What’s Your Middle Name?

What’s your middle name? Recently I’ve noticed something funny…

People giving their babies offbeat middle names.

When I was growing up in the eighties, everyone I knew had pretty basic middle names: Andrew, Jacob, Marie, Anne. But nowadays middle names are on fire!

Danger. Valentine. Sunshine.

My friend gave her baby the middle name “Swift” because her labor was so quick.

Our friends chose the middle name “Buffalo” for their son because it was his dad’s nickname growing up. “It took my husband nine months to convince me,” my friend told me. “Then, in the middle of the night after signing the birth certificate, I had a mild panic attack at the hospital. Now I love it.”

A journalist named Justin Rocket Silverman explains his name: “That has been my name since I was eight years old. Before that it was Justin R. Silverman. That’s still my legal name. But at the tender age of eight I asked my dad why I had only a middle initial, and he told me that he and mom had done that so that I could choose my own middle name. As long as it started with the letter “R.” So I did what any eight-year-old boy in his right mind would do and I picked ‘Rocket.’ “

What’s your middle name? What about your children? I’d love to hear… Toby’s middle name is Paul, after my grandfather, and Anton’s middle name is James, after Jim Morrison (Alex’s pick!).

P.S. The most popular baby names, and the crazy things you do as a parent.

(Photo by Charles Gullung)

  1. I have my grandmother’s maiden name, Paschal. (rhymes with “rascal”) Pamela Paschal Evans is a real mouthful and it’s taken me forever to grow into liking my name. When all I wanted was “Elizabeth” like the rest of the girls I knew, what I got was a family heritage that I now think is unique! Even cooler when you find out that the phrase “Paschal [lamb]” is synonymous to the Biblical “Easter Lamb” and “Passover Lamb”. Isn’t it fun to dig into the meaning of your names?! :-)

  2. Mine is Dora, for my maternal grandmother Doris.

  3. My siblings and I all have family names, my parents looked at the family trees and picked names, even if they originally belonged to relatives hundreds of years back! All of the girls in our family have traditional Western first names and Japanese middle names (from my Dad’s side); Satoko, Mutsue, Junko, Sumiko, Mie, Tadako, and Mitsumi (which actually means “third child” even though she is the eighth!).

  4. In Eritrea and Ethiopia (in East Africa) we do not have middle names or family names. We have a given/first name and then your last name is your father’s first name. In official documentation they add your grandfather’s first name as well to help distinguish individuals further. Since your last name is your father’s name women also do not take their husband’s last name upon marriage (that would read as they are brother and sister!). So mother, father and child in the same household all have different last names!
    I’ve always considered this a little confusing but very cool :)

  5. My middle name is Joy. My daughter’s middle name is Ernestine, which was my husband’s grandmother’s middle name. I love the idea of using old family names for middles.

  6. My middle name is Johanna, because my grandpa wanted me to have the name Johanne:). I’m Swedish but my grandpa liked the Norwegian spelling of it:).

  7. This made me laugh – I recently booked an international flight for 6 friends and needed middle names for the booking. 5 of us were Anne or Ann (70’s kids!). We chose conservative first names and “wild” middle names for our children. Arwen for my daughter, as we both love The Lord of the Rings novels, and Jock for my son, as this is his fathers nickname. I see others have used similar reasons for justifying unusual middle names in your comments – we are not so original after all!

  8. My daughter’s middle name is Breanne, after my sister’s middle name. My son’s middle name is Aiden, which is a name I fell in love with when I was like 10 and what we actually call him by. His first name is Kenneth after my Diddy, so it’d be confusing to call him by his first name since my Diddy is always around and being called Kenneth by everyone.

  9. I love that Justin Silverman’s parents let him pick his own middle name! Never heard that before. Rocket is a pretty awesome choice.

  10. My sisters and I don’t have middle names because my hippy-dippy parents gave us a hyphenated last name. But the best last name in history still goes to Isambard Kingdom Brunel — though perhaps that’s cheating because it was his mother’s family name.

  11. We named our some Theodore Bird because he was born very prematurely and he looked like a little bird at birth. Now one of his nicknames is T-Bird!

  12. My middle name is Brent. Of course, I hated it as a child. Now it’s my favorite part of my name. Zillions of Jessica’s out there, but no one will have the exact same name.

  13. Mine is Jo :) plain Jo, after aunts called Joanne and Joanna.

    My boy has the unusual first name and his grandfather’s plain but strong name for the middle.

  14. Oh and my middle names are Mieke – Lieve. The first is the other name that was in the running when choosing my name, the second is my mother’s sister.

  15. My girl’s middle names are Linde Marie (a tribute to her grandmothers, one of whom, my husband’s mother, sadly already died before they could meet). My son is called Francis (after Sir Francis Drake, my husband is a historian) His middle names are Damien (I loved the name but was afraid people here in Belgium would pronounce it the French way) and Winston, after Sir W Churchill, also admired by my husband, mostly because of his wit).

  16. My middle name is Anne and my first name is Jody. I was born in 1971 and it’s a stock standard pairing here in New Zealand for that time. Though, my parents did spell my first name the boy way which is kind of cool.

  17. I have two — Sandrine, which is ridiculously difficult to pronounce in English, and my dad’s last name, since in my culture girls get the mom’s surname and boys get the dad’s. My brother has my mom’s surname as one of his middle names.

