Do you have a middle name?

I have been doing some genealogy research recently, noticed many people have a middle name that is their mother’s maiden name, or a given name of another relative.

What is the significance of your middle name?


Darren is my middle name. I have it because my mother liked the sound of it on Bewitched. (I don’t know why I’ve always been called by my middle name–my first name is a common name in my family and incidentally and coincidentally could make some think about places beyond the sea and knives named “Mack.”)
I was going to be named Elvis, but thankfully saner people talked her out if it.

Scott. It is the surname of the man who was best man at my Father’s wedding. Great guy with a great family.

  1. My middle name is my mother’s maiden name. I like it a lot, because I was the first grandchild in the family (on both sides), and I was particularly close to my maternal grandparents (actually living in their house when I went off to college). My grandfather used to introduce me to acquaintances, “This is my grandson, [firstname] [MIDDLENAME] [lastname].”

While my middle name is obviously a surname, it can also be a man’s first name (though less commonly so), so it worked out well for me. Kind of a distinguished name, actually. Strangely enough, my wife’s first husband had the same relatively uncommon middle name as me, so both of her husbands had the same middle name. :dubious:

  1. In my wife’s family when she was growing up, children didn’t get middle names at birth. Instead, they picked a middle name at their Confirmation, which was supposed to be the name of a saint. I guess this was common years ago in Irish Catholic families? So my wife’s middle name isn’t on her birth certificate. :confused:

  2. My son’s first name is related to my middle name. It’s a name that also used to be a surname in the past. I suppose we could have given him the same middle name as myself, but instead he was saddled with my first name as his middle name.

Both my first and middle names are first names from corresponding relatives, one on each side of the family. I almost killed my mom. She was still pretty out of it a couple days after I was born and I was still unnamed. My maternal grandmother proposed the idea with my first name coming from Dad’s side of the family since I was a boy. Mom was just happy to agree without really knowing or thinking about what the name actually would be. My grandmother didn’t even know what name she was proposing from Dad’s side of the family.

There was a name on Dad’s side of the family that was really common for boys. It was also his. That was the one and only name my Mom didn’t want if she had a boy. Did I say it was really common on that side of the family? Several days later Mom asked what I’d actually been named and :smack::smack::smack:

I don’t have a middle name, just a middle initial. My parents thought that my middle name “should” be my mother’s maiden name, Schallau, which is hard to spell and pronounce. In a rare attempt at parental kindness, they decided not to use it. Instead of selecting a different middle name they decided on “S” - no period, like Harry S Truman. I don’t know why they left the period off; maybe they thought it would look like an abbreviation and I’d be badgered for my “real” middle name.

Once in a while I’ve filled out forms that demand your FULL middle name, not just an initial, but that’s pretty rare, and there has never been any negative consequence from my lack of a middle name.

My middle name is Alexander. I voted “My middle name is an unrelated given name”, but that’s not quite accurate. My parents didn’t know it at the time they named me, but in my father’s mother’s mother’s Scottish-Canadian family there was a tradition of naming one boy in each generation Alexander (Sandy for short). My father met his great-uncle Sandy when he was a boy, but never realized it was short for Alexander until years after I was born.

My parents wanted a girl so badly that they only picked out girl names for me. So they had to scramble when I was born a boy. My first name is the name of the doctor who delivered me. Then, lying in bed in the hospital one evening post partum, my mom saw John Davidson on some variety show. She thought, “David sounds nice.”

My wife doesn’t have a middle name. She’s Indian (ethnically Tamil, born in the US). No Indians that I know well enough to ask have a middle name. Our son’s and daughter’s middle names are the first names of my paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother, respectively.

My middle name is my uncle’s. He died in Normandy.

Jewish tradition is to name your child for dead relatives. My first name was my grandfather’s.

My wife’s middle name was her mother’s first name. When we married, she started using her maiden name as her middle name.

I don’t have a middle name, not even an initial. Neither did either of my parents, and neither does my brother.

My middle name is the same as my mother’s father’s first name. I was never told that there was any special significance to this and given that “John” is literally just about as common a name as you can get, I’m not inclined to assume that this is more than coincidence.

My middle name is a given name unrelated to any family or friends. It’s a fairly common name, but my parents opted for one of the less common spellings.

When you are growing up, your parents tell you your middle name, but how often do they write it down? I grew up using the spelling that my schoolmates used.

When I was 15, I was applying for my driver’s license, and had to get a copy of my birth certificate. I then learned that I had been misspelling my own middle name for nearly a decade.

My dad first got a copy of his birth certificate when he joined the military in 1941. The first name and middle name on the certificate were the reverse of what he had grown up using.

To people who knew him in childhood, he was Fxxx M. Surname.
To people who knew him in the war, he was M.F. Surname.
To people who knew him afterward, he was Mxxx F. Surname.

Of my closest relatives (parents, grandparents, uncle, nieces) and myself:

7 family given names, including me
3 unrelated given names
1 mother’s maiden name
1 no middle name on the birth certificate, but unofficially a family given name
1 family given name that’s a common patronymic last name, but I haven’t found a relative with that last name

The latter two aren’t counted in the seven family given names.

Me, and my three siblings (all born in Scotland), have middle names that are surnames of ancestors.

No significance to my middle name. There was a bit of a scramble. Dad wanted boys. The story goes he had picked out names for twins, just in case. I arrived, neither boy nor twin, and mom got to pick. I believe she thought it was pretty.

My mother has one, my father does not and I do not. It wasn’t a tradition in the Slavic paternal side of the family and my parents went traditional when naming me. I’m actually a little surprised to see that many folks without them in the poll. It seems so ubiquitous to me in the United States, but maybe that has just been confirmation bias on my part.

Now my father’s older sister converted from a nominal Eastern Orthodox faith to Catholicism when she got married and she and my uncle did hand out middle names to their kids.

Yes, I do.

My parent didn’t give any of the 5 of us middle names. Dunno why…

My father had a middle initial. He never learned what it stood for. Perhaps because of that neither I nor my brother has either a middle name or initial.
I attribute my success in life to this fact. Can you imagine how much extra time I had on tests not having to write a middle name. A great advantage.
My wife does, so both of my kids do.

My middle name is my mother’s father’s name. I was the first born; my next brother got my mother’s father’s name as his first name (and an unrelated middle name). My other four siblings have names unrelated to any relatives.

My first name is my father’s first name. His middle name was his mother’s father’s name.

My father’s first name was his father’s first name. My grandfather had an older brother who was given his father’s first name but died as an infant. So he was named after his mother’s father. His middle name was the first name of his father’s father.

Ultimately I can trace my first name to a German g-g-grandfather who was born in New York in the 1830s, and my middle name to an Irish g-g-grandfather who was born probably around the same time.