View Full Version : Middle names

18th Feb 2004, 08:39
Two pronged question here.

1. Why do we have middle names? What's the actual point of them? Was asked this by someone the other day, and I couldn't answer it.

2. Seeing as I'm on the subject of middle names, what's yours then? Come on I know there must be some good ones out there....

Mines Richard by the way (how boring!)


Onan the Clumsy
18th Feb 2004, 08:58
what's yours then? the

18th Feb 2004, 09:27

Sure its not double barelled - as in the tight ?

18th Feb 2004, 10:03
1. Middle names were invented by mothers so they could call you by your full name when they're yelling at you.

2. Anne

Northern Chique
18th Feb 2004, 15:24
1. So the inlaws and or elder family wont bother you until its time for the annual family get together....

2. Trouble.... oh sorry thats the nickname... Tamsin

18th Feb 2004, 15:31
Well if the first one gets lost or goes u/s, you've got a backup.

Tamsin - love your cooking program.


Patron saint of Christmas, so you better watch out.

18th Feb 2004, 15:41
Boelskift - which very quickly was changed to Bullshit by you English speaking lot. :mad:

18th Feb 2004, 15:51
I suspect it was a way of keeping both sets of grandparents happy so that family names from both sides could be continued.


Could have been worse - it was nearly Miniver except that my grandmother said that if my mother named me after her, she would never speak to her again ;)

18th Feb 2004, 16:56
So that you could get named for lots of rich frends and relatives who would then die and give you loads of moolah. Oh well, good theory, left my mum landed with Templeton :ugh:


18th Feb 2004, 17:01
1) So that when the couple round the corner call their daughter with the name you'd chosen, you can still use it.

2) Louise.

Capn Notarious
18th Feb 2004, 17:04
Given it because they knew, I would always be in there.

18th Feb 2004, 17:29
No idea, but I did hear just the other day that apparently it is traditional for Catholics to have 2! Greedy b#ggers.

Douglas - and no, I don't have a spade in my head (yet!).

18th Feb 2004, 17:39
Assume it was because the parents wanted a degree of symmetry in the initials of all offspring. (Have 2 brothers with same middle initial, though names are different.)


Actually known by either of given names depending on who knows me from when. Can be confusing to new aquaintances when Mrs S uses both names in the same conversation. Has been asked if she was married to 2 people!

18th Feb 2004, 17:52
Well whirlygig sums it up for my son whose middle names are his grandfathers first names.

18th Feb 2004, 18:13
Michael. I like to use it...but most people take it out of me:D

I think that the purpose of having a middle name is to create a more interesting set of initials. Mine are 'P.M.S'...hence my lack of success with the ladies...anyone else? A young baby I know has the initials 'L.B.W.', his father's cricket mad!!

18th Feb 2004, 18:18
It is so that parents dont have to argue which grandparent to name the kid after - save on a big family argument if named after one not other - fighting grandparents could get messy :ooh:

middle name Alice (it was going to be florence but my mum put her foot down and said no so I had my grandmothers middle name too!)

18th Feb 2004, 18:46
My middle name is my first name. Allow me to explain...

Parents preferred Simon as my first name, hence christened Simon Timothy. However, it was decided on reflection that their son might get teased later in life with such cruel jibes as 'Simple Simon', so the decision was made that I would be known by my middle name.

All that happens now is I am quizzed on a regular basis 'why do you call yourself Tim when your real name is Simon?'

Spose' I could change it back but then I'd have to explain that too.

..any way, it did'nt stop the name calling.. Timmy T*at, Tosser Tim, etc.etc.

18th Feb 2004, 19:04
Middle names ? Never seen the point of 'em.

Just Grainger will do fine...

18th Feb 2004, 19:21
Valentine.... :sad:

18th Feb 2004, 19:26
So that we can sign with our initials rather than the full name.


Fredrick Eric Curmudgeon Kennedy Underwood :ok:

Four Seven Eleven
18th Feb 2004, 19:32
1) To avoid potentially embarassing juxtapositions. For example, referring to my relatives (aka 'the Elevenses') as "Seven's kin" is so much more polite than calling them "Four's kin". :O

2) Seven

18th Feb 2004, 19:38
witchdoctor is correct - it is traditional for Roman Catholics to have two middle names.

The second middle name you can choose yourself when you are confirmed (at about age 10) but it is not "official" - as far as names are "official" since you can call yourself whatever you da** well please as long as it is not fraudulent.

So.... confirmation name (which is supposed to be a Saint's name)




Flying Lawyer
18th Feb 2004, 20:27
A distinguished barrister who died in 2001 at the age of 95 was christened John Faithful Fortescue Platts-Mills. Imagine the hell of going through school (in his case in New Zealand) with that lot!

