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Middle names

(107 Posts)
watermeadow Wed 09-Jun-21 06:49:19

There seems to be an assumption now that children are given two forenames. I read lots of references to “the second name”.
I know that two has been the commonest number for many years. Many people now also have double-barrelled surnames.
It used to be mostly the aristocracy who had several names, though my mother and her sisters (very humble) had three each.
My brothers had one each and so do two of my children. I thought it a bit special as it was less usual and their single names were quite long.
Have all your grandchildren, like mine, got two names?

threexnanny Wed 09-Jun-21 09:29:19

OH and I have two each and we gave our children two names. GC also have two names each. Having researched the family tree for several generations most seem to have been given two names which is helpful for research purposes as some names get handed on from generation to generation. None one in our family came from the aristocracy.
I thought three names was more often a Catholic tradition and would include a saints name?

henetha Wed 09-Jun-21 09:45:16

It's useful to have a second name for purposes of identification.
I've got two names and much prefer the second one to the first one.

anna7 Wed 09-Jun-21 10:02:21

I have two forenames and I wish I didn't. I was known my my middle name by my family and by my first name at school, work etc. Mainly because when I started school at five the teachers insisted on calling me by my first name although they had been advised by my mum that I was known by my middle name. I was too shy at that age to correct them so it stuck. It's a pain in the neck to be honest. I detest my first name. It was just too much hassle to change it . Even my husband calls me by my first name because I met him when I was still at school. My mum, sister and brother use my middle name. My niece and nephew don't know what to call meconfused

MiniMoon Wed 09-Jun-21 10:24:49

I have two forenames but my younger sisters have one. I was given two because an aunt of my father died the year I was born, and my grandfather asked that I should be given her name. Therefore I was named for my great aunt and also had the name my parents chose.
I gave both my children two names. All my grandchildren have two forenames too.

Westcoaster Wed 09-Jun-21 10:58:33

I have 2 names and am known by my middle name as are my siblings. We got the family names first, then our own. Actually quite annoying as I can't just drop the first name as I could had it been in the middle.
DGC both have their own name plus a family one but it the "correct" order.

Nannagarra Wed 09-Jun-21 17:11:03

My parents and DH’s parents had one name. My second name was my grandmother’s first name. Likewise our sons’ middle names nod to previous generations. DH has always wanted a second name...for fun, I sometimes give him one!
I recall years ago a gentle neighbour of whom I was extremely fond considering a newborn’s proposed name. She privately questioned the wisdom of the initial letters for David Edward Andrew Davies.

Blossoming Wed 09-Jun-21 17:24:57

In my mother’s extended family everyone has one of the ancestors’ surnames as a middle name. My mother has one of them. It’s most helpful when researching ancestors! I have no middle name, my first name is an unusual one and I’m not sure what would sound OK with it really.

Grany Wed 09-Jun-21 17:34:00

My grandchild has four Christian names. I and my daughter's have one name.

Islecat Wed 09-Jun-21 17:37:59

Could be a Scottish thing indeed. I have my mother’s maiden name for my middle name, my mother had her mother’s maiden name as did my granny.

varian Wed 09-Jun-21 17:43:04

My middle name was the maiden surname of one of my grandmothers. It is quite common in Scotland to give girls a family surname as a middle name.

The disadvantage is that you could not usually decide to use it as your preferred name, as you might if your middle name was another girls name.

The funny thing is that, I think as an import from America, some Scottish surnames, such as Cameron or Mackenzie, are now used as girls names and my middle name is one of these, so you'd never meet a granny with that as her first name, but you might meet a little girl with that name.

Yammy Wed 09-Jun-21 17:56:56

My husband and I only have one.
My mum and her sister had two my father one but his sisters two. Both our children and their offspring have two.No double-barreled names just one.
Never thought of it before but my paternal grandfather had one all his brothers and sisters two now I wonder why.
My mother hated her middle name which was her grandmothers maiden name which was often done in my county. Also, some of the children had surnames as first names often the mothers maiden name which was very confusing. I even had a John Johnston when I was at school.

Yammy Wed 09-Jun-21 18:18:09

Just read the posts from Scotland and being just south of the border maybe that's how the girls in the family had their mums or grandmothers maiden name. Some of the family way back followed what I was told was the Scottish pattern First boy paternal grandfather s name second boy maternal grandfather and the same for the girls and so on down.
I was also lead to believe that in some farming communities the woman had to prove she was fertile before marriage and if the first child was a boy he was given the mothers maiden name as a sername so he could inherit if her brothers died.
My uncle's fathers name was an example of this he was the eldest child and down on birth certificate and census as such but his sername was his mothers' maiden name.

Oldbat1 Wed 09-Jun-21 18:24:53

I am a Scot and have my grandmothers maiden surname as my second name which is quite common.

Gwyneth Wed 09-Jun-21 18:26:21

Double barrelled surnames so pretentious! I can see the reasoning behind two forenames particularly if people want to include family names. I have only one name and am perfectly happy with it. Much simpler when completing forms etc.

Grandmajean Wed 09-Jun-21 19:02:10

I am a Scot and have my granny's maiden surname as my middle name - much to my horror !

Talullah Wed 09-Jun-21 19:04:02


Double barrelled surnames so pretentious! I can see the reasoning behind two forenames particularly if people want to include family names. I have only one name and am perfectly happy with it. Much simpler when completing forms etc.

They're not pretentious to the Spanish. I rather like their idea. They take the first surname of the father and the first of the mother and put them together. So both parents are involved with the naming.

M0nica Wed 09-Jun-21 19:06:55

Going back several generations in both our families and several generations, everyone invariably had 2 first names.

My family were London poor, DH's, a small town tradesman, postman and agricultural labourers, so we had no pretensions to gentility.

BlueBelle Wed 09-Jun-21 19:16:25

All in my family have two fore name grandparents on both sides, parents, me, children, grandchildren it’s a bit of a insurance policy if you don’t
Ike one you can adopt the other
My mum disliked her first name (which was her mums name) so she was only ever known by the second name
My paternal grandad had two names but was known by a third which he didn’t have and I had an uncle Arthur Charles who was only ever called Joe 😂

B9exchange Wed 09-Jun-21 19:32:06

All our children have three first names, largely because DH said it would look better on the international cricket scoreboard!

Our children have mostly given their children three first names, but three of our GC only have two.

Hellogirl1 Wed 09-Jun-21 21:33:45

I have 2 names, as did my husband. All our children did, until the 5th, and he has 3. All my grandchildren and great grandchildren have 2 names.

Moggycuddler Thu 10-Jun-21 11:13:11

I have a middle name but never bother using it. So does my husband. They seem a waste of time really. Our daughter just has one name, nice and simple.

Grandma70s Thu 10-Jun-21 11:18:26

I think it’s best to have more than one. Then you have an element of choice about what you are called. What if you only have one and you don’t like it?

pen50 Thu 10-Jun-21 11:20:18

I have three, my fiasco has one. So on average we're average.

JdotJ Thu 10-Jun-21 11:22:42

I don't have a middle name, my mother thought my first name too long to saddle with a middle name also but I was/am the only one of my friends who doesn't have a middle name so I gave my son & daughter two middle names each!

Missiseff Thu 10-Jun-21 11:23:02

I haven't got a middle name, I've got a double-barrelled first name hmm I gave both my children middle names, my daughter now has a double barrelled surname. Lol.