Middle Names

  1. Bea
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Beatrice
    • Meaning:

      "she who brings happiness"
    • Description:

      Bea is a former old lady name that's cute again as a short form -- and is now beginning to stand on its own. Bee is a variation that, like Bea, can work as a diminutive for any name that starts with the letter B, or in the middle. Bea actually stood alone on the popularity lists for four years at the beginning of the twentieth century--and it could happen again.
  2. Blair
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "dweller on the plain"
    • Description:

      In the USA, Blair is gaining momentum, rising quickly for the last 10 years and likely to continue to climb. In England and Wales, where Blair has political connotations – calling to mind former prime minister Tony Blair – it is much less common, although it is in use for boys in its native Scotland.
  3. Bree
    • Origin:

      Irish, from Brid, Brigh, Brigid
    • Meaning:

      "strength or exalted one"
    • Description:

      A short, breezy name with a sophisticated yet upbeat image, that doesn't betray its Irish roots. Bree first came to notice here in 1971 via the complex prostitute character in the movie Klute, which earned Jane Fonda an Oscar. More recently, it was tied to the character of Bree Van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives.
  4. Cadence
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "rhythm, beat"
    • Description:

      The musical word name Cadence, seemed to come out of nowhere to zoom up the charts; it rose over 700 spots between 2002 and 2004, and showed up in the Top 200 in 2007. It's gone down in the popular names list since then, though. Some might see it as a feminine relative of the popular Caden. Kadence and Kaydence are also rising.
  5. Celia
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "heavenly"
    • Description:

      Celia, splendidly sleek and feminine, is a name that was scattered throughout Shakespeare and other Elizabethan literature, but still manages to feel totally modern.
  6. Dair
    • Drew
      • Origin:

        Diminutive of Andrew
      • Meaning:

        "strong and manly"
      • Description:

        Drew is an elegant formerly male-only alternative to Andy that joined the stylishly upscale Paige-Brooke-Blair sorority, thanks largely to Drew Barrymore. Barrymore comes by her first name legitimately: it was the maiden name of her paternal great-grandmother, Georgiana 'Georgie' Drew Barrymore, one of many esteemed actors in her family history.
    • ELOQUENCE
      • INNOCENCE
        • Jane
          • Origin:

            English
          • Meaning:

            "God is gracious"
          • Description:

            No, we don't consider Jane too plain. In fact, for a venerable and short one-syllable name, we think it packs a surprising amount of punch, as compared to the related Jean and Joan.
        • Joan
          • Origin:

            English variation of Johanna
          • Meaning:

            "God is gracious"
          • Description:

            Joan was the perfect name choice for one of the leading characters on Mad Men, being a quintessential girls' name of the period. A Top 10 name in the 30s, a Top 50 name from the 40s through the early 60s, it was the fifth most popular name in the country for three years running and ranks as one of the most common names for girls in the 20th century. But alas, Joan hasn't even appeared in the Top 1000 for a dozen years, and these days it's primarily associated with Joans of the generation of Joan Crawford, Joan Collins and Joan Rivers--just a few of the noted Joans whose ranks also include the singers Joan Sutherland, Joan Baez, Joan Armatrading and Joan Jett. But it's possible that modern parents who are reviving Jane might move on to Joan, inspired by Joan Hollaway Harris.
        • Joy
          • Origin:

            English word name
          • Meaning:

            "joy"
          • Description:

            Joy is from an older generation of word names, which also included Merry, Bliss, and Glory -- all of which exert a certain amount of personality pressure on a child. One interesting name that means the same thing: Chara.
        • Nova
          • Origin:

            Latin
          • Meaning:

            "new"
          • Description:

            Nova has the feel of both newness, from its meaning, and great energy as an astronomical term for a star that increases suddenly in brightness before fading.
        • PATIENCE
          • PROVIDENCE
            • Rose
              • 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.
            • Ruth
              • Origin:

                Hebrew
              • Meaning:

                "compassionate friend"
              • Description:

                Ruth, with its air of calm and compassion, was the third most popular name in the 1890s, remaining in the Top 10 through the 1920s. It's still in use today as some parents tiring of Rachel and Rebecca are giving Ruth a second thought. Some see such Old Testament girls’ names as Ruth and Esther rising on the heels of boy equivalents Abel and Moses.
            • Wallace
              • Origin:

                Scottish
              • Meaning:

                "foreigner, stranger"
              • Description:

                Wallace is so square could almost be ripe for a turnaround, especially with the hipness imparted by the British Claymation series Wallace & Gromit. And Wally makes an adorable Leave it to Beaver retro-style nickname.