Posts Tagged ‘ middle names ’

Baby Name Dilemma: A Middle Name Beginning With J

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

We’ve had a TON of great reader questions lately—and so I’m hoping to get through a lot of them this week. We’re kicking it off with reader Mandy, who needs a little help with a middle name:

I’m wondering if you could help me come up with a middle name for Maeve, preferably one that starts with the letter J.

Maeve is one of my favorite go-to middle name choices, and I LOVE the idea of putting it in the starring role. With a short-and-sweet name like Maeve, you need a middle name that’s a little longer—so we have to discount common middles like Jane, June, Jade and James (yes, that works for a girl!). But there are still some really intriguing options out there for you.

I absolutely LOVE the thought of pairing Maeve with Josephine. It’s a feminization of Joseph and means “Jehovah increases.” There are plenty of cool historical/literary figures with the name, including Napoleon’s wife, Empress Josephine, singer/actor Josephine Baker, and of course, Josephine March, the heroine of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

Another name with great literary chops and a nice pairing option with Maeve is Juliet, the female part of Shakespeare’s famous star-crossed lovers. It means “youthful.”

A few other options for you: I love the two nature names Juniper (a berry-producing tree that is the source of gin), and Jasper, the precious stone (this name is usually reserved for guys, but I kind of like the sound of Maeve Jasper). And then there’s Jolie, a French name that means pretty.

If you want to move beyond the Js, there are a few other names I’d love paired with Maeve. Try the “J” sounding Gs, like Genevieve, Giada and Georgia, or some hard “C” names, like Clementine, Clara or Caroline.

What other “J” names do you like, readers? Or are there any other names you’d like to see paired with Maeve?

If you’re looking for a little advice for your baby’s name, don’t be shy. You can email me at, or study names on your own with our Baby Name Finder. And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

Irish Baby Names
Irish Baby Names
Irish Baby Names

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Baby Name Dilemma: A Wild Middle Name Request!

Friday, June 13th, 2014

We all know fanboys and fangirls who picked a baby name based on a favorite character (heck, that explains a lot of the Isabellas and Bellas out there, am I right?). But reader Meghan’s husband is taking his superhero love a little too far with his baby name pick:

My husband and I are expecting our first son after three girls. He is very excited, and I agreed to allow him to name the boy, but now I have some serious concerns for my son’s future, because the middle name he has chosen could lead to him getting picked on. My husband (named Steven Rogers) would like to name his son Steven Rogers as well, because he likes that he shares a name with a superhero (Captain America). That I was fine with, but he would like his middle name to be “The Great.” At first I thought he was kidding, but he is not. I was hoping you might have some alternative suggestions I could offer him that he might enjoy as much, but that would not neccessary lead to my son being picked on, or me having to listen to negative feedback from my relatives. He wants a strong/fun name. Any recommendations?

You kind of have to respect your husband’s dedication to his favorite comic book hero—but I think adding in “The Great” as a middle name may take it a little bit too far. (Okay, a LOT too far.)

Maybe he’d be happy with a name that actually means great? Some options: Magnus, Maximilian and Tai. Or maybe he could pick a virtue name? Consider Valor, Brave, Hero, Honor, or Justice. Or what about a name that means brave? Some ones to consider: Everett (love it with Steven), Hardy, or Wyatt.

Maybe he’d be keen to pick another member of S.H.I.E.L.D. to pay homage to—like Nick Fury or Tony Stark? (It’s still a little out there, but Steven Fury Rogers is cooler than Steven The Great Rogers.) Or is there another superhero he could honor? Some cool options that work with Steven Rogers: Kent (a la Superman’s alter ego), Bruce (Batman), Xavier (X-Men’s Professor X), or heck, even Lex to showcase your son’s dark side.

Since Steven Rogers is a family name, consider looking for a middle within your families. Maybe your father’s or grandfather’s name could stand in the middle spot.

If you lose the battle, at least it’s just the middle name, which you and your child can choose to ignore on all but the most official documents. Good luck!

Tell us: Did you pick a pop culture name for your kiddo? And would you let your husband give your son a middle name like “The Great”?

If you’re still looking for a great name, try our Baby Name Finder—or send your dilemma to me at And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret

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Baby Name Dilemma: What Middle Name Goes With Sunshine?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Reader Jennifer knows what name she wants for her daughter—but the middle name stumps her. Here’s her dilemma:
I am having a baby girl and her name will be Sunshine. It’s a heartwarming story on how we got her name, but we are stumped on a middle name. Last name initial is M. Would love to hear some suggestions!

