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Why is there such negativity regarding the middle names Mae/May, Rose & Grace?

(90 Posts)
Sasparillo Tue 15-Jan-13 20:39:25

After reading a few different posts on MN, there seems to be a lot of slating of the above stated middle names. I honestly don't see why people hate them so much! Back in 'my day' it was Jane & Louise that were popular girls middle names, mine being Jane. It has never ever bothered me in the slightest that I share the same middle name with half the female population in my age group, I don't see why it would bother anyone. It's only a middle name. I think that Mae, Rose and Grace are perfectly acceptable and quite frankly, very pretty names for a first or middle name, so what's the issue? I'd understand if people were naming their daughters Gertrude or Fanny! Lol x

twinklestar2 Sat 19-Jan-13 20:29:35

Agree with eriknorseman's post of 09.33

ErikNorseman Sat 19-Jan-13 09:34:56

I think middle names are pointless unless they nod to a loved and/or dead relative anyway. Mine is Louise, so blah. I hear Louise, I don't identify it with myself in any way.

ErikNorseman Sat 19-Jan-13 09:33:15

They are just a bit overused, which makes them not very interesting choices. Plus the double barrelling trend is just heinous and has poisoned Grace, Rose and Mae by association IMO.

AmandaPayne Sat 19-Jan-13 07:53:55

I didn't say it was snobbish to choose names with meaning, I said it was snobbish to get sniffy about common middle names. I am fine with people choosing to do something themselves, it's the idea that they are somehow superior to people who don't that I have trouble with. I don't think that there is a moral hierarchy of how you choose a name.

Anonymumous Fri 18-Jan-13 23:01:14

Blimey, I must be REALLY snobbish then - I've got three DC and the one thing I insisted on when picking their names (firsts and middles) was that they had a proper and lovely meaning. It was a great way to weed out 95% of the names I previously thought I liked. And I hope that even if they grow up to hate their names, they will at least appreciate the sentiment behind them. (My Mum's answer of "Oh, I just liked it" always seemed so wet and dopey - I wanted my children to feel as if I'd made a bit more of an effort for them.)

My middle name is Grace. It's not a name I'm particularly keen on, because it sounds too much like Grease. BUT... it was my Grandma's middle name and she died before I was born, so I like it because it has a real meaning for my Dad and my family. I understand why I have that name. It's my first name I have an issue with - the one that is boring to write, boring to say, has a meaningless meaning, and not even any family connections to redeem it.

So there you go. It's not snobbish - my preferences have merely been coloured by being unduly bothered about having a meaningless, pointless name myself!

AmandaPayne Fri 18-Jan-13 22:24:32

I have one of the 70s 'standard' middle names. DD1 has one of the ones on your list. I don't care, and I don't expect her to either.

I think people getting very sniffy about common middle names which have 'no meaning' and are 'dull' and 'pointless' is, well, a bit odd. It was a name I had loved my whole life and I didn't use it as a first name in big part because it had become so popular. I don't see any law that middle names 'must' have meaning, or must honour someone. That seems to me just snobbish. It's a nice name, I liked it, I used it. It's only a middle name for goodness sake.

aimingtobeaperfectionist Fri 18-Jan-13 20:09:59

I most likely am but it drives me mad "what's her name? Oh yes, isn't that common these days"
I'd never be so rude but other people think they can.
Just hit a nerve.

atthewelles Fri 18-Jan-13 16:17:55

I think you're taking this thread a bit too personally aiming.

aimingtobeaperfectionist Fri 18-Jan-13 15:42:25

DD has my grandmothers name as her middle name which happens to be one of these 'dull, boring, unimaginative' names. We lost my beautiful gran just after DD was born so it holds a lot of significance an meaning for us.

Also nice to hear my name (which I like FWIW) to be called 'horrible'.


aufaniae Fri 18-Jan-13 15:26:58

*they <sigh>

aufaniae Fri 18-Jan-13 15:25:51

"why do you assume that people are plucking the name out of mid air and not honouring a relative?"

Bruffin I don't!

If you actually read my post, I said " And unless you have a particular reason to use May, Rose of Grace (which to be fair, many people do) "

I expect many people are honouring a relative, especially as lots people of our grandparents generation had these names.

However not everyone is, not by a long shot. It's a fashion, and many people are choosing them for that reason (whether they are aware of it or not).

Also those who suggest May, Rose & Grace as middle names on mumsnet threads time and time again are surely not honouring relatives as their presumably don't know the OP!

ballroompink Fri 18-Jan-13 14:43:36

They are now ubiquitous, but there's nothing wrong with them at all.

One of my middle names is Rose. When I was pregnant last year, the middle name we had for a girl was Rose BECAUSE it is one of my middle names. We ended up with a DS. But I would still use Rose in future.

20wkbaby Fri 18-Jan-13 14:31:23

For me they are used so frequently (probably because they go with a lot of names) that they almost seem like a reflex reaction rather than a consideration.

I feel the same way about Emily and Jessica, both lovely names but as if there is no real thought behind them - and I know this is not true from friends who have named their children those names.

