No middle name?

One of the names we are considering for a girl is [name_f]El[/name_f]ísabet. I kind of don’t want to put a middle name with it. [name_f]Do[/name_f] you think this would be a mistake, or something I would regret? My reasons are:

  1. It’s 4 syllables, with a 4-syllable last name. That’s one more syllable than my whole name and two more syllables than bf’s whole name, and we both have two given names.

  2. People do tend to use middle names (or ‘second names’, rather) here in Iceland a lot. I was thinking that I wouldn’t like it if people were always calling her two names, as I find it quite ridiculous unless the two names are very short. And then I thought, well then why on earth have two? Why have a second name if you actively don’t want people to use it?

  3. If we were to use a middle name, it would have to be something very short I think, preferably just one syllable. I don’t really like any of the one-syllable names. I’ve tried out a few short two-syllable names but I just find it too long-winded then. I don’t want to choose a middle name ‘just because’ if there’s nothing I really like.

  4. I find it such a strong, substantial name that I think it could easily stand by itself, plus it is quite versatile with a lot of different short versions.

Counter reasons:

  1. It’s quite a common name, both in the general population and among recent births. It could be annoying to have no way to differentiate yourself from other people with the same name.

  2. We both have two given names, and most Icelandic children (though it’s not nearly as universal as in the UK or USA - still a lot of children have only one name) do as well. She might feel left out, or like she’s missing something.

  3. I think it might be annoying to be asked, “Are you called just [name_f]El[/name_f]ísabet?” Which would probably happen.

  4. Potentially we might want to use two names for a future child. Would this be unfair, to have one name on one child and two names on another?

What do you think?

It’s probably different here in the States, but I’ve always been really glad that I had a middle name! I have always thought it was odd when I met people that didn’t have one. Generally they’re girls, and their parents’ reason for not giving them a middle name is that they can take their maiden name as a middle when they take their husband’s name (at least where I’m from that’s fairly common).
I would think it was a little odd if you decided to give a later child a second name if you didn’t for your first. My husband’s aunt did that. They have three children without middle names and gave their last girl a middle name. It was a family name, so it seemed really odd to me that they decided to give one to her and no one else. She’s the spoiled baby of the family, and her mom seems to favor her over the other kids, so it kind of seemed to me that by giving THIS child a middle name her mom was saying THIS ONE IS MY [name_m]FAVORITE[/name_m]. They’re the only family I’ve ever met with that kind of a situation though, I would probably recommend keeping it consistent, whatever you decide to do, but I tend to like consistency in these type of things :).

I think with [name_f]Elisabet[/name_f] it’s okay to not give her a middle name, especially if she would be [name_f]Elisabet[/name_f] ____ all the time.
Why I generally prefer middle names? So the kid has a choice what to go by later in life without having to legally change their name. However, [name_f]Elisabet[/name_f] has sooooo many nickname options- [name_f]Elli[/name_f], [name_f]Elisa[/name_f], [name_u]Elia[/name_u], [name_u]Lisa[/name_u], [name_f]Lissie[/name_f], Lis, [name_f]Bet[/name_f], [name_f]Betti[/name_f], [name_f]Lili[/name_f], [name_f]Lisbet[/name_f], [name_f]Lisabet[/name_f], [name_f]Elsa[/name_f], [name_f]Elsbet[/name_f], Sabi, [name_u]Isa[/name_u], [name_f]Lia[/name_f], etc. - that she would have many choices anyway, more than if you named her “[name_f]Elva[/name_f] [name_f]Rosa[/name_f]” for example.

I think it is absolutely fine if you do not want to use a middle name. My grandfather doesn’t have a middle name, while all his siblings do and he has never been bothered by it. And the name you picked is lovely by the way! :slight_smile:

I am in NZ so the culture and norms are a bit different I assume. But… Shock horror nameberries… none of my 3 girls have middle names! I find them a bit pointless and unnecessary in day to day life so we just didn’t do them! Yes, people often ask ‘what’s her middle name’ and eyebrows are raised when we say, there isn’t one. But that is mostly because 2 of our girls have fairly uncommon names (for NZ) and I think they assume we would have given a ‘fall-back’ name. We felt like you in that all 3 names are strong and longish (3 syllables) with lots of nickname possibilities so the need for a middle just wasn’t there. The only time me and my partner ever use our middle names is for important forms (banks etc) and we don’t do family names so just didn’t see the need… BUT… the more girls I had, the more I got into names and the more I considered middle names, but obviously couldn’t give #3 a middle name if #1 didn’t have one. I don’t regret it hugely but I have pondered it! Sorry, probably not a huge help, I think you have good points for both sides. I say go for the one name because it’s beautiful, long and with lots of possibilities… but I do think that will mean any subsequent kids have just the one name too.

My main concern about no middle would be if both the first and last name are common - because it increases the chances of their being another person with exactly the same name as them, and this can cause problems with identification (my sister once had this problem, even though she had a middle because they were all very common names). If they are less common, this isn’t a problem.

I personally wouldn’t choose to give one child no middle and then the others a middle - but we do have a compromise between me and my DH that our girls have two middles while boys only have one.

I know the circumstances are different in different countries, but I know that both my parents weren’t given middle names and the rest of their brothers and sisters were. My Mum felt very left out, my Dad resented his Mum for not giving him one! But everyone is different, so I guess it’s what feels right for you.