  18. I was given my great grandfather’s middle name: Reine. I loved it but wanted to take my maiden name as my middle name when I married. Then I missed Reine so much that I made it our daughter’s middle name. It feels a little narcissistic to name a child after myself, honestly, even though fathers do it all the time. My instinct is to tell people a half-truth, that it’s a family name. It is one that i am proud to pass down.

  19. Where I am from, you can have as many middle names as you want. People usually have two. We also have a lot of hypenated names, which were very popular until the 80s.
    My middle name is a mix between my Godfather’s name and my Godmother’s name: he’s Guy-Pierre and she is Marie-France, so I’m Marie-Pierre…
    My husband’s middle names are both his grandfathers’.
    We gave our kids the names we loved but ended up not using, so my son is Victor Karl Giovanni and my daughter is Zélie Jeanne Adèle.
    Here, if you’re not happy with your name, you can’t change it but you can use any of your middle names instead, you just need to have it underligned on your ID.

  20. My middle name is Rose, which is a family name. My daughter’s middle name is Lenox, because we were living in Lenox Hill (UES) at the time and I knew we wouldn’t always live in NYC, so wanted to commemorate it.

  21. My middle name is Eileen (my mother’s first name).
    My sister’s middle name is Ellen (which is the first name of my mother’s identical twin)!

  22. My parents were so boring! My sister and I are Marie and Anne. I think at least 50% of the world’s female population is a Marie, Mary, or Maria. ;)

    My father’s grandfather’s middle name was Roscoe, which I am obsessed with! Holding out for a boy one day.

    Love when parents give their children maiden names or surnames. My husband’s middle name is Seeley, which I had never heard until I met him.

  23. Mine’s Leigh-Anne…I have no idea why (maybe I should ask my Mom, lol!), but it has no family significance whatsoever. When our son was born my husband and I decided to give him names we liked rather than naming him after our dad’s (or other relatives). My husband’s dad already had a junior and my pregnant sis was using my dad’s middle name so they were both covered anyways.

    We chose Jack Thomas Everett simply because they sound nice together–I chose Thomas (my 2nd favourite name after Jack) and my husband picked Everett (which he’d wanted as a first name, but I nixed it).

    Still love the names and how they flow together…I think they sound strong and manly and suit him well. I often call my son Jack Thomas, but I only throw in the Everett when he’s in trouble, LOL!

    I love reading about names! I’d be in trouble if I ever had to name another baby though–the first one was hard enough.

  24. I love the idea of a middle name. It’s rarely used, so you have a lot of freedom. Our girls’ middle names are that of their godmothers’. If we have a boy, he’ll have his godfather’s first name as his middle name.

  25. My middle name is Kristine — my mother’s first name. It is lovely to carry a bit of her everywhere I go.

  26. My parents gave me Swift as my middle name too! When I got married I made my maiden name my middle name, so sadly dropped Swift but I plan on giving it to one of my kids. It was my paternal grandmother’s maiden name (pretty sure I was not so swift in the delivery department :)

  27. My dad and all 6 of his siblings share the middle name- Evans- which my parents passed down to my sister and me. I love it and if I had a girl I would pass it on to her. We have two boys whose middle names are Henry and Thomas.

  28. As the oldest child, my middle name is the first of the three wise men (made feminine): Melchora. Then my sister’s is after the second, Gaspara; and finally my brother, after the third, Baltasar. It was tradition in my Dad’s family (from Spain), and we’re continuing it now. I love it!

  29. My middle name is Cecilia. I don’t exactly remember the story of how my parents picked my names, but I think my dad picked one and my mom picked one. My mom spent a lot of time in Italy so I think the idea of the name came from that, because of Sicily.

  30. My middle name given to me by my parents was a typical one, Marie, which is also my mother’s and maternal grandmother’s middle name. When I got married I wanted to keep my last name, which I love, but also still feel connected to my new family, so I took my husband’s last name as a second middle name, and now Marie Reighard are my middle names :) I love it but it tends to confuse my parent’s generation and older since they aren’t used to including-but-not-taking one’s husband’s last name!

  31. I have one of those classic little middle names “Lynn”, we gave our son Roman “Michael” for a middle name, after his father and grandfather’s first names, and our daughter “Vega” which is my favorite, its one of the brightest stars in the sky, there’s a lot of mythology about it and I think it spices up her first name “Iris”, which is classic and old time-y, and makes it sort of edgy and fresh :) I love the idea of using the middle name to get creative and outrageous! (I secretly wish we did that for our son!)

  32. Iren. Pronounced “ee-rain,” with a little roll on the ‘r, not Irene. Named for my Hungarian grandmother.

  33. My middle name is Kaur. In Sikhism, all girls get that name and it means princess. My son has Singh which means Lion. I gave them these names so one day they would ask and learn. :)

  34. My middle name is my grandmother’s maiden name–I like the traditional aspect of it and plan to pass it down to my first baby girl when I have my own children :) I also really like the idea of long, personal names with some family significance and some unique flair from the parents.


  35. My middle name is Florence. It had to be. I was conceived there and I have a grandmother on both sides with that name. My daughter’s middle name is June…that’s when she was conceived.

