Unusual first name vs unusual middle name

Which is more eye-catching? Having an unusual first name paired with a typical middle name or having a usual first name paired with an uncommon middle name?


[name]Rose[/name] [name]Hermione[/name] vs [name]Hermione[/name] [name]Rose[/name]
[name]Elizabeth[/name] [name]Olive[/name] vs [name]Olive[/name] [name]Elizabeth[/name]
[name]Jane[/name] [name]Persephone[/name] vs [name]Persephone[/name] [name]Jane[/name]

[name]Atlas[/name] [name]James[/name] vs [name]James[/name] [name]Atlas[/name]
[name]Michael[/name] [name]Achilles[/name] vs [name]Achilles[/name] [name]Michael[/name]
[name]Jacob[/name] [name]Vladimir[/name] vs [name]Vladimir[/name] [name]Jacob[/name]

I personally am in favor of both unusual first names coupled with unusual middle names, but [name]James[/name] [name]Atlas[/name] catches my attention more than [name]Atlas[/name] [name]James[/name], even though I plan on using [name]Atlas[/name] as a first name. I guess it is b/c [name]James[/name] is so common in the middle while [name]Atlas[/name] is very underused as a middle name.

What do you think? Which do you prefer? I’m of the opinion that at least [name]ONE[/name] name should be uncommon to prevent identification issues and to give the name a more unique feel.

I don’t prefer one over the other. I just prefer whichever combo flows best or sounds best.

Hmm - this is a very good question. I think it depends upon how “unique” the name is, honestly. I would generally tend to put a very unusual or potentially cheesy name in the middle (none of those are cheesy, btw)

I kind of like the idea of a more simple first name and a more complex middle, but I think if it came down to actually using the combo, I would want a more unusual name up front unless it was SUPER out there.

The unusual name is more eye-catching in the first slot, but somehow seems more mysterious and refined in the middle.

I think [name]James[/name] [name]Atlas[/name] flows much better than [name]Atlas[/name] [name]James[/name]; perhaps this is why you prefer it?

I also don’t care which is which as long as I love it and it sounds great. I’ve got my “normal” names in front for boys – [name]Damien[/name], [name]Raphael[/name], [name]Alexander[/name], [name]Asher[/name] – even though they’re all (aside from [name]Alexander[/name]) and uncommon. The middles are my unique ones there – [name]Quillon[/name], Frode, Lykaion, [name]Soren[/name], [name]Loki[/name], [name]Constantine[/name]. For the girls, my most unusual ones are in the front mostly – [name]Persephone[/name], [name]Sylvana[/name], [name]Guinevere[/name] – with [name]Amelia[/name] being my only normal one there. And the middles are also uncommon – [name]Elysia[/name], Lorien, Mist, [name]Signe[/name], Zephryine, [name]Saga[/name].

For yours, I like:

[name]Hermione[/name] [name]Rose[/name]
[name]Elizabeth[/name] [name]Olive[/name]
[name]Persephone[/name] [name]Jane[/name]

[name]Atlas[/name] [name]James[/name]
[name]Michael[/name] [name]Achilles[/name] – again, I would [name]LOVE[/name] to see [name]Achilles[/name] in the front but the flow is better this way.
[name]Jacob[/name] [name]Vladimir[/name] – [name]Even[/name] though I [name]LOVE[/name] [name]Vladimir[/name], I think the flow is better this way.

I think if you found middles that flowed better with [name]Vladimir[/name] and [name]Achilles[/name], I would much prefer those 2 up front.

I think it’s all about flow. And as a pp mentioned some unusual names could be cheesey or just not as classy as the classics- for this reason [name]Rose[/name] [name]Hermione[/name] appeals to me over [name]Hermione[/name] [name]Rose[/name] as I associate [name]Hermione[/name] with [name]Harry[/name] [name]Potter[/name] so it doesn’t seem like a great choice to me & is definitely better in the middle.

I also think that simple names like [name]John[/name] [name]Joseph[/name] or [name]Jane[/name] [name]Faye[/name] could be miles above some more arresting choices because it’s not only about uncommon for me but wearability too.

I definitely like unusual first name, typical middle. But more so something old as a first name, and (don’t kill me) something modern/popular as a middle (e.g. [name]Marion[/name] [name]Aurora[/name], [name]Coral[/name] [name]Zoe[/name], [name]Clemency[/name] [name]Ella[/name], [name]Agatha[/name] [name]Isabella[/name], [name]Hermione[/name] [name]Caitlin[/name]). I just think it’s very common for people to have it the other way around, usually because the first name is popular, as per the taste of parents, and the middle is often something archaic in honour of an old relative, grandma, grandpa etc. So naturally reversing the roles is quite fresh in my eyes.

As for generic middles, there are many that I don’t like but the ones that I do, I prefer in the middle for sure. Names like [name]Rose[/name], [name]Violet[/name] and [name]Alice[/name] especially bother me in the first spot - shift them to the middle and my opinion is completely reversed. Moreover, I think they can be the best friend to any strange name and really ground them (Kasumi [name]Violet[/name], [name]Sailor[/name] [name]Alice[/name]).

So I like: old first + popular middle, strange first + generic middle. [name]Hope[/name] that makes sense :slight_smile: All in all I definitely agree with you that at least one name should be unusual.

Now for your combos:
[name]Hermione[/name] [name]Rose[/name], [name]Elizabeth[/name] [name]Olive[/name], [name]Persephone[/name] [name]Jane[/name] - [name]Atlas[/name] [name]James[/name] (love [name]Atlas[/name] so much), [name]Achilles[/name] [name]Michael[/name], [name]Vladimir[/name] [name]Jacob[/name]

I tend to be attracted to combos with an old first name and a more popular middle name, too - I like seeing [name]Chloe[/name], [name]Zoe[/name], [name]Mia[/name], [name]Ava[/name], [name]Lily[/name], [name]Natalie[/name]- in the middle.

I find myself more attracted to the more common name in the FN spot with a less common MN. I use the pattern quite often on my own list. If, by chance, I fall for an unusual name, though, I usually aim for something simpler in the middle–I think there needs to be some balance. From your examples I like [name]Rose[/name] [name]Hermione[/name], [name]Olive[/name] [name]Elizabeth[/name], [name]Jane[/name] [name]Persephone[/name], [name]James[/name] [name]Atlas[/name], [name]Michael[/name] [name]Achilles[/name], and [name]Jacob[/name] [name]Vladimir[/name] the best. :slight_smile:

I think combos like [name]Isabella[/name] [name]Poppy[/name], [name]Jack[/name] [name]August[/name], [name]Olivia[/name] [name]Niamh[/name], and [name]Grace[/name] [name]Ariadne[/name]/[name]Grace[/name] [name]Mirabelle[/name] are just delightful.

I personally think the unusual name in the middle is more intriguing and unexpected :slight_smile:

I like both. I prefer the more uncommon name in the front though.

Oh and just so you know, [name]Rose[/name] is actually the name of [name]Hermione[/name]'s daughter in the [name]Potter[/name] books, so that might not be the best combo if you’re trying to distance the names from the books.