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Thoroughly Modern Middles: Belle in for Beth

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.

Mae/May

Two of the sweetest vintage choices, but with slightly different images. The Mae spelling seems to be taking the lead—it’s been used by Ian Ziering (Penna Mae) and Greg Kinnear (Audrey Mae). Maeve is a great, somewhat more substantial, Irish alternative, as is the colorful Mauve.

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