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What is the Middle Name?

By Emma Davies


Updated on

A middle name serves as an important yet often concealed part of a personal identity. Giving your child a middle name is not a requirement, but adding a name between their first and last names offers the opportunity to honor family members and tradition, or even add another layer of individuality. 

What is the Middle Name?

Types of Middle Names

Generational Middle Names

Middle names can be used to pass down the names of important family members through the generations. You may have your grandmother’s name as a middle name, as does your mom – your Grandmother may in fact just be named after her own grandmother.

If you want to give your little one a middle name but don’t know what to choose, continuing the naming tradition can be a lovely gesture.

Second Choice First Names

In some cases, a middle name might be a second first name, giving individuals more flexibility in choosing what they are called. Parents can sometimes have more than one name they love for their baby. In less harmonious circumstances, occasionally two parents just cannot agree on what to name the newest member of their family.

Therefore, if you can’t pick just one name, maybe you don’t need to after all. With names that work together well, there is no reason why you can’t use both of your first name ideas – just put one in the middle after the given name.

Honorary Middle Names

A middle name might be chosen to honor someone. Usually, a parent is honoring a mentor, friend, or someone who has had a significant impact on their lives.

Cultural or Ethnic Middle Names

Some middle names reflect the family’s cultural or ethnic background. These names may have significance in terms of language, history, or traditions.

Meaningful or Virtue Middle Names

Parents sometimes choose middle names based on their meanings. The meaning of a name can convey virtues or qualities parents hope the child will embody.

Place or Location Middle Names

Some parents choose middle names based on a location that holds significance for them. The location could be anywhere from the place of the child’s birth, a favorite city, or even a special destination.

Creatively Spelled or Unique Middle Names

Middle names can be an opportunity for parents to express creativity or uniqueness. So, whether through unconventional spelling or the choice of a rare name, you can choose a special middle name.

Maternal or Paternal Connection

A middle name might be chosen to emphasize a connection with either the mother’s or father’s side of the family.

Initials or Acronym

Some parents intentionally choose a middle name to create specific initials or acronyms. Intentional initials can add a playful or symbolic element to the child’s name.

Middle Name Meaning

Name Meaning Of Name
Alexander Defending men
Amy Beloved
Belle Beautiful
Charles Warrior
Claire Bright
Daniel God is my judge
Faith To trust
Florence Flourishing
Harper Harp maker
Jane God is gracious
Marie Beloved