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Middle Names

Middle Names

Middle names have become standard for babies, with one middle name the convention in the US though two middle names are becoming more usual following the example of the British royals and upper class.

You might look to middle names as the place to use a unique name that feels too adventurous for first place, or a name that carries personal or family meaning. Your baby's middle name can be a way to honor extra family members or heroes, and a middle name can also be an adjunct surname.

Along with Elizabeth and Henry, middle names currently in the US Top 1000 for first names include Arden, Belle, Bowie, Claire, Jude, Nash, Orion, and River. Currently, popular middle names include Grace, James, Louise, and William.

This is our biggest list of possible middle names for babies — though in reality the list is limited only by your imagination.

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Middle Names for Girls

Middle Names for Boys

  1. MaeveHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "she who intoxicates"
    • Description:

      Maeve appears in Irish mythology in two forms, one as the powerful Queen of Connacht, the other as the queen of the fairies. Maeve of Connacht was a warrior queen, famous for starting a war in attempt to steal her ex-husband’s stud bull. Other spellings are Meabh, Medb and Meadhbh, which are connected to mead, a honey-based wine that was produced in many ancient cultures.
  2. RoyalHeart
    • Origin:

      English word name
    • Meaning:

      "royal"
    • Description:

      Even less subtle than Duke or Earl, this name shot up the popularity charts in 2013, the same year young Prince George was born and the craze for all things royal (and Royal) began. Today, it's a leading boys' name on Nameberry's own popularity charts.
  3. OscarHeart
    • Origin:

      English or Irish
    • Meaning:

      "God spear, or deer-lover or champion warrior"
    • Description:

      Oscar has Irish and Norse roots—Norse Oscar comes from the Old English Osgar, a variation of the Old Norse name Ásgeirr. The Irish form was derived from the Gaelic elements os, meaning “deer,” and car, “loving.” In Irish legend, Oscar was one of the mightiest warriors of his generation, the son of Ossian and the grandson of Finn Mac Cumhaill (MacCool).
  4. FinnHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "fair or white"
    • Description:

      Finn is a name with enormous energy and charm, that of the greatest hero of Irish mythology, Finn MacCool (aka Fionn mac Cuumhaill), an intrepid warrior with mystical supernatural powers, noted as well for his wisdom and generosity.
  5. AtlasHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology
    • Meaning:

      "bearer of the heavens"
    • Description:

      Previously thought too powerful for a baby boy – who would have to be strong enough to carry the world on his shoulders – Atlas has joined the pantheon of Greek and Roman god and goddess names now in the realm of possibility, along with Mars, Zeus and Apollo. It was one of the fast-rising names on the list in recent years in the USA, jumping from oblivion in 2012 into the Top 500 in 2015, and climbing several hundred places higher since then. Anne Heche was one of the first to make this audacious choice, but several celebrity parents have followed suit.
  6. JudeHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin diminutive of Judah
    • Meaning:

      "praised"
    • Description:

      Jude is an example of a name whose image was turned on its head primarily by one appealing celebrity. So take a bow, Jude Law: You--in collaboration with the Lennon-McCartney song "Hey Jude"--have erased Jude's old connections to the traitorous Judas Iscariot and Thomas Hardy's tragic Jude the Obscure, and inspired a legion of new babies named Jude.
  7. KaiHeart
    • Origin:

      Hawaiian
    • Meaning:

      "sea"
    • Description:

      Kai has many origins and meanings. What does the name Kai mean? That depends on which Kai you're referring to.
  8. MilesHeart
    • Origin:

      English form of Milo
    • Meaning:

      "soldier or merciful"
    • Description:

      Miles, which took on a permanent veneer of cool thanks to jazz great Miles Davis, is a confident and polished boy name starting with M that has been appreciated in particular by celebrity baby namers, including Elisabeth Shue, Mayim Bialik, Larenz Tate, Joan Cusack and Lionel Ritchie.
  9. JamesHeart
    • Origin:

      English variation of Jacob, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "supplanter"
    • Description:

