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Category: middle names

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It’s been a while now since automatic go-to single-syllable middle names like Ann and Lee and Lynn and Beth were found on the majority of girls’ birth certificates, only to be followed by the suddenly and almost equally ubiquitous Rose and Grace. But now we’ve entered a new era of greater diversity—with forgotten favorites and fresh new, more individualistic, choices abounding. Here are some of the coolest, including a few drawn from nature.

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Let’s talk about middle names.

Family names, filler names, fallback names – there are so many approaches to choosing your child’s middle that it can make landing on the perfect first feel almost easy.

Factor in a growing number of children who receive not one, but two middles, and it can become quite the puzzle.

I still regret choosing our son’s second name too quickly, and I remain ridiculously pleased with our daughter’s bonus middle.  (It’s Wren, a nod to my sister’s nickname, Bird.)

There’s nothing wrong with using Elizabeth or JamesPlenty of us have loved ones we wish to honor with a traditional choice.  And a more conventional middle can anchor an out-there given name.

But the opposite is true, too.  Jeremy Renner’s Ava Berlin is far more interesting than say, Ava Grace.

Middles that are meaningful and interesting and maybe downright original have their place, and I’m an unapologetic fan of big, stand-out middles.

This week’s daring middle names in the news are:

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Middle Names: What’s your favorite kind?

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Middle names are, in many ways, the place where you can get most adventurous with your choices.

Or are they?

What, in your opinion, is the best kind of middle name to choose?

A creative name that you might love but that you wouldn’t dare put in first place?

A name with important symbolism — the city where your child was conceived, the name of a personal hero?

Or maybe you see the middle name as the ideal place to represent family:  to use the baby’s father’s first name, for instance, or pass down grandma’s maiden name or honor a family member who is recently deceased.

Or the middle name to you might be an opportunity to create flow and melody in a name, and so you look for a middle name with the perfect combination of syllables and sounds.

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TBy Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Choosing a great baby name is a little bit like putting together a puzzle.

This week’s baby names in the news – and my, it was a busy week – all share a certain pattern.

Start with a recognizable, but not too popular, two-syllable name.

Add a middle, or even two.  Don’t fret about rhythm and flow, especially if you’re honoring a loved one or extolling a virtue.

Now calibrate.  If the first name is common, make sure the middle name is a real surprise.

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Babies with Three Names

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by Pamela Redmond Satran

Maybe if I’d ever gotten into watching one of those shows about the Housewives from any place other than my home state of New Jersey, I’d have something better to do on a weeknight.

But no.  After a long day of working on Nameberry, what do I do for relaxation but turn to the hallowed pages of The London Telegraph, where I peruse the birth announcements in search of….more baby names.

This time, what caught my eye were all the three-named babies.  Maybe the oh-so-British three-name arrangement struck me because of the young prince George Alexander Louis, whose own three names are a departure from the usual royal four.  Was that Will and Kate‘s way of signaling that they were just like us…or at least like other young upper class British parents?

A few things we noticed about the three names of the babies noted here:

– More surnames such as Kynaston and Constable in the middle which are not mothers’ maiden names but may well be family names

– Some staid middle names such as Mary and Charles that are probably honorifics

– A few unconventional middles such as Bear and Coco

In case you’re interested in finding three great names for your own baby, you might find some inspiration in these wonderful recent British choices.

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Agnes Lily Jean

Arabella Elizabeth Mary

Ava Flora Kynaston

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