Middle Names: Thinking Outside the Box

There’s no doubt that middle names have been taking on increasing  importance in the hearts and minds of  baby namers.  They’ve stepped up from the inconsequential connectives –especially for girls–of a generation or two ago to full co-starring roles on the birth certificate.  For many, it’s a welcome opportunity to honor a family member, preserve a maiden name, or use as a solid alternative for their child to possibly choose to use later on.

But for others, it’s place to be whimsical, to salute a creative hero, to use a favorite word or nature name they wouldn’t dare to put in first place.  For examples of how this works, we need only to look to the stars, those beacons of extreme–if not bizarre– baby naming.  So here are some nature, namesake, word and lovey-dovey endearment middle names they have used, followed by the name of the celebrity parent who chose it and their child’s first name:


BEAR (Anthony Kiedis’s Everly)

CRICKET (Amy Locane’s Paige)

HUCKLEBERRY (Kimberly Williams & Brad Paisley‘s William)

PINE (Simon Le Bon’s Tallulah)

PLUM (Moon Unit Zappa’s Matilda)

RAIN (Brooke Burke & David Charvet’s Heaven)

RAINBOW (Jamie Oliver‘s Petal Blossom)

TULIP (Rebecca Romijn & Jerry O’Connell‘s Charlie Tamara)

NAMESAKES–real and fictional

COLTRANE (Natascha McElhone’s Rex)

HENDRIX (Donnie Wahlberg’s Elijah)

ICARUS (Lucy Sykes’ Titus Jasper)

KAFKA (Tommy Lee JonesVictoria)

KIPLING  (Kim Raver’s Leo)

MADONNA (Geri Halliwell’s Bluebell)

MARS (Sofia Coppola’s Romy)

MOWGLI (Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz’s Bronx)

ZHIVAGO (Nia Long‘s Massai)


BEBOP  (Michael Balzay’s Sunny)

BRAVERY (Talisa Soto & Benjamin Bratt’s Mateo)

CRIMEFIGHTER  (Penn Jillette‘s Moxie)

GOLDEN (Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance‘s Bronwyn)

HALCYON (Lauren Ambrose‘s Orson)

HAVEN (Dylan Walsh‘s Stella)

INSPEKTOR  (Jason Lee‘s Pilot)

PAINTER (Chad Lowe‘s Mabel)

ROCKET (Tom de Longe’s Jonas)

SCIENCE (Shannyn Sossaman’s Audio)

SONG  (Brett Scallions’ Jagger)

STORY (Minnie Driver’s Henry)


BOO  (Jamie Oliver‘s Daisy)

HONEY (Jamie Oliver‘s Poppy and Kate Winslet’s Mia)

NOO  (Amanda de Cadenet & John Taylor‘s Atlanta)

SWEETHEART  (Tobey Maguire‘s Ruby)

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10 Responses to “Middle Names: Thinking Outside the Box”

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Maria Garrison Says:

August 3rd, 2009 at 8:45 am

Love it! We are considering my maiden name as our son’s middle name, which falls into the “thinking outside of the box” middle name for us.

Charlotte Vera Says:

August 3rd, 2009 at 12:21 pm

I have always been a fan of the double middle name, and since my husband is in agreement, all of our children will have two middle names. So far we have only produced one offspring and she proudly bears the middle names “Ruth Adeline”. If we have a son next his middle names will probably be a tribute to our names (e.g. “Charles Marcus”).

Tirzah Says:

August 3rd, 2009 at 4:38 pm

FYI, Painter is the mom’s maiden naame.

Molly Says:

October 19th, 2009 at 4:46 pm

My husband wants to use the middle name “Danger”. I refuse for obvious reasons, but if we were celebrities I guess it would be ok!

Bevin Says:

November 16th, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Ha, I’m using “Danger” for my first son. DF is in agreement, now we just need the child!!

I never ever ever use my middle name as it is so boring so I’m going to have a lot of fun with my children 🙂

Even toying with “Trouble” if there is a second boy though that might just be asking for it!

UrbanAngel Says:

December 24th, 2009 at 9:47 am

I whole-heartedly agree with this. I disagree with the idea that this is ok only for celebrities or that only celebrities can get away with it. It is like saying that they are different people and are entitled or allowed to get away with things either because they are famous or artistic. Celebrities pee and poop like the rest of us

I am a fan of using unexpected middles. Ann and Rose have been done to death. My fav name of all time is Dylan Storm.Storm wasn’t on purpose- it just fit the best

Auntie A Says:

March 18th, 2010 at 11:16 am

Bevin, I’m glad you’re not afraid to use Danger!! I know a little girl (6 yrs.) with the first name Danger! She’s so cute and has red hair…I can’t imagine her named anything else.

On topic, I love unexpected middles!! They can really spice up a name!

Lola Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 10:24 am

Don’t know *how* I missed this post! 🙂

We’ve used middles to honor family past, but not so far past.We also use family surnames in the middle. All 3 existing kids have surnames somewhere: Coe, Nash & Rosamel. We’re thinking of using Bruno or Wilder as a middle for a boy this time, but only have the plain (Rose, Belrose) or overfluffy (Loveday, Baudelaire) for girls. Bah! Maybe this last one will buck the pattern!

MollyKat78 Says:

March 20th, 2012 at 10:30 pm

i love cool to have your middle name be danger..or Ninja..frickin awesome!!

jajozaki Says:

July 28th, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Middle names are something to have fun with for me. Our girls have two middle names each. A fun one and the Grandmother’s maiden names. So one is Peach Farrell and the other is Saskia Starr. I almost love there middle names more than their first names!

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