This is the next installment of our “How To Master Middle Names” series. In case you missed them, you can find the other posts in this series here.
Way back in 2008 when I became a name blog junkie, I stumbled upon an amazing discovery: multi-middle names. This practice was completely new to me. I knew more people without middle names than people with two or more middle names.
Admittedly, I was turned off. This is a bold admission for a name-person as name-people normally embrace this trend. But to me it seemed like a fad. However, as I met more adults with multiple middle names, I began to suspect this wasn’t just a passing fad, but rather a little-known practice. And being open-minded, I began to see how multiple middle names might make sense in certain situations.
Let’s review some pros and cons of multiple middle names:
- If you love names, but don’t want more than one or two children, multiple middle names allow you to use more of the names you love.
- If you have many important people you wish to honor, but don’t want a lot of children, multiple middle names allow you to honor more people.
- If you can’t decide whether you prefer honoring or imaginative middle names, multiple middle names allow you to do both.
- If the parents have different last names, one of the last names could be a second middle name, allowing the parents to put both surnames and another honoring or imaginative middle name on the birth certificate.
- In some families, multiple middle names are a tradition going back a couple of generations that some parents wish to continue.
- The U.S. is mostly a one middle name per person culture, and some people might find multiple middle names pretentious, a practice reserved mostly for royalty.
- Our one middle name culture also means many forms don’t allow for more than one middle name or multiple middle initials, and as a result the second middle name often gets dropped by the bearer.
- If the last name is long, especially if it’s hyphenated, multiple middle names can become cumbersome.
- Getting the right flow with multiple middle names adds another layer of complexity to the baby naming process.
And this complexity in getting the right flow makes muli-middle names both intriguing and infuriating. This is the perfect segue into next week’s middle name topic: mastering first/middle (possibly second middle)/last name flow.
Readers: Would you consider giving your child multiple middle names?