The Middle Name Conundrum

Hey everyone,

I’m not looking for advice on a specific middle name here, I’m looking for opinions on the topic of middle names in general. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

To give some background info, myself and my siblings are all named for relatives - first name and middle name too. Because of this, our names completely mismatch and they don’t sound good together at all.
I am now faced with the dilemma of honouring a relative with my baby’s middle name, or just choosing a name we both love.

I have seen many posts here from creative members who use a whole range of criteria to honour their relatives - from their favourite flower, to their birthstone, or even coming up with a whole new name that still gives a nod to them.
I would LOVE to do this but unfortunately a gesture like this would be completely lost on my family, they wouldn’t ‘get it’.
For reference, I mused about naming the baby [name_f]Tessa[/name_f] for a relative named [name_f]Theresa[/name_f], only to be met with bemused remarks about how [name_f]Tessa[/name_f] isn’t our aunts name and if I want to name the baby after her, just call her [name_f]Theresa[/name_f]?

So I don’t want to talk myself into using a derivative of a name to honour someone who won’t even appreciate the meaning behind it, and I’d rather just use a name we love if that’s the case.
As well as that, my brother was named for a person who turned out to be not so nice and that person isn’t in our lives any more. I guess I’m being pessimistic but the idea that I might name my child for someone who might not be around when he/she is older bothers me too.

It would mean to honour our relative we’d have to use a middle name that neither of us particularly like, that doesn’t compliment the first name so well either.

The alternative is to use a first and middle we simply love. It would be meaningful to us, but wouldn’t honour anyone. I’m a stickler for uniformity, so if whichever route we go down with baby #1, we will be doing the same for any future children we may have.

[name_f]My[/name_f] family are traditionalists and I can see some of them possibly being a bit hurt that at a minimum we didn’t use the middle name to honour someone, but I do like the idea of the name being “his” or “hers” with no other connections.

What does everyone think, would you feel a bit cheated and left out if you didn’t have a family name as part of your name? Is the meaning behind a middle name all that important?
When you are coming up with combos, is including a family name of paramount importance or maybe just a bonus if it works out?

This is a bit bloggy but its something I’m really interested to learn more about other peoples thoughts on. Thanks in advance!!

In the end, it’s your child. You should be free to name them what you love. Their name will still be special, because it’s the name you gave to them! Middle names aren’t used much irl in my experience, so I would choose your favorite!

[name_f]My[/name_f] first and middle names directly honor—i.e., same name, same spelling—my two great-grandmothers who died before I was born. I’ve always loved having this connection to them, even though we never met. I get a thrill whenever someone compares me to the great-grandmother who gave me my middle name…apparently I greatly resemble her at times. Hearing stories about them makes me proud that I get to carry their names.

That said, both names were also ones my parents liked a lot. They would never have named me after my two living (at the time) great-grandmothers, because they did not like those names. (Thank goodness.)

So while I’m a fan of honor names and incorporate them into my own combos, I don’t think you should feel compelled to use a name you don’t particularly like just to honor someone. I appreciate that my parents took into account their own preferences and refused to settle for names they didn’t love.

The only honour name my parents used was “[name_u]Michael[/name_u]” for my brothers middle names after our late uncle. None of our first names nor the middle names of us girls, are honour names. I don’t feel cheated because I don’t really talk to half of my family. I also don’t think it’s all that important to have an honour name as a middle. I think if you truly love who you want to honour than that is fine but I think the most important thing is that you love your childs name. [name_f]My[/name_f] combos will very occasionally have an honour name but only if it is very rarely used in my family. I personally tend to do the very thing your family seems to be against and go with forms of their names or a name that reminds me of something they love this way the name can have a connection but be it’s own at the same time

[name_f]My[/name_f] first and middle names are my grandmothers’ first names and I dearly loved both of them but would rather have had a first name that was more modern. I don’t hate my name, both names are old-fashioned classics but they just aren’t my style. I do recognize that parents do not know what style of name will best suit their child and I get that but I guess I am recommending you choose the names you love rather than honour names, especially as there aren’t any favourites in the group. If you feel unsure or a little guilty about that, and you shouldn’t, maybe a middle that references them (if you love it) such as a birthstone, would be great but knowing that your family wouldn’t “get it” but you would still tell them and it would be part of your child’s story.

[name_f]My[/name_f] parents decided not to use an honor name for me([name_f]Mae[/name_f]) because of a negative association they had with a character named [name_f]Ellie[/name_f] [name_f]Mae[/name_f] (my nickname is [name_f]Ellie[/name_f]). Instead of the honor mn I got [name_u]Marie[/name_u] as a middle which is pretty much a filler. I have always been a bit dissapointed that my parents about that. However, as long as your kids have a name (first and middle) that you love and are passionate about, I think it is fine not to honor.

I grew up in a family with middle honor names but didn’t feel I had to continue that tradition. However, I wanted to. With all the names in the world to choose from, having some kind of meaningful connection really helps me feel set on a name. So far my 3 kids all have honor first and middle names and I’m struggling a little with what you’re talking about with our 4th that’s on the way. I so badly want to honor two people who have impacted my life in such wonderful ways (and are no longer alive) but their names don’t fit my style. Either would be totally fine with me for a middle, but I don’t love as a first. I’m leaning towards going with a name I love for the first and smooshing their names into a middle (they can blend into a real name, not a creative one I invented). I feel a little sad to not have the obvious connection to both people, but it feels like it might be the best compromise. [name_f]Hope[/name_f] that might help in some way! If I had been told I HAD to use honor names, I wouldn’t have. But telling someone you’ve named your baby after them or a dear family member you’ve lost is such a special gift to give.