Many of you asked how we chose Mazen’s name. Here’s the story!
In October of last year, we went on a hike and out to lunch with my parents. I obviously wasn’t pregnant yet, but my mom knew we were trying and brought up baby names.
On our drive home, we must have gone through 100 names and talked about ones we liked and didn’t like generally. I favored antique and nature names, and Matt liked anything non-traditional.
We all agreed that we liked Mason (and a lot of the names on this list) but we thought having Mason and Monson in the same name was too much. Matt suggested: “We should just make up a variation of a more common name like Mason… like Mazen!” I liked it immediately because I loved the nickname Maze. And it was unique enough for us both.
We like it because of Maze.
Because it has the word Zen in it.
Because it has a Z like Kanz : )
Because anytime anyone says “amazing” in it can be turned into A-Mazen!
Because “Mazen the Raisin” is a fun description for a little baby
Because it starts with an M just like Matt.
And because it’s different but not too strange.
And lastly, because while it has been used as a name before, it involved Matt’s creativity.
Months passed and we found out we were having a boy! We tossed around more names, but we just kept coming back to Mazen. It was unique yet not hard to pronounce or spell, and neither of us knew anyone with the name. And then, Matt actually was listening to a homebrew podcast on The Brewing Network and one of the guests was named Mazen – the brewer of 961 Brewery in California. He was shocked to hear the name, so we googled it and found that it has Arabic origins and rich heritage.
With a first name picked out, we started to brainstorm middle names. We wanted something short. Davidson was definitely a contender, but it was a little long for me, and with MonSON as a last name, we thought Davidson Younger-Monson was a little long. That’s when I thought of Duke.
The first conversation I ever had with Matt started like this:
“I see you’re wearing Duke shorts – are you a fan!?”
Indeed he was, and we started talking during our freshman orientation during a service project at a farm. He told me that he was a Duke fan because his Grandpa Don was a huge fan and bought Matt Duke things since he was little. He had become a fan.
On my side, my grandmother began the legacy as a 1946 graduate of Duke Women’s College. My uncle Chris and my mom both followed her footsteps and attended, and my mom met my dad there in the 70s. I obviously grew up a huge Duke basketball fan living just steps from the campus, and had Davidson not been a perfect match for my personality, I wonder if I might have ended up there for college. (I actually had an early admission application in to Duke and called at the last minute to switch it to regular so I could do early decision at Davidson instead – aren’t I glad I did because I met Matt!)
And the icing on the cake – Matt and I had our wedding reception at Duke Gardens. Our relationship started with Duke and was solidified there in marriage.
So needless to say, it was an easy middle name choice.
Mazen Duke’s initials are MD.
Matthew Donald’s are MD.
And Matt’s dad is Mark Donald – MD (and he happens to be an MD!)
Matt says he wants to call him Mazen.
I love Maze.
Karen and my mom have been using Mazey.
And my dad says when he’s older he’s going to call him Zen!