      James is an English derivation of the Hebrew name Jacob. James is biblical (the name of two apostles in the New Testament), royal (kings of both England and Scotland), presidential (with more U.S. Chief Executives named James (six) than any other name), and it is shared by countless great writers and entertainers.
  10. HenryHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Henry was derived from the French Henri, which ultimately comes from the Germanic name Heimrich, made up of the components heim, meaning "home" or "estate," and rich, meaning "ruler." The most famous wearer is Henry VIII of England, best known for having six wives—two of whom he beheaded for not bearing him sons. It’s been used in the British royal family many times since.
  11. MaeHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Mary or Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "bitter or pearl"
    • Description:

      Mae is derived from May, the month name that was chosen for its connection to Maia, the Roman goddess of growth and motherhood. Mae can be used as a nickname for the names Mary and Margaret — actress Mae West was born Mary. Alternate spellings include May, Mei, and Maye. The May spelling makes it more of a month name, while Mae makes it an antique nickname name. Both can stand on their own, as seen by Hilary Duff's choice of Mae as her daughter's first name.
  12. ThomasHeart
    • Origin:

      Aramaic
    • Meaning:

      "twin"
    • Description:

      Thomas is the Greek variation of the Aramaic name Ta’oma’. It came about because there were too many apostles named Judas; Jesus renamed one Thomas—meaning "twin"—to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and the Judas also known as Thaddeus. At first, it was used only for priests.
  13. WrenHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "small bird"
    • Description:

      Wren, a lilting songbird name, could be the next Robin. It makes a particularly pleasing middle name choice, as does her newly discovered cousin Lark. Wren entered the Top 1000 for the first time in 2012 and is among the new wave of popular English names for girls.
  14. BodhiHeart
    • Origin:

      Sanskrit
    • Meaning:

      "awakening, enlightenment"
    • Description:

      Bodhi is a Sanskrit name translated as "enlightenment" or "awakening" which relates to a Buddhist concept, wherein Bodhi is synonymous with the state of nirvana, being freed from hate, greed and ego. The Bodhi tree is a large fig tree under which the founder of Buddhism received enlightenment. Spelling variations include Bodie and Bode.
  15. RoseHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "rose, a flower"
    • Description:

      Rose is derived from the Latin rosa, which referred to the flower. There is also evidence to suggest it was a Norman variation of the Germanic name Hrodohaidis, meaning “famous type,” and also Hros, "horse". In Old English it was translated as Roese and Rohese.
  16. AlexanderHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Alexander is derived from the Greek name Aléxandros, composed of the elements aléxein, meaning “to defend,” and aner, meaning “man.” According to Greek legend, the first Alexander was Paris, who was given the nickname Alexander by the shepherds whose flocks he defended against robbers. He was followed by Alexander the Great, aka Alexander III, who conquered much of Asia.
  17. ClaireHeart
    • Origin:

      French form of Clara
    • Meaning:

      "bright, clear"
    • Description:

      Claire is the French form of Clara, a feminine derivation of the Latin masculine name Clarus. The French word for "clear," Claire’s meaning, is clair, and was traditionally a male name. Now the spelling is used mainly for girls, along with Clare, and occasionally Klaire or Klare.
  18. RhysHeart
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "ardor"
    • Description:

      There's Rhys and there's Reese (now more popular for girls) and there's Reece, and we particularly like the traditional Welsh spelling, which entered the list in 2004, possibly influenced by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, of The Tudors, and Welsh-born actor Rhys Ifans.
  19. KnoxHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "round hill"
    • Description:

      Knox is an old Scottish surname that Brad Pitt (whose great-great-grandfather was named Hal Knox Hillhouse) and Angelina Jolie took out of the back cupboard, dusted off, and elevated to coolness--to the point where it entered the popular baby names list in 2009. Knox now ranks among the most influential celebrity baby names.
  20. MargaretHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Margaret is derived from the French Marguerite, which in turn came from Margarita, the Latin form of the Greek Margarites. Margarites was based on the Old Persian word margārīta, meaning "pearl."