Sunshine is a cheerful, yet still offbeat name—it had a brief spell in the top 1000 in the 1970s-early 1980s. But you’re right—it’s definitely a challenge to come up with a middle name that works. I’d probably skew toward something a little more conservative and traditional, in case your daughter feels Sunshine doesn’t work for her, but you don’t want to go too conservative, either—I think Sunshine Jane would be odd, for instance.

Another word name would be lovely—perhaps a floral name, like Rose, Dahlia, Laurel, or Lily. Or a gem name, like Jade or Pearl.

Some other options I think could work with Sunshine: Fae, Rowena, Athena, and Isadora.

So readers, what do you think? What names would you pair with Sunshine? If you have a burning baby name question, don’t be shy: Share it with me at, or in the comments here. And our Baby Name Finder can help you find your perfect name, if you’re still searching.  (To keep up with the latest in baby names, you should like In Name Only on Facebook!)

Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?

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Baby Name Dilemma: A Perfect Middle Name for a Girl

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Reader Tiffany already has a perfect girls’ name all lined up—except for the middle name.

We were all settled on Lily Patricia, after my husband’s grandmother. But we found out over the holidays that Patsy wasn’t the nickname we assumed it was but her actual given name and she hated the name Patricia! Her name was Patsy Lou but I’m not wild about Lily Lou either. Our last name starts with a G, so we have a hard time with middle names that start with vowels as it occasionally creates awkward initials. We like old-ish sounding names (are toying with Frederick and Theodore on the boy’s side). We’re not finding out the baby’s sex until it is born (due in May)!

Oooh, I love Lily Patricia—it’s too bad that your husband’s grandmother doesn’t! Patsy and Lou don’t strike quite the right chord with Lily, so we definitely do need to move in another direction. What about another name that gives you that “Pat” start in homage to his grandmother? I really love the idea of a Lily Patience or Lily Patia.

You could also choose a name that has the same meaning as Patricia, which means “noble.” There’s Freya, the name of an ancient Scandinavian goddess, or Adeline or Alice. (I know you were concerned about the vowel in the middle, but I don’t think LAG is as bad as LUG or LOG.)

Or you could just go with an old-fashioned name that suits your style. I like Lily paired with Rose or Azalea for a super floral, feminine and old-fashioned name. Or try Delphine, Theodora, Beatrice—all up-and-coming vintage names that flow beautifully with Lily.

What other names do you guys think would suit Lily? Share them in the comments! And don’t forget to get a little help with your own name hunt by checking out our Baby Name Finder, and liking In Name Only on Facebook.


Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name

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Cool Name of the Week: Adele

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Congrats to Adele, who picked up yet another Grammy yesterday—that makes nine total for her now—for her song “Set Fire to the Rain.” She’s going to be rocking the Oscars with her Bond theme “Skyfall,” and she’s adoring life as a new mom (to a son apparently named Angelo).

I’m thinking she’s going to make her name just as golden as well. Since Adele’s meteoric rise to the top of the charts, her name has become red-hot as well—it rose nearly 300 places between 2010 and 2011, and my guess is that we’ll find it hovering near the top 300 when the next top U.S. names chart hits in early May. So it’s a perfect pick for my cool name of the week.

You might think Adele’s related to Adeline, but it’s actually based on the name Adelaide, and means “noble.” (Not a bad trait for your future daughter.) And though it’s short enough to be nickname-resistant, if you do like the Addy or Ellie nicknames, it’s a fabulous way to reach it.

Adele opted to become a one-name wonder, like Madonna, Prince and Rihanna, but she actually has two middle names: Laurie and Blue. (Her mother was obviously way ahead of her time!) Of her two middle names, I would have skipped the tamer Laurie and picked beautiful Blue for her middle name.

If you aren’t keen on following too closely in the “Rolling in the Deep” singer’s footsteps, Adele’s the kind of name that can suit a variety of middle names. I like the floral names for a middle name pairing with this classic moniker: Violet, Rose, or Dahlia would all make beautiful choices with Adele. If you like some of the more classic middle names, Jane or Caroline would have a nice flow coming after Adele.

Is Adele on your short list? And do you know any baby Adeles who were born recently? Don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby naming news.

Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/

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