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to ask about being known by a middle name instead of first name?

(81 Posts)
plasticcup Wed 27-Feb-13 19:44:02

Is anyone known by their middle name or does anyone use their DCs middle name instead of their first given name? Due to rubbish intials of the names we really like for our new baby, we are thinking of changing the order of the names so that our first choice will be the middle name and he will be known by that name IYSWIM.

Has it caused any problems or confusion for anyone? I know lots of people used middle names in t'olden days but wondered how common it is these days.

Anifrangapani Wed 27-Feb-13 20:39:09

I like it because I can always tell when a phone call is a cold call because they ask for my first name

usualsuspect Wed 27-Feb-13 20:40:34

My Dp has always been known by his middle name, hasn't really caused any problems.

TheSkiingGardener Wed 27-Feb-13 20:47:38

DH and DS are both known by their middle names. As long as you make sure all official documents are in the proper full name it hasn't caused too many issues.

We do have to make sure any cheques are made out to his proper name, and DH had exactly the same full initials as his Dad, which wasn't ideal, but apart from that not really a problem.

Minty82 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:49:20

I have two friends who've always been known by their middle names: one because if the two names were the other way round it made the first name sound like an adjective; and the other was named to placate a granny, but her parents only ever intended to use the middle name.

I don't think it bothers either of them much.

Pantah630 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:49:53

It doesn't bother me, people that matter call me the shortened version of my middle name, doctors and officials call me by my first name, when my mothers angry she calls me by my actual middle name. Both my names are family names but my middle name is the female version of my uncle who died aged 18 so was always going to be used. My full name would not sound right the other way round so I fully understand my parents choice. BTW teachers at school, even in the 70's, never had a problem calling me by my middle name, I was even in the register as such.

Minty82 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:53:40

Oh actually I've thought of another one, a cousin of mine - her first name's very traditional, saint's name etc; middle name (which she's always been known by) is much more modern. I think her parents thought her first name should be a 'proper' name, even if they didn't intend to use it!

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 27-Feb-13 20:55:34

Both my grandfathers are known by their middle names. I wonder why people did this in t'olden days, why not just switch the name order?

INeverSaidThat Wed 27-Feb-13 20:58:20

I use two names. My first name is hard to spell and pronounce so I very often use my short 'n sweet middle name. My DH also uses my middle name, not for any particular reason it is just that he likes it.
I get post addressed to both names but I can't remember it causing too many problems.
I like having two names.

lottiegarbanzo Wed 27-Feb-13 21:00:46

What the first two posters said, though I don't mind as much. It's amazing how often people don't really listen, even when they've asked, so I say 'X Y known as Y' or 'Y, though my full name's X Y' and they write down Y X, or somesuch.

I quite like that I have an alter ego who goes to doctor and dentist appointments and takes exams for me. It's become more confusing since people are willing to be less formal now, so sometimes I'm registered in the name I use but assume that, as it's an official sort of place, I must be listed by my first name.

I went to school with someone who was called by her first name at school, second at home, because apparently it was beyond her, or her parents' powers to ask the school to call her by her second name (she went on to Cambridge). I found that quite bizarre. I never had any difficulty with schools.

Banks are a pain and have refused to accept a cheque to Y, despite that being the name every cheque, unless from my parents, is made out to (when they'd just been on money laundering training no doubt). Their machine had no such qualms! I've had to pay to alter the name on a plane ticket because a friend had booked for a group of us with no warning, in a rush of enthusiasm.

FairPhyllis Wed 27-Feb-13 21:02:34

My dad has always known one of his friends by a name that isn't even one of his middle names - a bit like how Trigger in Only Fools and Horses always calls Rodney 'Dave'. The origins of this are lost in the mists of time.

And a friend's brother uses his middle name. It's still reasonably common I think.

ErrorError Wed 27-Feb-13 21:07:56

A relative of mine uses her middle name, but she lives in a foreign country where she hates the way they pronounce her first name. Knowing her all her life and visiting her in said country, it was a bit of a struggle to remember to use the correct one, but this was a choice she instigated herself as an adult. If you start using your DC's middle name straight away, then there should be no mix-ups by the vast majority of people. It would only be the official way round on legal documents etc. So when DC starts school, a simple explanation of "DC is called XY, but we refer to him/her as Y" should immediately eliminate confusion, and quickly all friends and teachers etc would become familiar with them as Y.

ErrorError Wed 27-Feb-13 21:10:27

FairPhyllis I have a similar story. An aunt, let's call her Jan, has always been known as Jan, despite not having Jan anywhere in her name, and her proper first name doesn't even sound like 'Jan'. Probably the evolution of a long forgotten nickname!