Just in case his rather grand middle names gives some a misleading impression of the man, he was a sincere and active socialist throughout his life - a genuine socialist who consistently stood by his principles at the expense of his political ambitions, not the Blairite 'Gucci-Socialist' type.

BTW, mine's 'Wyn'.

18th Feb 2004, 21:40
Middle names are from the middle ages, when everyone had the same name they needed another label as in, Gandalf Smegma Blacksmith versus Gandalf Porkie Blacksmith. See?

Ozzy, Prince OF Darkness

Mr Chips
18th Feb 2004, 21:45
Good explanation from Whirlygig - although you rather short-cahnged yourself! take a saint with a surname and your name becomes that much more impresive...

Middle name - John
Confirmation name - Edmund Campion
Answers to - Mr Chips!

18th Feb 2004, 21:48
I've got two!!

Ellis Leonard.

18th Feb 2004, 22:26
This reminds me of that parlour game where you come up with your "film star name" - the version I know is where you put the name of your first pet with the name of the street you first lived in. That makes me Hamish Brattswood - an unusual name for a lass, methinks!:hmm:

18th Feb 2004, 22:48
Whirlygig hit it spot on!
1/ All four kids sport grand (or Great Grand) parent names. (First names deliberately NOT family tied!)

2/ Grandmother had "Chelew" as one of her middle names in the hope she would inherit from that family (shipping magnate?) her mother worked for......she did :ok: ....a single cracked chamber pot :rolleyes:

3/ Me - Joseph (male line family name :rolleyes: )

19th Feb 2004, 00:59
Silly, and I was about seven before I got the spelling right.


19th Feb 2004, 01:21
Family tradition actually.


Even the females, strange family I come from.


19th Feb 2004, 01:23
My sister and I are both known by names which begin with the same initial . As young adults this caused some confusion especially with post etc ( embarrassment at times when various boyfriends wrote letters ;) )
So from a very early age i had people send me mail etc using my full set of initials as did my sister.
My sister ironically has gone on and managed to do the same with her daughters giving them names that start with the same initial.


19th Feb 2004, 01:51
Over here, proper WASP families have a formula in naming:

Given name: an ancestor's given name (grandfather in my case)
Middle name: Mother's family name
Family name: Father's family name

Simple as that...

And then you come to the Spanish approach - also used in South America:

Proper Catholic first name(s).
then father's family name,
the mother's family name.

But it is optional to use the mother's family name. The official name more or less ends with the father's family name.

This is especially confusing to Anglosaxons, like where I do volunteer work. We have quite a few foreign members who sometimes, sometimes not, use their full Spanish-style names.

And then we have the Italians and French who sometime write the family name first, sometimes last. At least the French use all-caps when writing the family name among themselves, but they usually don't do so when writing to us. Lots of guessing for us.

And the oriental style of family-name first. But the Japanese often put it last when writing in English - another problem for our organization. A Japanese fellow I asked about this said that family names are usually shorter than given names - which helps in guessing. His name was an exception to the rule. Or maybe I have it backwards.

Bet you can guess that I'm involved with the membership database.


19th Feb 2004, 02:42
danger is my middle name


just joshing!!!


19th Feb 2004, 04:37
Both my husband and I do not have middle names (saves a lot of time filling out forms). My first name is unusual enough all by itself. In all my life I have met only one other person with the same name and she was as surprised as me.

tony draper
19th Feb 2004, 06:33
Drapes has a middle name, chap one has worked with for near 40 years still does not know what it is, although he has sworn to discover it before he dies.
Oh no he won't!


19th Feb 2004, 06:36
Mrs SLF feels deprived as she only has one forename (I guess Christian name is non-PC these days).

So the SLF-ettes have two, so if they don't like our first choices, they have a standby.

...and George unfortunately :(

19th Feb 2004, 08:41
CoodaKids have multiple names 'cos, after months of thinking up possible names for the soon-to-be arrivals, we had too many that we liked.

So they all got bunged in.

Question for our English prooners.....

Does having Essex for a middle name mean that I'm due to inherit the place?:E (My other names have regal lineage :} )

19th Feb 2004, 10:23
Life Mrs SLF, Mrs J has no middle name.

That's cause the MIL was too lazy to think of one! Thank christ they didn't use her's...that would be a constant reminder.

Constable Clipcock
19th Feb 2004, 10:35
1) Serves to distinguish between two consecutive generations without having to use "Jr"/"Sr" when father and son have same first name, as in my case.

2) Merlin