Two Middle Names

I have noticed some posts on this site discussing two middle names.

My brother and his wife were having trouble deciding on a middle name for their little boy and mentioned at dinner one night the possibility of using all four names. I typically try to only give positive name advice to my friends and family (avoiding telling them when I don’t love a name), however… When he mentioned the possibility of 4 names I did speak up. He is my brother.

I told them I would be afraid of snags and people getting confused, Issues with Social Security, etc. I have heard stories of people of South American decent with the tradition of keeping family names, and difficulties they have encountered. I asked the simple question: why put your child through that just because you can’t make up your mind?

Then the funny part…

My five year old niece says without skipping a beat, “then just pick one daddy.”

Does anyone here have or have a spouse with two middles? What is your experience?

Good question. I work in the medical field and worry about that a little too. When women marry and hypenate their names or keep their maiden and middle names and add their married names the computor system we have can freak out and not connect things or run their names togeather like Andersonsanchezann, [name]Emily[/name]. Now we might just have a crappy computor system, but I think that it is a valid concern that things would get confusing. On the other hand, sometimes there are too many great names!! I haven’t decided what I really think yet. This wasn’t helpful to you at all!! I am always interested what other people say when this question comes up though.

I just gave my baby two middle names. He’s almost three weeks old, no problems yet! Haha, I’ll be able to give a better answer in a few years. The only thing that sucks is that you can’t get anything monogrammed with the initials, because they only do 3 initials.

That is a good point about the initials… And I am a huge fan of using my initials to sign things… And I am not so sure it would be the same if I had four of them! You certainly would have to be much more careful that the initials don’t spell something weird!

I grew up with two middles and have never had a problem with them. They’ve come in handy to differentiate between me & another girl with the same first, one middle, last name as myself. No one seems to have my exact pairing, which I’m very pleased with. I’m partenered with someone with two middles as well and our three kids have them. In my case, it’s family tradition, in his, he’s the only boy and they had to stick all the honoring on him. With our kids, we honored and the boys are grown now. the girl is still little. They’ve not reported any problems and I haven’t run into any with the girl yet (we just signed her up for school last week, and there was plenty of room for her whole name).
So if you’ve got a fair amount of honoring to do, go for it. if it pleases you to stand out in the crowd of almost 7 billion on the planet, go for it. If the idea gives you nightmares, pass on it. I’m not going to criticise anyone who doesn’t use two middles (or more). I love the extra wiggle room I get for honoring. :slight_smile:

This sounds kind of inane, but if I had a first name plus two middle names, and I loved all of them, I would have a really hard time deciding which name I wanted to be called. Like what if my name were [name]Susannah[/name] [name]Caroline[/name] [name]Jane[/name] [name]Chesney[/name]. That would be hard. Or [name]Susan[/name] [name]Elizabeth[/name] [name]Claire[/name] [name]Chesney[/name]. Maybe I could take turns and be called three different names every three days. Then I could start anew. It would be kind of like if I had three gorgeous houses or three super handsome, super nice husbands all at once. I mean what if they all looked like [name]Colin[/name] [name]Firth[/name]? Bewildering and waaay too much of a good thing! It is important to only really adore one of your names so you know which one to be called. I never thought about this before, but I’m kind of glad that I don’t like my first name as much as I love [name]Susan[/name]!

hahaha, [name]Susan[/name], that cracked me up!

Personally, I would say that two middle names are fine but three middle names are too much, but of course this is only based on my own feeling. But I guess that you would have to consider the consequences. Like - as far as i know - on official documents you would have to sign with your whole name. And as [name]Susan[/name] already said: it’s not like the kid is going to use all his names in everyday life, so his parents would have to decide what to call him anyway.
By the way, I lately discovered my great-grandfather (born 1878) had five names: [name]Max[/name] [name]Wilhelm[/name] [name]Paul[/name] [name]Robert[/name] [name]Franz[/name]. I bet he didn’t like that so much.

That’s some name, [name]Annika[/name]! I actually have a cousin with three firsts and three middles (apparantly that’s the most you’re allowed to put on the birth certificate, or they would have use more. seriously). He’s [name]Paul[/name] [name]Alan[/name] [name]Anthony[/name] [name]David[/name] [name]William[/name] [name]Luke[/name]! And they call him [name]Bubba[/name]! What’s the point in giving your kid all those names if you’re going to call him [name]Bubba[/name], hmm?

[name]Annika[/name], your great-grandfather’s name reminds me of “Gone With the Wind”, toward the end, when [name]Scarlett[/name]‘s writing out a check and has to sign it "[name]Scarlett[/name] O’[name]Hara[/name] [name]Hamilton[/name] [name]Kennedy[/name] [name]Butler[/name]". Quite the mouthful!

I know I may seem dense, but I am just really curious about this multiple middle name stuff since NO ONE I know has more than one.

My step-mom doesn’t have a middle name because her first name is [name]Antoinette[/name] and her mom thought that was enough for a little girl, but it does cause problems since some computer systems won’t allow you to leave it blank, so then they put an X in her middle initial spot, and then it doesn’t match up next time with her records etc.

My next question: When signing something, and it requires a middle initial, which do you use? Your first middle?

I only know one person who has two middle names, but I’m really loving the idea of it. In addition to being able to use more names, I’ll be able to honor more relatives, too.