Annunziata Wed 27-Feb-13 21:10:49

I use my middle name. This ^ is actually my BC and passport first name. It's never really caused any problems.

Helspopje Wed 27-Feb-13 21:17:43

pita - have to keep reminding myself which name I booked appointments/flights/tickets under. People always think it looks a bit fishy when I appear not to know my own name and fail to answer to firstname.

only vaguely useful bit is that my patients cant find me as my work name is middlename maidenname and official home name is firsname marriedname but that isn't useful enough to warrant the annoyance.

i use initial-of-firstname . secondname . surname on all official docs to try to iron out problems but they still occur.

webwiz Wed 27-Feb-13 21:22:09

DH has always been known by his middle name but I can't for the life of me understand why his parents didn't just make his middle name his first name from the beginning confused

The only advantage is that when cold callers try and be all matey and ask for DH using his first name I know they don't really know him at all.

Scootee Wed 27-Feb-13 21:24:25

My friend is known by her middle name. She faced continual questions about it and was rather embarrassed by it. She hates explaining it to people. I would not do it.

ravenAK Wed 27-Feb-13 21:24:42

I teach several children who use their middle names.

Usually it's either because the first name is a traditional family one, but the parents don't actually like it/it's confusing as it's shared by several relatives; or because the parents are from different cultures: a common scenario is that dad's family want the dc to have a name from their background, but mum gets to pick the middle name, & by school age, the middle name, which mum uses, is the one to have stuck!

It doesn't cause any problems at a 'human' level - it's not seen as unusual, so the kids are fine, there's no teasing etc, & I always do the register for the first time saying 'If anyone's known as something different, let me know' - but it does cause a certain degree of minor PITA-ness when computers get involved.

Fakebook Wed 27-Feb-13 21:32:16

We call DS by his middle name. It took about 9 months for the doctor's surgery to change his name on the records so that his middle name is used for all correspondence.

It hasn't caused a problem anywhere else really. His passport was made using his first name and everyone knows him by the name we call him. I suppose there'll be some confusion when he starts school, but hopefully that will be sorted out by the time the registers are written up.

greenandcabbagelooking Wed 27-Feb-13 21:40:08

I'm known by either of two common nicknames of my common name. It causes some confusion at uni because my email and student ID use my first name initial but the name everyone knows me by isn't the same letter. People have trouble with matching up the initial to my name!

I would just add an extra name to stop your initials issue, so your son's given name is the name he uses.

redandyellowandpinkandgreen Wed 27-Feb-13 21:44:17

I don't think it helps my first name is an unusual spelling so by the time we iron that out I then explain I use my middle name and we're all confused.

I got married when pregnant and changed my surname and an exasperated midwife said "look when you're here you'll just have to be 'first name, maiden name'". Not my name at all!

Spyrofan Wed 27-Feb-13 21:57:32

We used to call DS by middle name but had it swapped by deed poll! It was a nightmare...his first name was after a family member and slightly embarrassing! I didn't mind it as a middle name but didn't think about the doctor calling him by that name when the waiting room is full!! With me repeating out loud to make sure all waiting could hear "your name is x, the doctor has called you by your middle name!!"

notquitenormal Wed 27-Feb-13 22:06:28

Dh's whole family uses middle names for all the males.
It's very odd; they have a saints name first, then the name they use. But all DH's Brothers hare Saints names for first and middle names...but were always known by the middle. Doesn't make sense. They all just use their first name now, even after spending the first 20 years of their lives being known as something different.

I did used to work with a woman who used a name that wasn't even on her birth certificate. Her Dad was sent to register her as Alice, but when he got there he registered Elaine...his only explanation was he'd had rather a lot to drink.

GoingGoingGoth Wed 27-Feb-13 22:56:34

I use my middle name & so does Dd, in both our cases the names sound better that way round, and we use the names that we were always going to be called IYSWIM. It wasn't deliberate on my part with Dd, &TBH I sometimes thinks she forgets her 1st name.
I do get a bit annoyed when asked " but what's your proper name?" luckily it doesn't happen too often.

Xmasbaby11 Wed 27-Feb-13 22:59:08

Ditto what everyone else is saying. I have always been known by my middle name, to the extent I was a teenager before I realised my names were the other way round. It was super annoying. Then I changed it by deed poll but all my qualifications are in my original name. Don;t do it to your child! How bad can the initials be?

Airwalk79 Wed 27-Feb-13 23:10:35

My mum uses her middle name.
I once sat in a busy chemist waiting for her prescription, didnt realise it was ready for ages till I went to ask how much longer it would be.

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