Is Grace an overly used/boring middle name?

(48 Posts)
MrsLianeB Fri 05-Jul-13 21:45:04

First name choice for a girl is Eliza and think Grace flows nicely for a middle name but as the title suggests is it a bit boring and common? Any other nice middle name choices to go instead?

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sat 06-Jul-13 21:10:43

I guess I sort of see the issue and understand it perhaps better than others because of my own name.

I have 'lived' the experience, as it were. grin

It's so hard for (most) people to think of my name, for example, as anything other than a really nice name, now almost too popular because so many people have bestowed it on their daughters.

But it was an awful name for me as a child - I really, really didn't like it. It was old-lady, frumpy, dowdy, middle-aged, and I got teased for it. And I could never, ever buy plastic tat with my name on it, because it simply didn't exist!

Honestly - I am amazed that it is so popular again now. I would never have believed it, if you'd told then 10 year old me!

I do think Grace is one of these names, and interesting to read Tolliver's post.

DonDraper, I know an Isabel your age! But I agree with you -- when I met her, I thought "wow, you never meet anyone called Isabel these days, what an interesting classic-yet-unusual choice". I even thought "I may use it for a DD myself one day". By the time I came to actually have DDs there were small Isabels/Isobels/Isabelles all over the place.

JuicyShops Sat 06-Jul-13 20:58:33

Interesting! Isobel is a lovely name. I suppose like all of the the nicer ones come back around.

JuicyShops, all of those things (apart from "Nothing like Jane") could be said of Jane. Looking at the last hundred years or so, Grace was popular a hundred years ago, then dropped in popularity and wasn't used much in the middle of the twentieth century (in 1955 only 110 babies were named Grace), then grew in popularity again. Jane followed a different path -- similar popularity to Grace in the early twentieth century, then grew in popularity and was used a lot in the mid-twentieth century, now has dropped off for a while.

If you were writing in 1955 you wouldn't be referring to Grace as a name that never dates -- classic and pretty though it is, it would have seemed a middle-aged sort of name to you. It just seems as though it's timeless and doesn't move in and out of fashion because it's popular now and was popular a hundred years ago. Give it another generation or two and Jane may be back in vogue while Grace has fallen out of favour again. And give it another generation or two after that and their positions may well have reversed once more.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sat 06-Jul-13 20:55:15

Your sister is clearly the exception that proves the rule - one glance at the name registers shows that Grace simply was not a popular name choice for our generation, and there was a reason for it.

For what it's worth, my own name is exactly the same - a very cyclical name that goes in and out of fashion with a bang. I am also late 30s with the name, but I was virtually the only one with it when I was younger (never met another peron my age with it), because it was very unpopular in the 70s when I was given it.

Now - it's massively popular again (Isobel) and everyone goes on and on about how it's a 'timeless, classic' name - no it's not timeless, it's cyclical - I know, because I was massively teased for it when I was a child! grin

People seemingly cannot get their heads around the fact that names that sound so lovely and fresh to our ears now, won't to the next generation, who'll think they sound dull and tired through sheer familiarity and over-use. Jack is a good example. Hardly anyone from our generation is called Jack (certainly not as a given name; maybe as a nickname). Another very cyclical name.

I'm not saying these aren't nice, solid, classic, old, established names. I'm simply saying they're not timeless and that they are susceptible to the vagaries of fashion, simply because they are so popular.

Every generation chooses a different set of names from their parents (otherwise we'd be calling our children Joanne, Claire and Karen). There will be exceptions of course, but these exceptions prove the rule.

JuicyShops Sat 06-Jul-13 20:34:37

Gracie was a frumpy old lady name for sure but Grace is a classic name as are Jack and Harry, Lucy, Charlotte, Anna, Elizabeth.

FWIW my sister's mille name is Grace and she is 35 so not sure which generation you are considering Draper.

If I had a baby girl I would consider the classic names as no matter what anyone says a name makes a first impression! Sorry!!

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sat 06-Jul-13 20:23:46

It's not timeless; it's cyclical - there's a difference. It goes in and out fashion.

If it's timeless, them why does hardly anyone from our generation have it (or Rose or May) as a middle name? Because to our parents, Grace was a middle-aged, frumpy name, and it's only now that it's come back into favour.

Anything that is very popular/fashionable inevitably goes out of favour. It's just the way things work.

Less fashionable/popular names date less (and are more timeless), because they're less associated with a particular era. This is why some people actively avoid very popular names - because they're very much aware of this incontrovertible truth.

MrsLianeB Sat 06-Jul-13 20:22:47

Wow. Thanks for all the responses, I hadn't intended to cause such a debate. The Eliza is from family and I didn't feel any other female family names fitted alongside it but have liked the name Grace for many years but it seems to have become so popular these days I have a popular middle name for my generation and went to school with lots of middle name twins.

My boys names have been set in stone since before pregnancy and have wavered with girls names the whole 9 months! Who gave us all this responsibility!!!!

