Middle names as firsts

I have a dilemma. SO and I are getting married in [name_f]September[/name_f] and immediately TTC. We don’t agree on a ton of boys names, but SO made a pact with his best friend (who is also my brother-in-law), [name_m]David[/name_m], that they would each name their first born son’s after one another. [name_m]David[/name_m] lived up to his end of the bargain with my nephew, [name_m]Jared[/name_m], who goes by JB. [name_m]Jared[/name_m] (my [name_m]Jared[/name_m], see this is already confusing…) wants to name our first son [name_m]David[/name_m] [name_m]Theodore[/name_m], but agrees we can call him [name_u]Teddy[/name_u], which is my favorite name ever. I think it is silly to have his first name be [name_m]David[/name_m] if we’re going to call him [name_u]Teddy[/name_u] anyway and have suggested [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] [name_m]David[/name_m], but SO insists the first name HAS to be [name_m]David[/name_m]. I know we might never have a son, so it may be a moot point, but we plan on having a large family, so chances are this is going to come up unless we just have 4-5 daughters.

[name_m]Long[/name_m] story short, I need opinions. [name_f]Do[/name_f] any of you go by your middle name? What are the challenges? What are your opinions? Would you give in and let this pact dictate your child’s name, or would you fight for it to be pushed to the middle? SO and I go in circles about this on a regular basis…

I’m not a huge fan of people going by their middle names because, like you, I find it confusing and unnecessary. However, if it is an honor name, I think it is ok. If he is agreeing to use your all-time favorite name, I think a good compromise would be to go ahead with [name_m]David[/name_m] as a first name since it means so much to him.

This is very common for the elderly in the UK. I know in the case of a relative of mine if there was two of the same name in the class then one went by a middle name so there was no duplicates.
I’ve also seen quite a few parents with name regret revert to middle names (I’m a nurse). And in my case my NN growing up was nothing to do with my name, but is a bonified name in its own right.
I think your husband needs to honour the pact if your bil did.

Its actually quite common for people to go by their middle names. Happens all the time. My Uncle [name_m]Scott[/name_m] is actually named [name_m]Harold[/name_m] [name_m]Scott[/name_m].

My grandmother went by [name_f]Irene[/name_f] her whole life, but her name was [name_f]Clara[/name_f] [name_f]Irene[/name_f].

If you both agree to [name_u]Teddy[/name_u] - I say that he offered a decent compromise. You don’t have to accept the compromise of course, but I think [name_m]David[/name_m] [name_m]Theodore[/name_m], nn [name_u]Teddy[/name_u] totally works.

BTW - a lot of people who are Juniors, the second, the third etc… go by middle names or different nicknames to differentiate between generations. So, there again, it’s normal.

I don’t think it’s strange to go by the mn, especially since [name_m]David[/name_m] is in honour of a family member. I know lots of people who go by their middles in the US. On school forms they typically ask what name the child goes by, and I’m sure in most other situations you (or him) can just clarify that he goes by [name_u]Teddy[/name_u].

I totally agree with this!

Unless your SO is insisting on using his friend’s nickname as the given name. Like my friend who now has a son with the unfortunate name of Kilby. There’s no way I would’ve allowed that, lol.

I think it’s fine. My dad and grandpa go by their middles, as well as some women I know. It would be nice to honor your [name_m]BIL[/name_m], especially since he honored your husband.

I’ve gone by my middle name since birth, as I was given my grandmother’s first name. It’s a little confusing and annoying sometimes to correct people and explain that I want my full name on all of my legal documents (instead of just first and last), but I love my name and wouldn’t want it to be anything else. I think you should take the compromise of [name_m]David[/name_m] being his first name and him going by [name_u]Teddy[/name_u]! That’s a very nice, strong name, [name_f]IMO[/name_f].

My dad was born [name_u]Glen[/name_u] [name_u]Gary[/name_u], named after his dad [name_u]Glen[/name_u] [name_m]Wood[/name_m]. He was always called [name_u]Gary[/name_u], and never knew his real name was [name_u]Glen[/name_u] until first grade when he started school. He eventually switched his name to [name_u]Gary[/name_u] [name_u]Glen[/name_u], but still gets mail for [name_u]Glen[/name_u]. I wouldn’t do it myself, it seems too annoying to have to correct everyone.

I don’t see anything horribly wrong with it, but I also don’t see why you should have to give up on your Theodore in the first name slot altogether. Since you do plan on having more than one child, why not discuss naming the first David (and calling him that) with the understanding that if you have another boy, he’ll be Theodore? I just feel that your longtime love of Theodore doesn’t deserve to be overwritten by his pledge. If Theodore was a name you just “kinda sorta liked the sound of,” it would be one thing - but from the sound of it, you have had Theodore in mind for a long time. I think you deserve to use it just as much as his David.

