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Category: multiple middle names

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In today’s baby name scenario, middle names have moved from insignificant supporting players to full-fledged costars, with a very small number of parents electing to avoid the issue and use no middle name at all.

So this week’s question is: what role does a middle name play for you?

  • Would you or did you use one or two or more middles?
  • Would that position be reserved for mom’s maiden name, another family name or a personal hero you wish to honor?
  • How about the idea of honoring both grandmothers or grandfathers as Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin did with their kids Apple Blythe Allison and Moses Bruce Anthony?
  • Would you put that slightly too outré name you don’t quite dare to use as a first into second place?  Or, flipping that coin, would you give your creatively named child a classic middle for him to fall back on?
  • How much do sound, syllables, initials factor into your decision?
  • If the child has a unisex first name, would you give him or her a more gender-specirfic middle?
  • How would this baby’s middle name relate to those of her present or future siblings’?

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Middle Names: Are two better than one?

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It’s no longer just foreign royals who are using multiple middle names for their babies.  More and more parents–both celebrity and civilian– are doubling or even tripling up, seeing it as an opportunity to widen their naming options, both in terms of honoring a namesake, or just for the sheer pleasure of choosing and bestowing an extra name or two.

One appealing possibility is that of honoring both maternal or paternal grandparents, as Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin did using all fourof their parents’ names for their children– Apple Blythe Alison and Moses Bruce Anthony. It’s also an opportunity for a Mom to use her maiden name –a venerable tradition–along with  another, hand-picked one.  This is among the positive points brought up by posters on our message boards—the fact that it allows you to use one of your favorite names along with either your maiden name or that of some other family member you might want to honor.

There are some minor downsides including possible future bureaucratic snafus down the road. Smitty wrote in a while back to say that she works in the medical field and that “When women marry and hyphenate their names or keep their maiden and middle names and add their married names, the computer system we have can freak out.” –and forms like Social Security limit you to one middle only,  in effect depriving a person of recording her full name (so you might want to consider the order of the middle names quite carefully.)   

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