The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Middle Name

Updated: April 1, 2020
When choosing a middle name for your baby, it’s important to think about your intention. Is it to honor a family member or your heritage? Do you simply want something that sounds good with the first and last name? No matter what you’re looking for, we’ll help you get started in choosing a middle name.
The ultimate guide to choosing a middle name for your baby

When it comes to choosing baby names, deciding on a middle name can be an exciting challenge. You can use a middle name for so many purposes. The first thing to consider is your intention behind choosing a baby name that includes a middle name. Is your priority to choose a middle name for your baby girl or baby boy that honors a family member? Would you like to choose an older family name to honor your heritage?

More: 75 Modern Names for Babies

Maybe you would prefer to look at unique middle names or popular middle names as a start. No matter which is most important to you and even if you don’t know where to begin, this middle name ultimate resource guide will help you get started!

What Is The Point of a Middle Name?

There are many reasons to choose a middle name when browsing baby names. Honoring a family member by choosing the name of someone important to you, or by choosing a variation of their name is a common intention. For example, if your grandmother’s name was Elizabeth, you could make that the middle name, or you could choose a one-syllable variation like Beth if that fits better with the cadence of the entire name. You could consider choosing a family name for the middle name as well. This could be the mother’s maiden name or another last name from your family tree that you would like to live on.

A middle name can also simply be a name that sounds pleasant between your first name choice and last name choice. Popular middle names like Jane, Lynn, or Ann often round out the sound of a name. Another option is to use a middle name as a way to incorporate your second choice for the baby’s first name. Sometimes, it can be really hard to decide on a first name and the middle name is another place to use a specific name if there happen to be two names that you really love.

Do You Need a Middle Name?

You absolutely do not need to choose a middle name when deciding on a baby name. Middle names are optional. You can simply choose a baby name with a first name and last name if you so desire. That said, it is more common than not to have a middle name. Still, your baby boy or baby girl will have a beautiful name as long as you choose a meaningful first and last name or a name that you love. The middle name is not a requirement.

Girl Middle Names

There are so many beautiful middle name options for your baby girl. Here is a list of our top ten middle names for girls that you can use as a resource as you go through the process of choosing a baby name. Along with this list, you can also check out our list of the top middle names for girls.

  • Jade - A short but strong option that falls in the category of unique middle names.
  • Elizabeth - A regal and classic choice.
  • Lynn - This name can balance out longer first and last names.
  • Louise - We love that this Old German name means warrior.
  • Kate - This popular name is a perfect option if you are looking at traditional names.
  • Jane - Another strong one-syllable name option in the traditional names category. 
  • Dawn - The beauty of daybreak shines in this baby girl name.
  • Eve - A classic girl’s name meaning life.
  • Hope - If you are looking for a baby name with meaning, you can’t go wrong with this one.
  • Grace - A baby girl name to convey what a blessing she is to you.

Boy Middle Names

As you consider different options for your baby boy’s middle name, you might consider everything from family names to popular names that convey a name meaning that is important to you. Whether you are looking for a strong masculine name, a gender-neutral name, or a name to honor a family member, we have options for you.

Check out our top ten boy middle names list below, and head on over to our full list of baby boy middle names here.

  • William - This is one of the most popular boy baby names.
  • James - A middle name with royal roots.
  • John - A one-syllable option meaning God’s grace.
  • Lucas - A popular name for the new light in your life.
  • Kai - A name with natural origins and ties to the sea.
  • Charles - Another royal name meaning manly.
  • Henry - This name is a throwback to simpler times.
  • David - A classic boy’s name meaning beloved.
  • Robert - This name has beautiful meaning: bright flame.
  • Alexander - A lovely option to go with a one-syllable first name.

Still looking for inspiration for a first name for your baby? Head over to our baby names section!