While I don’t think it’s awful to call a child by a name other than what’s on the birth certificate, I do think it’s needlessly messy both for the child and for his future teachers, doctors, etc - especially since the leap from David to Teddy isn’t an intuitive one.

My dad goes by [name_m]Derek[/name_m], one of his middles, instead of his first, [name_m]William[/name_m] (an honour name), and it’s never been a problem for him - except when he gets frustrated that he has to use [name_m]William[/name_m] when he signs his name on official documents. Everyone knows him by [name_m]Derek[/name_m] and I’ve only ever known him to be called [name_m]William[/name_m] if it’s written down, so you could definitely get away with using [name_m]Teddy[/name_m] for [name_m]David[/name_m]. By the way, [name_m]Teddy[/name_m] is, in my opinion, one of the cutest boy names out there!

Thanks, all. I totally agree that he is already compromising by saying we can call him [name_u]Teddy[/name_u] - I’m really more concerned about the confusion it could cause down the road. I work in HR, and we get a lot of applicants who go by middle names, and it causes mass confusion between HR/payroll/emails/directories/etc, so that worries me. My dad is a III who goes by a name not even related to his real name or middle, and it has been a pain through the years on legal documents, and he was even accused once of having an alias (and using it to do something illegal). Hearing that there are lots of people out there who overcome the challenges is helpful to know. I’m still not sure if I am ready to give in - but since we aren’t TTC until later in the year I still have time to come to terms (especially if we have a girl first).

@kimmigrace I have thought of just saving [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] for another child, but my worry is that we will never have a second son if I do that. And also, I really do not even like the name [name_m]David[/name_m] and wouldn’t want to actually call my child that in the first place. Especially since we have a [name_m]David[/name_m] in the family already, and I am really opposed to name duplicates if it can be helped (we have a huge problem with name duplicates in my family, both intentional and on accident). I just think everyone needs their own name.

I like it when people go by their middle names. This could sound strange, but it somehow makes them seem more interesting. I have known various people who have gone by their middle names and it’s always seemed uncomplicated. I don’t know if they encountered any difficulties because of it when in official situations, but I don’t see why it would even be as annoying as having to spell or make corrections for an unusual last name (which I do daily). To me, having a middle name is partly about being able to use it if necessary. [name_m]David[/name_m] [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] is a solid name with a lovely meaning, and it sounds like there are really good reasons to use it. It will also be a symbol of your h’s bond with his brother and that’s kind of beautiful in its own way.

I have a middle-aged uncle named [name_m]Thomas[/name_m] [name_m]Theodore[/name_m]. He goes exclusively by [name_m]Ted[/name_m], and went by [name_u]Teddy[/name_u] as a child. It’s not confusing or problematic. No one ever calls him [name_m]Tom[/name_m] or [name_m]Thomas[/name_m]. He was named after family patriarchs. So both names are honoring.
I say honor the pact, and your [name_m]BIL[/name_m]. [name_m]David[/name_m] [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] flows better than [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] [name_m]David[/name_m], [name_f]IMO[/name_f]. But maybe that’s just because I’m used to hearing [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] in the middle spot.
[name_m]How[/name_m] does each name flow with your last name? That is another consideration.
You seem to feel very strongly on this topic. Perhaps you can use it as a bargaining chip when it comes to girls’ names. “I let you have the final say (David Theodore) in boys’ names, so I get final say in girls’ names.”
Really, this seems like a small issue. Focus on what you and your SO have already agreed upon- two names (first and middle) and a nick name. You’re almost there! :slight_smile:

My brother has gone by his middle name since birth, so I don’t see anything wrong with it. It has caused confusion for my brother, but only because my dad and brother have the same first name. When we get stuff in the mail for [name_m]Robert[/name_m], we don’t know which person it goes to unless it gives a middle initial. Other than that he really hasn’t had a problem with it.

I live in the Midwest and going by a middle name is quite common. :slight_smile:

Both my dad and my uncle have always gone by their middle name, as their first names were honor names and would have caused confusion to use regularly. I think my dad has minor trouble very occasionally with people getting confused but overall I think it is a small thing. It might be a headache for you in HR, but I’m not sure that the person with the actual name ever feels that same level of frustration. Plus, I think D. [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] Lastname would look fantastic on a resume!

I don’t really like giving a child a name with the intention of them going by their middle unless it is an honor name/[name_m]Jr[/name_m]/strong family tradition. Since this is an honor name, and your sister and [name_m]BIL[/name_m] have set a precedent of the honor being in the first name spot, I think it’s fine. You both get to use the names you want (and your favorite name will be used more often). Sounds like a good compromise to me!

I know quite a few people who go by their middle name. It has never been a big deal. I will admit that I am kind of a stickler about keeping promises, yes even dumb ones made in grade school. On the bright side, at least you know you are marrying a man who believes in keeping his end of a promise.

Looking back on my post, I may have sounded harsh. I am not trying to imply that you had any doubts. Rather that I think your future son would be fine with the name. Tone is quite hard to figure out over text.