What's in a name

This morning Calder decided he wanted to dig out his trains, something he hasn't done in months. As he played on the floor, he commentated to me what each of the trains were doing. When he got to James I interrupted.

"Calder, do you know Boone's middle name?"


"It's James! Boone James Hamilton.  Calder, do you know your middle name?"

There was a pause and a thoughtful look on Calder's face.  "Yes! Calder Dad Hamilton"

Pretty darn close, honey!
* * *
When searching for a first name for our kids, Hugh and I both made a point with all 3 to look for names on our own and create our own lists. My cousin, Cindy, had given us a bunch of baby name books and these became our main source of searching. (Although with Boone, Hugh did use a baby name app quite a bit!).

It was important to us that each of our children's middle names were chosen not only because we liked them, but also because they had significance to us.

Here is the background of how we came up with our boy's names.

Calder Hugh Hamilton

I found Calder's name in one of the baby books under "Artist" name section. Alexander Calder was an American Sculptor. For the last month or so of my pregnancy with Calder, his name was top of our list. Our bundle of joy came early, so we took one last look at our lists of names before we were confident "Calder" was the one! It wasn't until after that someone said, "Oh - you gave your kid a hockey name" that I was reminded of the Calder Cup and Calder Trophy! Obviously, Hugh had known, but he didn't see the need to make the connection for me since we weren't naming our child after either of them!

In Hugh's family the tradition is that the first born son gets the first name of his father as his middle name. Hugh's dad's name is Dennis Malcolm (Malcolm was his grandfather's first name). Hugh's full name is Hugh Dennis. Giving Calder, "Hugh" as a middle name was a no brainer. Both Hugh and I loved his family's tradition.

Tripp Vincent Hamilton

Like Calder, we knew Tripp's middle name before he was even born. Our first boy was always going to have "Hugh" and our second boy was going to have "Vincent." My Grandpa Fritshaw's first name was Vincent. My dad's name is Lorne Vincent and my brother's name is Luke Vincent James. It seemed fitting after Calder's middle name came from the Hamilton tradition that Tripp's name came from my family's tradition.

Tripp was born before we had a first name locked down, but we tossed around 2 different names in the hospital. If you recall the first couple of days of Tripp's life he was just "Baby Hamilton". I wrote both of our top names out multiple times in hopes that seeing the "full name" would spark one to stand out. In the end, Hugh and I like both names, so Hugh said it was my choice. I asked Hugh if he liked one "p" or two and just like that we had named our 2nd.

Boone James Hamilton

It was about 3 days after Boone's due date that Hugh found the name, "Boone" in one of the baby books and threw in the mix. At that point we had a few boys names that we liked, but none that stood out. The moment he said, "Boone" I knew we had our name. We both loved it.

Boone's middle name was a different story. We had read that names "sound best" when each of the parts (first, middle, and last) have a different number of syllables. We gave ourselves a pat for our first two boys, as each of their names have a different number of syllables (which was a complete fluke!). Most of the first names we had picked out for Boone were one syllable names. The middle name we liked best for a boy was also one syllable. We searched our family histories high and low for another name we like as much as "James", but came up empty handed. In the end, we decided a meaningful name was much more important that following the syllable rule!  James was my Grandma Jenny's father (my great grandfather). Luke was born on his birthday and because of this got two middle names. Hugh's brother Billy's middle name is also James. Calder's middle name came from Hugh, Tripp's from me, and Boone's from both.


  1. I like that you stuck with a name that had meaning; I think that's a great rule. I am not attached to the middle name, probably because in Bosnia we don't use middle names. Logan and I both talked about it and in the end we found that if our children should have a middle name then it should mean something, so both girls carry my maiden name. It might sound strange but it felt like a part of their heritage would always be with them. All three of your boys have wonderful, strong and meanigful names.

  2. Love this post. May have to do this too.

  3. Thanks for all the explanations! I actually had assumed all this time that Calder was named after the cup!

    I will admit I have never thought about any of my children's names that much. lol. They all just came to me (I actually thought I was the first one to ever come up with Jaiden....now it is like the #2 baby boy name and not original at all. lol). Georgette is the exception. Her name was going to be Winter Rielle, but when I was 4 months pregnant I had a dream that I was going to have a raven haired baby girl with giant blue eyes and her name was to be Georgette (my mother's name) but we called her Georgie. The next day I emailed my siblings to make sure no one minded me taking the name so soon after the passing of my mother. No one did and so it is.
    Jaiden Luc
    Emme Rayn
    Jaxen Leo (middle name after Kevin's maternal grandfather who he adored)
    Georgette Winter (named after my mother whom I know would love her to bits if she was still here)

  4. Jordan,
    I have just read your entire blog from start to finish! Your story is truly amazing and I have fallen in love with your boys Calder, Tripp, and Boone! (great names by the way)
    You have inspired me by what you have overcome and the positivity and determination that you have.
    Know that I think of Tripp often and will never forget your story.

  5. The only other time I've heard the name Boone was during the World Junior's -- that is the name of one of the Canadian players. So I assumed it was also a hockey name :).

  6. Bo - That is really cool that you gave your girls your maiden name! I really like that.

    Deena - Can't wait to read yours. I know a couple of little details about your kids names, but am anxious to hear the whole story! Get on it.

    Kelly - I loved reading where your names come from. I hadn't realized Georgette was your mom's name!

    Anonymous - Thank-you so much for reading and commenting! I love hearing from readers!

    S - After Hugh mentioned Boone, I told him I loved it, but did we know someone with that name because it sounded familiar. He then reminded me of the Boone Jenner! We don't actually know him, but watched so much hockey over Christmas it felt like I did!


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