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Middle Names: Part 2–Middle-sized middles

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elliebean13 Says:

June 13th, 2013 at 11:40 pm

My name is Ellie Charis, and yes, both have names two syllables, and yes, they both stress the first syllable, but I still feel like they flow well. I think it might because of the fact that the two names don’t share any of the same sounds. I’m not sure, but I’m wondering if there are any combos like my name that still sound okay, regardless of whether they follow the rules?

upswingbabynames Says:

June 14th, 2013 at 5:04 am

@elliebean13: I’m so glad you brought this up. When I created the middle name series, the purpose wasn’t to create a rigid set of rules that must be followed in every circumstance, but rather to help people see why some combinations work well and others don’t.

I’m reminded of when I took a graphic design class many years ago. When the instructor was teaching us graphic design rules she mentioned that part of the reason for learning the rules was to learn how to effectively break the rules. Work that unintentionally breaks the rules rarely turns out well, while work that intentionally breaks the rules, with good reason, is often better than formulaic, uninspired work that follows every rule.

The iambic middle name “rule” isn’t as common among male names. One of the most popular male middle names, Alan, has a stress on the first syllable not the second and people seem to feel it works in many cases.

As for Ellie Charis, I think both names sound nice together, and work just as well as Patrick Alan, as a male example.

This list is made for an expectant parent who may like the name Lara, as an example, but can only think of Marie as a middle name and would like another middle that works as well as Marie, but is also surprising.

MaScha2 Says:

June 14th, 2013 at 6:07 am

Haha my name is Marie Ann! I guess my mom didn’t realize she was giving me 2 of the most popular middle names of all time!

ajw77 Says:

June 14th, 2013 at 8:31 am

There are in fact several popular boys names in “English-speaking cultures” that would classify as Iambic: Jamal, Malik, Lamar, Naveen, etc. Please don’t exclude those names you may consider too ‘exotic’ to list in this blog.

upswingbabynames Says:

June 14th, 2013 at 11:33 am

@formulaic: Thanks for suggesting those names.

I didn’t deliberately exclude names for being too “exotic” and certainly don’t mean to suggest there aren’t any iambic boy names. I came across Emil the other day, and thought, “There’s an iambic boy name.”

In the end I decided to focus on alternatives to Marie–a popular middle name for girls.

rkchance Says:

June 14th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Wow, some people take this fun site way too seriously. Great job with your middle name suggestions upswinging!

abeezee Says:

June 14th, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Recently I came up with Caroline Adair. :)

tabitha Says:

June 15th, 2013 at 9:31 am

any tips for those wanting to give
TWO middle names? ;)

ash1114 Says:

June 15th, 2013 at 4:57 pm

I am fairly new to posting here but I love your blogs, postings & subject matter. I had to reply because I love middle names! I would also plan to give my children 2 middles someday. Some of your double syllables I love are Delphine, Francine, Claudine & Sylvaine! These are glorious! Thanks!

calypsotheoneandonly Says:

June 15th, 2013 at 10:49 pm

I like Elise! Or have I been pronouncing it wrong?

Amaris261 Says:

June 16th, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I’m confused how Margot made the list? I most certainly stress the first syllable.

littlewren Says:

January 14th, 2014 at 11:50 pm

I stress the first syllable on Margot, and I’m pretty sure that’s at least the proper way to pronounce it, so I’m not sure why it’s on here?

A unisex iambic name is Azure! I just love Azure on a boy.
And a few other girls’ iambic names not listed: Capri, Marin, Marine, Helene, Elaine, Brianne, Frostine.

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