Are you named after anyone?

Or are you the first with your name?

Parents have been naming babies after other people since they started naming babies. No other naming tradition has endured and thrived across so many different cultures and time periods. The exact approach varies — many Jewish families, for example, name babies after deceased relatives, and WASPs often name the firstborn son after the father — but the basic idea remains the same.

We asked you, a few weeks ago, what you thought of cross-gender namesakes for kids born today. But a super-hot thread on the Nameberry forums made us curious about you, our beloved Berries. Were you named after someone?

It doesn’t have to be a relative. Maybe you were named after Isabel Allende, Rosa Parks or Amedeo Modigliani! Nor does it have to be your first name — we’re certainly interested in your middle name as well. We want to know it all!

We’re also curious about how you feel about your namesakes. Do you feel a kinship with them? Have they influenced your own behavior?

Let us know your answers in the comments, and continue the conversation on Twitter or Facebook!

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49 Responses to “Are you named after anyone?”

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JH Says:

October 9th, 2017 at 11:10 pm

I share a first name with the doctor that delivered me, but my parents have never said I was named after her. Although, while everyone knows my name, it’s not super common, so maybe the doctor’s name planted the seed in my parents’ mind. My middle name is my mom’s aunt’s name, but again, it wasn’t picked because of her.

We were asked this question in first grade and I felt so bad that I wasn’t named after anyone. From there on out, I wanted to name my children after people and I did…

Son #1 is named after my grandpa
Son #2’s name has my husbands name in it (Frederick & Eric)
Son #3’s middle name was picked as a tribute to my late mother-in-law

Poodle Says:

October 9th, 2017 at 11:41 pm

I was named Lois after my paternal grandmother.

Alyssalorraine Says:

October 9th, 2017 at 11:55 pm

My mom named me after Alyssa Milano because she was obsessed with the tv show “Who’s The Boss.” My middle name is the first name of my great grandmother.
Ironically, I got my sons name from a character off of my favorite tv show. And he has the same middle name as my stepdad.

missmini Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 2:01 am

I have the same first middle name as my mom, paternal aunt, and both grandmothers — what else was it gonna be? Per tradition in my dad’s family, my second middle name is my great-grandmother’s maiden name (his family always has 2 middles and the second is always a maiden name from somewhere in the family)

My great-grandma was a real badass; she was a resistance fighter in WWII and had to escape Germany when she got caught helping Jews escape concentration camps. Love being named after her (am surprisingly the only one in the family to be named after her).

dreapress Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 4:11 am

My dad chose my first name Andrea after Broadway star Andrea McCardle. She was starring in “Annie” and my dad thought she was the cutest little girl he had ever seen, lol. My middle name is Michelle, after my Uncle Michael. All of our kids are named after family members Our daughters middle names are my grandma’s names, our oldest son shares his dad’s first name and his middle name is my maiden name. We got our youngest sons’ first name from the actor Jensen Ackles, not necessarily named after him, we just like the name, and his middle name is Andrew after my name Andrea. I think it is such an honor to name someone after someone else!

AussieMum85 Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 4:58 am

I was named after Carly Simon, my Mum was a fan of ‘You’re So Vain’. I don’t feel any particular connection to my ‘namesake’. I do like my name though, not too common – It was always a novelty to meet another Carly.
My middle name is my Mum’s first name. I continued this traditional with my daughter – her middle name is Carly.

mother_dragons Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 5:16 am

My middle name is that of a murder victim in Spain. The details of the crime came out and the trial happened around the time my mum was pregnant, so they heard it in the news and used it as my middle. My mum says they chose it just because they liked it and my dad says it was to honour that poor girl too. Regardless of that, no wonder I’ve never felt particularly attached to that name

LLBaby22 Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 6:15 am

My middle name is Marie, which is the most overused middle name. But I’ve always liked it anyway because I’m named after my great aunt who died tragically young in a boating accident. It makes me feel both closer to a relative I’d never be able to meet and closer to my grandpa who was so thrilled I was named after his beloved, very missed sister. My kids have family middle names for this reason. Their first names are after Lucille Ball and John Lennon, or rather the qualities I think they represent, happiness and determination for Lucille, peace and love for Lennon.

tfzolghadr Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 6:20 am

I am not. But I wanted to mention that there are also cultures where this is weird or taboo. DH seemed to think I was off my rocker when I suggested using a name to honor someone. In China, it can even be offensive to use a family member’s name.

