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View Poll Results: Motivations for Choosing Middle Names?

Voters
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  • To honor friends

    8 22.86%
  • To honor relatives

    23 65.71%
  • To honor spouse or partner

    9 25.71%
  • To honor self (your own name)

    5 14.29%
  • To provide nice-sounding name bridge

    19 54.29%
  • To use a 2nd or 3rd favorite name

    20 57.14%
  • To be more daring in name choice than 1st

    15 42.86%
  • To repeat certain sounds in 1st/last names

    1 2.86%
  • To provide child with other name option(s)

    16 45.71%
  • To please partner and self (each chooses one)

    8 22.86%
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Thread: Middle Names

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,220

    Middle Names

    I've been thinking about middle names because so many threads concern good middles or good double middles. Many people are pretty sure of their first name choice, but include it in a poll with 4 or 5 different middles, which leads me to believe that middles are more up for grabs that firsts for many of us.

    Some Observations and Questions:

    1. Is it my imagination or were middle names for a very long time only a sort of filler substance between the "real" first name and the surname? Many of the old popular middles now seem to me too thin to be used as firsts. Names like Louise or Diane or Marie, though not Louisa, Diana, Maria. Are -a ending names simply richer sounding or is my take on the "old" middles influenced by them being relegated to second class citizenship for so long? Or are they just dated?

    2. It also seems to me that a number of women who were born, say between the 20's and the 40's, went by their middle name exclusively. I know of a number who did and I"m not sure if the family or spouse pressure to honor Aunt Nancy was so strong that mothers named their girls their favorites as middles and called them that, or what. For example, my Mom's best friend, was named Barbara Susanne, but was always called Susanne.

    3. I sometimes have a hard time responding to threads which ask for a middle name for a name that sounds to me like a ....middle name already. I often want to switch the order of names on the polls. I wonder what roles middles or double middles play these days. I know in my naming process I chose three names for each child -- MORE NAMES! - two favorites, two family honoring names, and one filler name.

    Owen (favorite) Michael (husband) Russell (other favorite)
    Cordelia (favorite) Elizabeth (filler) Marjorie (grandmother)

    I undertand all of my naming except putting Elizabeth in there. A beautiful name but not my personal top 50. I guess I just liked the flow of it all.

    And maybe that is a huge part of what a middle is about: a bridge between names, a flowing bridge (or so we hope)?

    4. Finally, I am wondering how many namers out there offer a middle or two middles as options for their child if s/he doesn't like the first name? I would like to say I am so generous in spirit that that would have been fine with me as a parent, but I might be lying! Of course said child could also change her name to Credenza Rampage at 18 (or 21?) so why fight it if she likes Bess or Margie better than Cordelia? Easy to say, hard to do!
    Last edited by lesliemarion; November 27th, 2013 at 02:14 AM.

  2. #3
    This is an interesting question, as I also debated the necessity of middle names for my child. I felt like putting a redundant second name after the first because it's "tradition" and everyone else does it, only for it to sit there as an initial, unused and ignored, was rather silly. Middles probably started as a means of differentiating all the Dick Smiths and John Williams's floating around in the old days, but with naming becoming so varied and personalised these days? Is it really still necessary?

    In the end I decided to let in a middle name for my soon-to-be kid anyway, deciding not to make a choice between the top two names we liked - Caspar and Sloan. Or if it's a girl, Dominica and Sabine. So let them choose which name, nn, or combo they would rather go by... as a singly-named person, I admit I would have liked the slightly increased freedom of choice!

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2,680
    My middle name choices, and many of my first name choices, honor family or have special meaning to my family.

    I actually do not like hearing "a filler name". Would anyone actually just throw a name into the middle name spot without it meaning something to them, honoring someone, or they simply like the name? Many of the names that honor family of mine are announced as fillers. Grace is often called a filler. Grace is a gorgeous name. There is so much beauty and meaning in that one syllable name. Maybe, people use it because they love it and it is special to them. This is like assuming people do not discuss and think over their first name choices. I think no one does either.

    I asked the second question to family members. No one in the family and only a handful of people they knew went by their middle names. I am choosing to use the middle name for example with Sofia Poet because I prefer the name Poet (even though I love both). This breaks a big rule of mine, giving your children a name and then using the middle name exclusively. I feel you should just have put the name you are going to use on the birth certificate. This way she could write Sofia Poet Surname on applications. I do not see how it really matters if her name is Sofia or Poet but it seems to really matter to some.