[name]Erin[/name], the man I know with two middles uses both when he signs things. I think it looks pretty distinguished!

[name]Erin[/name], it depends on what I’m signing. Regular stuff to school gets one, legal stuff gets both and generally they all end up matching up because of an iddue that bugs me to no end: My SS#. [name]Ever[/name] look at the back of yours? It says it’s NOT supposed to be used to identify you but what does the government do? [name]Track[/name] you by it! Liars! :slight_smile: (just ranting)

I think I already said so in another post, but I hope that won’t matter to much: It always strikes me how very different that whole middle name thing is handled in the US and here (which is Germany). I first got that notion when I was at a school exchange and we began talking about middle names. Several of us, including me, said that we had no middle name. I guess it even was the majority of us Geramn students. We received quite a few puzzled looks and comments on that, which we on the other hand found strange.
For decades it has been out of fashion to give choldren a middle name here. Not that nobody has one, but I suppose the majority of the 10-40 year olds do not have one. It has become fashionable again just recently but is seldomly used as a place to honor family members.
Also, some more decades ago, when it still was more ususual to use more than one name, I think it has never been standard to use one middle names (there are no forms that require a middle name either here. We’d just put it into the firstname blank. Consequently middle names are called second or third names here). As far as I know, in this time it was most common to use two middle names. At least several of my older family members have three names.
I guess our cultural background really influences us very strongly when it comes to those issues. For me for example, two middle names are only a tiny bit more unusual than one middle name.
Does anyone know the naming tradition of other countries and cultures when it comes to the number of names?

My husband has two middles and he says he’s never had a problem with it. He doesn’t always use his second middle so forms with only two spots for names are not really a problem for him. [name]Both[/name] my parents have two middles, but only use their first two.
We are currently 99% sure we’ll give our children on the way two middle names. I like the flow of it, and there are several family names we want to incorporate into their names. Since we’re having three at the time, they will be our only children so either we use them now or we never do!

Honestly I wouldn’t hesitate if they all ran together well, especially if they both have some sort of family hailing. Like, my younger brother’s name is [name]Ian[/name] [name]John[/name] [name]Henry[/name], [name]John[/name] [name]Henry[/name] being a nod to ~both of my grandfathers, and it runs together surprsingly well, [name]IMO[/name]. He’s never had any trouble with it yet.

They use only a family name, then a given name in Japan.

I am not sure about middle name quantities in Europe but based on my ancestor’s names, it seemed like the more, the merrier, at least with my familiy from Scandy-[name]Land[/name].

Me, I ascribe to the Hungarian proverb, that the more names a child has, the more loved he is.

(add he/she/it to that quote as you like, season to taste :slight_smile: )

I grew up military. I had a basic first, middle, last name, the first and last names being pretty common and my middle name–Sachiko–more uncommon.

I can’t tell you how many times my name got screwed up on paperwork, in offices, etc.

I refuse to live my life by the dictates of how some pencilneck may or may not screw up my name. If I wanted to please faceless incompetents then I’d spell my first name–[name]Rebecca[/name]–5 different ways. Honestly.

Not having any middle name screws up paperwork too. I’m Mormon, and it’s common in the Book-of-Mormon belt families (book of mormon belt is [name]Canada[/name], eastern WA, ID, UT, AZ and some CO) to give boys a matronymic for a middle name, and the girls no middle name at all, since it’s assume they’ll use their maiden name as a middle name when they get married.

My friend with no middle name had a very hard time with paperwork growing up. And yet, many many families still persist in this practice.

Why be stingy with baby names?

I admit I’m biased though. I have so many baby names on my Faves Lists that either I give my kids double middle names; I have twice as many kids; or I get a LOT of goldfish.

[name]Love[/name] this topic, and think it’s one we should cover in a blog post. But I’ll weigh in with a personal perspective: my oldest has two middle names, after her two grandmothers, and the only real problem that’s caused is that my mother was insulted to get the second middle name rather than the first. On official documents, my daughter uses only her first middle name, but she’s always liked having all those initials and names, and we like being able to carry on two family names. So all in all, I think it makes her feel more loved, and it’s not a problem!

It’s tradition in my family to have two middle names, yet somehow my brother, sister and I missed out, so hubby and I decided to continue it on when we named our kids.
I even find that some named just feel a bit more ‘polished’ or complete with a second middle name - like my niece: her name is [name]Cecelia[/name] [name]Isobel[/name] [name]Rose[/name]. [name]Cecelia[/name] [name]Isobel[/name], to me, feels unfinished. Same goes with my eldest. [name]Matilda[/name] [name]Poppy[/name] just didn’t feel complete, so DH decided [name]Rae[/name] would sound great on the end of it, and we revieved my family tradition.

I don’t think it’d be a hassle unless it ends up as one big mouthful, like [name]Cassiopeia[/name] [name]Emiliana[/name] [name]Arabelle[/name] ‘Really long last name’ or something like that!

I only had one middle name but, I always thought having two would be fun. I really want to name my daughter [name]Harlow[/name] and still honor both my family and her father’s family. I was wondering if the name [name]Harlow[/name] [name]Dacy[/name] [name]Shae[/name] sounds good or not? [name]Dacy[/name] (day-see) is my mothers maiden name and [name]Shae[/name] is her fathers middle name [name]Shane[/name] minus the “n”.