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Category: unique middle names

middle names

The other day we brought you the first half of our cool one-syllable middle names; today we present those from the second half of the alphabet.

The idea: Fancy middle names might be fashionable, but sometimes what you really need is a short, sweet, yet cool middle name.  Something that’s less about Big Personal Meaning and more about providing a euphonic bridge between a perhaps-complicated first name and an even-more-complicated last.

Nameberry visitors are often searching for one-syllable middle names that go beyond the run-of-the-mill Rose or James yet are equally sleek and uncomplicated.  To address that need, here’s the second half of our master list of cool one-syllable middle names for both genders.

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middle names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

It’s fashionable to choose middle names that honor family members or personal heroes, that uphold a value such as Truth or signify a much-loved place like Paris.

But let’s face it: Sometimes what you really need is a short, sweet, yet cool middle name.  Something that’s less about Big Personal Meaning and more about providing a euphonic bridge between a perhaps-complicated first name and an even-more-complicated last.

Nameberry visitors are often searching for one-syllable middle names that go beyond the run-of-the-mill Rose or James yet are equally sleek and uncomplicated.  So we decided to compile a master list of cool one-syllable middle names for both genders.

There are a lot of them, many more than we guessed.  So we’re dividing the list into two parts, A-L, here today, and M-Z, coming soon to a Nameberry blog near you.

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Middle Names 2012: The New Connectors

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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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Pop open the champagne: It’s Middle Name Pride Day! In celebration, everyone’s supposed to reveal their middle names to three people who don’t know it. What if you learned, probably the hard way, that your middle name might make other people laugh, gasp, or want to punch you in the nose? Then take comfort in knowing that you’re in good company. Many of the most famous names around have middle names they’d probably just as soon keep out of the limelight.

And hey, come on over and join the conversation on Facebook about YOUR middle name, proud or not.

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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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