Category: cool middle names

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No sooner had we declared the death of such old-style middle names as Ann, John, and Marie – mere connective tissue between the first name and the last – than we started seeing the rise of a whole new generation of undistinguished middle names.

There are now officially enough little girls with the middle name Rose, thank you very much, and so too have we heard an awful lot of Grace, James, Claire, Lee, and Rae for girls, Ray for boys.

Granted, middle names are not as important as first names and may be rarely used after the birth announcements are printed.  But that’s no reason to default to whatever’s easiest.  In fact, the middle can be the perfect place to use a name that’s more meaningful and distinctive than one you dare put in first place.

Here, some places to find distinctive middle names:

HONOR THY MOTHER, THY FATHER, AND THY GREAT-UNCLE – If your family is barging into the baby-naming act, make peace by using a family name in the middle.  My husband and I used both grandmothers’ names as middle names for our daughter, for instance, and revived a great-great-grandpa’s distinguished but eccentric name as our older son’s middle name.

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Cool Middle Names: Find one for Facebook

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More people are coming to nameberry these days in search of cool middle names to use on Facebook. The whole give-yourself-a-new-middle-name thing started on Facebook way back in 2008, when supporters of Barack Obama took his middle name Hussein.

Next up: Facebookers began adopting the middle name Equality, to show their support for marriage equality.

Of course, adopting new cool middle names on Facebook is not all altruism.  On a more self-serving level, they can keep snoopy relatives, school administrators, and would-be employers from finding you and your potentially-embarrassing party pictures.

Self-namers in search of a cool cover can check out nameberry’s list of Cool Middle Names. Short and spunky, these names work best for girls. Among the best choices:

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Middle Name Switches

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Clearly, parents today are giving a lot more thought to their children’s middle names than their own parents did.  Long gone are the automatic connective choices like Lee and Lynn, Beth and Bruce;  more likely now might be something more imaginative like Maeve or West—or Sebastian or Story—or Mom’s maiden or another family name.

For some people, the reasoning behind this is to give the child an additional option for later in life.  It works both ways: either he could switch his classic William for his jazziermiddle  Jasper, or she could opt for using her traditional, grown-up Elizabeth middle name over the less sophisticated Poppy.

It turns out that a surprising number of celebrities have done just that—chosen to use their middle as their marquee moniker.  Sometimes it was to drop a wimpy appellation for a more stylish one (Eldred for Gregory, Orvon for Gene), sometimes because a name was too common at the time (Mary, John, James) and the middle had more character (Farrah, Orson, Montgomery), sometimes maybe because probably just seemed cooler to be Brad than Bill.

As a result, some of the most stand-out celebrity names –Evangeline, Reese, Rihanna, Ashton and Jude—started out in second place on the birth certificate.  Here are some of the most prominent–And note that the last names given aren’t necessarily the ones they were born with.

GIRLS

Kathryn BRIDGET (Moynahan)

Lily CLAUDETTE (Colbert)

Mary DEBRA (Winger)

Nicole EVANGELINE (Lilly)

Audrey FAITH (Hill)

Mary FARRAH (Fawcett)

Dorothy FAYE (Dunaway)

Deborah HUNTER (Tylo)

Mary KATHLEEN (Turner)

Olive MARIE (Osmond)

Holly MICHELLE (Phillips)

Carole PENNY (Marshall)

Laura Jean REESE (Witherspoon)

Robin RIHANNA (Fenty)

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Hottest Celebrity Baby Name Trends

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Celebrity baby names can reflect or even launch naming trends in the general population.  Here, some of the hottest celebrity baby names and trends we see heating up right now:

Babies Named After Heavenly Bodies, Objects, And/Or Beings

SERAPHINABen and Jen

MARSErykah Badu

LUNAConstance Marie

Stella LUNAEllen Pompeo

ScarletMelanie Chisholm & Thomas Starr

CIEL (French for sky) – Niki Taylor

Aven ANGELICAMatthew Settle

Journey JETTJenna Jameson

JETT HamiltonJill Scott

Petal Blossom RAINBOWJamie Oliver

Babies with Animal Names

BIRDIE WestMaura West

SPARROW James MidnightNicole Richie and Joel Madden

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Middle Names Q & A

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I’m looking for a short and simple middle name for my daughter, but certainly don’t want to go back to the tired old standbys of my childhood like Lynn and Lee and Sue and Ann. Any fresh ideas?

There are loads of more modern and imaginative one-syllable options these days. Many parents are choosing Rose-which is in danger of becoming the Ann of our day-others are going retro with Mae, Rae, Fay, Pearl or Belle, or ethnic with choices like Maeve or Paz. Nature lovers might consider Bay, Snow, Teal, Lark, or Plum.

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