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Choosing A Middle Name

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In the past, people have given little thought to middle names. That's why so many of us have similar ones. Names like Robert James, Scott Lee, Sheila Ann, and Donna Marie have been done to death. Furthermore, such negligence can result in a child having a duplicate name. For example, Helen Elaine sounds very beautiful, but Elaine is the Old French form of Helen.

So, first of all, I would suggest avoiding name combinations that have been overdone.

You may want to choose a middle name that serves a function. A middle name may have a family or religious connection. Often it may be the mother's maiden name or some other name associated with the family. However it should also be a name that can become a future alternative to the first name, which the child may in later years want to use instead of the first name. For example:

A boy named Matthew Stuart Clayton, after being known to teachers and fellow students as Matthew or Matt for over twenty years, decided that for the purposes of his profession M. Stuart Clayton would provide an air of distinction that was not present in Matthew S. Clayton.

Some people believe that a child's name can influence his or her future, and some studies seem to indicate that there might be a smidgeon of truth in this.

So a name's meaning, how it sounds, and what it suggests to others are all important considerations.

You might want to use the following scenario as a guideline:

Let's say you have chosen Michael as a first name. The name Michael has some power behind it; the name means "who is like God?" or literally "El's likeness." And in the New Testament, Michael is the name of the archangel who defeats the dragon. Therefore, the name Michael suggests someone who can overcome obstacles.

With the obstacles out of the way, the path is clear and a road to success can be built. I would therefore suggest a middle name that contains the qualities needed to obtain success, such as wisdom and the ability to lead. Make a list of names which contain the qualities you desire. For example:

  1. ABELARD: Old German name, meaning "noble strength." 
  2. ACELIN: Diminutive form of Norman French Ace, meaning "little noble one." 
  3. ADELARD: Variant spelling of Norman French Adalard, meaning "noble strength." 
  4. ALBERT: Compare with another form of Albert.

    1. French name derived from Latin Albertus, meaning "bright nobility."

    2. Middle English form of Anglo-Saxon Æthelbert, meaning "bright nobility."

  5. CONRAD: English form of German Konrad, meaning "bold counsel."
  6. CONSTANTINE: Medieval form of Roman Latin Constantinus, meaning "steadfast." Compare with another form of Constantine.
  7. DARIAN: English unisex name derived from Roman Latin Darius, meaning "possesses a lot, wealthy."
  8. DEREK: English name derived from Dutch Diederik, meaning "first of the people; king of nations."
  9. DONALD: Anglicized form of Scottish Gaelic Domhnall, meaning "world ruler."
  10. DUKE
    1. English name derived from the vocabulary word duke, from Latin dux, meaning "commander, leader."
    2. Short form of English Marmaduke, meaning "devotee of Maedóc." 
  11. ELDRIDGE: Variant spelling of English Aldridge, meaning "noble ruler."
  12. ERIC: English form of German Erich, meaning "ever-ruler." 
  13. FIRMIN: French name derived from Latin Firminus, meaning "firm, steadfast."
  14. GRADY: Irish surname transferred to forename use, from an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Gráda "descendant of Gráda," hence "noble."
  15. HARLIN: English surname transferred to forename use, from the Norman French personal name Herluin, meaning "noble friend" or "noble warrior."
  16. NERO: Short form of Italian Raniero, meaning "wise warrior." Compare with another form of Nero.
  17. NOBLE: English name derived from the vocabulary word, from Latin nobilis, meaning "noble."
  18. RAYMOND: English form of Old French Raimund, meaning "wise protector." 
  19. REYNOLD: Norman French form of Old Norse Rögnvaldr, meaning "wise ruler."
  20. RONALD: English and Scottish name derived from Old Norse Rögnvaldr, meaning "wise ruler."
  21. SHANNON: English unisex name derived from the name of a river in Ireland, composed of the Gaelic elements sean "old, wise" and abhann "river," hence "old river" or "river of wisdom."

Finally, try each name by writing it out completely with first and last name, in both formats. Select one that has a good rhythm when put together with the first and last names. Names beginning with C-, D-, and K- seem to work best with the first name, Michael.

  1. Abelard:  Michael A. LastName / M. Abelard LastName
  2. Conrad:  Michael C. LastName / M. Conrad LastName
  3. Derek:  Michael D. LastName / M. Derek LastName
  4. Grady:  Michael G. LastName / M. Grady LastName
  5. Shannon:  Michael S. LastName / M. Shannon LastName



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