Baby Name of the Day: Harold

Henry is hot.

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My paternal grandfather’s name was Harold, and he went by Bud in his younger years (my grandmother didn’t like Bud and insisted that he be called Harold instead). As much as I’d love to honor him, I just don’t like Harold, Harry, or Hal. Harris or Harrison intrigues me, though.

We named our son Harold (21 months) after his great grandfather (born in the 1920s) and call him Hank. His great grandfather went by ‘Buck,’ so nicknames that do not have a direct connection to the larger name are part of our family tradition! I’m thankful we chose the name: it was a moving tribute to a really great guy and the elderly Harold got to meet baby Harold a few months before he passed, which was a blessing. If teenage Harold wonders why we chose the name, we will have many rich stories to tell him about his great grandfather which will help him appreciate the history.

Oh, I love your story, Jen! A friend of mine has her grandmother’s first name for a middle – and mentioned that especially after her grandmother passed, it was deeply meaningful to have that connection. And Hank is a grat nickname!

My son is 11. I named my son Harold because as a name it has such a wonderful and rich political and social history. I also wanted my son to have a strong, dignified and traditional name. My husband has Anglo and Scandinavian heritage so Harold (with the daily name being Harry) seemed like a good choice. I have an Irish background and Irish names didn’t fit the surname so we decided to go with the Anglo/northern european names.
We and others call him Harry on a daily basis. His second name is Edward and his third name is Campbell which are both family names. My son loves military history so I’m wondering if the name was an influence as one of the meanings of the name is Harold as military/army leader. Harold is not at all dusty or musty a name to me. I believe it signifies fine, strong and compassionate manhood. I’m so pleased I chose this name as my son is a terrific young man.

Harold is my husband’s middle name. He’s a II [second], and while I’d love to name our son after him and his father, I just can’t do it. I really, really, really dislike the name Harold, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t make myself like it.

My uncle was named Harold and while he was a very nice man who worked very hard, I probably won’t be naming a child after him. I think it’s the -uhld part of the name and way mid-westerners “swallow” the -uh- and instead of pronounce it as HAR-ld.

For other famous Harold’s there’s silent film actor Harold Lloyd and Ghostbuster Harold Ramis, as well as the the nerdy character Harold on “The Red Green Show.”

Harold is not a favorite of mine. In 1979, I had a fifth grade classmate named Harold. He reminded me of Spanky from the Little Rascals at the same age…round face and a natural leader. I had such a big crush on him! And he wore jean shorts every single day of fifth grade.

Harold was born in 1969, like me. When we came back at the end of the summer for sixth grade, we were told that Harold was going now by his middle name Dylan. He is still Dylan to this day.

When I see this name I immediately think of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage — which, I admit, I’ve never read. The name does have a musty feel to it that I’m not too fond of.

Harold is the name of my maternal grandfather. I wish this would be a thing of endearment, but unfortunately, he is a very cold, distant man and as a result of such, the name is a bit tainted for me. It’s really a shame, as I would love the opportunity to use some family names.

Generally I do not like the -ald/-old ending names, but Harold has grown on me quite a lot. I love Harry, but don’t want it as a full given name on a kid, so Harold works and having a second option in Hal and a stretch nn in Hadley works for me and my need for nn options!… had Harold grown on me more quickly, who knows, maybe I’d have had that on the short list as a serious contender for the boy’s name. (BTW – was totally disappointed to find out my daughter has an Oliver a year above her in her playschool – I knew I’d come across some others, but really wanted to keep my head in the sand!)

I totally get that dusty, old man sort of vibe from Harold and I LIKE that… I like other names that often give that vibe to people… what can I say?… I’m drawn to names that are from the 1920s or so… a little too recent to apply the 100 year rule to them and so they seem dated, I suppose.

I had completely and totally overlooked the Harold and Kumar stuff somehow… but it wouldn’t bug me. If we got caught off-guard with another child (holy heck!) and it was a boy, I think Harold would be on the list (next to Zebedee?! where’s the consistency?), but unlike Zebedee which has a green light, I haven’t cleared Harold with the other half.

I met a little boy named Harold, 3 or 4, at a LIttle League game. He was the cutest thing, with a stocky little body and brown curls. He was definitely “all boy” and the fact that his name was the completely unexpected Harold made him that much cuter. It was my first introduction to how satisfying an old-fashioned name can be on a modern child.

Harold makes me think of a character on an Australian soap opera that I grew up watching: – so the name has a bumbling round old man vibe to me. Not exactly a negative association, but not really a positive baby naming one.

Maybe the “rold” or “old” sound doesn’t help the name either – making it sound old and dusty and rotund.

I can see people honoring a family member called Harold by using Harry or Harrison instead – the endings seem more fashionable and current.

I didn’t think of ‘Harold and the Purple Crayon’ – not having grown up reading that. But having read that to my kids, it would be a cute association for a child Harold of today.

Harold does seem like a more logical route to the nickname of Harry – compared to Henry. And I do like Harry, as a nickname – with its British vibe.