  36. Mine is Bennett. Unusual for a girl (I’d never heard of it being used for another girl until a blogger I follow used it for her daughter!), but I liked having something different- something with a story. I have a feeling it will be the middle name of my next child. It’s my dad’s middle name and my great-grandmother’s maiden name. I was born on her birthday!

  37. My middle name is Lee, which is also my father’s middle name. I love that we share it, and I’m definitely planning to give it to one of my children. I also like the idea of using my maiden name as a first name, but it would take some getting used to :)

  38. My middle name is Ann along with all the females on my Mom’s side of the family. We decided to go with something different for our daughter. Hers is Riese after my husband’s grandmother.

  39. I was given the middle name “Augusta” when I was born. Which might have been fine except that it was directly after the golf course in Georgia. It wasn’t a secret, my parents even had a card from a friend in my baby book that said, “You should have named her Pebble Beach.” However, when they divorced my mom also tried to divorce herself from that decision and started claiming that it was really for some distant, distant, distant relative ten times removed named Augustus. The whole issue became so contentious and unpleasant that when I got married I dropped it completely and use my maiden name as my middle instead. My girls are a mixed bag. One is named after my mother in law, very simple and normal and slightly outdated, and one is a bit more oddball. Both equally pretty in totally different ways.

  40. I actually don’t have a middle name. I suppose Greek names are complicated enough. I’ve never missed or wanted one

  41. Mine is “Jo”! After my grandmother, Jo Ann. My mom’s middle name is also Jo and I named my daughter Catherine Jo. I secretly hope she has a girl someday for a 5th generation “Jo”.

  42. my daughter’s middle name is my great grandmothers maiden name, darling. :)

  43. My oldest’s is Fargo for the movie that brought my husband and me together, and little guy’s is Wilu, which is a native American word that means chicken hawk squawking – while I was pregnant I met my birth mother and found out I was an 1/8th Cherokee.

  44. my daughter has my maiden name for her middle name. and any subsequent kids will have it for their middle name as well. my younger sister followed the same tradition. I love it!

  45. My boyfriend works with a girl named Splinter! Her older brother is Chip, as in “chip-off-the-old-block” so when she came her father called her Splinter!!
    Mine is Jane (after Austen) and my daughter’s is FuYin ( her Chinese name before we adopted her) her first name is Wren.

  46. My sister and I actually have the same middle name: Lynn. All the girls on my dad’s side do. The idea was that as we got married, our last names would change but we would still have Lynn in common.

  47. My middle name is Rocio. I sound like a valley girl but I was born in Mexico. So I use my middle name to give me some credibility. ;)

  48. Mine is Elaine. I’ve never really liked it. My mom wanted it to be Nicole, but my dad voted it down as too trendy – though they did give me the most popular girl’s first name of the 80s!

  49. My boys middle names are Paul and James too!

  50. My middle name is Catherine, which was my paternal grandmother’s middle name.

    My son’s middle name, McConal, is the same as my husband’s middle name, which was his grandmother’s first name. Whew.

  51. Our daughters middle name is Blossom and our sons Inigo – mine and my husbands are very dull (to us anyway) I hope they love theirs more and will want to use them.

  52. My oldest son’s middle name is Alexander – after my maternal grandmother, Alejandra. Liam Alexander, that’s him. My youngest son’s Philip – after his paternal uncle. – Sebastian Philip.

    With regard to my own siblings (there are 2 girls and 1 boy) All 3 of us are distinguished by our middle names – Grace, Frances and Erika. Our first names are all Mary. I think it’s an old-fashioned way of naming children.

  53. My middle name is Grace, because I was the gift my parents waited for through 7 years of infertility.

  54. My middle name is my dad’s last name. I like it.

    My niece’s middle name is a combination of her parent’s names, Leila + Andy = Leanne.

    I really like Buffalo as a middle name. Might use that in the future.

  55. My daughter’s is June, because her first name is 3 syllables. I didn’t know when I chose it, but it’s her grandma’s middle name too.

    A friend had a Tyrannasaurus Rex for a middle name. I also know a family who let the older child choose the younger brothers middle name..Mystery

  56. My parents didn’t give me a middle name, which always bummed me out when I was a kid. So when I got married and took my husband’s last name, I made my maiden name my legal middle name (which is pretty much what my parents intended) and I love it. I did so much under my maiden name – it feels good to not leave it behind.

    As for my husband, his middle name is Starbuck. When I found out when we were first friends, I asked if it was after Starbuck in Moby-Dick (I was an English major, so of course that was my first thought). Nope. Totally after Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica (he was born in 1980, for context. I’d never heard of the show until I met him). I still can’t help but giggle at it, especially when you see people do a double-take when they read/hear his middle name.

  57. I’m an 80s baby and my middle name is Leigh, but our oldest son’s name is Frederick Raine. Frederick is a family name, but he goes by Raine (pronounced rain) and our youngest son is Jack Legend!

  58. I know someone who made his son’s middle name be Rocket. He told me he didn’t want his son’s career to be affected if that were his first name. “Who’d hire a doctor named Rocket?” he told me. It was interesting.

    :] // ▲ ▲

  59. My sister and I were both given middle names based on how they sounded with our first names: Stacy Michelle and Amy Elizabeth. I always wished my middle name meant something though. My boyfriend’s brothers have their grandfather’s names, my boyfriend has his father’s name. I plan to give family names to my future children.