LouJohnson Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 7:31 am

My middle name (Lou) is the same as my mom’s aunt.

athenamay24 Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 8:46 am

My first name is a variation of my mom’s middle (I was almost given her actual middle name instead of a variation, but they decided the variation would be easier to wear) and my middle, Ann, is after two of my aunts. It definitely made me feel better to know that my ‘filler middle’ was actually after people in my family whom I admire. My brother has my grandmother’s maiden name as his first name, and my dad’s first name as his middle name.

epowell Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 8:58 am

My name is Emily and I’m 31. I was named after my grandomother (on my mom’s side) and am the 6th generation “Emily” in my family. Nobody was going to carry it on so my daughter’s middle name is Emiline. The variant spelling is just so it looks similar to Emily. Emily is far too popular now and doesn’t flow well as a middle name so we changed it up a bit. I’ve never thought too much about my name other than I like that I’m named after my grandmother. She’s a lovely person.

epowell Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 9:01 am

Sorry for the typo!

formalfish Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 9:05 am

I’m named after a dead famous 90’s singer, one of those very talented died too young. I love it, my name used to be so much rarer, but it’s on the rise now. I actually hated my name as a child because no could pronounce it correctly and went by a completely unrelated nickname.

indiefendi2 Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 9:48 am

I’m not named after anyone but my middle name happens to be the same as my aunt’s middle name, I think that was just a coincidence. In our community, my middle name is very common for men but not so much for women.

QuirkFlower Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 10:08 am

I was given my middle name (Catherine) to honor my aunt (Catherine called Katie). In some ways, it does make me feel close to her. I think we are similar in many respects.

Interestingly, both my mom and my aunt are named after family members, too. My great grandma was abandoned by her father and her mother died of Spanish Influenza, so she was shipped off to Kansas when she was very young to live with two distant aunts — Jenny and Katie. I love that my grandmother used those names for her daughters (Jennifer and Catherine) to honor the women who raised her own mother.

AD10 Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 10:12 am

I share a middle name (and the same initials) with my paternal grandma, Anna Lucille (who went by Lou). She passed away when my dad was young so I unfortunately never got to meet her but I would love to pass on Lucille as a middle or use Anna as a first. Both are lovely beautiful names. My brothers however do not have any family names and were simply given names my parents liked.

cameronmarie Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 10:19 am

My first middle name (Marie) is after my great-grandmother Theresa Marie, who raised my mom, and sort of for my grandmothers Margaret and Marjorie, and my second middle name is my dad’s last name (long story). My dad also picked my name after seeing Cameron Diaz in There’s Something About Mary, but I wouldn’t say I was actually named AFTER her.

teacupsandtiaras Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 10:21 am


My first name is after my dad (who was named after my grandfather) and my mom. My middle name is my maternal grandmother, aunt, and cousin’s name, but it’s spelled in the French manner because of my birthday!

Gia.berry Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 10:35 am

My middle name is also my mother’s middle name and my maternal auntie’s first name. It’s becoming a tradition in our family because my sister has the same middle name and my cousin recently gave her daughter the same middle. I hope to give it to my daughter one day.

CaitTheGreat Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 11:08 am

my first name is the Gaelic spelling of my dad’s sister’s name (she passed away when he was a teenager and he knew he wanted his first daughter to honor her) and my middle name is my mom’s sister’s name. i love the connection to my aunts and my family!

Gulligapandan Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 11:35 am

My first name: Amanda was due to my grandma saying “Isn’t Amanda going to be here soon” just before i was born
My 1st middlename: Astrid is after my great grandmother on my fathers side
My 2nd middlename: Karin is my grandma’s name on my mothers side.

