Is it a hassle to have two middle names?

I still haven’t decided about my name when the mister and I tie the knot - well, I’ve decided to take on his last name, because it just seems like it makes a lot of things less complicated and plus I think we should have a “team name”, you know? But I don’t know what to do with all my other names.

I’m not sure I want to deep six my middle name, because it’s my grandmother’s name. And I don’t want to dump the last name I’ve had all my life, because… I dunno, maybe I do. This is a big decision, easy to do in the first place but a pain to fix if I don’t like it, you know? I’m afraid I’ll do something that will be a big pain in the ass from this point onward.

So if my name were Gertrude Beulah Zebrowski and I were marrying Snidely Whiplash III, my options are Gertrude Beulah Whiplash, Gertrude Zebrowski Whiplash, or Gertrude Beulah Zebrowski Whiplash.

So, (and I suppose I’m asking for US opinions, as, say, Spanish names are totally different) who here has kept two middle names? Do you run into trouble at the DMV? Run out of spaces for your name and have to convince people that you’re you?

Alternately, anybody dump a name and regret it?

I know it’s more traditional to go with Gertrude Zebrowski Whiplash, which at least preserves your maiden name for your obnoxious genealogist great grandkids, but isn’t anybody attached to their middle name? I used to hate it when I was a kid (and it isn’t Beulah but it’s a nickname for a really heinous name, as my parents were at least kind enough not to give it to me with both barrels) but I’ve grown accustomed to it. But I don’t plan on absolving myself by Beulah-ing any kids, either.

I did it when I got married, and for about the same reasons - they were my names, and I couldn’t jettison one over the other.

My SS Card has all the names on it (which made the spacing ugly) but they didn’t give me any trouble about it. The BMV was only able to handle one initial, so I went with my “traditional” middle initial I grew up with. When I officially type my name (First Name, MI, Last Name), I go with both initials in the middle. My signature isn’t legible anyway, so that doesn’t matter.

The only weirdness is when whatever thing only has space for one middle initial. Then I go with the middle initial I grew up with. I suppose I could make a big stink about it, and demand an extra space, but who has time for that?

Two middle names is fairly normal in the UK, although I don’t know how often a form doesn’t handle it. I knew people without a middle name were screwed in the US, but I didn’t realise it extended to people with two middle names – what about G H W Bush for crying out loud?

I quite like the “degrading maiden surname to last middle name” solution, and I know a couple of people who’ve done it. Second hand, I’ve heard about a couple of problems; I remember someone saying a clerk had told her she’d filled in the form wrong, and put the first half of her surname in the middle name box, and she had to say “um, that’s because it IS my middle name”. One friend took “HerSurname HisSurname” as a surname with space instead of hypen, which also seems good, although I bet there are some problems.

Yeah, Zebrowski Whiplash would… not be ideal. :slight_smile: (Our real last names are not harmonious either. Maybe if one of them were one syllable, like Pinkett Smith.)

I didn’t take my husband’s last name, and while at the time I did get some funny looks lo those 24 years ago, these days it’s much more common and no one really gives it much thought. I’ve never had any problems with it at all in any legal sense. And I didn’t have to go about changing my driver’s license, SS card or anything like that. Since my maiden name was also the name I was known by professionally it actually made things a lot simpler.

It seems to me, thinking about the women I know who did change their names, that yes, it is pretty standard to just dump the given middle name and use the maiden surname as the middle name. That’s probably the simplest thing to do if you wish to change. How often do you use the given middle name anyway? Do you ever include it in your signature?

I’ve kept all mine and it hasn’t been a problem.

Quick tip for forms if you do keep both: For forms with only one entry for middle name, if there is room, put both names in the same entry slot with a space between them. If there’s less room, then put both initials in the same place with a space between. If it wants just a middle initial, I will usually put the first middle initial.

First Name - Lasciel
Middle Name - Fallen Seraphim
Last Name - Angel

First Name - Lasciel
Middle Name - F. S.
Last Name - Angel

I will say that as someone who goes by my first middle name and has 4 names, the going by my middle name causes significantly more trouble on a day-to-day basis than having an extra name somewhere in the middle. There aren’t many forms which are designed for a “first initial.” On the plus side, I always know when it’s a telemarketer on the phone!

All I can add is that my wife picks and chooses which combination to use for a particular purpose, and even then she may bend her own rules at times. When the usage is of a more formal or official or even legal situation she goes with first name - maiden surname - my surname. In other less formal settings it may be first name - middle name - my surname. There are times when, just to be ornery or cute, she’ll go with all four, adding my surname after all her maiden names.

Since she was married before, there are those rare events or occasions when she will do the Liz Taylor things of using all five of her names. Those occasions are so infrequent that I’m not sure if she even has a “rule” for that!

As an aside, and not what you were asking in the OP, my paternal grandfather had four names on his birth records. He went by the first name and his surname. To stress his dislike for having so many names, he refused to allow any of his five children (including my mother) to have more than one given name. So in Mama’s case, she had no options!

I’ve had two middle names since birth and haven’t had any problems at all. Occasionally an agency will only use the first of the two on official documentation (because both won’t fit), but it’s common enough that no one really bats an eye.

My SIL did what you’re thinking about - her maiden name became her middle name and she took our family name as her last name.

I elected to do a double, non-hyphenated last name just to really be a pain in the ass, and other than the occasional hyphen thrown in there, I’ve had no problems with that either.

Really, none of your options are THAT woo-woo out there so I don’t expect that you’ll have anything more than minor issues similar to those faced with any name change.

ETA - so, yes, if I spell out my entire legal name, it’s 5 names long - still never been an issue at all.

This is more or less what I do, partially because I’ve never been particularly attached to my given middle name, and I was/am very attached to my maiden name, but it was also important to me to have the same name as my husband for having a “team name.”

For signing things with initials I use First Initial, Maiden Initial, Married Initial, because is I used First/Married, it would be “SS” and for some reason that makes me feel like a Nazi.

I was raised quite devoutly Catholic, so somewhere in my heart of hearts, I consider my “real” name to include my confirmation name - which is, absurdly, the same as my first name. But all five names just makes things unwieldy (Four of those names are relatively long), and the only time I’ve heard it used is when my husband is yelling at me in a particularly goofy manner.

One of my coworkers has two first names. It’s a constant struggle with official forms to explain that her first name has a space, and it’s not a first and middle (She also has a middle name).

My half-sister and my aunt have no middle name at all with the idea that when they got married, their maiden names would take the place of a middle name. Except my aunt didn’t marry until she was forty-five, and my sister is now nearly forty-five herself and still very much single. She often uses her mom’s(not my mom) maiden name in that place when it comes to personalization of luggage or stationery.

I’ve had two middle names since birth, and in terms of US bureaucracy it’s been a pain in the ass. The first time I applied for a passport one of them got left off of it for some reason, and since so many other things use your passport as a point of reference that one has basically fallen out of the system entirely.

I mean, there have been no actual meaningful ill effects on my life, but it’s still vaguely sad…