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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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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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The Big Middle Name


By Pamela Redmond Satran

With middle names, one way — the more popular way — to go is to choose slim, sleek, minimal middle names.  Meaningful or simply connective, these middle names provide a short euphonic bridge between the more important first and last names.

But middle names can go another way, toward the big, important, statement name in the middle.

We’re talking multisyllabic, exotic, literary, artistic, mind-blowing, message-carrying middle names.

Names you love, but don’t want to stick your child with in first place.  Names that are too daring, too difficult, too attention-grabbing to foist upon someone you love.

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Middle Names: 100 fresh choices


As first names become more distinctive and more meaningful, middle names take on those qualities in spades.  Anything goes when it comes to middle names now, and parents are looking far beyond the usual given names to find unusual choices.

Four prime sources for middle names: Diminutives such as Jack or Mimi that may honor a beloved friend or relative, nature or animal names, names of heroes of fact or fiction, and inspirational names.

To bring you some new ideas, we’ve mined those areas to come up with 100 fresh choices.  Here they are:

Nickname Names





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Middle Names 2012: The New Connectors


There are several hot trends in middle names 2012.

One is the Middle Name with Meaning — family surnames, place names, virtue names you might not use in first place but that make for distinctive middle names.

Another is using two middle names, often to honor family members.

And then there are The New Connectors.

These names don’t mean or stand for anything or anyone special.  They just sound good, bridging the first and last names with a euphonious single syllable.

How do they differ from the standard middle names of yore, the Anns and Lees and Johns that might be thought of as The Old Connectors?

They don’t, so much, except that they’re not Ann or Lee or John.

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