My full name is Karin Astrid Amanda

SparkleNinja18 Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 12:55 pm

My first name is Abigael (Abby) which is my own but my middle name is Caroline after my grandmas who are both named Carol. To be completely honest, I didn’t even notice the connection until a couple years ago. I never use my middle name, my parents never use my middle name, and no one ever made any kind of deal about it. Neither of my sisters have honoring names and I don’t think either of them feel left out because I do nor do I feel any different because my middle name honors. Honor names aren’t really a big thing in my generation; in fact, I think I’m the only one in my immediate generation (me, my sisters, and my cousins) with an honoring name.

I want to honor people I love with my kids’ middle names, not because of my own experience, but because I would like to be able to explain to them how they got their name, and tell them about the people that their name honors.

loverofnamesX Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 1:29 pm

My first name Georgia, my Dad picked out. His Dad was called George and he died when my Dad was 7 so he always wanted to honour him somehow, My Mum didn’t really have a choice it was just a good job she liked it plus on my Mum’s side George is a sort of family name, her Grandfather was called George, he was named after his uncle, Giorgio (and I think probably other family members called Giorgio), Then when my great grandfather had children he named his first son a family name, Lorenzo (all first born sons in the family up till then had been named it, due to St. Lorenzo being the saint of the small Italian town my family came from plus their church was called St. Lorenzo), he then named his second son George (after himself) and his first daughter (my grandmother) Ann after his Mother and sister. George has been used a few times and in different variations on my Mum’s side to honour George, there is me, Georgia, Georgiana, and Jorge.

My middle name Mia, is an Italian variation of my Mum’s name Maria.

My brothers first name isn’t in honour of anyone but his middle name Robert is after our Grandfather.
My Mum was in charge of naming me if I was a boy cause my Dad chose Georgia, she originally liked Luke but not enough to name me it, she says i’d probably have been Lorenzo George had I have been a boy.

sweetasjam Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 1:37 pm

I’m named after my aunt who in recent years has been nothing but heinous toward us. Though I do genuinely like my name, I don’t like who I’m named after. Even with my experience I still value honor names and will use some for my future children, though I’ll be very careful who I honor and make sure they are someone I respect and greatly want to honor.

Yuma Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Me, my brother, and our two cousins are all named after my mom and her three siblings, via our middle names. My mom’s middle name is Nicole, her sisters middle names are Michelle & Elizabeth, and her brother’s middle name is Alexander. So I’m ____ Elizabeth, my cousins are ____ Nicole & ____ Michelle, and my brother is ____ Alexander. My namesake was named after my late, great aunt “Deedee” (whose name was actually Elizabeth) and my brother’s namesake was named after our grandfather who is also ___ Alexander. My SO has the same initials as his mother, and his brother is named after their father (same 1st name). He also has two sisters, but I don’t think they are named after anyone, though I could be wrong

CrystalJoy Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 2:17 pm

My middle name is Joy after my Nana, my mom’s mom. I have always loved my middle name and its meaning. Joy is a middle name that isn’t fairly common, but fits in well with other, more used middle names such as Grace or Rose. The fact that I was named after such an amazing women who I have grown to become very close to through out my life makes me love the name even more and I hope to pass it along one day if I ever have a daughter.

sELEAr Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 2:58 pm

I was named after my grandmother who I’ve never met. Up until this last year I thought I was just named after my great-aunt, but my mom said that my dad actually picked out my name, Sara Eleanor, after his mother. Finding this out made it all the more special. She died when he was only 11. No one but the siblings ever really knew her, but she sounds like she was a true angel. Her name was Eleanor Sara, after her own mother.

I will name my first daughter Eleanor Renae after her and my own mother.

I love the story and love that comes with my name.

clairels Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 4:45 pm

I was named after someone neither I nor my parents never met, my grandma’s childhood friend Claire, although it was probably more of inspiration than a direct namesake. Claire was a rare name in the 1940s, so I’m sure it stood out. I always wanted to look her up and see what happened to her, but it’s probably too late, now.

Kibby Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 5:04 pm

My middle name is after my paternal grandmother who passed when my Dad was very young. I obviously never met her, however sharing her name has always felt special and let me feel connected to the woman that my dad obviously missed and loved so much.
I am now trying to figure out how to give my Dads name to a future child of mine, so that they too will be curious and connected to him, sadly, a great man they will never meet.

shanade213 Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 5:08 pm

I was named after my mother’s great aunt. Her name was Sarah nicknamed Sadie and my name is Mercedes nickname Sadie. My parents had decided to name me Sadie but my dad didn’t like the association with the Beatles song and he wanted me to have the option to pick a different name to go by, however, as Sadie is typically a nickname for Sarah and I already had a cousin on each side of the family named Sarah, they went with Mercedes because it’s the only other name they could think of with the nickname Sadie.

