what do you think of the name Holloway?

My husband and I don't know if we're having a boy or girl, but if it's a girl we're strongly considering the name Holloway as the first name (we expect we would often end up calling her Holly). Holloway is my cherished grandmother's maiden name and using the name for our daughter would be a bit of an homage to my maternal line. Is it too much ("you're name is WHAT?")? Too trendy (last name as first)? Also, although Holly would be an option, I want her name to something that she, and we, would use in full as much as her nickname.

Thanks for your thoughts!


March 6, 2013 4:43 PM

My first association with the name is Natalie Holloway, which is a sad association. I don't know if it's as strong in other people's minds as mine, but that's just my immediate thought.

I do like that the name honors your family, but if I were you I'd just use Holly as the full first name.  It still has a strong connection to your family name, and doesn't carry all the baggage that an unusual surname-first name carries.

March 6, 2013 5:11 PM

I've known a few people with the last name of Holloway. Becuase of that I didn't think of Natalie Holloway, butI knew exactly who that was and her story once it was mentioned. I always thought it was a neat last name, though I never considered it as a first name.

The option of Holly is cute and the family association is hard to beat. I wouldn't think it's THAT far off from other names with all of the other surname-as-first-name styles and I wouldn't be completely shocked if I heard of a girl with that name, though it is obviously not common. 


By mk
March 6, 2013 6:59 PM

My first thought was the UK clothing company, Vivian of Holloway, but I highly doubt that will come up often. Natalee Holloway is a sad story, but I don't think the name is on people's minds as much anymore.

I think Holly on its own is a fine name, but I don't find Holloway as a first name that unusual.

March 7, 2013 1:39 AM

My first thought is of Natalee Holloway, but I also went to high school with a girl whose last name was Holloway so it isn't the only association I have.  You might get a few comments at first, but a quick clarification about why you chose the name should stop it.  Also, I think by the time your daughter is older the association will have faded for most people so I doubt it will be something she encounters often, if at all.

Holloway nickname Holly is cute, a little trendy in that it is similar to other surnames that shorten to girlish nicknames.  But I think the family connection trumps any trendiness concerns.  I do think it's a bit of a mouthfull and I could see Holly eventually becoming her default name for a lot of people.

March 7, 2013 9:36 AM

Other than any problems the Natalee connection might pose, I don't think there's a problem with using Holloway for a girl. I know a little girl named T0wnsend, and she's always only that -- no nn. I love the family connection of Holloway for you; I don't think it's really like the last-name-as-first trend, since it's not a last name normally used as a first name; you're choosing it for family reasons rather than because you like it's sound; and there's the non-trendy precedent of using last names like that in the South, which lends a feeling of tradition and family importance to the name instead of trendiness, at least imo.

By Jude
March 7, 2013 12:17 PM

Normally, I'm not a fan of the 'last name as first name' trend, but I like Holloway. Both the nn Holly and the family connection distance it from any trendiness, I think.

Also, I didn't think of Natalee Holloway initially - I thought of Joan Holloway, who is a very glamorous character on Mad Men

March 11, 2013 1:41 PM

I agree with every part of this!

March 13, 2013 1:45 AM

I think it's not a name that I would broadly advocate in the absence of any family connection to the name, but I think it works beautifully in this context, and I'd encourage you to use it! I think the current trend for surnames as first names should make Holloway fit in well, but it's unusual enough that if I met a little Holloway I'd guess that there would be a family connection -- or some other important sentimental reason for this particular surname, rather than just "we picked it out of the name book because it sounded nice". And, as you said, Holly is a good super-blending-in nickname option that makes it quite versatile.