immediately removed from consideration. Likewise in my experience, if we were interviewing an Anglo-Saxonist who talked about Augus-TEEN of Canterbury, that candidate would not get the job.

11
November 5, 2017 9:25 PM

I was all ready to tell you how much I adore the name Augustine, but then I read your post.  What I picture is a delightful, lively, round-cheeked little boy. :)

12
November 5, 2017 9:38 PM

I'm with Miriam: it's 100% a masculine name. The fact that a bunch of other parents have bestowed it on their hapless daughters doesn't change history; it just points out how misogynistic society still is. (It's perfectly fine to give a girl a man's name, because it's better to be male. Heaven forfend the other way around, though.)

The feminine name is Augustina.

13
November 5, 2017 10:15 PM

I love it! I would assume it is being considered for a boy, but given how many other -ine endings are used as feminizations, e.g. Ernestine and Josephine, I'm frankly just fine with considering Augustine as a female name as well, and I like it in that context as well. It's very regularly used for half as many girls as boys, since the start of the SSA data being collected, so this is not a new controversial unisex name in the US, either.

My kid is friends with a young Gus, and Augie's is the name of a local establishment, and I think it's an absolutely very wearable name with many nickname options. It does have some pronunciation ambiguity, but I think that needn't be hugely problematic. Though I'm guessing you have a preference and will have a pronunciation that you use, I would approach it with a zen attitude that both are correct pronunciations of his name in different languages/regions, so I wouldn't feel the need to correct every random person who says it the other way, either. People who feature regularly in his life will probably upon hearing you say his name regularly then pick up the pronunciation you desire.

14
November 5, 2017 11:34 PM

A bit of a slip: Augustine is being considered for a girl, but the second paragraph of lucubratrix's post uses masculine pronouns for the expected baby. Augustine really is a masculine name.

15
November 5, 2017 11:39 PM

Whoops! I stand corrected. My browser has this annoying feature where the first line is mostly obscured when in the #new version of the page, as default, so I didn't register the girl part.

Isn't Augustine the French and German feminine form?

16
November 5, 2017 11:36 PM

I love Augustine, both the saint and the town. It has strong Catholic/religious vibes and I definitely think boy when I hear it.  That said, I think with the right nn a girl could pull it off. 

17
November 6, 2017 12:17 AM

Augustine is visually a masculine name for me.  Said by a German speaker, I'd hear it as feminine, with the ending "e" a schwa.  However, in an English speaking context, I think it's unlikely that the final "e" will be voiced, making it sound like the masculine version.  Assuming you are in a primarily English speaking location, my preference for a girl would be Augustina, as that makes the name unambiguously feminine.

Despite knowing the difference between Augustine & Augustin thanks to my German speaking husband and in-laws, I tend to default to the masculine German (ow-goose-teen) for both spellings.  It's also very hard for me to not sing the name, as the song "Ach du lieber Augustin" is one of the songs my husband tends to sing/hum/whistle as he goes about his business.

I think Gus/Gussie, Auggie or Tina could all work as nicknames for Augustina.

18
November 6, 2017 9:06 AM

I'm not Christian and have never encountered the saints outside of the context of this board, so to me the name is 100% a feminine French name (it has been used in France for girls for well over a century, so this is not a case of parents suddenly deciding to use a clearly masculine name like James for girls), pronounced something like awe-gus-TEEN or oh-goose-TEEN. I like it as well as any of the August names, and better than some. My favorite nickname for it would probably be Aggie, followed by Augie or Gussie; I'm less of a fan of Tina (probably because it feels like a name from my generation).

19
November 6, 2017 9:19 AM

Hi!

A lot of people have said that Augustine is the French feminine form (it is! Of Augustin!) and as a person who's lived in a French environment for most of my life I would say that in a French context it's definitely feminine. However, in this English-speaking context, I had a brief see-saw and went with male. I don't think this would be much of a problem, especially since -ine is a common ending to feminine names, but it's something to consider. 

As with most August-and-co names, it reads as a bit much to me, but then I think a lot of names are a bit much, so that's nothing to worry about. Possible nicknames are Auggie, Gus, Gussie, Tina... The list goes on.

20
November 6, 2017 11:11 AM

It's not my personal taste because I'm not a fan of the -een ending, but when I see the name, I 98% think of it as a feminine French name then need to remind myself that it can also be a male one. (I'm not Christian and only know most of the saint names that I do from reading this forum.) So, if I saw it on a boy, I'd say to myself, "Oh, right, it's a male saint name -- I wonder if they are pronouncing it awe-GUS-tin or AWE-gus-teen," but if I saw it on a girl, I'd think, "Not the name that I'd personally choose, but I appreciate the unusual selection." There would be none of my usual, "Ugh, another girl given a boy's name when there are so many amazing names out there for girls!" I would also expect it to be pronounced in an approximation of the French way, so the second way written above.

21
By EVie
November 6, 2017 12:32 PM

I know the name primarily from reading Augustine of Hippo in my college great books classes, so my first thought is masculine, but I'm fine with it as a feminine name due to its French usage. Augustine of Hippo was actually Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis in his mother tongue, and Augustine is just how we happen to have transliterated it in English. Given the idiosyncracies of medieval spelling, and because we don't have gendered endings in English, it's just a historical accident that it didn't come out Augustin instead (and in some cases it did contract all the way down to Austin). After all, Justinus became Justin, not Justine.

In French, on the other hand, they do have gendered endings, and that e very clearly signifies a feminine name; over there, Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis is rendered as Augustin d'Hippone. We use lots of other French names with -ine endings (Christine, Jacqueline, Caroline) so I don't see why this should be off limits... seems a little parochial to insist that the English tradition is the only acceptable way in this case, especially given how happy we are to see linguistic diversity in naming in other contexts. 

22
By mk
November 6, 2017 3:29 PM

I agree. Augustine is a feminine name in French (maybe other languages as well), so saying it is 100% masculine is not correct.

In the U.S. we have a huge diversity of names and a semingly similar name can have different meanings, usage, spellings, etc.

23
November 6, 2017 8:20 PM

The only Augustine I know if a female. I think it is very pretty. 

24
November 7, 2017 4:21 AM

It reads feminine to me (except for having seen it debated before on this forum). I think I've mostly seen saints discussed in Spanish, so I wasn't necessarily aware that the male form in English was a "tine" ending (which, frankly, doesn't make much sense, and while I obviously bow to Miriam on the pronunciation, saying Augustine as Au-GUS-tin makes about as much phonetic sense as ... well, English makes no sense anyway I guess).

To me it looks like another French feminine name. Not my personal style, but I would appreciate how different it was if I met a child named this. I think Aggie would be a great nickname, but Augie would also be fine.