  60. Lu says...

    Usually in Brazil we get both parents’ family names. Plus the first name, that makes 3 names already! So not everyone has middle names.

    My actual struggle is to convince my french partner, who’s culture also uses middle names, to go with just one name and then both of our family names! Not easy, but Im not letting my tradition go that easily!

  61. My middle name is Elizabeth just like my mom. In the South, & in our family, most girls go by both names so I’ve been Hannah-Beth for most of my life. Now, I usually just sign things Hannah B. even though that’s not my middle initial at all!

  62. we went traditional–our kids’ middle names are family names — my daughter’s is Louise and my son’s is Wesley. Mine is Diane.

  63. My middle name is Pu’u Lena, I kid you not. It’s Hawaiian for “the cold winds of Kilauea.” I don’t have an ounce of Hawaiian in me, but I was conceived on the crater of a volcano (also not kidding), and when I was born the doctor said my delivery was “eruptive.” That was enough for my parents. It was definitely awkward when people would ask me what it meant as a kid. No ten year old wants to share the story of their conception, but I love it and wouldn’t change it for anything.

  64. We gave our son two middle names, Michael and Colin for both his grandfathers. I wanted Colin for my dad for sure because he had daughters so his name won’t be carried on but I wanted some of him to be carried on in my son and then we chose to include his other grandpa as well to keep things even. If we have another son I am not sure what we will do.

  65. My middle name is Marie, same as my aunt and funnily enough both my husband’s brother’s wives have the same middle name. My 2 year old is Andrew Kenneth (Kenneth is my father in law), and we will continue doing the parents names for any more children :)

  66. I have a middle name picked out for a future child that’s a little offbeat. It’s the nickname my great grandpa had for my dad when he was young, so I feel like it’s a unique way to honor both of them and I love it. I would use it for both a boy or girl. I feel like I can’t say it out loud. :)

  67. Mine is Monique which is strange considering my mother now loves ordinary names. She wanted me to name my daughter Rebecca. My son’s middle names are Kin and Pei and my daughter’s is Mei chosen as a nod to their Chinese heritage.

  68. We did kind of the opposite: our boys have unusual first names and family names for the middle name. So our oldest is Kohler Campbell, our middle is Kaden Andrew, and our youngest is Kieran Noel. Noel is actually not a family name, but he was born close to Christmas so that’s why we picked it!

    I love unusual names and love this post!

  69. I was given a unique middle name – JaJa (pronounced J.J.). It was after a character in a tv show called the Governor and J.J. that was on briefly in the early 70s. Apparently, my mom was a big fan. One of her aunts convinced her that J.J. was too masculine so she changed it to JaJa because she thought that was a little more feminine. Have to admit I’ve never understood that logic. I went through periods growing up of either really loving it or really hating it. No one reading it has every pronounced it as J.J. I usually get something more like zsa zsa.

    I was conflicted about changing my last name when I got married. I ended up dropping JaJa and now have my maiden name for my middle name.

  70. We have a custom of first child’s name and middle name honoring the initials of your grandmother, so for my son this meant J.M. We decided on his first name pretty quickly but couldn’t settle on an M name we liked.

    That’s when my grandfather suggested Mars, “like the god of war,” he said, “that’s cool.” We laughed it off at first but as the due date approached we were like, why not Mars?

  71. Guess what? My middle name is Jo!
    Not Josephine, or Joanna, or anything else but “Jo”.
    I love it.

  72. My middle name is Reiser. It’s my mom’s maiden name. I didn’t like it until I learned it means “traveler” in German!

  73. My boyfriend knows a couple who gave their son the middle name, Danger, so he can say, “Danger is my middle name.” My boyfriend’s middle name is Francis. It’s a family name, but I think he’s a little jealous of Danger. I have Rebecca and wish it were more unique.

  74. My middle name is Beth, after one of my aunts. My husband and I don’t have kids yet, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be sticking with classics, most likely after relatives. Though, I am definitely toying with Hepburn for a middle name if we have a girl, which my mom suggested when I said though I love the name Audrey, I’m not sure if I want it for a middle name or first name (I’m obsessed with Audrey Hepburn).

  75. Mine is Nicole (hello 1984 baby), but this is interesting – my 98 year old cousin’s middle name is Ennis. according to him, his middle name came from a Frenchman an aunt was dating in 1916. Isn’t that lovely?

  76. In my family we all (except me) were given family maiden names for middle names: Whitmer, Dexter, Dover, Totten and Greenaway. I guess they ran out of names because my middle name is Dee. I like it because it’s short and sweet and is spelled the same way it’s pronounced!

  77. our daughter’s middle name is Lewis after her grandpa. I love it and we sometimes call her Louie. :)

  78. My middle name is Ann, just like many other 80s babies. (In high school, my volleyball coach would scold us all as First Name + Ann or First Name + Marie because so often he’d be right!)

    I’m 31 weeks pregnant with my first baby, a girl, and her name was supposed to be something easy to say and spell for both spanish and english speakers alike. Instead we ended up with Noemi Belen! For the middle name I wanted a one or two syllable name in English, but my husband fell so in love with Belen that I decided to go along with it.