I don’t think you need a middle name with [name_f]El[/name_f]ísabet, either. Like you said; it’s a long name that stands perfectly on it’s own. The norm where I live is to give a child one name only, unless you use honor names or name after yourself. There is still quite a lot of children with middle names, but the common practice is still just the one name. For example: I was given a short, two-syllable name which is also my mother’s first name, and I have a middle name (or two first names, as my mother likes to call it). My younger sister was given an old, three-syllables name that is very unique, and she doesn’t have a middle name. My mother said she didn’t want the middle name to steal the spotlight from her first name. My name and my sister’s name are the same length in total, syllable wise.

We are six siblings in total, two of us have middle names (we are both named after close relatives), and the rest don’t. Nobody really cares about it, and my oldest sister actually removed her middle name when she got married. She felt it was in the way, and got annoyed when people called her by both names.

If [name_f]El[/name_f]ísabet needs to differentiate herself from other [name_f]El[/name_f]ísabets, she can always use a nickname or the first letter of her patronymic. I feel it becomes a bit superfluous to add a middle name, just because she might feel left out. If it’s a huge bother, she can always add one herself when she’s old enough.

Basically, I don’t think you should give her a middle, unless you intend to use it (and ofc, unless you really want it!). But ultimately, only you know what’s best for your baby.

Part of it would depend on the popularity of your husband’s name. If Jón was the most popular male name and your daughter was [name_f]El[/name_f]ísabet Jónsdóttir, then it might be a hassle at times. Although, a unique nn/term of endearment would probably help a lot.

But, if you don’t want your daughter called two names, then stick with what you prefer. You shouldn’t pick a middle that you don’t want just because the name might be popular. If there were 5 siblings and all had a middle name besides one, I could see there being some questions about why they didn’t get one. Telling her that you liked her name the way it was without a middle would be a satisfactory answer, imo, especially with all the thought you put into the name.

He has a sort of middle-of-the-pack kind of name, it’s no Jón but it’s familiar. I checked in the National Register and there are 6 people named [name_f]El[/name_f]ísabet G_____sdóttir (comp. 59 [name_f]El[/name_f]ísabet Jónsdóttirs), only 1 of which has only one given name. So there would be 1 other person with the exact same name. She’s 35, though, so I doubt they’d meet. Interestingly two choose to go officially using only a middle initial rather than the whole name, which makes me suspect that they found their names too long? Although that is just speculation, I don’t know these people. Identification in the official side of things would be no problem, since we all have unique identification numbers, like social security numbers but not at all private, we use them for everything.

My bf is one of four, two have second given names and two don’t, and I don’t think the two with only one name have a problem with it. Although I’ve never actually asked them! They certainly gave two names to all their children, so maybe they do.

Thank you all for all your input. I will certainly have to discuss this matter carefully with bf as we get nearer the due date. I certainly like having my middle name… although it’s definitely only for official usage, nobody has ever called me by my full name in normal life. I probably just like it because I’m used to it, I suppose.

I think you should do whatever you and your husband like, regardless of what others think.
Counger counter arguements:

  1. You can add a middle name later, if you are losing sleep over it (i doubt you or you husb or your child will)
  2. Child one with a long name and no middle name can have a sibling with a middle name. Chances are that they rrally wont care, and if they do…Children can handle being different from their siblings. Tolerance of differences and not being jealous or teasing of what others do or do n8t have is a good lesson to teach as early as poss7ble.

First of all, I think [name_f]Elisabet[/name_f] is a gorgeous name, and a million times better than its blander counterpart [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f]…But, forgive me for saying so, but I think it’s very odd to not have a middle name. Perhaps that’s because I’m from the U.S. though and traditions must be very different. I’ve met a couple people in life that didn’t have Middles, and I always wondered to myself why, as of their parents didn’t care enough to name them properly. My children all have two Middles and I frequently use their full names even though they are a mouthful I suppose to some lol. Also, [name_f]Elisabet[/name_f] goes with so many, many names…but at the end of the day, you really ought to do whatever you and your husband feel comfortable with. :slight_smile: Great choice at any rate!

I just want to say that I don’t have a middle name, but my younger sister does. It has never bothered either of us in the slightest. My parents always said that if I really wanted one, I could pick one and have my name changed, but so far, it really doesn’t bother me. Granted, I don’t come from a culture that typically uses middle names in day to day life (I couldn’t tell you what most of my friends or families middle names were, despite being an avid name nerd). People are a little surprised that I don’t have a middle name, but it honestly never comes up much at all, and at most serves as a conversation segway.

Like you, my parents loved how my name sounded on its own, and at best, they were pretty lukewarm about any middle they paired with it (I was originally going to have a middle, but due to the similarity with an actresses name, it was dropped- they didn’t care too much for the name in the first place anyway). I say stick to your guns and give your child a name that you love, rather than tacking something on the end just because most people do. [name_f]El[/name_f]ísabet is a beautiful, strong name that stands perfectly on its own. Worst case scenario, and [name_f]El[/name_f]ísabet wants a middle name desperately once she is older? Let her pick one for a birthday present or something like that. Good luck!

I don’t think middle-names are necessary at all. It is not a tradition in my mother’s family and all of my relatives on that side don’t have one, and I have never understood people thinking middle-names are a must.