What’s In a Name?

My over-quoted (and often times misunderstood) friend, Billy Shakespeare once wrote this line for a swoony 14-year old character named Juliet who was pining over a boy who happened to be from the rival family:

What is in a name?  That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

But it is the line that I think of whenever I talk about how Eddie got his name or when people ask me to pronounce my last name.

It’s true, Eddie would be the same little sweetie pants if his name was Banana Hammock, but really?

 Is this the face of someone named Banana Hammock?  I think not.  So I think Juliet is wrong.  I don’t think something called Stank Flower WOULD smell as sweet as a rose.  That is how things GET their names…by their characteristics.

So how did Eddie get his name?  My efriend, Sian told me she would LOVE to hear (er, read?) the story.  It’s not earth-shattering, but it’s how even before we met this chocolate-loving face, we knew his name.

Eddie’s full name is Edward Steven Sluiter.

This was the ONLY name we wanted for a boy.  We had girl names picked out too, you know, in case, but the ONE name that was completely solid was Edward Steven.

Eddie was supposed to have a grandpa named Steve.  Papa Steve died four years before Eddie was born.  This is Papa Steve:

Good looking guy, wasn’t he?  Yeah, don’t let that tie and jacket fool you either.  This guy?  He was a ball of fun and had a naughty little twinkle in his eye.  So this is where Eddie’s middle name came from.  His Papa.

On a side note, this picture sits on our bookcase and Eddie can reach it.  He took it down so many times and “kissed” it that I had to move it for fear that he would one day accidentally break the glass. We still take it down together though and I tell him how cool his Papa is.

Soo…his first name.  My husband had a Great Grandpa named Edward.  This Great Grandpa was Steve’s Grandpa.  Are you following?  Well, Papa Steve and Super Great Grandpa Edward shared not only a birthday (August 9), but they also had a special bond.  They were inseparable.  So Eddie got his name from Super Great Grandpa Edward.  Here is Super Great Grandpa:

I know, I know.  ALSO a great looking chap. You are probably seeing some family resemblance by now.

When we told Cort’s Grandma Sluiter Eddie’s name, she said, “my dad and my son.”  I never thought of it that way until right then.  It was so special.

We even had Eddie baptized on August 9 (his namesakes’ birthdays) in his Papa Steve’s baptismal outfit.

So like I said, we name things by their characteristics.  Something inside me (maybe even Eddie himself) had me CONVINCED this child was going to look like his daddy (and the men from that side of the family).  So his name?  Fit the characteristics I just KNEW he would have.  His Papa was funny and dazzlingly witty (so is his daddy, by the way). His Super Great Grandpa was strong and hard working.  And the chubby cheeks and curly hair?  It had to be.

BUT…really, I can’t end this post here, because Eddie’s WHOLE name is Edward Steven Sluiter.

Sluiter has it’s place at the top of this blog.  Sluiter is on my classroom door.  Sluiter is on all our mail.  Shoot there are even teenagers running around with Sluiter blazoned across their chests on T-shirts.  So SLUITER is a big part of Eddie’s name.

Sluiter is Dutch in origin.  In “The Old Country” it is pronounced SLOOTER (and if you are watching World Cup?  You might just see someone pronouncing it that way).

Here in the States?  We do NOT pronounce it that way.  I felt the need to clear this up recently because I got a comment that whenever this particular reader looks the blog she thinks in her head “Slut-y-ier Nation”.  Um.  no please.  NO.  No sluts here.

It’s pronounced “Sliter”.  Or “Sly-ter”  When we were in high school my husband told me, “it’s like your slider door to the backyard, but with a ‘t’.”  That “u”?  Totally U-seless.  Not doing a dang thing in there but being all Dutch.  But I like it.  Because when I look at our last name, I see “u” and “i”.  you and I.  A team.  A Nation.

So there you have it.

photo credit: mLphotography
Edward Steven Sluiter
OH!  And before I sign off…I was recently given yet another award (seriously?  you guys are generous and awesome and oh so kind to me).  Karen, one of my newest efriends, of the wonderful Completely Chaotic…And Loving It, gave me this sunny little guy!
I like to think I am sunny.  Sunny is good.  I do strive for sunny most days, so THANK YOU, Karen!  Warm sunny vibes right back at ya!
And now, to pass some sunny delight (he he) on to some others….
AND AND AND…Did I tell you that my sister-in-law and her hubs are adopting from Ethiopia?  Yes!  It is true!  I am going to be an auntie all over again!  It is SO exciting.  But holy COW is adoption expensive.  If you get a minute, could you bounce over to their blog, Stepping Stones?  They are doing great things over there…and some of it will be coming over HERE soon!
If you read their blog and want to participate in the online auction by donating something, PLEASE let me know!  Their financial burden is great, and all I have to give them is what i can do on this little blog…but YOU can do so much more.  Let me know.
And now? Now I need to end this Long Post.
But I will leave you one more picture of Edward Steven Sluiter.  Because an Eddie by any other name would NOT be as sweet…at least not to me!
Yeah, cruising the beach chicas…and eatin’ sand.  Word.
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. cool post! people always ask me the same question (solomon) my answer isn't quite as cool or meaningful!
    i love the picture at the beach too! hilarious!

  2. Pumpkin and Piglet says

    And now I know, thank you! I think that's a great story, it's nice to see the names being passed down. And I love the idea of Eddie being baptised on his namesakes birthdays! Piglet's middle name is Robyn, the female version of my Dad's name.

    I never knew the origins of Sluiter or how to pronounce it! In my head it was Sloo-ter, like you say from 'the old country' but I'm glad I know now 🙂

  3. Looks like you found a fitting name for the little guy and sweet that it has such meaning. Congrats on the award girl!

  4. mommytojenna says

    I love name stories! And I love how families 'live on' through the little ones…beautiful post!

  5. MacKenzie says

    Back when I was a Sluiter (and teaching) I got a note from a parent that said: Dear Miss Slutier,

    Yep. SPELLED it SLUT-ier. And didn't notice a problem. Not cool. 🙂

  6. Mama Lungo says

    I love hearing how people pick names for their kids and yours is great! I wrote out name story too:


  7. Thanks for the shout out friend 🙂 That's really nice of you. You are awesome 🙂

  8. Barefoot Designer says

    Great post! I'm always getting questions about Keagan's name, but it's not nearly as interesting. Although if we had gone with our original plan of Thressa Jean, it would have been a similar story (my great oma and grandma), but she just didn't look like a Thressa when she was born!

  9. Aw, thanks for the bloggy love!

    Great post. I'm off to check out your SIL's blog now!

  10. Anonymous says

    I love following your blog. I'm Cort's dad's cousin. Reading how little Eddie got his name (which I heard from Eddie's Great Grandma Sluiter) just made me tear up! My father is Great Great Grandpa Ed's son, Ed (Edward Lee -so I love the name!). I also love the fact that little Eddie was baptized on his grandfathers birthdays. So cool. He looks alot like his daddy which is really special to. Keep up the great blogging!!! I love to follow your special little family. Would love to meet little Eddie in person some day! 🙂
    Chris – Cousin once removed???? (not sure what I am exactly to you)

  11. I love family names for babies. Love them. Joshua's isn't a family name (though he does have cousins named both Joshua and Lucas) but I think if the next one is a boy (whenever THAT might happen) we'll go more family-oriented for the name.

  12. What a cool post!! And beautifully written I might add!!!

  13. missy widener says

    oh my word. the last picture? best EVER. love that boy. and love that your blog is blowing up with its awesomeness. just like you.