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The Age of Bold Middle Names

bold middle names

By Abby Sandel

Filler middle names are a thing of the past.

It’s a 21st century baby naming reality. Not only do we obsess over finding the perfect first name, we have to find middles that hit the right note, too.

That wasn’t always the case. If you were born in the 1980s, there’s a good chance that your parents named you Melissa Ann. Or maybe you’re Heather Marie. In the last decade or two, names like Rose and Grace became favorite middles for girls.

For boys, the classics – James, William, and Joseph – have always been big.

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Name Sage: If Not Riley, What?

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
name sage all-boy name

Nicole writes:

I love the name Riley James for my baby boy, but my husband is liking it less and less as we learn how popular it is becoming for girls.

We’d love some other suggestions – preferably not unisex.

Other names we considered:

Quinn – Also unisex

Henry – Too popular

Tucker – I don’t love it

Miles- Husband is unsure

The middle name will be James.

The Name Sage replies:

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Nine Baby Name Journeys

baby name journeys

By Abby Sandel

Sooner or later, you’ll have to choose.

The rules vary based on where your child is born. But some authority somewhere is going to want you to register your new arrival, possibly before leaving the hospital. If not, eventually, in order to get a passport or enroll in school or something, your child will need an official name. And the grandparents? They’ll be asking, too. Because calling your kiddo “the baby” gets old fast.

But choosing isn’t easy, whether it’s your first child or you’re a veteran parent.

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Name Sage: A Sister for Rex and Leo

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
naming siblings

Lauren writes:

Our two little fellows, Rex, 3, and Leo, 18 months, will have a little sister later this year.

Our Hungarian last name is rather challenging to spell and difficult to pronounce, so we like the idea of keeping her name easy to read and say.

I like shorter, feminine, vintage names like Rose, Polly, and Milly, while my husband seems to lean towards more traditional names like Emily and Elizabeth.

We both love names that can transition easily to cute nicknames like Cece, Coco, and Milly, although this isn’t a must.

Whew! Hope this little girl isn’t as high maintenance as we’re making her name!

The Name Sage replies:

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baby director

By Abby Sandel

You know you’re a name nerd when half the fun of a new Disney Pixar film is the list of production babies.

I loved every second of the studio’s newest production, Inside Out.

As the credits rolled, I waited patiently. Accounting scrolled by, then Craft Services, until – finally! – the list of 87 children born to Pixar employees during the year Inside Out was finalized and released.

We could talk about Riley, of course, the name of the main character. Between this movie and Steph Curry’s scene-stealing daughter, Riley is having quite the summer. And Amy Poehler, the voice of Joy, is a great namer herself, the mother of Archie and Abel.

But production babies are a special category of names.

Ever since the studio put out their first feature-length film, Toy Story, way back in 1995, they’ve included the list.

The lists are just names – no genders, no sibling names, middles only when more than one child has the same first name. But the names tend to be different, even daring. Exactly what you’d expect from a creative field and especially from such a famously innovative studio.

Before we go any further, it’s time for a shout out to the fabulous Sarah of Names 4 Real. Sarah compiled the names after she heard me lamenting that I hadn’t thought to jot them down.

Let’s talk about some of my favorite names from 2015’s Inside Out, and then look at the full list.

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