Many people don't give middle names much thought, that's why, if you're female, you're middle name is probably Ann, Lynn, or Marie. That's also why most of your friends also have the middle names Ann, Lynn or Marie. Name connoisseurs call them "filler" names, or "throw-away" names because they seem to be just that- a pretty sounding name that doesn't have much substance that acts as a 'bridge' from the first name to the last name. People commonly use the following rationales when choosing a middle name:
This just isn't true anymore. More and more women are keeping their maiden names when they marry. Many choose to hyphenate their last names. A good middle name may inspire her to keep a maiden name!
Consider this: I went to high school with Michele Smith and Michelle Smith. There was also a Michelle Murphy and a Michelle Adams. Both Michelle Smiths and Michelle Murphy had the middle name Marie (Michelle Adams's middle name was Ann, just like Michelle Fabrizio's in the grade ahead). The Smiths were really stuck! They were known all throughout their school days as Michele-with-one-L Smith and Michelle-with-two-Ls Smith. Needless to say, they were pretty sick of the whole thing by the time they graduated. The two Robert Johnsons and two Mike Allens fared much better, just being known as Robert Michael Johnson and Robert Verne Johnson. (the Mike Allens were so different in stature that they were forever "Big Mike Allen" and "Little Mike Allen").
With so many first names accented on the 1st syllable, a short middle name like Ann sounds nice. Which sounds more melodic? Megan Sarah Taylor or Megan Ann Taylor? Most people would say Megan Ann, because it breaks the 2-syllable monotony more than Megan Sarah. Names with the same number of syllables and the same stress tend to sound sing-songy.
Marie is another popular choice for a middle name. Marie's popularity can stem from the fast that it is accented on the 2nd syllable, which makes it break up the 1st syllable stress as well. Which sounds nicer? Megan Marie Taylor or Megan Sarah Taylor? Most would say Megan Marie, because having the accent on the 2nd syllable (unlike Megan), it breaks up the sing-songy-ness.
Middle names for boys are a bit of a different story. While there is a certain stock of middle names for girls, there isn't the same thing for boys. The most popular middle names for boys are fairly similar to the most popular first names. Consider the following top 10 name chart. The numbers in parentheses indicate the position the name holds on the first name chart for the same year. A "0" indicates that it doesn't even place on the chart. 64% of the boys' middle names are also popular enough to be on the boys' first name list. Compare this with only 25% of the girls' middle names.
|Rank||Girls (rank in first name chart)||Boys (rank in first namechart)|
|1||Marie (0)||Michael (5)|
|2||Elizabeth (10)||James (6)|
|3||Ann (0)||John (31)|
|4||Lynn (0)||Joseph (14)/ Robert (0)|
|5||Lee (0)/May (0)|
|7||Nicole (17)/Renee (0)||Stephen (0)|
|9||Michelle (18)||William (7)/Alexander (10)/Allen (0)/Scott (0)|
|10||Katherine (11)/Morgan (0)/Rose (0)/Claire (0)/Jean (0)/Jo (0)/Noel (0)|
|Ann(e)||Anne, Annika, Annelise, Annabel, Annette, Anita, Anais,or a name that ends in -ann, such as Marianne, Vivianne etc.|
|Lynn(e)||Linnea, Linda, Lynnette, Linnell, Linnet, Melinda, Belinda, or a name that ends in -lyn, such as Madelyn, Evelyn etc.|
|Marie||Mariel, Marisse, Marisa, Mireille (mee RAY), Mireia (mee RAY a), Maria, Maureen, Mara, Maren,|
|Jane, Jean||Joan, Joanne, Joanna, Janelle, Jeannette, Janine, Jana,|
|Rose||Suzanne, Susannah (both names mean 'rose'), Rosette, Rosa, Roseanne, Rosalie, Rosaleen, Rosaline, Rosalyn, Rosemarie, Rosemary|
|Lee, Leigh||Liana, Leanne, Leela, Leila, Julie, Jolie, Leena, Carly, or another name that begins or ends in Lee (Haylee, Caylee etc.)|
Or, if you just want ideas of names that sound nice, here are some more names you could use. THe following lists are divided by # of syllables and syllable stressed.
Phew! That's a long title! These names sound fancier than they really are. They are meant for with 2-syllable names ending in A. For example, Kayla Angelique, Emma Leilani, Sarah Felicity, etc. Since a lot of 2+ syllable names end in 'a' (Amelia, Amanda, Alyssa etc.), I though it would be nice to include some names that didn't!
Not every first name ends in A. Sometimes a longer name ending in A can be nice with a shorter name. For example, Brooke Amanda, Taylor Marissa and Megan Calista.
OK, you're thinking "haven't we had enough yet?" Maybe so, but if you have a name that's stressed on the 2nd syllable, sometimes it's nice to have a middle name that's long, but stressed on the first. Nicole Addison, Tanisha Amity, and Victoria Abigail are some examples.
Finding rhythmically nice middle names for boys is tricky. Most boys'; names follow our faithful two-syllable, first-syllable stressed pattern (as in Brandon, Austin, Michael, Jacob etc.), so it's actually difficult to come up with nice boys' names with 3 or more syllables (there are lots of really odd ones out there, like Hercules, Abelard, Ethelbert and Adonis, but I didn't include those!). However, here is a list of some 3+ syll. names that we thought were plausible!
|Find out your