Choosing a Middle NameMichelle Horton
For us, choosing a middle name was the easy part. In fact, we judged our first name choices on how well they flowed with his last and middle name — not deciding on the first name “Noah” until after we had a few hours to hang out with him. (For the record, we picked Noah for its peaceful, poetic, artsy feel. And at the time, it wasn’t very popular.)
But the middle name “Patrick” was decided as soon as we found out we were having a boy.
Patrick is my late Grandfather’s name — the only Grandpa I ever knew — and I just knew he would have loved my little boy to pieces. Besides my love for my Grandpa, I always planned on honoring family members with my children’s middle names. And my husband was pretty much on board with any middle name, considering it’s just a middle name. We didn’t hem and haw over it like our son’s first name.
Yet I didn’t realize just how much we’d use his middle name! Everything is “Noah Patrick,” and I’ve even caught my husband calling him “Patrick” from time to time.
So I can understand why people have such a difficult time choosing a middle name, and I love the unique approaches at a middle. I read Rebecca Woolf’s beautiful baby-naming process, in which she balances her children’s names with strength and softness, and I was in awe of the thoughtful process. A friend of mine chose two middle names for her son: one to flow with the first name, and a second to honor her maiden name. Another friend actually settled on a middle name by way of compromise for losing out on the first name battle. And then there are those who choose to skip the middle name altogether.
Yet I know that next time, for the next one, our first stop for middle names will still be the family tree. There’s something about naming our child after a loved one’s character, personality, memory.
How do you choose your baby’s middle name? Do you stick to the family tree, like me and Melanie? Do you get a little funky? Do you go with a safe choice in case your child despises your first name choice?
For those currently in the process of middle-naming, check out the 20 most popular middle names of all times.