  79. I love the idea of having a child choose their own middle name. Or being super creative with it.

    A kid of the 80s, my middle name is a bit unique. My middle name is Janelle, but simply because my parents couldn’t agree to use that as my first name. (My mom wanted it and my dad didn’t.) The compromise was making that my middle name instead.

    And I want to high-five the parents (here in the comments) who chose middle names after members of the Beatles. That’s an awesome idea too.

  80. We chose our family surnames as middle names, a bit like the Spanish who take both names. My son managed to get Baillie which is pretty much a Christian name anyway but my daughters middle name is Lamb. Which is my surname. My Dad thought we were nuts!

  81. I definitely bought into this trend! I gave my son two middle names, because I wanted him to have two middle initials (like J.R.R. Tolkein, ha ha).

    I feel like names are artifacts of our parents’ hopes and dreams for us, but I also wanted a sort of neutral first name for him– something that was kind of a blank slate for his personality, rather than evoking something he would be in the shadow of. So I went crazy with the middle names, so that he would have options.

    His first middle name is Erasmus, after Erasmus Darwin and Desiderius Erasmus (of Rotterdam). We almost gave him that as a first name– I found “Raz” as a nickname charming– but then my friend told me “Raz” sounded like the kid you bought weed from at a Phish concert and it soured for me. His other middle name is my surname.

    It can be tricky fitting both names on his forms, but I don’t care.

  82. My middle name is Michele, after my aunt. My parents pretty much lacked originality and gave us family names (except my younger sister, whose middle name isn’t after a family member). And until I was old enough to realize the truth, I thought The Beatles wrote “Michelle” for me.

  83. My middle name is Joy because I was born the day after Christmas (Natasha actually means Christmas baby) and my two son’s middle names are after family members.

  84. I’ve always been called by my middle name (Tyler) which I’ve been told is a pretty common thing in the south? My proper first name is Brittany, which is really beautiful, in spite of all the Britney Spears nonsense. My parents told me that they wanted something different since we had such a common last name and then I would always have the option to switch to Brittany later. I remember being teased for having a boy’s name, but now I love it. It does cause a lot of confusion– which I’ve learned to accept.

    Now that I’ve gotten married, I want to drop Brittany and keep my maiden name as my middle name. The legal process to change your proper first name (versus a middle name) is a headache, but I’m slowly chipping away on it.

    My husband does not have a proper middle name. In his culture, one usually takes the father’s first name as a middle name if it’s required on paperwork. I’m not sure how I feel on this, but it’s something we’ll figure out when we decide to have kids.

  85. My sons middle name is Fox. His first name is Harrison. I would have loved Fox as his first name but my husband didn’t have the guts. We live in Quebec so he needed a name that could be pronounced in both languages. However most people call him Fox. I watched a lot of x-files while pregnant with him;)

  86. My middle name is Diane, my first name was/is not so mainstream so I think Diane sort of grounds it. Although these days with children being named North and Sparrow and god knows what else, my first name is bland now ..

    My mother liked Edgar Bergen and his puppets when she was pregnant with me so you can guess what she named me. ( not a puppet name)

    I think “Wrenn” is the sweetest name !!

  87. Better to be wild with a middle name than a first I think! My husband was so adamant about our boys middle names. His fathers middle name is Kenneth and he goes by Ken, my husband and his brother both have Kenneth as their middle name, so our first born son was named Colin Kenneth. I thought with our second son Id get to pick a different middle name as I really liked the name Dylan James but my husband insisted again on Kenneth and it wasn’t a battle I wanted to fight :)

  88. My middle name is Liv, which I did not appreciate until I was older. I grew up in an era where everyone was “Marie”…mine was not.

    For my boys, I used Erick and Thomas, both family names on my side of the family. My husband is Indian, so their first and last names are Indian. I wanted their middle names to give them a tie to my side of the family.

  89. We decided to choose Summer as our daughters middle name–She was born in the summer and summer has always been a love for us. At first we were thinking of naming her Summer Nyima (sunshine in Tibetan,) beautiful, but not what we went with.

  90. My sister and I don’t have middle names, mostly because our parents couldn’t agree on one. It always bothered me, but now I like that my name is a little different!

  91. My parents chose my Chinese name as my middle name. I think it’s nice to befuddle everyone when they see X as my middle initial :)

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  92. My middle name is Atlantis. When I asked my mom where it came from and she says she just saw it in a baby book and thought it was different. I have forever been on the fence about liking it or not.
    I went a little more traditional with my children, Nicole is my daughters and Antonino is my sons which is after his great grandfather.

  93. My middle name is Helen, and I think it is such a beautiful name. It means bright one or shining light. I have three daughters. Their middle names or Morgan, Reese, and Ryan.

  94. My middle name is Sidonie, my mom loved the writer Colette and her book “Sido” about her Mother named Sidonie. My daughter’s is Marie, which was my adored grand-mother’s name. My father takes the cake with 3: Pierre, Jacques, André!

  95. I love this question! My friend told me once that you’re not REALLY friends with someone unless you know their middle name. Since then I’ve always made a point of knowing my friends’ middle names, and I’ve learned there is usually more of a story behind a middle name than a first name. (Mine’s Charlotte after two great-grandmothers and I love it.)

  96. LOVE this topic, because middle names in my family are so special.

    My middle name is Joy, after my grandmother, Barbara Joy and my mother, Joy Lynn. My sister got her middle name from my aunt Valerie, who died the year before my sister’s birth on Valerie’s birthday!