People always assume on Mumsnet that if you choose an unusual name it is because you want to be different and you are using your child to achieve it. A lot of people just like the names, likewise popular/ trendy names - why would you use your child to try and be trendy? perhaps they just like the name.

People make assumptions about every name you choose, you can't win unless you choose a name you love, and then you can't lose.

bruffin Fri 18-Jan-13 13:37:17

Why not chose a relative you want to honour, or your favourite actress / musician, or a name with a great story behind it, or one from your grandparents' country if different to your own - or whatever, just not the default!

why do you assume that people are plucking the name out of mid air and not honouring a relative?

My DD middle name is May, but that was because of family tradition. Both my DM and GM had May as a middle name. It also goes very well with her first name. She is 15 now and at the time i didnt realise May was a popular middle name.
They are short one syllable names so fit very well with multisyllable first names.

aufaniae Fri 18-Jan-13 13:22:32

"Perhaps it's as simple as people liking them?"

On an individual basis, yes. But the fact that so many people are using them means it's a fashion, and many of those people are being influenced by that, whether they realise it or not.

We humans can be very sheep-like sometimes! It's important to rail against our sheep-like tendencies where we can IMO grin

aufaniae Fri 18-Jan-13 13:20:02

They are lovely on their own, but that's really not the point!

They're on pretty much every baby name thread here asking for middle names. I feel like shouting "BINGO" when all three are mentioned grin

I have nothing against people picking these names if they love them and they mean something to them.

But they're just so ubiquitous they have become the default. If someone here suggests May, Grace or Rose to someone else as a middle name, I think come on, how hard did you think about that? Not at all really!

It's like my asking DP "do I look nice in this?" and him saying "yes dear" while hardly looking at me! It's a stock response, requiring no imagination or thought at all IMO.

Purely personal preference now, but I think it's a real shame not to use a middle name which means something to you. And unless you have a particular reason to use May, Rose of Grace (which to be fair, many people do) why go for the default when so many other names are available to you? Also it's a chance to go for something a little more interesting / less conservative than the first name (as they so rarely get used) or alternatively to add a conservative name if you've gone for an outlandish first name!

Why not chose a relative you want to honour, or your favourite actress / musician, or a name with a great story behind it, or one from your grandparents' country if different to your own - or whatever, just not the default!

Julygal Thu 17-Jan-13 23:23:36

Perhaps it's as simple as people liking them? I wanted my children to have a middle name because I don't have one and always wanted one, so made that decision many years ago!! My eldest daughter has the first name as one of the middle names you mention and her middle name is a name me and DH liked. 2nd DD's middle name is after a song that reminded me of my teenage years and DH was happy to go with my choice!

VenusRising Thu 17-Jan-13 22:59:31

I think they're both lovely, and also Gertrude and Fanny.

trills Fanny, is short for Frances, nothing to do with vagina or bum, except in your own mind!

ClaraBean Thu 17-Jan-13 22:51:53

I think middle names should have more meaning than just because it fits with the first name.
I wouldn't use those middle names because I like a longer middle name, one that we adore and/or family names. So our dd's have the middle names Matilda and Evangeline Sheena.
I also adore the name Gertrude! It is one of our favourites and would use it for a fn if we ever manage to get pg again (along with Beryl, Susan and Morag), so we clearly have very different taste in names.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 17-Jan-13 22:25:14

My middle name is Grace and I was born in 1974. It was considered weirdly religious and old-fashioned when I went to school and my friends would snigger when we sang 'Amazing Grace'. Everyone else had a Proper Middle Name (Jane, Anne, Marie, Louise)

Mother was clearly an early adopter. smile

MadBusLady Thu 17-Jan-13 22:18:39

Thanks, LuckyOwl, but I didn't know I was pregnant! shock wink

florry88 Thu 17-Jan-13 21:21:10

In answer to the original question, snobbery

LuckyOwl28 Thu 17-Jan-13 21:18:39

I'm sure you know best.

Happy Pregnancy!

JumpingJetFlash Thu 17-Jan-13 20:41:06

We picked Rose as a middle name as it was my much loved Nanna's name - hadn't realised that meant my daughter had no identity or presence (think her class teacher might disagree as EVERYONE knows when she is in the room :-))

However, people's opinions are just that - opinions! I didn't name my child to impress anyone else and I love traditional/classic names personally so I really don't care if others don't like it!

MadBusLady Thu 17-Jan-13 20:23:47

Which just goes to show how stupid a lot of interest forum rules are. I've come across this in other fora too, but elements of MN seem particularly keen to cling to the idea that talking on the internet is the same as real life.

It isn't. It is plain refusal to look facts in the face to state otherwise.

That doesn't mean fora don't have their own self-regulating standards of behaviour, and actively being a dick will rarely be tolerated anywhere. But the style of conversation is different from real life, there's no getting away from it. A better analogy, particularly on boards like Baby Names and AIBU, is probably focus groups. No-one would say focus groups are "rude", but they are certainly not operating by the same rules they would in a face-to-face social situation with people they are going to see again. That's just the way it is - there wouldn't be any point in them otherwise.

In practice of course, MN knows all this too, because in all the time I've been reading the babynames board I've never seen anyone moderated for saying something they probably wouldn't say to someone's face in a social situation. Which is quite right.

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