Name Change Opinions

What do you picture when you hear each of these names and what are your opinions on them? I am considering going by my middle name of a variant of it. but I don't know which. 


Augustine (AU-gus-teen)



June 28, 2017 1:37 PM

I like Augustine and Augustina, prefer Augustine, though I would never name my kids that, just because I don't like long names, but if I would hear someone is called Augustine or Augustina, I would've say "Wow, very sweet and unique name".

 but don't like Augusta :)

June 28, 2017 2:19 PM

I prefer Augustine. I think it's more recognizable as a name and is very pretty. :)

June 28, 2017 2:50 PM

I would pronoounce Augustine "au GUS tin" and assume that it's a man's name, unless I knew otherwise.  Then again, I love my 4th and 5th century North African saint names, obviously :).

I really like Augustina.

June 28, 2017 3:06 PM

This except I prefer Augusta.

June 28, 2017 3:09 PM

Augusta depends a lot on context: It either makes me think "very Southern US" or "stately, formidable British lady". It's my favorite of the three either way, but I probably like it a bit more with the latter associations.

Augustine looks very French to me, but I know there is a Catholic association that is somewhat different.

Augustina is the most...flexible? looking to me. It's something about the literally "distinguished" start of the name and the diminutive end of the name, but I'm not sure how to articulate it. I'm not crazy about the potential nickname Tina (probably because of my generation) but I like the name as a whole.

June 28, 2017 6:12 PM

There are two very important Catholic saints, Augustine of Hippo, the great Father of the church,and Augustine of Canterbury, the evangelist of the Anglo-Saxons. It is not possible to overestimate the importance of Augustine of Hippo's writings in developing Christian theology. His work is foundational.

June 28, 2017 6:22 PM

Miriam or Optatus (or anyone familiar with the saints), do you think if it were pronounced with the emphasis on the last syllable, something like Au-gus-TEEN, that this association would spring to mind when hearing the naming (for those who are aware of it)? I'm not Christian, don't know anything about saints other than that we wear green on Patrick's day and red on Valentine's, so I have a hard time judging how these things come across to people who are in-the-know.

June 28, 2017 8:12 PM

When I hear AugusTEEN, it's the city in Florida. When someone pronounces the name of either saint as AugusTEEN, I put that person in the same category as someone who pronounces the river Thames to rhyme with fame and with the th in thought. BTW I am not Christian either, but as far as I am concerned Augustine is a male given name with strong religious associations pronounced AuGUStin.

June 28, 2017 9:47 PM

Yes, I knew you weren't Christian, but you are more well-versed in Catholic saints than I am, anyway.

What I'm wondering is whether the French (and apparently German) feminine name Augustine, which is pronounced differently from the English male name of the same spelling, still evokes the saint for folks who have this as a primary association. Sounds like it does.

June 28, 2017 10:10 PM

I was speaking only for my own reaction. I can only guess what the associations are for French and German speakers who know it as a feminine name. To take a possible analogy, Dominique is both masculine and feminine, and my guess is that both bring to mind St. Dominic, and Dominic would be a patron for both male and female bearers of the name Dominique.

June 28, 2017 11:50 PM

Well, I'm not Christian and have about as much knowledge of saints as you do, but I do speak French and if i were to see a woman with the name Augustine, I wouldn't think of the saint since it's clearly a woman's name in that context. (That said, the only reason I know that the saint isn't pronounced like the city in Florida is that Miriam taught me, and it's something that I need to remind myself of when the situation arises.)

Augusta is my favourite of the three choices, since -ine/-ina names don't speak to me, personally. However there's nothing objectively wrong with either, they're just not names that I'd pick myself. 

June 29, 2017 12:54 PM

Not Christian, but I am familiar with whichever the more famous of the two saints is and his writings in a vague sense. However, being familiar with French naming patterns I certainly wouldn't blink about seeing this on a girl.

I had no idea how to pronounce the saint in an English context either until just now -- it really looks like it shouldn't be spelt that way for that pronunciation. 

By mk
June 29, 2017 1:29 PM

I can only speak for myself, but I grew up Catholic and no, I would not think of the saint if it were pronounced this way. I am familiar enough with French to know that it is a female name in that language, though.

June 28, 2017 4:20 PM

I like Augustine or Augustina, but I've never really been able to warm to Augusta. It has vibes of one of Bertie Wooster's mad posh fiancées to me... he never had one called Augusta but it seems like a mashup of Aunt Agatha and Honoria Glossop somehow.

This is probably a minority issue.