    I plan on passing family names along from my side, since my husband gets to pass along his last name! It’s a way to recognize the line without hyphenating.

  97. Mine is Rena, pronounced like “Renee” but spelled that way because my Mom’s name is Rena, pronounced like REE-nah, except she was mistakenly called Renee all the time. Confusing, eh? My first name is Charli, after my grandfather Charles. I like it!

  98. My daughter’s middle name is “Inez” after Rachel McAdam’s character in the movie Midnight in Paris. Everyone who hears it thinks it’s a family name, but the truth is that I just fell in love with the name while watching that movie. It’s funny how certain names stick.

  99. That Rocket middle name story was such a sweet story. Thank you for sharing. I love that idea… if we have a second child, I think I might do the same. ha ha

  100. Definitely noticed that as a trend as well! We know a lot of ‘bird’ middle names now – my sister’s girl has a middle name of Kestrel, and another friend has a girl with a middle name of Sparrow, to name a few. I think it is a great trend, especially because we really don’t use our middle names that much. It’s good for them to tell a story.

  101. My middle name is Lynn. Like almost a third of all the other girls born in the 80’s. The other 2/3s being Anne and Maries.

  102. I am named after both my grandmothers, Carol Maria. Our oldest son went without a name for 5 weeks (he was in the NICU the whole time) until we decided he would be a jr. He also goes by his middle name, Shook, which is a family name as well. My girls have traditional names, Kaitlyn and Emily, and my younger son is named after his grandfathers, Nicolas Alan.

  103. Mine own is so plain – very 80s. Anyways, growing up I had always loved Punky Brewster and when I found out the actor’s real name was Soleil Moon I was inspired to use that name in some way when I had kids. Besides I had a crush on River Phoenix at the time too. So I have referenced a natural element with my three kids’ middle names and they are Soleil, Pietro, and Rio. Supposedly Pietro means rock in Italian, but my husband chose that one.

  104. Mine is Helene, the French version of my great grandmother’s name. I love it!

  105. Our daughter’s middle name is Loveday because it is Cornish and so was my husband’s great grandpa. We found it in an English baby name book (shortly before moving here from America) and we laughed at it before deciding we loved it! The history of the name is gorgeous and it suits her perfectly.

    My son’s middle name isn’t nearly as interesting. He is Peter Thomas because my husband is Jason Thomas. Though for many generations before him all the first born males in the family were given the middle name of Newell. Luckily it stopped with his dad! We’ve now (hopefully) started the tradition with something a bit more palatable.

  106. My middle name is Ku’uleikahauolilani. Try to say that five times fast! In Hawaii (where I’m from) it’s a very common thing for parents to give their children long Hawaiian middle names. My siblings all have equally long (but beautiful, in my opinion) middle names.

  107. I have no middle name. My first name is hyphenated (when computers don’t make it one word), and long.

  108. Mine is Helen, after my auntie (mum’s youngest (and favourite) sister.)

    Because of that, when I was getting told off as a kid, it would often be “Sally Helen Vanessa!” Vanessa has never been my name, it is in fact my auntie’s middle name! I guess Helen Vanessa just rolled nicely off the tongue for my mum! :)

    My sister’s middle name is Anne. For no reason, other than they liked the sound of it with her first name.

    Growing up, Louise was a very common middle name amongst my peers.

  109. We wanted our son’s middle name to be after someone, so it it was between his dad’s life long friend, Parker or my uncle who had passed away, Paul. We finally went with Paul, Brycen Paul. I still notice a lot of people using middles names that are after people.

    But, I have friends with a boy who’s middle name is Cortland, after the small upstate SUNY school they met at.

  110. My middle name is Ilana.

    My oldest son has 2(!) unique middle names: His first name is a bit European but within the realm of normal, but his middle names are Loki (the trickster shape shifter) and Danger (again, for some very good reasons given his birth situation).
    My second son has an unusual first name (Dash), so we gave him a nice, normal middle name- Alexander- he could choose to be “Alex”, “Sasha” or Alexander at some later point in time.
    Also, as a data point, my husband has gone by his middle name since he was 7yrs old. He liked the idea of providing the kids with options.

  111. My middle name is Genee, my son’s middle name is James.

  112. My older son’s middle name is Queue. We wanted a name that was a letter and a word. Plus, we liked the character from Next Generation. My mom was horrified. She kept saying, “What do I tell people his middle name is?” My son is now 13 and his unusual middle name has never turned out to be a problem. My mom is still horrified.

    My younger son’s name seems normal at first glance. Might even be a family name. It is not. We named him after Mr. Burns on the Simpsons. Mr. Burns’ name is Charles Montgomery Burns (or Monty) My Son is Charles Montgomery (or Charlie). I don’t think my mom ever noticed the reference.

  113. My middle name is Marie. My parents let my sisters (13 & 14 years older than me) pick between Heather and Heidi for my first name, they chose Heather. My eldest sister was in love with Marie Osmond and insisted my middle name be Marie. So it is. Interestingly enough, both sisters’ first born was a girl and both nieces have the middle name of Marie. My oldest niece, now has a 2 year old daughter with Marie as her middle name too. I almost feel obligated to give my daughter (IF we ever have one) the same middle name. Honestly, I am getting tired of the name…

  114. My middle name is Thomas. It’s my brother’s middle name too. It is our mother’s maiden name. I absolutely couldn’t stand it growing up because “it was a boys name”, but now I love it so much.

