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Does a middle name have to have meaning?

(19 Posts)
chattychattyboomba Mon 24-Feb-14 23:57:42

DH and I are disagreeing on whether or not a middle name has to have specific meaning. I think it's a matter of personal taste and an added bonus if it has meaning (if at all you choose to include a middle name) I would love to combine 2 names that I really really like just because they sound lovely because I do not plan on having another baby so would like to use the names I love for no other reason than I like them! (27 weeks preg with Dd2)

DH believes if you do have a middle name it has to have some specific meaning for example a family member or a personal memory etc.

We have just been discussing with a friend who is over and his 3 boys all have middle names after his father, his wife's father and his mother's father. When I asked if he would name a girl after his mother he said yes. I said what if her name was a name you just didn't really like. He said it doesn't matter it's more important to honour someone else and give them that joy than to like the name.

I personally couldn't put a name anywhere (first, middle, second middle!) for my child that I didn't like the sound of, even if it was in honour of someone I love. I guess I place a lot on the name of a child as I believe to some degree it can influence their identity in a way.

Sorry, drip feeding! Just wondering if anyone else feels the same.

Does a middle name have to have meaning for you, and why?
Or can it just be something that sounds nice and just 'works' as a whole?

MamaPingu Tue 25-Feb-14 00:00:06

For me personally my sons middle name had to be a family name!
But tbh I don't think it matters it's just how I felt smile

And if people ask and you don't want to say you just liked the name you can always be like it's my great uncles wife's grandads name wink

Hexbugsmakemeitch Tue 25-Feb-14 00:04:57

Our family has a strong tradition of deliberately not naming babies after anyone.

We picked middle names we liked and felt contrasted with their first names so if for some reason they didn't like their first names they had an alternative.

chattychattyboomba Tue 25-Feb-14 00:06:33

Good point hexbugs! I like your reasoning too.

Weegiemum Tue 25-Feb-14 00:10:20

Our dd1 has a mn of personal meaning to dh/me

Ds has 2 family middle names.

Dd2 has a family middle name.

CoffeeChocolateWine Tue 25-Feb-14 00:13:02

My DS's middle name is after a very special place where my DH and I had an amazing holiday. But it's also a name in its own right and a name that we like. And it goes well with his first name. It ticked all the boxes!

My DD's middle name was chosen because it sounded nice with her first name. No other reason.

I'm the same as you OP, I don't think I could give my child a name or middle name I didn't like even if it is a family name.

DramaAlpaca Tue 25-Feb-14 00:19:33

For me, my DS's middle names had to be names we loved that sounded good with the first name. I agree completely with you OP in that I couldn't give my child a name I didn't love.

DH & I decided that each of them should have an English name and an Irish name to honour our respective backgrounds.

We deliberately didn't use middle names that honoured grandparents, simply because the names didn't appeal to us. I actually quite like FIL's name, but we didn't use it because we'd never have used my DF's name & I didn't want to use one grandfather's name & not the other's. Both grandmothers' names were completely out of the question, but as we only had boys that didn't matter grin

DS2 shares DH's middle name, but that's because we really liked the name and it goes really well with his first name.

We love DS3's middle name, but it was actually chosen specifically for its meaning. His first name was decided after the 20 week scan when we knew he was a boy, but we were completely stuck for a middle name until I came across a very old book of baby names. I looked up a name I had been considering, and when I saw the detailed meaning of the name in that old book I knew it was perfect for DS3.

youaremychocolatecake Tue 25-Feb-14 00:21:26

My 2 do but I don't think they have to. Sometimes they're just chosen to complement a first name? smile

Pregnantberry Tue 25-Feb-14 00:26:38

For me it does, I don't want to use one just for the sake of it. Not sure why I feel that way, because it's not a family tradition, but I like the idea of a unique, individual name for the first name and a nod to somebody/something as a middle name.

We only have one boy's first name which we agree on, and I strongly want OH's first name as a middle name (maybe I'm just being hormonal and romantic!) which he agreed to, so that was easy.

For a girl we are stuck between two first names, but I definitely don't want to use both now (one as a middle name) in case we end up having two DDs and we can't use the other favourite for DD2s name!

So for a girl we can't think of anything for a MN, because we don't have any female family members we feel strongly that we should honour and I don't want to pick a random name.

NadiaWadia Tue 25-Feb-14 00:46:26

Use your own first name for a DD's middle name? Men often get their name used as a middle name at least for a DS, so why shouldn't women for a DD?

Innogen Tue 25-Feb-14 00:52:33

The only meaning for us was that it had to be special - and not after someone else. Bugger honouring anyone with my child. My child is their own person, they do not need to be named after family.

Nocomet Tue 25-Feb-14 00:58:24

No mine and the DDs are family names, DSIS just sounds nice with her first name.

SimplySara Tue 25-Feb-14 08:08:09

How would you decide who to honour? And what does that mean for the ones not chosen to honour?

This honouring business all gets very political if you ask me. Is it your mum or his? His dad or yours? And then when it comes to grandparents one usually has 8 choices and although people may say it is an honour name, I think most times it down to them liking the name, they just want to feel superior to others because their name has "meaning" (this is not always the case though, for example if your nana raised you).

I could also put an argument up for naming in honour (how we are so wound up in ourselves nowadays and everyone needs to be "special" and individual etc.)

sleepyhead Tue 25-Feb-14 08:44:28

We used family names for middle names. I like the links between the generations that it makes.

If I'd had a daughter I'd have used my mum's name as a middle name which would have continued a tradition going back generations. I like that the women in our family are linked in this way and have fond memories of my mum and gran talking about the people they were named for and passing those memories on to me.

I didn't get to use the name, but ds1 likes to listen to stories about his great grandfather who he's named for, and dh tells him about his great great uncle whose name is dh's middle. Ds2 has my dad's name.

I don't think middle names have to have a meaning beyond you liking the sound of them. Just my preference for my own dcs.

BlueStarsAtNight Tue 25-Feb-14 13:04:23

We didn't use a family name, just one we liked. My mums dad had passed away a year or so before DS was born, and we considered using his name but didn't as it didn't sound good with our chosen first name and his surname. I think my mum was a bit put out but that's not my problem!

BadRoly Tue 25-Feb-14 13:06:12

3 of mine have 'family' middle names and the other has the name I wanted her to have but dh disliked a lot!

I STILL think she would suit her middle name better but such is life grin

Miffyonline Tue 25-Feb-14 14:08:54

Don't worry about what other people think... don't name the child after someone if you don't like the name. Our little one's middle name is Oliver, because we both really liked the name, but hate people to shorten it to 'Olly'. This way he is still an Oliver (in a way) but we'll never have to listen to the name 'Olly' :-)

WeeClype Tue 25-Feb-14 14:21:33

Dd 1 has my middle name
DS 1 has his dads 1st name
DS 2 he got a middle name that flowed nicely with his name
Dd 2 ...got 2 middle names as she will be my last and I couldn't decide what names I liked best so used them all lol

bouquetofpencils Tue 25-Feb-14 14:42:40

DD has my grandma's name as her middle name. It is an extremely common one syllable "filler " middle name which flows nicely but to me it has special meaning and also made my dad and grandad (still going strong in his nineties) very happy.
If I were to have another, the middle name will be after my dad who is very ill as I know it would chuff him to bits. I don't particularly like the female form of his name but the meaning and history is more important. It is an honour and would hopefully make my children feel linked to their history.

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