JuicyShops Sat 06-Jul-13 20:00:16

It is a pretty, timeless name that never dates, much like Jack. Nothing like Jane/Claire/Louise, Grace has been popular for generations and is just beautiful! Classic and could never be considered chavvy.

YvonneJ Sat 06-Jul-13 19:56:15

My thought is that parents have the right to choose what ever middle name they like, its personal.
I called my 16 year old name after my nanny but as her first name is Sarah most people took it as she was Sarah Louise but she is Sarah Lily. So you don't have to run with the crowd

Grace is lovely but it is (alongside Rose and May/Mae) shaping up to be this generation's Jane/Claire/Louise middle name.

I think it's nice if a middle name has meaning to you, either because it's a family name, or the meaning of the name is significant to you, or it references something else about you, or it's your second choice of first name and flows well with the first choice first name. If Grace falls into one of those categories for you then, absolutely, go for it (if it doesn't but you just really want it as a mn, still go for it... but the fact you posted asking for opinions suggests that you aren't sure).

StrawberryMojito Sat 06-Jul-13 19:39:15

We are currently trying for dc2, if we have a girl, she will have Grace as a middle name, it was the name of my grandmother who died the year before I was born, I like it and it will make my mum happy. If it wast for those reasons, I probably wouldn't use it.

bugsybill Sat 06-Jul-13 19:34:06

If the first name is in the top 10 I would avoid grace (and rose and may). Just because of overuse and also possibly identity confusion (particularly if last name is fairly common)

With any other name it is fine and it has a lovely meaning smile

I really like Eliza grace.

littlestgirlguide Sat 06-Jul-13 18:18:04

I do love Grace, it's so feminine and pretty. It reminds me of a good friend from Uni :-)
My favourite one-syllable middle name at the moment is Ruth.
Lol at the poster above whose whole class were called Jane/Louise etc - there were just over 200 hundred graduates at my graduation, and just over 40 called something Louise, including me! That's 50% ish of the girls.

HeyMicky Sat 06-Jul-13 16:44:17

Grace is quite a common middle name currently, but if you like it, then you should use it.

I have an Eliza Dorothy and have been complimented often on it. Be warned - Eliza was the highest climbing girls name last year, from the 90s to the 60s, so it will be increasingly common gnash gnash

Exhaustipated Sat 06-Jul-13 16:39:53

Yes, afraid so.

What about a more unusual one syllable middle name eg

Hope
Joy
Faith

Or

Jane
June
Pearl
Fern

I think Eliza Joy or Eliza Pearl are my faves... smile

Jojay Sat 06-Jul-13 11:26:01

It is overused (by me for one) bjut that doesn't stop it being nice. I think it's bonkers when someone won't use a name they love, just because it's 'popular'. Especially when it comes to a middle name.

Eliza Grace is beautiful.

lljkk Sat 06-Jul-13 11:15:20

There are 3 girls called Grace in DS's reception class. 3x Emily, too.
I like Grace a lot, but be braced for it to be overused.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sat 06-Jul-13 10:58:55

Well, the OP clearly cares, since she started a thread to ask the question....!

It always amuses me when people respond hotly to say that there's a reason names are popular, because they're nice.

Well, that's patently not true, or otherwise the same names would be popular year in, year out, decade in, decade out. But they're not, are they? Sharon was very popular for a while back in the 60s. As was Tracey. I don't imagine many people would describe them as beautiful names these days.

There was a generation or so when Grace was very out of favour. If you'd asked my late Mum who'd now be in her 70s what she thought of Grace, she'd have said it was frumpy and dated.

Names are popular because they're popular. Because they're in fashion. 'Nice' and 'beautiful' is hugely subjective.

It's popular and a common middle name. Who cares? There's a REASON that's it's popular and commonly used. It's a beautiful name which flows well with many other names (it sounds GREAT with Eliza). Just because it's used a lot, doesn't mea anything.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sat 06-Jul-13 08:48:36

We don't.

But she's specifically asked if it's boring and over-used, and if so, do we have any alternative suggestions.

No mention of any particular meaning behind the choice.

So...

sunnyshine Sat 06-Jul-13 07:45:19

How do you know it's not meaningful to the op?

othersideofchannel Sat 06-Jul-13 07:35:34

Grace is now what Jane was in the 70s. I find it dull, overused and yes, a filler name.

Why not give your dd a more meaningful and more interesting name, perhaps one honouring a loved family member? Or a more rare name should she find her find her first name too widely used? Names are for identifying people and Grace doesn't do that too well anymore.

amazingmumof6 Sat 06-Jul-13 03:34:10

just read thread

very shock at some comments.
to all the people being so rude - I wonder why you don't like the name Grace.
I hope it's not because it's a reminder of what you are falling short of....hmm

amazingmumof6 Sat 06-Jul-13 03:25:06

ha! my DD is 14 months and she is Elizabeth Grace!

I've no idea about over-use.
I chose that name combo when I was pg with DS1 12 years ago!

and through all my pgs it was always my first or second choice for a girl.
and when she was born last year I was very happy to use it!

btw we call her Lizababa - joint effort of DS3 and DS5grin

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