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Finding a Unique Middle Name

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It can be challenging choosing your baby’s first name but what about a middle name? Middle names are chosen for a variety of reasons – religious, family tradition, geography and more. Here are some real-life examples of unique middle names that you may find helpful while making your decision.

Baby sleepingCelebrity Baby Middle Names

For unique – some may say outrageous – middle names, look no further than the latest celebrity news. Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz’s son Bronx’s middle name is Mowgli, after the character in The Jungle Book. My Name is Earl  TV star Jason Lee gave his son the moniker Pilot Inspektor. And comedy/magic duo Penn & Teller’s Penn Gillette named his daughter Moxie Crimefighter.

Family Tradition

Some families pass names down through the generations. My husband’s family has the tradition of giving grandchildren their grandmothers’ or grandfathers’ first names as middle names depending on if they’re girls or boys. My side of the family is Jewish and traditionally we name babies after family or close friends who have died – sometimes using the first initial of the deceased. My sons are Justin Ryan – named after my husband’s grandfather Roy – and Joshua Liam – named after my cousin Laura. Both passed away while I was pregnant.

Creating Your Own Middle Name

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia says, “I grew up in Alabama, where there is a real risk of being known as "Junior" if you have the exact same name as your father.  My parents didn't want that.  My father's name is "Jimmy Don Wales", so first they thought of "Jimmy Donald Wales" - that wouldn't do, though, because they didn't want to favor one Uncle over another - and I have an uncle named Donald. So, they settled on the unusual middle name of "Donal.”

Devanie Angel is a mom who likes middle names so much she created a site all about them – BabyMiddleName.net. “My middle name is Montilyn,” she explains. “My mother's name is Carolyn, and when she was pregnant with me a friend of hers named Monty was very supportive of her so she put the names Monty and Carolyn together to form Montilyn.”

Named for Special Places

Angel kept up the unique middle naming tradition when her son Alec was born. “His middle name is Merced, after the Merced River that runs through Yosemite Park. My husband's family has camped along the Merced River every year for more than 50 years, and it's a very special place that we wanted to pay tribute to in our son's name.”

Middle Names as First Names 

Malik Turley, a mom in Evanston, IL says, “My middle name at birth was Malik, named after Malcom X. When he changed his name as part of his conversion to Islam he chose Malik for his middle name. My parents, an interracial couple in the early 70s, felt that since his conversion marked his change of heart about racial separatism, it was the perfect name for their interracial child.” Turley has only ever been called by her middle name, so she changed it.

Cultural Meaning

Adalia John a mom in Tarzana, CA gave her four children African middle names with special meaning – Lateef which means gentle, Bobo means born on a Tuesday, Akua born on a Thursday, and Atu born on a Saturday.

Initial Middle Names

Tricia Mumby, a mom from Canada doesn’t really get why middle names are such a big deal, so she gave her daughter Ruby the middle initial “J.” That’s right – just an initial. “The J represents many people in her life that are important and honors them all – her daddy is Joe, her grandpa is James and her auntie is Joan.”

Some parents decide not to give their kids a middle name or initial at all. Whatever you choose for your baby, have fun during the process.

Read More:


The Guide to Choosing a Middle Name

Today's Trendiest Middle Names

Baby Middle Names Inspired by the Bible

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