Daring Middle Names: Hamish, Chrysanthemum, and Scheherazade

Creative baby names in the middle


32 Responses to “Daring Middle Names: Hamish, Chrysanthemum, and Scheherazade”

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lesliemarion Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 12:43 am

Hamish! Thalia Chrysanthemum! These are wonderful names, for a middle name or a first name.

Steadfast and Perpetua, well, well, well.

mariahsweet Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 1:59 am

Intrigued by Steadfast! I like that as either a middle or as a hopeful in the new crop of virtue names for boys. Very cool and appealing. Sounds a little like a racehorse, but I like that. We’re considering Hawthorne as a middle for our third, as he’ll be born in May and hawthorn is traditionally associated with spring. Also started looking at Springfield today, which could be an interesting middle.

bluejuniper Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 7:27 am

I’ve met two girls with the first name Scheherazade – one goes by Zadie and the other one by Zade (rhymes with hard). They’d agree it is a hard name to wear, but Zadie in particular is happy to share the story of her dad’s love for the literary character.

Names4real Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 8:47 am

I love unexpected middles. Those are my favorite finds.

Saracita00 Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 8:53 am

I usually prefer the “Daring First with the Fallback Middle” combination, but I do love the “Daring Middle with a Conventional First” formula, too. Chrysanthemum is my favorite here. I fear the spelling would be far too burdensome in first place, but it’s gorgeous tucked into the middle, and with Thalia too…! Scheherezade is a GP favorite of mine so I think it would be great fun to see in the middle, especially if the family had some connection with it. Grace Perpetua is just beautiful. I am not a Grace fan, and many combined-virtue-names come off as trying way too hard, but this one is perfect.

12th Mann is definitely not for me, but I think the number digits are what makes the combination outlandish. Cyndee Leigh Twelfth Mann would have been much more palatable as a name and probably would have been hailed as a fascinating, “middle name with a story.” As it is, I’m actually quite surprised that “12th” can even be processed on legal papers.

Abby Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 9:16 am

@Saracita00 – I agree! Twelfth is outlandish, but 12th is crazytown. And I’d guess that she’ll find a mixed bag when she uses it legally. My daughter’s second middle is treated all sorts of different ways, and it is just regular ol’ letters …

@BlueJuniper – Zadie makes Scheherazade very, very wearable, doesn’t it?

@mariahsweet – Hawthorne is a great middle, and I’m intrigued by Springfield, too. I’ve loved the idea of Spring as a middle, and Maxfield is one of my favorite Max names. Put ’em together, and you have Springfield – definitely a potential middle!

Greyer Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 9:55 am

I love adventurous middles! I actually know of a toddler whose middle name is literally Adventure… first name Charl0tte.

Steadfast is really interesting… I’m a big fan of virtue names and this one is so straightforward and strong and just cool. But RE: the reveal of John Watson’s middle name, Hamish, in Sherlock, that actually happened in Season 2. It’s just elaborated on in Season 3. And, he hates it, which sort of lessens the appeal for me.

Whirligig Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 10:47 am

I am not that keen on any of these middles [although James and Elizabeth are not my style either] but how darling is that mouse picture!

peach25 Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 11:06 am

As someone with an uncommon middle name that now has unfortunate pop culture associations, I favor traditional, classic or family names for mns. I never use my mn, and have been known to make up something when asked what my middle initial stands for. Oh, for Anne, Grace, Lee, Jane, etc.

MaryKathryn Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 11:08 am

My favorite names are the ones that have secret meanings to them Harper Seven, Blue Ivy, Harlow Winter Kate, Sparrow James Midnight. I love all of these names for separate reasons because their parents chose exotic names with delicate meanings! I want to do the same for example, my father’s name is Thomas which means twin, Odion means twin as well, and personally I find Odion more attractive then Thomas as a middle name.

thatkathryngirl Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 11:16 am

Is Hamish really that daring? I’d consider it for a first name…. I really like all forms of the name James, even James.

I think virtue names are very cool as middle names, much better than firsts. Steadfast is interesting.

I don’t care for the name Chrysanthemum myself…but I ADORE that book! The mouse illustration is from Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, for those who don’t know. It’s a good book for children, especially those who have been bestowed with an unusual name.

marypoppins Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Coming from Scotland, it’s quite funny to see Hamish considered as a daring choice – I know at least three people called Hamish 🙂

The history behind Hamish is actually quite interesting. It derives from Seumas (shay-mas), the Scottish Gaelic for James. But in Scots Gaelic, the vowel sounds change in the vocative case of a name, so if you were calling out to a Seumas you would e.g. call ‘Hello, a Sheumais” (hay-mash). Gaelic vowel sounds are quite complicated, so just trust me that’s how the extra H and I change the pronunciation 😉 Outsiders would hear it as “Hamish” and think “Oh, that’s quite a nice name, I’ll call my child that”. And that’s how the anglicised “Hamish” became popular.

Source: I studied Gaelic at university 🙂 I’ve forgotten most of it, but that’s stuck with me. Similarly, Mairi (ma-ree) becomes Mhairi (va-ree) in the vocative – mh and bh are pronounced like a v in Gaelic!

whitefeather01 Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Some very interesting names. I am definitely in favor of using more daring middle names. It’s a nice alternative/compromise if you like off the wall names and your partner doesn’t and vice versa.

I’ll admit though, I’m not to keen on the ones listed in this article. I like Constantine for a girl and Westlake for a boy.

marypoppins Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Btw, I have no idea why there a smileys inserted in random places in my earlier comment?

marshmallow1207 Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 2:34 pm

I LOVE offbeat middle names. I would much rather use an offbeat, cool middle that no one would expect than use a family name that I feel pressured to use. My dad is dying for me to make my first son’s middle name Armor. I think it is the coolest thing ever, and it would be special because he picked it out.

