In naming Hazel Louise, we had a similar list of rules as when we named our baby boy two years ago.  We honored most of them (except for the -s ending again, of course, with Louise…), but there is a little more to her name.


When my mom heard Hazel, she was not surprised: “You and your sisters have been talking about Hazel since high school!”  You see, my sisters and I all share something in our names. I’m unsure if my parents intended it or not (they left no blog post on the subject), but LaurEL, AngEL and MariEL have a similar ending.  Growing up, we thought it a kind of legacy we should pass on and so created lists of the appropriate boy and girl names.  None of the boy ones made the cut, but Hazel did stick with me.  Pair it with Stelzer…a double Z, I love it.  And then being born in Malaysia, where it seems 60% of the local Malay population also have a -z- name and it becomes super appropriate.  I googled and facebooked Hazel Stelzer and unearthed only one famous hit: Hazel Stelzer Gregg, a playwright from the turn of last century.  So the identity was clean to be claimed again, and we gave it to our baby girl.  Hazel is an old school name, maybe one of those crotchety ones that is coming back into fashion?  I’ve had several people tell me they had grandmothers and great aunts with the name.


Louise is an honor name.  Grandma Ruth was christened without a middle name but took Louise as her confirmation name where it has since filled the middle spot.  My mom’s mom was a consistent and important presence in my youth, feeding me, changing me, teaching me from 3 months to 14 years.  Her unconditional love, support and continuous pride in my accomplishments is the most valuable gift anyone could give, and I wanted to honor the love and respect I have for her with this tiny gesture. Pic of Great Grandma Ruth:

Each member of our family has a Chinese name bestowed from the same poetic (engineer PhD) colleague of Tim’s.  We enlisted her again for Hazel.  And thus, her Chinese name is:


shí xiǎo zhēn

Shi (pronounced “sure”) means stone and is our surname.  Xiao (shee-ow) means dawn, referring to her time of birth.  And zhen (jun) literally means hazel, as in hazel nut.  She’s our early morning Hazel.

She’s got only one nickname to date, Bazel, given by her brother Miles, not sure if it’s sticking.  Hazy Lou is another one that is not sticking, but is a possibility for later.

Something else I have noticed… There are 5 letters in her first name, 6 in the middle, and 7 in the last.  Miles Dexter shares the same pattern.  Also, Miles is single syllable (first child) and Hazel has 2 (#2).  Unintended, but perhaps future generations might look back and wonder.  I also now have one of my favorite clothing stores, H&M, right here at home.