Meaning and Origin of: Holden

The name Holden is of Old English origin and means "valley."
Meaning and Origin of Holden

Boy name origins & meanings

  • Old English: Valley

What does Holden mean and stand for?

The name Holden is of Old English origin and means "valley." It was originally a surname derived from a place but truly gained popularity with J.D. Salinger's character Holden Caufield.

Syllables: 2

Discover more baby name meanings to learn what's behind every name. 

Boy name variations

Family name origins & meanings

  • English (mainly Lancashire): habitational name from places in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, both so named from Old English hol ‘hollow’, ‘sunken’, ‘deep’ + denu ‘valley’. Compare Holcombe.
  • German: unexplained.

Famous people who gave their babies this name

What Does the Name Holden Mean?

The name Holden is a gender-neutral name that means "hollow valley." The name arguably became popular after the publication of JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.

How Popular is the Name Holden?

Holden is the number 236 most popular boys name in the US, according to 2021 Social Security Administration data. While always maintaining a spot on the map, Holden has become increasingly popular over the years. It has been jumping at least ten spots each year.

However, it is the 6th most popular name on

Popularity of the Name Holden in the United States

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Holden was at its peak popularity in September 2018.

Holden was searched for most often in the following states:

  1. Massachussetts
  2. Maine
  3. North Caroline
  4. Missouri
  5. West Virgina

Famous People Named Holden and Holden in Pop Culture

As mentioned above, Holden became very popular with J.D. Salinger naming his main character Holden in The Catcher in the Rye. However, there are many other Holdens in pop culture, with the name appearing in Maximum Ride, Chasing Amy, Pretty Little Liars, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and American Horror Story to name a few.

Some notable namesakes include chemist Holden Thorp, historian Holden Furbe, and actor Holden Bowler, but the name is much more popular for celebrity children. Actor Rick Schroder, singer Howie Dorough (of Backstreet Boys), actor Brendan Fraser, and skater Mark Ladwig have all chosen the name Holden for their sons.

Holden Pairs Well with These Middle Names

Holden Appears on these Baby Name Lists:

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