The Naming

I often get asked how we came up with our kids’ names. People love a good name story rather than “we just liked it” (which, by the way, I think is a totally legit reason to name your kid something).

When I was pregnant with Eddie, we had some criteria we made for choosing names:

1. It had to be something they would be proud to put on a CEO nameplate or use if they became a famous rock star. So it had to be versatile, yet respectable.

2. We wanted to incorporate family into each child’s name.

3. It needed to be somewhat traditional without a wonky spelling (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but after 15 years in education, and a husband with a “unique” name + a unique spelling of that name, we wanted to go “easy” on our kids).

Edward Steven Sluiter

Cortney had the name Edward all picked out since the very first time I got a positive pregnancy test in early 2007, two years before Eddie was born. Edward was his great grandpa’s name, but Eddie is also the name of the lead singer of Pearl Jam AND the legendary guitarist, Eddie VanHalen. So it was traditional AND rock n roll.

Edward Bear is also Winnie the Pooh’s “real name” (if you have ever read the novel, you would know this).

Eddie’s middle name is Steven, which was Cortney’s dad’s name. Cortney’s dad shared a birthday with great grandpa Edward and they were VERY close.

Eddie was baptized on their birthday, August 9th.

Charles Thomas Sluiter

We had no idea what to name Charlie. We discussed his name right up until we sent the text from the hospital after the ultrasound that he was a boy. I loved the name Charlie. The year before we had seen my school do the musical performance of Willy Wonka and I decided I needed a Charlie since Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of my favorite kids books.

And as many of you know, we call him Charlie Bird…like Charlie “Bird” Parker, the famous jazz saxophone player.  Which is pretty rock n roll, if you ask me.

Eventually Cortney agreed that Charles/Charlie was the best name for our second son. We chose Thomas as his middle name quickly because it’s my dad’s name and we liked having both grandpas represented in our boys’ names.

Charlie was baptized just a day before my dad’s birthday at the end of April.

Alice Katherine Sluiter

Again this was first a Cortney choice. When I was pregnant with Eddie he told me if we had a girl he loved the name Alice. So did I. Over the six years since that name was first brought up, we have discussed several different middle names, but we always loved Alice as a first name.

Also, Alice in Wonderland! And Alice Cooper! ROCK N ROLL, YO!

We chose Katherine because that is my full name and, again, we wanted to keep the middle name in the family.  If all goes well, Alice will be baptized two days after my birthday at the end of March.

So tell me…are there stories behind the names of your children?

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I loved reading the stories behind the names. And a Van Halen reference! Swoon.

    My daughter was named after two Fleetwood Mac songs. Sarah (and yes, I had to have the H) Rhiannon.

  2. Love the reasons behind your babies names! Mine are:

    1: Maygan Shree’ – After my grandmother May and my SIL Shree’ who adopted me when I was 12.
    2: Kyle Baird – His first name only needed to begin with a K to have the same initial as his father. His middle name is his grandfathers first name and his fathers middle name. So Kyle and his father have the same initials KBD.

  3. I love the stories behind your kids’ names. They’re all perfect!

    Our kids first names are all ones we just liked. For our three girls, we didn’t want anything too popular or girl-ish. So, we have Kallan (f) — which strangely is the most mispronounced (it rhymes with Alan), Chayse (f), Kieran (m), and Quinn (f). Middle names, however, are all family related except Chayse’s. Her middle name is Adair, after Adair Lara, one of my favorite writers at the time. It fits her well as she’s funny as hell and a great writer.

  4. Both of our kids are named after family. Cady has my MIL’s maiden name and my grandmother’s name is her middle. James is named after my Dad and David.

  5. Adia is from the Sarah McLachlan song. I picked it when I was 13 so the second I found out she was a girl, I was so excited. Her middle name, Ellen, is a family name. My aunt, grandmother, great grandmother and I all have it as our middle names too.
    When we found out we were having the twins, we panicked. We had 1 girl and 1 boy name picked, but that was it. When the tech said 2 girls, we were clueless. Scott really liked the name Mira so that name was set. Mira Scott, named after her father, grandfather and great grandfather. Leia, however, was nameless until just a week or two before she was born. It was Deliliah for a bit, then Emerie, then Leila, but Adia couldn’t pronounce Leila. She could say Leia so it was set. It helps that we’re Star Wars fans. 🙂 Now I can’t picture them being named anything else.

