Cool Middle Names: The Nameberry 9– Kick, Darling and Papillon

Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel finds some truly unique and cool middle names among this week’s newsiest nine.

Let’s hear it for the daffy middle.

Plenty of us put a classic like James or Grace or Ann in the middle spot, and sometimes those ordinary appellations make the perfect choice.  Some of us go wild with our child’s first name, too, but for those of us who aren’t among the rich and famous, choices like Blue or Pilot can feel awfully outlandish.

The compromise is to choose a relatively mainstream moniker for the first spot, and to tuck that wild dare of an idea, or that clunky family name, safely in the middle.

That seems to be the brief in Hollywoodthis week.  So let’s start with a few newsworthy birth announcements, all featuring riskier middles.

Bastian Kick Charlie Ballerina’s baby brother has a name just like hers – a modern first name borrowed from more traditional choices, and a middle name straight out of the dictionary.  Actor Jeremy Sisto joked that he and wife Addie Lane used the reference book for inspiration – or maybe he wasn’t kidding.  Even if you’re more of a Sebastian and Charlotte kind of parent, Bastian and Charlie probably feel comfortably familiar.  In this age of noun names, Kick raises the stakes by adding action verbs to the mix.

Thomas Colton – If you’re not about to stray from established names, then Jared Padalecki and Genevieve Cortese may be more your style.  The couple welcomed a son last week, and while both of baby’s names currently rank in the Top 100, together it is a nice mix of the traditional and the nouveau.  Thomas has never been out of the US Top 100, while Colton has only been in use since the 1980s.  We’re using to meeting boys with names like Jayden James and Mason Walter, but it is fun to hear the more traditional pick in the first place, and the trendier appellation in the middle.

Luca Cruz Hillary Duff is a new mom!  She and husband Mike Comrie have welcomed son Luca CruzLuca, the Italian form of Luke, is a fast-rising choice.  Paired with Cruz, a Spanish surname meaning cross, he’s quite the pan-European pick.  The Beckhams boosted Cruz when they gave the name to their third son in 2005.  That z-ending is unexpected – and quite stylish!

Halcyon Juna Halcyon in the first spot is pretty daring.  But it turns out that Beth Littleford and Rob Fox were promoting Beth’s unconventional middle name to the first spot.  Beth’s full name is Elizabeth Anna Halcyon Littleford.  Halcyon is a true family gem – it was Littleford’s grandmother’s given name.  The couple plan to call their new daughter Hallie, which sounds just right with big brother Jackson.

Not al lHollywood trends translate well into the real world, but I think is one that does.  From the startlingly unexpected to the slightly different, here are a few more notable picks from last week:

Alice Rosamund Name Soiree spotted this one in Australia.  Rose is predictable in the middle, but any of the longer Rose names makes for an unexpected surprise. How about Rosalie, Rosalind, or for a Hunger Games-inspired twist, Primrose?

Ethan Athanasius Ethan is a modern classic, at his most popular in recent years.  Combined with an ancient and obscure saint’s name, Ethan really shines.  The blogger behind Blessed Among Men has had plenty of experience naming boys – Ethan joins five big brothers at home!

Everley Darling – Documentary filmmaker and crusading nonprofit founder Jason Russell has captured headlines with his latest piece, “Kony 2012.”  Russell is a controversial and charismatic figure, who claims his own middle name is Radical.  I couldn’t confirm that piece of information, but his son’s name is Gavin Danger, while his daughter answers to Everley DarlingPlenty of boys have been saddled with Danger, a punchline of a middle name, but Darling seems like a daring, retro choice akin to Tobey Maguire’s Ruby Sweetheart.

Harper Papillon Papillon is the French word for butterfly – or the English term for a very small dog with rather large, wing-like ears.  It’s also the name of a ballet and a bestselling memoir later adapted as a movie starring Steve McQueen.  As a girl’s name it seems slightly hard to say and challenging to shorten – but in the middle spot, it is a pleasant surprise.

Mae Elexianna – It sounds like a 21st century name, but instead reader Liza spotted this one on an octogenarian.  Proof that not only is the daring middle a good idea, it is one that’s been around for a while.

Spot any unusual names this week?

