Middle Name Danger
By Abby Sandel
Her husband loves the middle name Danger for a future son. She’s not convinced, and worries it will lead to a serious case of name regret. What would you do?
My husband and I are expecting our first child early next year. We have had our names picked out forever!
Here is where we are stuck! When my husband and I met, he somehow convinced me that his middle name was Danger. Ever since, my husband has been set on that as a middle name for any future son we might have.
While I think it’s cute due to our history, I’m not sure I’m willing to name our son Luke Danger. I’m afraid when he’s 16 it will come back to haunt us! Any ideas on names that have the same meaning or flow to them?
The Name Sage replies:
There must be dozens – maybe even hundreds – of children with the middle name Danger. While there’s no official data on middle names in the US, this topic comes up from time and time, and inevitably we’ll hear from parents who have used the name.
But just because some have dared, it doesn’t mean that you should, too – especially since it sounds like you’re ambivalent at best.
Let’s start with the reasons to use Danger:
You do have a great story to tell, one that really doesn’t get old.
For the most part, we share our middle names voluntarily – or not at all. That means your son will almost certainly be Luke D. 99.9% of the time … or at least until he wants to impress his future wife!
Earlier this year, I described bold middles as “… a secret that is potentially embarrassing when you’re a teenager, but also kind of fun.”
Since you cannot possibly guess how your future teenager might feel, the only thing you can do is determine how it feels for you. Does the idea of seeing Luke Danger LastName on a birth announcement make you cringe? Then it’s time to move on.
Let’s take a look at some equally bold middle names that might appeal:
Wilder – Wilder feels an awful lot like Danger – except that it is actually used as a surname, with ties to literature and the Golden Age of Hollywood. It’s rugged and preppy at once. And while Wilder is far from common, it’s gaining in use. Luke Wilder is more exciting than, say, Luke William, but it’s not as daring as Danger.
Pendragon – Pendragon means either “chief dragon” or “dragon head.” It’s associated with several Kings of the Britons, and especially with the legendary King Arthur. It’s an unexpected choice, and while “My middle name is Pendragon” doesn’t have quite the same ring, it might satisfy.
Tiberius – If your husband is a Star Trek fan, this one might already be on his shortlist. That’s because the T in Captain James T. Kirk stands for ancient name Tiberius. In the series, we learn that Kirk was named for his grandfathers.
Valor – Speaking of virtue names, perhaps Valor would appeal? While Bravery is the kind of word that comes up in everyday conversation, that’s less true of Valor. And it shares the same two-syllable, ends-in-r style of Wilder, Decker, and Danger.
Bonaventure – Bonaventure means good fortune. That makes it an auspicious choice for a child’s middle name. Plus it sounds as if the word “adventure” is baked in, promising not only luck, but plenty of excitement, too.
And yet, I’m not sure that you should rule Danger out. Nickelodeon currently features a series called Henry Danger, about a regular thirteen-year old kid who becomes sidekick to his town’s superhero. Because Luke – like Henry – is an impeccable classic of a given name, there’s much more room for choosing a dramatic middle.
Let’s have a poll!
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on October 11th, 2016 at 11:45 pm
I love many unusual and even strange names.
But Danger to me is beyond the pale.
If I wouldn’t name a dog or cat the name, I wouldn’t name a human being that.
And it’s no good saying people won’t see the middle name. As a teacher, I see all the kids’ middle names on the class rosters. Wilbur or Pixie? Fine. Danger? No.
It strikes me as both cruel and unusual punishment for a baby-to-be, as well as juvenile.
on October 12th, 2016 at 3:56 am
I agree with the previous post on the name Danger. I like the suggestion Wilder, Luke Wilder is an excellent name in my opinion.
I have always liked the name Armour, I think it would be good as a middle with Luke.
