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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?

kentmaid Thu 10-Jun-21 13:14:07


My DS, however, has 3 names as I thought they had a nice ring to them and his first name is only three letters ( I don’t like giving long names then shortening them).

My MIL chose single syllable names for her sons so they wouldn’t be shortened.

Soon after they started school, their peers lengthened the boys' names by adding “Y” or “IE.” Think Luke then Lukey or Lukie.

So that plan didn’t work.

Bazza Thu 10-Jun-21 13:26:11

My middle name is Rae, I like it much more than my first name but it never occurred to me that I could change it. It was my late aunt’s middle name, also my daughters, and her daughter, so keeping it in the family. I’ve noticed it’s getting less unusual.

1summer Thu 10-Jun-21 13:29:42

I was glad I was given 2 names, my first name is Andrea and my family called me Andi. At 5 I went to school and was teased and bullied and called a boy as I had a boys name. It didn’t help my Mum cut my hair really short! I came home in tears for weeks until Mum went to the school and asked that I be called by my second name.

nipsmum Thu 10-Jun-21 13:42:03

My 2 children and 4 grandchildren all have 2 names. My sisters and I each have 3 names. Our first names are different from the names we are called.

mokryna Thu 10-Jun-21 13:49:53

I gave my three daughter three, one, easy European, second, their own godmother’s Christian name (French tradition) and third, my paternal grandmother’s.

Unigran4 Thu 10-Jun-21 13:54:34

I have two names, which has come in handy because there is another person in my district with the same first and surname. We both have the same doctor, the same dentist, the same optician, and use the same bank. I have received her dentist bill before now, and she has received calls from my doctor which were intended for me.

This was solved when I offered my middle Christian and asked if hers was the same. It isn't so I asked for measures to be put in place to use both our names when contacting either of us. No more stray bills, no more mixed prescriptions, etc etc. So sometimes it is a blessing.

aggie Thu 10-Jun-21 14:08:30

I must have hit the jackpot! My first name is my great grandmas maiden name , followed by my grannies first names , so three first names plus a Saints name at Confirmation ! Then my maiden name is. Mc ….. and married name is O’ …. , such fun filling in forms ! But my post never gets mixed up with anyone else , I have never met anyone else with my name !

4allweknow Thu 10-Jun-21 16:12:43

I have two as did my sister but both brothers only one. GS has two, GD has 3.

Polly4t42 Thu 10-Jun-21 17:47:39

As far back as I know my family have always had middle names, usually names of favourite aunts, uncles or godparents. My middle name is one of my godparents chosen as it meaning with my first name means little Pearl. My son(IVF) has two middle names as we only child(n only 12% chance of success in 1980s and we wanted him to have both family names. Our grandchildren have two middle names as culturally my daughter gives her maiden name as the second middle name.

mamaa Thu 10-Jun-21 19:40:03

My mum had 2, as did my dad. I have 2 as does my brother his 2nd is the same as my dads, my second was after the midwife who delivered…my brother!

Alegrias1 Thu 10-Jun-21 19:45:50

My Grandmother had 4 names + surname shock

She was born out of wedlock, as they used to say. Her first 2 names were her grandmothers' given names and her second 2 names were their maiden surnames. Then there was her own surname. Just so nobody forgot who was involved in her creation, I think!

Then when she got married she had 6 names in total!

She wasn't posh, but I used to think she must be with all those names.

Rowantree Thu 10-Jun-21 19:51:25

My middle name is Regina. You can imagine my suffering at school.

Shawlands2000 Thu 10-Jun-21 19:55:03

I was adopted and after locating my original birth certificate, I discovered my birth name was Rosemary. I much prefer the name given to me by my adoptive parents. They also gave me my adoptive mother's maiden name as a middle name. My youngest daughter gave her first son the same name as a middle name. We are in Scotland.

Diane318 Thu 10-Jun-21 20:17:38

I have 2 names and all my friends know me by my second name. I know quite a few other people who are like me and use their second name.

Saggi Thu 10-Jun-21 20:20:41

Me,one brother and one sister had 2 names other brother had 3. Mum had 1 and dad had 2. My kids had 2 each until my daughter changed her given name by deed-poll coupla months ago. Now she has 1. Her daughter has 2 and her son has 3..... included is the name of her favourite cousin who died on her 21 st birthday.

Marmight Thu 10-Jun-21 20:29:58

I have 2 (I much prefer the 2nd) my 3DDs have 2, 2 GC have 3 but the 3rd is their Mum’s maiden name although not double barrelled, another has 3 and the other 5 have 2. Phew!
Some years ago a neighbour’s GC was given 11. She was mortified

LadyGracie Thu 10-Jun-21 21:02:32

I have one, DH has three, our children and grandchild have two. My mother and father both had two. My two eldest siblings have two, four younger siblings, one.

MaggsMcG Thu 10-Jun-21 22:08:05

I have three daughters 50, 47 and 42 none of them have middle names. I had enough trouble deciding on their first names.

Elvis58 Thu 10-Jun-21 23:04:39

I have 2 names,my 3 children have two names as do my 4 grandchildren.

Nannytopsy Thu 10-Jun-21 23:09:12

Like others, I am known by my middle name. It was never an issue but in these computerised days I have to use my first name much more. A warning to parents!

GrauntyHelen Fri 11-Jun-21 00:05:51

My mother had 3 she reckoned by the time she had written her name on exam papers her peers had finished a question therefore my sister and I only have one my husband and hers have one my niece and nephew have one stepson and daughter have 2 grandchildren have 2

harrigran Fri 11-Jun-21 08:56:58

My parents had just one name which was a shame as my mother hated hers, she was named after the lady who loaned my grandmother the horse and trap to get to church for the baptism.
DH and I have two names as do DC, useful to have two as we have a very common surname. DD never liked her name and shortened it as soon as she could talk.
GC have two, eldest is called after her two great grandmother's, the youngest sounds like a Scottish Island where we had a lovely family holiday.

MaizieD Fri 11-Jun-21 09:14:52

My siblings and I have only one forename because my mother disliked her middle name and said it wasn't fair to saddle a child with a name they didn't like... (she didn't much like her forename either, poor thing). My children have two, as does my partner and so does my GS. I was bothered about only having one when I was much younger but I really don't care now. I'm perfectly happy with my one name.

My daughter 'double barrelled her surname when she got married as she'd had academic papers published in her maiden name and she wanted people to realise that she was the same person on later publications...

Savvy Fri 11-Jun-21 09:39:45

I have a hyphenated first name, but a lot of people keeping putting the hyphen in the wrong place and I have to correct them. They just assume the hyphen gives me a double barrelled surname.

CBBL Fri 11-Jun-21 21:52:47

I have two Christian names, but do not like the second. My siblings all have two forenames. My husband has only one first name.