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16 Responses to “Cool Middle Names: The Nameberry 9– Kick, Darling and Papillon”

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minorbeatrice Says:

March 25th, 2012 at 11:52 pm

I really adore Alice Rosamund, and I have to admit that Bastian Kick sounds really cool.

A few interesting middles from names4real dot wordpress:
– Joseph King
– Cullen Stone
– Damon Avant
– Michael Sixtus
– Annabelle Karma
– Trevor Wolf

minorbeatrice Says:

March 26th, 2012 at 5:17 am

I didn’t mean to be annoying but did Abby Sandel mean Rosamond, not Rosamund? And Ethan Athanasius have six brothers.

Also I translated blessedamongmen dot blogspot to Spanish and Athanasius was translated to Atanasio. I find it quite interesting.

Thuja Says:

March 26th, 2012 at 9:31 am

My husband’s middle name is Ring, which is a family name, but still really cool.

wdespault Says:

March 26th, 2012 at 10:52 am

My mother never gave my brother or myself a middle name. I always hated it!

So when I had my daughter-I gave her the middle name Willow. My husband and I have agreed to continue either with “W” middle names or nature middle names with our future children. I think its a cute way to tie them all together…

trich323 Says:

March 26th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Hmmm… try saying Harper Papillon out loud. Too many P’s. It doesn’t flow well. The idea is cute though.

Everley Darling, is, well, darling!

Abby Says:

March 26th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

@minorbeatrice – You’re right. The Name Soiree BA was for an Alice Rosamond, not -mund. And Ethan makes seven … wow. Seven boys must be quite the adventure!

OliviaSarah Says:

March 26th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I adore middle names! To me they’re a chance to use any whacky name you want without totally humiliating the child.

Although the two middle name choices I’m set on are pretty dull compared to these – Amelia and Jack, they’re honouring, plus they’d be paired with something far cooler too (Nicholas Ezekiel Jack, for example).

On a side note, I recently heard of a little boy named Logan Danger. How cool is that?!

evergreen Says:

March 26th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I am absolutely in LOVE with Everley Darling.

auroradawn Says:

March 26th, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I find the name Ethan a little boring these days, it’s so popular, but Ethan Athanasius definitely sparkles! Anyone who hasn’t clicked on the Blessed Among Men link really should do so–Ethan is one of the most adorable babies I’ve seen lately. His big brothers are handsome, too.
I kinda like the names Bastian Kick and Luca Cruz, and Halcyon intrigues me. Alice Rosamond is lovely.

corsue Says:

March 26th, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Interesting wdespault, I was the only one of 6 kids in my fam without a middle name and I loved it! My mom was middle-less, as well, and always said our names were long enough without another name. Growing up it made me feel unique, since I never met anyone else without one. Later, when I married, it was easy to move the maiden to the middle spot. I’ll probably keep the tradition going if I ever have a daughter. (Can the website fix the “You’re posting too quickly” thing. I usually don’t comment anymore cause it’s annoying to stare at the screen for several minutes until I think I’ve waited long enough. I’ve never seen this on any other website)

WaltzingMoreThanMatilda Says:

March 26th, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I’m crazy about Bastian Kick – it’s going to be hard to top that for my favourite celeb name of the year. (I hope someone does top it though).

afmastro Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 11:06 am

I might like Halcyon, but I’m unsure how to pronounce it. It looks like a name that could fit in with the popular names today, even if at first glance it might seem unusual.

Papillon reminds me of the Fancy Nancy books my daughter loves. Papillon is one of the fancy French words often used in the book.

Anything I can even remotely associate with Fancy Nancy I find positive, since I really like the books. I have even grown to like the name Nancy because of them.

Lis09 Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 11:15 am

I love Everly Darling and Mae Elexianna.

Valkyrie Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I must be the only one who thinks the mere notion of considering Kick as a human’s name is cruel.

On a side note, I’m really liking Luca Cruz.

asm34 Says:

May 24th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I think the middle names Darling and Sweetheart are cute…I love the idea, but how could a parent really get onto a child when said childs middle name is so sweet…you can’t yell out those name harshly. Just saying…

ThistleThorn Says:

March 25th, 2015 at 10:57 am

I like Alice Rosamund! I probably wouldn’t use a middle name that’s too weird though. Some “different” names that I would consider for middle names would be Rowena, Talbot, Alcott, Ariel, and Shona.

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