June 28, 2017 5:27 PM

I prefer Augustine,  sorry dont like Augusta,  Augustina is ok too, but very long, but very pretty

June 29, 2017 1:23 PM

Augustine is 100% Saint Augustine of Hippo to me, and therefore 100% male. In fact, it's 100% Catholic male, of the sort where it's more important to be Catholic than to be Christian, if you know what I mean.

Augustina, on the other hand, is in the same category as Alexandra and Philippa and Henrietta: they aspire to be like Georgiana but don't quite get there because, well, no name is as gorgeous as Georgiana; but they are very nice names nevertheless.

Augusta is either Augustina's more-approachable cousin, or her very stern aunt, I can't decide which.

Which name is your actual middle name? For simplicity, I'd probably just go with that. You wouldn't need to initiate any legal name change procedure, you'd just tell people "I go by my middle name".

June 29, 2017 5:01 PM

I am a practicing Catholic and I've done some in-depth study of St. Augustine of Hippo (my own pseudonym, Optatus Cleary, comes from that research...St. Optatus was one of the saints St. Augustine used as a source, and he is an especially obscure saint who I want to bring attention to...Cleary is a family name.)

I usually hear St. Augustine of Hippo pronounced "au GUS tin," while I have heard that St. Augustine of Canterbury should be called "AU gus teen," but I rarely hear anyone talking about him. Also, I have met plenty of Mexican American men named "Agustin" which is (roughly) "au goose TEEN."  So every pronunciation choice sounds "male" to me.

Augustine of Hippo is a highly important saint, and his works are important to many Protestant groups as well. However, I would say most Catholic or Protestant lay people have never read his works. It is certainly not an "off limits" kind of name, or "too holy to use" or anything like that. Also, I'm sure it's often used in women's names, if they are nuns: a "Sister Mary Augustine" is easy to imagine, and my mom's Confirmation name was a form of the name.  So, I would be surprised if I met a woman named Augustine, but not shocked or offended.  If I had a meeting with an "Augustine (Surname)" I would be expecting a man, but if she turned out to be a woman I wouldn't be unsettled in any way.  




June 29, 2017 6:22 PM

I am not Christian (neither by upbringing nor in practice) but have read St Augustine's City of God against the Pagans - my college thought this was necessary even for science/math types in order to turn out well-rounded, educated individuals. At the time I may have questioned the utility of the selection but clearly it would indeed be useful in my later life in discussing names! Anyway, to me Ah GUS tin is a Catholic male, and Ow goose TEEN is a German male (perhaps one beset by poor fortune as in a nursery song my mother was singing to the baby earlier today)... so as a female identified person Augustine would be my last choice, but if gender ambiguity were a plus for you then that would perhaps be a perk.

Regulars know me as a connoisseur of -ina names so that would obviously be my personal choice, but the sleeker appeal of Augusta is not lost on me either.

Good choice either way-- a great name!

June 29, 2017 7:08 PM

I taught Augustine's On Christian Doctrine, City of God and Confessions frequently. These texts are absolutely foundational to the development of Christianity and more broadly of western civilization. Augustine's influence is not limited to Catholicism. His works were Martin Luther's primary influence. Whether they are aware of it or not, adherents of all forms of western Christianity are indebted to Augustine's theology and philosophy.

June 30, 2017 10:31 AM

We had to read his Confessions as part of Revelle College's (UC San Diego) infamous humanities requirement. I don't remember a single word of it. :/

(It would be nice to be able to refute my Very Catholic boss's ramblings sometimes, but I know it's a hopeless case. The other day, he insisted that Tolkien's sole purpose in writing any of his books was to propound Catholic theology; according to the boss, the professor's interests in philology and history had nothing to do with it.)

June 30, 2017 11:25 AM

Tolkien's stated purpose was to write an epic for England. OTOH his writings are certainly anchored in Catholic theology.

I'm surprised that you remember nothing of the Confessions. I think most people remember Augustine's discussions of his "wild oats" phase of life if nothing else.

June 30, 2017 2:28 AM

I love learning things on this forum. Never would have been introduced to so many saints all these years!

Having said that, as a non-Catholic, I hear Augustine/Augustina as I would Christine/Christina (ah-gus-TEEN/ah-gus-TEEN-ah) if that makes sense. And I like them both. I also like Augusta.

My opinion is that they all sound a little southern to me - in a good way.

I'm guessing that many people would have my take on this depending on where you reside.

Gun to head, I'd pick Augustina. But they're all lovely.

By Lexy
July 1, 2017 7:29 PM

Out of the options I like Augusta or Augustina best. Good luck.

September 24, 2018 10:16 AM

I choose Augustina