ARead Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 5:10 pm

My first name is one of the few names that existed on both my moms and my dads sides of the family (they’re from different continents, so there wasn’t a lot of overlap). Both of the women I was named for died long ago, so I never felt particularly close to either. My middle name is my mom’s middle and the name she goes by.

My mom hates her first name (Betty), even though it was the first name of the firstborn girl in her family for several generations. She broke the tradition with me and I’m extremely grateful! None of my daughters are named Betty either, though they each have an honor first or middle.

DD1- after my MIL’s mother
DD2-after my Mom’s side
DD3- after my dads side

A 4th child would get a name from my FIL’s side…

ceryle Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 5:24 pm

I’m named after two of my great-grandmothers, one on each side of the family, who died before I was born. By all accounts, my first namesake was just a wonderful woman, and the middle namesake was such a character! People tell me I look like her.

And I’m the fourth woman on my mom’s side with a Car- first name. My middle name is also similar to my mom’s middle name (the name she goes by), but that was coincidental. I hope to carry on the Car- tradition if I can, though perhaps with a middle name.

saoirse123 Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 5:29 pm

I was named Sophie for my dad’s job as a philosophy professor (Sophie=wisdom which is the second part of philo-sophy), and my mom named me after Sophie Scholl, an anti-nazi political activist who was executed at 21.
Maybe I worried about living up to these ideals more than the average child, but it felt like a lot at the time. In the end, I’m happy with my namesakes and I’m glad it meant so much to my parents. What I take from this is that what is most important is that the name you pick for a child has a strong significance for you, the namer. In other words, the name should be special to you.

NaomiNY Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 5:46 pm

I was named after two family members. My first name comes from a great-great-aunt, and my middle name comes from my maternal great-grandmother.

jessiemay Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 6:33 pm

I’m not named after anyone, but my 5-year-old brother’s middle names are Edward Basquiat, after his grandfather Edward and the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

mymel0dy Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 6:47 pm

While my name is Arika, the spelling, namely the A that starts it, is for my great-grandfather, Alexander. I also thought my mom should have just named me Alexandra if she wanted to name me after her maternal grandfather. However, she preferred to use an unusual spelling of a rather common name. My middle name is Winifred, which was my dad’s mother’s middle name as well as the name of the daughter she had and lost before my father was born. Oddly enough my first two initials are the reverse of my late aunt’s initials. Her full name was Winifred Ann and I am Arika Winifred. I would like to say I feel some sort of kinship to them but the sad truth is all three of them were long gone before I was born and no one really talked much, or in the case of my father’s late sister knew much.

Bobcat108 Says:

October 10th, 2017 at 11:02 pm

I’m named for a cousin of my dad’s, which I never knew until around ten years ago. My mom wanted me to be Elizabeth Anne & still resents my dad for changing my first name. In my family there are quite a few honor names…my paternal grandmother was named for her two grandmothers, Nellie Augusta. She loathed both her names, though. My two nieces also have honor names: the older niece is named for my SIL’s beloved grandmother, even though the name was hugely popular when my niece was born & my SIL felt bad about having her daughter be one of five Emilys in every class! That niece’s middle name is Christina, which honors my brother’s & my maternal grandmother (although Christina’s not her name at all…more on that below). My other niece’s middle name is Nell, after my paternal grandmother; her first name isn’t after anyone in the family although interesting variants of the name show up in unrelated branches of the family (variations on Lily).