  6. I love Alice. All the Alices I’ve known have been troublemakers of the best kind.

    Felix is named for two of his grandfathers. Mark’s Great-great Grandfather was Felix, which was just unique enough and kind of a throwback, and my Grampa was Grayson. And there we have it.

  7. Really cool stories! We pick first names we just like and middle names that are family names. I admit that I really want to give a daughter my middle name which also happens to be my lovely Grandmother’s name too, but my husband has a long-term ex gf with the same name, so that’s completely nixed.

    Dan wanted the boy’s names to sound good together which added a whole other level to the naming challenge the second time around. We didn’t have a name for Gavin until after he was born (but before we left the delivery room, thank heavens).

    Dare I say it? We haven’t even had one conversation about names yet this time. I have hardly thought about them, and it is slightly stressing me out. 🙂

  8. I love the name for the newest addition. So my oldest is named after 2 of my cousins, I took both their middle names and made his Douglas Keith. My middle is named after my grandfather only spelled without the I in Jessie.. so Jesse Lee.. and the baby the 2 oldest picked out. One picked Devin the other Matthew and we used it.

  9. I love this post because everyone enjoys talking about their kids’ names! Savannah Joy was named after my big (and only) sister who was stillborn at eight months; we chose “Joy” because we liked it (and because it’s short, which is totally necessary for a name following three long syllables). We picked Molly Jordan for our second because we’ve both always loved the name Molly (classic and timeless) and because Geoff’s brother’s name is Jordan. Keeping names tied to family is important to us too.

  10. I Love the names you’ve picked. They are cool, fresh, throwbacks and perfect for your family.

    Giovanni Damien..Giovanni is John’s name in Italian and a tribute to his heritage and dad who died before the boys were born. Damien is my late daddy’s name.

    Jacob is named for Jacob in the Bible (if he was a girl his name would have been Rachel because she was infertile. We decided on her husband’s name who waited 7 years to marry her..) and Jacob for Jacob Marley. ‘A Christmas Carol’ is One of my favorite books. Without Jacob Marley Scrooge would not have had a chance at redemption. His middle name is Francesco..for my late Father in law.

  11. I love name stories! And I love that the names you have chosen are so personal and meaningful to you and your family. We have a combination of names we liked and family names with our boys, one of each for both.

  12. Claire Barbara is our oldest – I have loved the name Claire since first reading Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, about 20 years ago. (It also means “light”) Barbara was my husband’s aunt, who passed away just after our wedding. I loved her like she was my own family. Barbara also happens to be my mom’s name

    Benjamin Colin is our 5 year-old. When I was pregnant with him, I had a dream that his name was “Sam.” My husband didn’t like that, but thought Benjamin was less Old-Testament sounding. Colin was the guy who lived across the hall from us, when we were first engaged and living together for the first time.

    Funny story – we hadn’t decided whether he’d be Benjamin Colin or Colin Benjamin until I was in labor. I was pushing, and pushing (10lbs, btw) and was sort of talking to him, asking him to be born. He seemed to respond much better when I called him Ben! So, in between contractions, I told my husband that the baby was named Benjamin. And that was that!

  13. I found the first name of my daughter on an online message board like 6 years ago and knew that was what I needed to name my daughter. The middle name was up for grabs for quite awhile until I for sure settled on my grandma’s name for her middle and I am so glad that I did.

  14. I love love love this and all three of your children’s names.
    They are traditional and classy but also adorable for babies.

    I’m fascinated by naming stories and yours are so thoughtful.
    Just perfect.

  15. I love your stories! And the fact that you guys went traditional. I’m kinda tired of all those weird names, seriously.

  16. I love your kids’ classic yet rock and roll names. LOVE them.

  17. Love the name stories, and the thought you put into choosing them. Ours were picked because we liked them, and because we agreed on them. 🙂