Other names with similar meaning or sound: Dagger, Ranger, Hunter, Archer, Arrow, Gunner, Racer, Ryder, Striker
on October 12th, 2016 at 4:19 am
Danger is just too much for me plus I just don’t think it flows that well, however I love the suggestion of Luke Wilder
on October 12th, 2016 at 4:47 am
I agree that I prefer Luke Wilder xx
on October 12th, 2016 at 6:14 am
I say no… When I think of middle names, I picture high school/ college graduation. Not exactly the best time for joke.
on October 12th, 2016 at 9:15 am
My first instinct is to shy away from it, but then I remembered I knew a young man with the last name Danger (pronounced daang-er). And he wore it just fine.
on October 12th, 2016 at 10:03 am
The thing is… is there really a “great” story behind the name? The story seems pretty obvious and easy to guess. It sounds like the husband told his future wife, “Danger is my middle name!” and then doubled down on the claim, and she believed him because, well, why would someone go so far to lie about that? I also have a trickster husband who pokes fun at me for being “gullible,” and I wouldn’t want to name my child after a joke like that, where the wife is kind of the butt of the joke. (But again – I don’t think it’s true gullibility when you believe something a loved one is strenuously asserting as true.) I think naming your son “Luke Danger” in this situation would be juvenile on many levels. I also disagree with the Name Sage on picking another bold name with a similar sound or meaning. Why not start from scratch and pick another name that has deep personal meaning for you and your husband, like the name of the place where you met, the first street you lived on, or some other great story from your relationship that isn’t a somewhat-mean joke?
Abby Sandel Said
on October 12th, 2016 at 10:21 am
Interesting … the comments are definitely a big “no” to Danger. But the poll is split nearly evenly three ways!
on October 12th, 2016 at 10:33 am
Even before I began to read Abby’s name suggestions, my first thought as an alternative was Wilder! I think Wilder is more wearable than Danger. But if you really like the name, I say go for it!
on October 12th, 2016 at 12:28 pm
I’m one of the maybes. I don’t really have much to add. I just wanted to say that if you both like Danger, you should definitely go with it. But the fact that ask makes me think you aren’t really a fan of Danger. If that’s the case, I think you should work to find another name you can both be satisfied with. It might be one of the suggestions or something completely different. You should both be comfortable with the final choice.
on October 12th, 2016 at 12:54 pm
Do it! Why not?
on October 12th, 2016 at 1:01 pm
Honestly the reason I would say no is because the kids first name will be Luke- your leaving him open for the obvious “look, danger!” jokes (Luke and look sound almost identical) If it was a different first name I think I would be more open to it
on October 12th, 2016 at 1:24 pm
Please no. It is a really dated joke/pop culture reference to Austin Powers that is so cringe-worthy and unoriginal– like when someone uses a line that was funny years ago and it just falls flat. Don’t name a human after an old joke.
on October 12th, 2016 at 1:39 pm
I’ll be blunt: I think it’s stupid. And I agree w/Emilypcs above…the original “joke” was pretty juvenile & not very nice.
That said, I actually knew a couple who did use the middle name Danger because the dad was adamant about his son being able to say “My middle name is Danger.” They were tossing around first names that mean “the most,” to be nn as Max. As a joke I said to the mom, “Why not choose Maximum, so he can say ‘My name is Maximum Danger’?” The mom was aghast & told me to absolutely not say that anywhere in her husband’s hearing because he’d totally go for that.
But seriously…what Vox84 said: “Don’t name a human after an old joke.”
Toya B Said
on October 12th, 2016 at 2:55 pm
I think it is going a bit too far, but if you gave a name that sounded similar it could still tie in with the story:
My favourite would be Luke Dasher, as it sounds interesting and definitely can be related to Danger with only two letters different, whilst actually sounding a little sophisticated (though others may disagree)
on October 12th, 2016 at 4:55 pm
I think it’s incredibly dumb and corny and makes it sound as though your son was named by two twelve-year-olds rather than two adults.
on October 12th, 2016 at 6:12 pm
I think this is awesome! Although to be fair, I’m picturing your son as Andy Dwyer from Parks and Rec.
on October 12th, 2016 at 7:51 pm
Bold names are a matter of personal choice, but regardless of how mainstream you are, your child deserves a name with positive connotations. I don’t think danger fits the bill. What about ‘Daring’? Or as another commenter suggested, starting over with a fresh list of names unrelated to the inside joke.