My maternal grandmother has a complicated name history…that side of the family is Ukrainian & Nana was given the name Teckla when she was born. When she went to school, it was to a Catholic school & the Irish nuns told her that her name was heathen & henceforth she was going to be named Mathilde. (The nuns renamed her older sister, too…she had been Sofia but became Sonia.) Nana went by Tillie for most of her life. Then, a year after my grandfather died, Nana went to a singles’ meeting & when she was asked to introduce herself, she said the first thing that came into her head: “I’m Tina”…which she thinks subconsciously came from her oldest sister Christina, who had died of some sort of childhood cancer when Nana was small. So she’s been Tina to all of her friends from 1984 on. She’ll be 97 in January & has a devoted (younger) boyfriend…whose name is the same as my grandfather’s. 🙂

My daughter’s middle name is Elizabeth…after my ex-MIL’s favorite grandmother, my favorite aunt (it’s her middle name), & for me almost being an Elizabeth. Her first name comes from one of my favorite books that I read as a teen…the protagonist was named Kirsti, but we went w/the English variant of Kiersten as my ex-FIL’s side of the family has a lot of English heritage.

jtucker Says:

October 11th, 2017 at 8:54 am

My first name is the same as my maternal great-grandmother.

holloway Says:

October 11th, 2017 at 9:03 am

I’m not sure if it really counts as being named after her but my name comes from a character on a Sci-Fi TV show and not one that my parents even liked. The story goes that they were just flipping through channels one night and they landed on this show briefly heard the name Julianne and thought it was really pretty from that point on it was their choice for their first daughter. My middle name is my great aunts first name, she never had children so while she isn’t my god mother my parents wanted to honor her in my name to make her feel more connected to me.

Scorpio Says:

October 11th, 2017 at 11:00 am

My middle name, Christina, was the name of my father’s grandmother, and I actually prefer it to my real first name.

RangerLexi Says:

October 11th, 2017 at 1:44 pm

I share my middle name with my dad’s mom and my cousin (dad’s brother’s daughter), except mine is Anne with an e and theirs don’t have e’s

Silverlight Says:

October 11th, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Both my first name and my middle name could be considered honour names. My first name is the name of our family doctor, but I don’t really consider it an honour name.

My middle name, Magdalena, was my great-grandmother’s first name, my grandmother’s middle name, and obviously my middle. I hope to someday give it to my daughter somehow, because that name is very special to me.

MollyLMG Says:

October 11th, 2017 at 10:36 pm

I share a middle name (Meredith) with my birthmother, which is especially meaningful because it’s the only connection I have to her, genetics aside. 🙂

danaburg15 Says:

October 12th, 2017 at 11:11 am

My sister’s middle name is Marie. Several people in my family share that middle name. My great grandmother’s name was Cleta Marie. Several people didn’t know her first name was Cleta until her funeral because everyone called her Marie. She was the one who everyone is named after. My grandmother, my aunt, my cousin, and my sister all have the middle name Marie.

danaburg15 Says:

October 12th, 2017 at 11:24 am

My paternal grandmother’s name was Willene. She was the surprise baby of the family (youngest of 4). I’ve always liked my grandmother’s name and loved her and her personality dearly. If/when I have children I want to name my daughter after her in some way. Her first name to be Willow/Willa or use Willene as a middle name.

aedunn2 Says:

October 12th, 2017 at 6:52 pm

My first name (Andrea) was my mom’s German name in high school. It’s very close to my mom’s sister’s name (Anne) but my mom says she didn’t realize that until later. Even though I’m not actually named after my aunt, I like the idea of using a family name with a twist to personalize it. If I have a son, I’d like to name him Gregory after my father, but would call him Rory instead of Greg. A couple of girls’ names on my list are Mattea (after my brother Matthew) with nickname Téa instead of Matt, and Eugénie (after my Grandpa Gene) with nickname Jenny instead of Gene.

hannahmontana2345 Says:

October 14th, 2017 at 8:04 am

One of my mom’s friends was named Juliana and she always said if she had a daughter she would name her Juliana. So here I am. My middle name is Christina from my father, Christos.

Mountain Momma Says:

December 20th, 2017 at 9:35 am

I love honour names!

I’m Stephanie, named after my father Stephen.

My 1st daughter is Elizabeth (a family name) with middle name Meredith ((Marion (my mother) + Judith (MIL) = Meredith)).

My 2nd daughter’s middle name Kimberley is after my dear friend who passed away a year ago. I’m so happy to honour her memory and spirit with my little one.

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