  115. Mine is Tracey after my great-grandmother – O’Tracey.
    My oldest is Simone because I love the French name and my youngest is Evelyn because it went well with Stella and could also easily be turned into a French name. That’s important to me as I teach French.

  116. Our kids have middle names after grandparents– my daughter’s middle name is Evelyn, after her great-grandmother, and my son’s middle name is Gregorie, after my mom. We feel like with these namesakes, they share some of the spirit of the person they are named for. So far, it’s true for us!

  117. My middle name is Mari (say it like the traditional “Mary”) after my mom’s best friend. Both of my sons have two middle names, and the second middle name is my maiden name, Kozak. I miss my maiden name so I’m forcing it upon all of my kids ;-) plus it feels like a way to honor my dad, who died a year before we had our first child. There’s a tradition in my mom’s family to use Jay as a middle name, but I haven’t followed it (yet), although my cousins have.

  118. Our son has a double middle name for that exact reason. We wanted to do something a little different! His full name is James Willis Carraway. Willis because we have many Williams in our family but wanted to spice it up a bit, and Carraway, as in Nick Carraway, from the Great Gatsby.

  119. My middle name is Field. It comes from my ancestor, Richard Stockton Field, who was the great-grandson of Richard Stockton (he signed the Declaration of Independence!). It was also my grandmother’s middle name. I would love for one of my future children to share my middle name. Plus I think it would be funny to one day have an athletic field named after me – I’d want it to be called Field Field.

  120. Mine is Blackwell which is a family name on my Moms side. I love it. My husband wants to use national park names with our children so our son’s middle name is Yosemite. We love it there and had a blast taking him on his first camping trip there when he was seven months old.

  121. my middle name is Jean. My husband is Gregory Jordan and we named our first son Gregory James. Gregory after his dad/my husband and James because both his grandfathers are James, and it started with a “J” which kind of connected my middle name and my husband’s middle name with him.

    Our second son is Nicholas Zlatko. Nicholas after family on my husband’s side and Zlatko after my husband’s maternal grandfather. Zlatko is a Croatian name and it means darling one or golden one…and it’s fun to say!

  122. In some Indian cultures, such as mine, all the children take on the father’s first name as their middle name. My mother even took on my father’s first name as her middle name when they got married. It’s supposed to ifentify which family you belong to. Growing up in America, I thought it was little strange when I was a kid but now I Iove it! I’ll always have a little part of my father no matter what. :)

  123. My middle name is “Lissi”, after my grandmother’s first name. It’s very special for me because I didn’t get to know her well as she lived in England and I grew up in America. She died 6.5 years ago, and I’m able to feel as though I have a connection to her.

  124. Don’t mind me, just bookmarking this post for the day in the distant future when I have to name my children :)

    My middle name is Elizabeth. Just like every other girl named “Lauren” in the 80s and 90s.

  125. My parents struggled finding a middle name for me. They were at a friend’s house one day and their daughter said, “I’ve always liked my sisters name-Christine.” My mom liked the sound of Amanda Christine so they went with it completely forgetting that my paternal grandmothers middle name was Christine. Naturally she thought they named me after her and she thought this was the case until the day she died.

    My husband is from Malawi, Africa and he asked if we could give our daughter a middle name from the language he spoke growing up, so her name is Shirley Lindizgani. (Pronounced Lin-dee-zyan-ee.) It’s a mouthful but I think items pretty. I love it!

  126. Mine was Reed, which is my mom’s maiden name. Now my middle name is my maiden name. Both of those are big in New Orleans…moving your middle name to your maiden name and making your maiden name your child’s middle name.

    I had a friend going up named Chenier Taylor — here first name being her mom’s maiden :)

  127. We are Jewish, so children are usually named after a relative who has passed – at least, the first initial of the name is the same. My eldest is Jonathan Matthew, after his father’s uncle Jerome and his father’s grandfather, Max (who passed right when we found we were expecting). My younger son is Jason Lucas – Jason after another relative I can’t really remember (it’s been 36 years!) and Lucas after Lucas McCain on The Rifleman (for those of you old enough to remember that show)! His father and I loved the name and the character!

    My middle name is Diane, after a relative named Deborah – I don’t recall who she was.

    When I divorced, my cousin told me to take my maiden name back…but I kept my married name, since it was the same as my children’s names, and it was mine longer than my maiden name (I was married for 28 years). When I re-married, I changed my name to my husband’s last name – at that point, I didn’t wnat my ex’s name anymore!

  128. Mine is Emma. Lion would be pretty cool too though ;)

  129. My 3 children’s middle names are:
    * Clover
    * James (tradition of first son getting this middle name)
    * Easter

  130. We’ve been choosing middle names after grandparents – our first daughter’s middle for my husband’s mother, Leona, our second daughter for my mother, Lois. Our son’s middle name is David, for my dad. We’d like at least one more baby and it would be fun if it was another boy so we could use Robert as a middle, after my father-in-law!

  131. My middle name is Rose (which I love) so now my daughters have nature inspired middle names too: June Lilly and Maggie Pearl.

