Girl Middle Names: What’s best for Gracie?

Girl Middle Names: What’s best for Gracie?

by Abby Sandel

Let’s solve the riddle of the girl middle name for their due-in-December daughter.

Stephanie writes:

We are expecting our first child, a daughter, in December. We are going with Gracie for her first name (not Grace, but Gracie), but we cannot find a  middle name we love. We’ve thought about Noelle, since she will be a Christmas baby; Rae or Rhea since my husband’s middle name is Ray; more unique options like Wren and classics like Josephine; but nothing has stuck. I do not want to go with my maiden name and our last name starts with “G” so we want to try to stay away from vowels. Help!

The Name Sage responds:

Now this is a fun challenge.

It sounds like you’re open to anything. And yet, when anything is possible, everything is an option. And that is overwhelming!

Let’s try a few different lists, based on the directions you’re already thinking, and then see if we can choose a favorite or two.

Inspired by the Season (like Noelle)

  • Neve

  • Snow

  • Winter

  • Inspired by Light (like Ray)

  • Bright

  • Clara

  • Clarice

  • Lucia

  • Lux

  • Unexpected Longer Names (like Josephine)

  • Celeste

  • Clementine

  • Gwendolyn

  • Juliet

  • Juniper

  • Natalia

  • Rosalind

  • Victoria

  • Violet

  • Short, Upbeat Options

  • Belle

  • Blue

  • Dare

  • Kai

  • Lark

  • Lou

  • June

  • Star

  • True

  • I’m tempted to suggest a name that bundles together more than one quality. Ray brings to mind light. (Strictly speaking, Raymond has Germanic roots, and a different meaning. But ray of light feels like an even more familiar image.) That makes me think of Lux, which also works with a Christmas-season due date. And, of course, Lux fits in with so many short, unexpected middle name possibilities, too, like Wren.

    Clarice, Belle, and Star span more than one category, as does Natalia.

    But my favorite checks only one box: Winter. It’s gaining in use as a given name, mostly (but not exclusively) for girls. And yet, Winter remains a little outside of the mainstream. That makes it a good balance for the more traditional Gracie.

    Let’s have a poll to see if one of the categories appeals to readers – and I know they’ll think of some options that I’ve overlooked.

    Abby Sandel is the creator of name blog Appellation Mountain and writes Nameberry’s Name Sage column, offering wise advice on baby name questions submitted by Berries every other Wednesday. Abby lives outside of Washington DC with her husband and two children, Alex and Clio. You can reach her on Facebook , Instagram and Pinterest. For a chance to have your questions answered on Nameberry, contact Abby at