    I have posted polls asking which middle names people preferred. They were out of middle names that we chose and love, honor family and have special meaning, we just had trouble narrowing things down.
    ~ current favorites ~
    Piers Lachlan o Tadhg ? o Gray Everett o Bennett?
    Lilia Rose o Waverly Pearl o Isabel or Isobel Hettie o ??
    ~~~~~~ - ~~~~~~ - ~~~~~~ - ~~~~~~ - ~~~~~~
    Heart my son

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,220

    "Filler" Names

    Quote Originally Posted by lovemysweeties View Post
    My middle name choices, and many of my first name choices, honor family or have special meaning to my family.

    I actually do not like hearing "a filler name". Would anyone actually just throw a name into the middle name spot without it meaning something to them, honoring someone, or they simply like the name? Many of the names that honor family of mine are announced as fillers. Grace is often called a filler. Grace is a gorgeous name. There is so much beauty and meaning in that one syllable name. Maybe, people use it because they love it and it is special to them. This is like assuming people do not discuss and think over their first name choices. I think no one does either.

    I asked the second question to family members. No one in the family and only a handful of people they knew went by their middle names. I am choosing to use the middle name for example with Sofia Poet because I prefer the name Poet (even though I love both). This breaks a big rule of mine, giving your children a name and then using the middle name exclusively. I feel you should just have put the name you are going to use on the birth certificate. This way she could write Sofia Poet Surname on applications. I do not see how it really matters if her name is Sofia or Poet but it seems to really matter to some.

    I have posted polls asking which middle names people preferred. They were out of middle names that we chose and love, honor family and have special meaning, we just had trouble narrowing things down.
    When I spoke of "filler" names I was not disparaging anyone's name choices. I was simply noting that back in the day it seemed everyone's middle was Ann, Marie, Diane, Lynn, Louise, etc. Short one or two syllable names that sound good between the first and last names. Now many people - especially nameberries - are into selecting two or three middles and the choices are considerably more varied.

    I also noted that I felt my daughter's second out of three names - Elizabeth - was a filler name, meaning that I liked how it sounded between the two main names and that is why I chose it. Sure, I like the name and have some positive associations with it, but it is not a top name of mine, just like the sound.

    Sofia and Poet are lovely names, in whatever order.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Wishing for Greece, stuck in the US
    Posts
    6,008
    For us, it was because we liked so manu beautiful names and some of them are honorific that we chose two middles. Persephone is a name we both love and has religious meaning for us, Elysia means "blessed" and referrences the place spirits who are blessed by the gods go after death in Greek mythology (Elysian Fields) and Willow is a tree I love and it has a lot of symbolism about immortality and strength.

    And if she ever decides that she doesn't like Persephone as a full name (because I don't us a nickname with her) she has Percy, Sephy, Seph, Effie, Pony, Elle, Ellie, Ella, Lisa, Lia, Elia, Willa, Willow, Lolo, Lola, Will....She has lots of options. That's what I try to do with all my names.

    Damien Quillon Samwise (a name I've loved forever, a name that honors my Greek heritage and has Quill in it because I write and a name from LOTR) can be Dame, Damie, Ian, Dean, Quill, Sam... Alexander Dante Griffin (an historical name with Greek roots, a painter and author we love, a mythological creature and a name I've loved forever) can be Al, Alex, Lex, Ander, Anders, Xan, Xander, Lander, Griff, Finn... Sylvana Lorien Sophia (a name that honors my god, a name from LOTR, a name Cody loves that honors our goddess) can be Sylvie, Sylvia, Lana, Sana, Vana, Yana, Lori, Loren, Ian, Sophie...

    Anyway, I talked a lot up there. So yes, because we love so many names, to have lots of options, and often to honors our gods and in a few places, my family.
    Mother, Hellenic Pagan Priestess, and Resident Greek name expert ^_^ Call me Dantea or Remy

    Kith nor Kin -- http://kithnorkin.blogspot.com/ Chapter 30 and Epilogue is up. It's done!
    Angel's Art -- https://www.facebook.com/danteasart
    http://covertocoverediting.webs.com/ -- Editing services available for cheap.


    Proud Mama to:
    Persephone Elysia Willow -- June 5th 2013
    TTC #2 by Christmas 2014

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