Should We Use Two Middle Names to Keep the Peace?

Filed under: Siblings, Baby Names

What are your thoughts on using two middle names? I have two boys who would both like to select the middle name for their new brother. Of course, they can't agree!

- Compromising Mom

This is a new twist on an extra middle name. Most parents who choose to double up are making some nod to tradition. In some cases, the family has always used two middle names, such as the grandfathers on both sides of the family. Other families want to honor prominent ancestors or proud lineages.

Because of the the latter tradition, a multi-part name can come across as a throwback to a blue blood society where a child's name had to reflect all of his eminent connections. You see that style at work in names from George Herbert Walker Bush to Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. That brings up yet another group of double-namers: Parents who just want to sound like the kind of people who do have such family traditions.

I'm inclined to be respectful of the real family traditions, less so of the imitations. That's not a matter of snobbery. It's simply that the extra name is a practical bother, so I wouldn't choose it without a genuine meaningful reason.

A meaningful reason doesn't have to date back to the Mayflower, though. It just has to be special to your family, and deliver something beyond style that a single middle name can't. Yours is a new reason I can get on board with. Choosing middle names could be a great way to help your boys bond with their new baby brother. The naming process brings the idea of the child to life for parents, and it should work its magic on siblings, too. You might just have a brand new tradition-in-waiting, no eminent connections required.

Do you have any special naming traditions? Share your experiences here. And if you have your own question to Ask the Name Lady, drop her a line!

Related: Miley Cyrus Ruined My Daughter's Name
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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.