what’s in a name?

When people hear what Holden’s name is, they don’t seem to get it. Most people don’t know a Holden. They probably think I’m some sort of a weird hippie that’s into bizarre names and just liked the sound of it. The truth is, there are a lot of reasons that went into naming Holden:

1. Consistency 

  • All of my children will have two syllable first names and one syllable middle names. I think five syllables for a full name is perfect.
  • All of my children will have names that end in “N.” Brandon ends in “on” and Holden in “en.” If we ever did have other children, I would pick a name that ended in “an” or “in” for the next one. 

I think it’s special when there is some thing shared in a family’s names.

2. Meaning

Brandon means, “broom-covered hill” and Holden means, “hollow valley” in their English origins. I really liked the juxtaposition between the two of them once we already had Brandon named.

3.  Holden

Steve introduced me to J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye a few years ago and I have read it annually as one of my favorite books ever since. Holden Caulfield is the name of the protagonist in the book.

4. Paul

Paul is a family name – the last five generations of Carter men have had “Paul” somewhere in their names. The Peleskys have also had a Paul for the past three generations that I know of. I haven’t traced ancestry to see if it goes any further.

5. Initials

I might put more thought into names than the average person. In fact, we almost didn’t make “Jude” Brandon’s middle name because of the initials “BJ.” But then I got over it and realized Jude was going to be in one of my children’s name and I didn’t know when I would have the opportunity again. 

Holden’s initials are “HP” which happen to be my maiden name initials. I really loved my maiden name. I hold onto it with my blog domain and email address still. Now Holden can share those initials with me.

So I didn’t just like the name. The name is perfect for Holden. It suits him. And it suits us. So don’t call him Hayden. Or Colton. If you forget his name, just do what I do in the same scenario – refer to him only in pronouns.

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