For more on middle names, take our Middle Name Survey!You've got the first name down. that's no problem. But what about a middle? Katinka Rose is beautiful, but what about Katinka Anne? Katinka Marie?
Many people don't give middle names much thought, that's why, if you're female, you're middle name is probably Ann, Lynn, or Marie. That's also why most of your friends also have the middle names Ann, Lynn or Marie. Name connoisseurs call them "filler" names, or "throw-away" names because they seem to be just that- a pretty sounding name that doesn't have much substance that acts as a 'bridge' from the first name to the last name. People commonly use the following rationales when choosing a middle name:
Try to break out of these rationales!Choose a name that has meaning to you, or that you absolutely love. Don't just throw in John or Ann because it sounds nice with Michael or Brittany. Perhaps your maiden name, or the name of a special friend, relative, or other person whom you admire would make a good middle name. If you're wary of weird names, and don't want to saddle your child with a unique first name, then maybe the middle name is the place to be creative! And also, if you select a more common first name, a creative middle name will make your Little Michael or Ashley stand out from the crowd more.
Consider this: I went to high school with Michele Smith and Michelle Smith. There was also a Michelle Murphy and a Michelle Adams. Both Michelle Smiths and Michelle Murphy had the middle name Marie (Michelle Adams's middle name was Ann, just like Michelle Fabrizio's in the grade ahead). The Smiths were really stuck! They were known all throughout their school days as Michele-with-one-L Smith and Michelle-with-two-Ls Smith. Needless to say, they were pretty sick of the whole thing by the time they graduated. The two Robert Johnsons and two Mike Allens fared much better, just being known as Robert Michael Johnson and Robert Verne Johnson. (the Mike Allens were so different in stature that they were forever "Big Mike Allen" and "Little Mike Allen").
So why do so many girls have middle names Ann and Marie?The answer to this is simple: It's all about rhythm. Ann sounds good with just about any name. Ditto for Marie, Lynn, and their friends Louise, Elizabeth, Lee/Leigh, Jo and Beth. For more discussion on rhythm, click here. Most first and last names are two-syllable, accented on the 1st syllable. In fact, according to
With so many first names accented on the 1st syllable, a short middle name like Ann sounds nice. Which sounds more melodic? Megan Sarah Taylor or Megan Ann Taylor? Most people would say Megan Ann, because it breaks the 2-syllable monotony more than Megan Sarah. Names with the same number of syllables and the same stress tend to sound sing-songy.
Marie is another popular choice for a middle name. Marie's popularity can stem from the fast that it is accented on the 2nd syllable, which makes it break up the 1st syllable stress as well. Which sounds nicer? Megan Marie Taylor or Megan Sarah Taylor? Most would say Megan Marie, because having the accent on the 2nd syllable (unlike Megan), it breaks up the sing-songy-ness.
Middle names for boys are a bit of a different story. While there is a certain stock of middle names for girls, there isn't the same thing for boys. The most popular middle names for boys are fairly similar to the most popular first names. Consider the following top 10 name chart. The numbers in parentheses indicate the position the name holds on the first name chart for the same year. A "0" indicates that it doesn't even place on the chart. 64% of the boys' middle names are also popular enough to be on the boys' first name list. Compare this with only 25% of the girls' middle names.
Beware of the 90s Filler Names!In the 90s, parents have wised up a little bit. They're branching out from Anne and Lynn. however, what have they done? They've created a whole new set of 'filler' names! The following list of names may sound fresh and new to you now, but they're being used a lot these days. Remember, today's Emily Rose and Hannah Grace will probably be tomorrow's Jennifer Lynn and Michelle Ann!
but My middle Name Is Ann! And So is My mother's! And grandmother's!So it's a family tradition to use Ann, Marie and friends. Here are other forms of common names you could use to carry on the tradition.
Or, if you just want ideas of names that sound nice, here are some more names you could use. The following lists are divided by number of syllables and syllable stressed.
Phew! That's a long title! These names sound fancier than they really are. They are meant for with 2-syllable names ending in A. For example, Kayla Angelique, Emma Leilani, Sarah Felicity, etc. Since a lot of 2+ syllable names end in 'a' (Amelia, Amanda, Alyssa etc.), I though it would be nice to include some names that didn't.
Not every first name ends in A. Sometimes a longer name ending in A can be nice with a shorter name. For example, Brooke Amanda, Taylor Marissa and Megan Calista.
OK, you're thinking "haven't we had enough yet?" Maybe so, but if you have a name that's stressed on the 2nd syllable, sometimes it's nice to have a middle name that's long, but stressed on the first. Nicole Addison, Tanisha Amity, and Victoria Abigail are some examples.
Finding rhythmically nice middle names for boys is tricky. Most boys'; names follow our faithful two-syllable, first-syllable stressed pattern (as in Brandon, Austin, Michael, Jacob etc.), so it's actually difficult to come up with nice boys' names with 3 or more syllables (there are lots of really odd ones out there, like Hercules, Abelard, Ethelbert and Adonis, but I didn't include those!). However, here is a list of some 3+ syllable names that we thought were plausible!