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What are Some Popular Middle Names?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
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It may be difficult to find lists of the most popular middle names. They change from year to year, and vary from country to country. Middle names give kids a choice, and there are plenty of people who have chosen to use their middle in place of a first name because they prefer their middle names. Sometimes when a simple name is used as a first name, parents will get a little more creative for a middle name because a child doesn’t have to use that name and won’t be considered “stuck with it.”

Some of the most popular middle names are those that also make it onto lists of the most popular first names. Yet there are a few names that seem to be middle name classic choices. A few of the most popular middle names for girls include Marie, Grace, Rose, Clare, Mae, Anne (Anna or Ann), Lynn, and Renee. Popular middle names for boys might include William, James, Robert, Joseph, Allen, and Lee.

You certainly don’t have to choose from a popular middle names list to pick a middle name for your child. It’s important to bear a few things in mind. These include how the middle and first name sound together. You may want to avoid middle names that begin with the same sound as the end of the first name like Dawn Nicole, or Jack Kenneth. It gives the impression that you’re running the two words together.

Another thing to look for is middle names that would cause initials to spell out unfortunate words. Avoid spelling things like DOG (Donald Oliver Greenberg) or PIG (Patricia Isabelle Garner). It’s a good idea to pick a name that will not be a cause of teasing as your child progresses through school.

Sometimes popular middle names are really favorite first names, but parents can’t choose between a few selected favorites. Should a child be Liam or Jared, for instance? Jared Liam has a nice ring and rhythm, and parents can fortunately choose both names for their child.

Rhythm is an important consideration. How do a first and middle name sound together? Choose an order and sound that works for you and try it out on a few objective friends. Say the names together a few times to make sure they sound balanced and rhythmic. Don’t forget that if you’re unsure what gender baby you’re expecting, choose names for both.

There is also some trend toward nontraditional middle names. A child might get his mother’s last name as a middle name, if the mom hyphenates or uses her maiden name instead of her married name. The middle name that honors a member of the family, perhaps one with an unusual first name, is also another popular choice. There are plenty of different ways to express your creativity when it comes to choosing middle names. Just remember though, your child is the one who lives with the name you choose.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a PublicPeople contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By surfNturf — On Jan 07, 2011

Oasis11-I think that some unique boy names are Blake, Wyatt, and Caleb.

For girls, I think some unique girl names are Brooklyn, Paris, and Venice. It seems that naming your child after a favorite city is all of the rage now. These can also be popular baby middle names as well.

By oasis11 — On Jan 04, 2011

Cafe41-I agree. I love all of those names. I think that popular boy names are Matthew, Jake, Christopher, and Taylor.

Many people with a strong Catholic faith tend to name their children after saints. This is when you see a lot of Josephs, Johns, Matthews, Lukes, and Christophers to name a few.

These are also popular children's names as well. The most popular middle names for boys are James, Robert, Michael, and Alexander. I know that the most popular names in the middle ages that we still see today are Ralph, Robert, Isabel, Joan, and Roger to name a few.

These are also timeless child names that will never be out of vogue.

By cafe41 — On Jan 04, 2011

Anon77950- I agree that many people’s middle names are actually derived from a family member. In my case, my daughter’s middle name is Barbara which was my mother’s name.

In her memory, I gave this middle name for my daughter so we can always honor my mother’s memory. I think that some popular girl names are Emily, Sophia, Hannah and Isabella.

I have seen at least a handful of girls with these names at my children’s school. Also, it was revealed that Sophia is one of the top girl names for the past year.

I think that popular girl’s middle names are Ann, Grace, Elizabeth, and Rose.

By anon77950 — On Apr 16, 2010

its a very interesting subject.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a PublicPeople contributor, Tricia...
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