Abby Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 2:50 pm

@marypoppins – Thanks for the info on Hamish!

@thatkathryngirl – I think that book is destined for my shelves …

@whitefeather01 – Westlake is stunning! And Constantine on a girl would be quite the surprise. I love Constance, Constancy, really all of the Constant- names …

@Greyer – Thank you for the Sherlock correction. And Adventure is a grand, daring middle!

@peach25 – I’m dying to know what your middle name might be … Britney?

indiefendi Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Is it even legal to put numbers in a name? What the hell?!

lalala__lauren Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 4:04 pm

I love Scheherezade and the possibility of nn Zadie (or even Greek goddess nn Hera!), but I can just imagine some kid asking my future child, “My middle name’s Elizabeth! What’s yours?” and then she says “Scheherezade,” and some other kid who thinks they’re hilarious says “gesundheit!” That makes me reconsider it a little bit, but still a very interesting idea.

potofgold Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 4:05 pm

I love Hamish! I think it’s funny that it’s on a list of unexpected middles, I don’t consider it unusual at all. Most of the other ones I couldn’t imagine ever using on an actual child, not even in the middle, I think you’d have to be pretty daring!

katybug Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 5:16 pm

My middle name is a family surname, Walker, and I remember hating it when I was growing up. Not outlandish by any means, but defintely outside the norm in small-town Oklahoma in the 1980s. It grew on me as I grew up, but I vividly recall dreading when other kids asked what my middle name was, as well as the teasing that followed.

lesliemarion Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Just wanted to add that while Steadfast and Perpetua can work as middle names, I think they need to stay out of the first name slot for nickname reasons.

Steadfast reminds me of Stud and if it reminds a middle-aged school teacher of that it’s likely to remind kids of it. Stud Fast.

And to nickname Perpetua could lead to Perp. Would lead to Perp at the hands of some creepy kids.

Oleander Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 7:18 pm

I am not a fan of any of these, although I do like unique middle names.
A little story about Steadfast.
I grew up with a girl with a very common unisex 1st name and her middle name was Steadfast. She hated it SO much. It was like this constant thing that she could not get rid of. It took years for her to even tell us (her group of friends) what her “horrible” middle name was. She was always horrified in high school when things came up where her full name would be used. She managed to get her diploma printed without her middle name. She has since changed her middle name to her mother’s first name.

misskendra Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Thalia Crysanthemum!!!! I’m in love! Also I don’t really have a limit on how far I will take middle names

findemaxa13 Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 9:18 pm

@mariahsweet LOVE Hawthorne! You should totally use it.

KateMP91 Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 9:38 pm

After reading all of the unusual names on this list, what I am stuck on is that Jewel is a Kilcher! How did I not know that? Mind blown.

miloowen Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 9:40 pm

As a Sherlockian, Hamish has been Watson’s middle name since Conan Doyle. Really. It’s not a new discovery. I remember reading about it when Nicholas Meyer’s book came out and that was eons ago.

I love my daughter’s middle name — Louisa, a family name. However, I don’t care for my son’s middle name anymore — Caleb. I wanted him to be either Thomas Benjamin or Thomas Gideon and those were both vetoed by my now ex. Caleb was the only Jewish name he would agree on, even though I love tons of Jewish names. And because of what “kalev” means in modern Israeli Hebrew….

As for my middle name, I chose it for myself in 3rd grade because I didn’t have a middle name. I went through a name a week until finally I settled on a variation of my mother’s first name, Elayne. When my first niece was born, she also got Elaine as a middle, only spelled the way my mother actually spells it.

I’m not big on strange names. I watch my students struggle with them every day, with their a-phonetic spellings and bizarre pronunciations.

strawberryroses Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Steadfast! I love it!

JH Says:

February 3rd, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Scheherazade is a jewelry store in Minneapolis, so that’s all that I think of when I hear the name. I like the idea of having a daring middle name, as long as the first name is more traditional. Lots of people with non-traditional names eventually like/love them, but as a kid, it can be embarrassing.

kcw1986 Says:

February 6th, 2014 at 4:03 pm

I do think the middle spot is the place for the more unusual but 12th is just nuts, Scheherazade is a little bit much but it does have an interesting sound. Being from the UK Haamish isn’t really that unusual for me.

My middle name is Conan after Arthur Conan Doyle but everyone but always get the barbarian joke hated it when i was younger but now love it plus it goes with my name Kyle.

kcw1986 Says:

February 6th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

I do think the middle spot is the place for the more unusual but 12th is just nuts, Scheherazade is a little bit much but it does have an interesting sound. Being from the UK Hamish isn’t really that unusual for me.

My middle name is Conan after Arthur Conan Doyle but everyone but always get the barbarian joke hated it when i was younger but now love it plus it goes with my name Kyle.

Livi Says:

February 6th, 2014 at 4:22 pm

I too am a fan of offbeat and unusual middle names. I think they’re perfect for when you love a name, but don’t have the guts to use it as a first.
I’m really liking Steadfast. It’s a great quality to have and virtue names for boys are always intriguing since there aren’t very many of them. I like the literary ties with Scheherazade, but for me it’s just too much name. I can only imagine it being very difficult for young children to pronounce and spell, unless of course they go by Zadie or Zade as mentioned in the above comments.

Haids1987 Says:

December 2nd, 2015 at 6:47 pm

We take our Hawks very seriously here in the Northwest, so I actually understand the logic behind baby girl 12. I wouldn’t do it personally, but I get it.

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