  132. we’re the opposite! My daughter’s name is Moana Ho’olale Grace. I love that she has a unique first name. Originally she had a mega long first name that’s hawaiian, but then we put the ho’olale in the middle so that people had a chance to say her name right!

  133. My middle name is Melynn, named after my grandmother’s middle name, which was spelled Maline, but pronounced the same. Once I found an envelope where my mom had tried out different spellings of my middle name. I thought that was so cool. I took my husband’s last name when we got married, but I dropped my maiden name so I could keep my middle name. My husband goes by his middle name “Penn”ington. One of my sons goes by his middle name “Holt”on. My other sons name is “Win” short for Winborne and I think the coolest name that there is.

  134. My oldest son goes exclusively by his middle name, Gates. It is my mother-in-law’s maiden name … so she, of course, loves me:)

    His first TWO names are Patrick McSherry, after the first McSherry who emmigrated in 1851. I was hesitant to give up my maiden name, so I have compensated by plastering my family names all over my kids.

  135. My oldest daughter’s middle name is Romney. It’s a family name, but she was born when Mitt was running for president so people thought we named her after him. Yeah, no. I just had another little girl and her middle name is Grafton, which is my husbands grandpa’s name. He didn’t know him but had heard stories about his time in general Patton’s army (my hub was also in the army) and thought it would be great to honor him.

  136. This is hilarious! Danger, seriously?

    My middle name is Netanya, which is Hebrew and means “Gift from God.” My parents were big on meanings of names (my first name is Joy!) and my dad is from Israel, so there’s that significance as well. The funny thing is, until college, I hated my middle name! Only my very best friends even knew what it was. And now, I include it in my signature and even go by it sometimes, like on my blog! I’m proud of it now, and plan on giving my kids significant, meaningful names as well!

  137. I like the idea of choosing an initial and then allowing the kiddo to pick the name!

    We chose a middle name based off of initials. We knew that we loved the name Winston and our last name is Cozad – so we thought an A name would be fun {WAC as initials}. So after much deliberation {read: perusing books at Barnes and Noble!} we chose Ace! :) Winston Ace.

  138. Some great names here. My middle name is Madeleine, which I have always liked. My son is Frank James (James is custom for first born sons in my husband’s family but we already had one in mine) and my daughter is Mercedes Montana. I remember reading a fab Vogue fashion shoot in late 1990, shot in Montana and I thought what a great name it would make. I was right; suits her perfectly.

  139. Waaw, Rocket, thats a great middle name. Tradiotionally in belgium you give the names of the godfather and godmother as middle names. Mine is Maria (godmother) and Andrea (godfathers name is Andre). Often the names aren’t even adjusted to the gender, which I find a little strange, i’m glad my parents did. We also did the same for pur son. But the name of the godmother didn’t have a male equivalent so we let her choose a name.

  140. In my father’s family, its a tradition to give everyone the same middle name – my grandfather, uncles, aunts, cousins, father and my brother have the same middle name. Until my mother came along and put her foot down – I’m the only one in the entire family who has a different middle name, and I love it!

  141. My middle name is Lark. I have 4 sisters and we all have a bird for either our first or middle name (Raven, Robin, Wren, and Jay). I just had a daughter and decided to stick with the bird theme, so her middle name is Alouette which is French word for Lark. I love it because it gives a nod to our family tradition and my French ancestry!

  142. I am obsessed with names, so I’m loving reading all the comments. My middle name was Morgan before I got married and is now Turner (maiden name).

    What’s your middle name Jo?? :)


  143. My middle name is my Mother’s family name, Rocha. It means “rock” in Portuguese. When naming our girls, my husband and I decide they would both have the same middle name and we’d honor my mom in it (she never got to meet the girls as she passed away in 2010). So we middle named both of our girls Rocha, and I love it. We are keeping the tradition in my culture where the kids middle name is the mother’s name and the last name is the fathers name. And I love it that way.

  144. My middle name is Violet (after my maternal grandmother Violette) I sort of wish they would have used the fancier French spelling, but love the name. My kids’ middle names are:

    William – after a grandfather, 2 great-grandfathers, and many others in our family. Pretty basic name.

    Jewel – after her great-grandmother. It has been a great fit as it turns out they are alike in many ways and she is the only namesake

    Ambrose – older, somewhat unusual name that is his great-granfather’s and one my dad preferred. I did it to honor my dad who died before this last little guy was born.

    Our tradition is to tie the middle name to the family in some way. The first names are not names typically found in our family.

  145. My middle name is Elizabeth after my grandmother which is pretty traditional.

  146. my middle name is now my first, which is Lan and it means “Orchid”. prior to getting married my full name meant Fragrant Orchid (or as my stepmother once said “Stinky Orchid” because her english is terrible).

    now my middle name is my maiden name.

  147. Lu says...

    My middle name is Anders. My dad was adamant that I would be named after Lindsey Buckingham (male spelling and all) and my mother said she got the middle name. She went through the family tree and gave me a nod to my great-great Uncle and some Swedish ancestry. Pretty cool. Here in the South kids are often named after a last name on the mother’s side. There are Yates’ and Yanceys, Colemans and Browards, Lawtons and Davis’ etc. Male, female- it doesn’t matter as long as the family gets their nod.

  148. No middle name for me or my siblings. Just nothing. I’ve grown to love the simplicity.