on October 12th, 2016 at 8:02 pm
In and of itself, I don’t think it’d be bad as a middle name particularly, but as others have said, the backstory isn’t really nice. I also feel like Ranger is an obvious and much better alternative which is still fun and unexpected, but without any negative image.
on October 12th, 2016 at 11:44 pm
on October 13th, 2016 at 1:45 am
I prefer Luke Wilder.
on October 13th, 2016 at 2:42 pm
I voted Maybe, mostly because you seem hesitant. If you were gung-ho about it, I would say absolutely! It’s not what I would chose, but I have the same reaction to Maverick as a first name that I do of Danger as a middle – some surprise, but not in a bad way. If you love it, don’t let other peoples’ opinions sway you. However, if you will forever be self conscious about it, I would find something else.
on October 13th, 2016 at 4:01 pm
I went to high school with a girl named K’Leigh Dainger [last name]. She told everybody because she thought it was cool, and the entire school agreed, so I don’t think teasing would be an issue at all with this one.
on October 14th, 2016 at 1:48 am
Danger in the middle is not my style but I have been on other mummy sites where it was said others had used it. My thought would be what will any potential siblings have as a middle?
If your next child is a girl, will she feel left out of the fun with the middle name Amelia?
Then again, one mum who said she’d used it had a Jack* Danger and Chloe* Adventure (cant remember actual first names)!
on October 14th, 2016 at 4:37 am
I really don’t see the harm, how often to middle names even get used? It may as well be something fun and outlandish. If the kid ends up hating it, they need never tell anyone and as far as it being embarrassing on official forms etc the amount of stupid things people name kids nowadays, it’s hardly going to be detrimental.
When my daughter was born we told everyone her middle name was Wolverine for a joke. People believed us and it stuck. She’s 5 now and we’ve told her what her actual middle name is but she still chooses to use Wolverine and now I wish we’d really put it on her birth certificate!
So my advice is just do it!
Liz Kent Said
on October 14th, 2016 at 2:10 pm
What about Gregory (or Gregor)? Luke Gregory sounds beautiful, and Gregory means Vigilant (watching out for Danger). That ties into Danger nicely, but is still a decent name. Danny also sounds similar to Danger. I associate Zeke, Ethan, Mack, Dylan, Wilson, Kamron, and Ty with Danger.
I like to use word names – my daughter is called Lillie Faith – but Danger is just too far. Your son will be embarrassed with this for the rest of his life. Rush and Chase are other word-name options. They’re also a bit “out there”, but not as badly as Danger.
on October 14th, 2016 at 7:57 pm
Everyone who sees your son’s full name (doctors’ office, school, and more) will judge you. Will you feel proud or will you feel ridiculous?
on October 14th, 2016 at 8:57 pm
I say go for it. Middle names can either be bland and boring or they can be fun! So what if other’s judge you? Now a days parents are judge for EVERY little thing they say/do, why let what other’s think affect your decision?
I fully plan on giving my children two middle names, and my husband and I have been tossing around the idea of using Pirate as a second middle name for a son. If the first name isn’t too unique, why not use a unique name where few people will see it?
on October 15th, 2016 at 9:16 pm
I wouldn’t use it, only because of the “Look, Danger!” jokes that he would inevitably receive. Luke Wilder is a great suggestion. Also, similar to what other posters suggested, how will your son’s potential future siblings feel, having not-as-adventurous middle names? And the Austin Powers joke… just no.
on October 17th, 2016 at 8:52 pm
I would consider myself a bold namer – my best friend just had her third child and only boy (a miracle baby for many reasons) and I loved the bold choice of Saint for his middle (first name: Julian).
HOWEVER, me and the same friend have a running inside joke going because we ran across someone on Instagram whose children all have outlandish names, one of them being Loki Danger. It’s similar to Luke Danger, and also terrible.
I personally love Luke Valor. As bold as Danger, but not nearly as reckless 😉
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