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My friend has just given her new baby girl the middle name....

61 replies

Kathyis6incheshigh · 31/01/2008 18:19


Is it just me, or is this a boy's name?

OP posts:
Kathyis6incheshigh · 31/01/2008 19:49

I suppose it's just the American thing then.
My dad has a surname as a middle name, but I thought people only generally did that to boys. Makes things v confusing for him though as his surname is also a first name.

OP posts:
Rantmum · 31/01/2008 19:51

I think family surnames as a middle name is very traditional in some places including for girls. In Scotland for my Grandmother's generation it was certainly the norm.

PortAndLemon · 31/01/2008 19:53

Douglas used to be exclusively a girls' name a few centuries ago, apparently. I know someone who is a professional name researcher and she gives it as the only obvious example of a name migrating from female to male (whereas there are plenty of examples of names migrating from male to female).

So, is your friend 500 years old?

edam · 31/01/2008 19:55

Oh yes, Port's got it! There's some historical character - aristocratic woman who actually held land in her own right IIRC - called Douglas.

(one of ds's middle names is Donald which is just as bad. After my FIL who was lovely but, I learnt later, hated his name!)

Fennel · 31/01/2008 19:55

Is Morgan another example of a name migrating female to male?

Morgan le Fey is an old female Morgan, but now I know baby boys called Morgan.

Rantmum · 31/01/2008 19:56

My family tree from about a hundred years ago is littered with women with various Scottish surnames as middle names - they usually passed on the mother's maiden name as a middle name for child

pootleflump · 31/01/2008 20:00

DD has my maiden name as a middle name, I didn't think this was at all unusual but I'm Scottish so maybe it is a Scottish thing.

Rantmum · 31/01/2008 20:05


contains this info re naming traditions in different countries:

"Mother?s maiden name:
some families, particularly in parts of Scotland, have a tradition of including the mother?s family name as the middle name. This is how, over time, certain names that were originally surnames have been elevated to eventually becoming used as middle and then, as first names (like Scott, Campbell, Murray) "

Kathyis6incheshigh · 31/01/2008 20:21

How interesting about Douglas migrating from female to male.

No she's not 500 years old, BUT, she and her dh are both heavily into medieval history! I could totally see them using the name of a character from history they like, too. So maybe that is it.

OP posts:
allytjd · 31/01/2008 20:21

Yup, definitely a scottish thing, my mum's middle name is Macintosh and my Grannies middle name was Forbes. I always felt hard done by because I don't have a middle name and ,incidentaly, my DS2 has Douglas as amiddle name as I think it is a fine manly name. DS1 has my maiden name Kirkpatrick as his middle name.

pointydog · 31/01/2008 20:40

I'm Scottish, I'm female, I have a surname as a middle name.

suzycreamcheese · 31/01/2008 20:44

and ready for a square-go pointy?

its scottish thing to do..keep your hair on ladies..

kaz33 · 31/01/2008 20:46

My scottish mum has maiden name as middle name, and my son has my maiden name as middle name .

pointydog · 31/01/2008 20:50

ah suzy, I feel myself becoming increasingly tetchy tonight and I don't know why. I should slope off and do something else.

pistachio · 31/01/2008 20:51

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pointydog · 31/01/2008 20:52

yes, it's the female line thing. Mine is some great granny's maiden name

McDreamy · 31/01/2008 20:53

Same here, scottish tradition, first female of the family gets mum's maiden name as her middle name.

Fubsy · 31/01/2008 20:55

Its defo a Scottish thing, my Mum's middle name is Stewart. I thought that was hilarious when i was younger!

crabby · 31/01/2008 21:13

My mother is American and my father half American. My sister and I both have family surnames as middle names. It is a tradition that when a woman gets married that her surname becomes her middle name i.e. Jane Smith marries Mr Jones and becomes Jane Smith Jones. A lot of families just carry this tradition through and give children family surnames as middle names even prior to marriage! V. traditional in USA. Sounds like it may be from scottish tradition.

yummylittlelapin · 31/01/2008 21:19

My parents apparently considered doing the family name as middle name thing, but decided McGregor was a bit much

fryalot · 31/01/2008 21:20

Twas tradition in our family that the first born had the mother's maiden name as a middle name.

My granny broke with this tradition when she had my mum, so I didn't have to suffer it either, but I think it is a lovely idea, it meant that the maternal family name was continued as well as the paternal one.

specialmagiclady · 31/01/2008 21:23

My middle name is Grant. I am a girl.

Hated it as a kid, love it now.

specialmagiclady · 31/01/2008 21:26

PS am also Scottish...

MsHighwater · 01/02/2008 16:42

My dd has a surname that is similar to a boy's name as a middle name(Robb) but it was my dh's mum's maiden name, not mine. We knew we would almost certainly have no more than one dc together and decided to do the family thing on names. Her first name comes from my side of the family so we decided to take her middle name from his side. (Also because it avoided having too many syllables).

We're in Scotland, too, but I was never aware of it as a tradition, particularly, though obviously that would explain why it would seem quite normal to me. Which it does.

So, nothing wrong with a girl having Douglas as a middle name. I could think of a lot worse.

MsHighwater · 01/02/2008 16:45

Actually, I once knew an old lady whose first name was Graham!

I plucked up courage to ask her why she was called that. She replied that "After my mother"

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