Middle name(s) ideas help please!

Hello all:

We are expecting a little girl in a month. After much debate, we have narrowed the first name options down to three:

Zara

Hannah

Samara 

We now need some help with ideas for middle names. Per tradition in my husband’s (British) family, she will have two middle names. I would definitely like to use the letter L to honour my late father. The letter we’d like to use for the other middle name would either be J (to honour the rest of our parents whose names all start with J) or R (to honour our maternal grandmothers).

Last name starts with N and is one syllable.

Thanks so much!

 

Replies

1
October 16, 2018 7:23 AM

Leah, Lily, Lorelei, Lydia, Lillian, Lilith, Lucy, Lucille, Laura, Lauren, Laurel, Lara, Leticia, Lee, Leanne, Livia, Lynlee, Lynn, Lyndal, Leila, Leilani, Lisa, Leonie - is their a female equivilent to your dad's name

June, Jean, Juliet, Julia, Jade, Jasmine, Jessica, Jocelyn, Josephine, Joy, Jenna, Julie, Josie, Jane, Jacinta, Johanna, Jenene, Janine, Joanne, Jessamy, Jemima, Jessamyn, Jodie

Ruth, Ruby, Rachel, Rebecca, Rose, Rosalie, Roslyn, Raphaella, Rhiannon, Rochelle, Rhonda, Roxette, Rowena, Rosemary

2
October 17, 2018 4:37 AM

The female equivalent of my father’s name is Louise/Louisa. That’s pretty much what I’ve been stuck on for the L names so thanks for the other suggestions.

Since I’m so used to just one middle name I’m having a hard time getting two to sound fluid. Perhaps it’s less about getting the whole name to flow and just choosing names we like/are meaningful?

3
October 17, 2018 3:29 PM

Definitely chose names that you like/are meaningful before worrying about the sound. It's likely going to be very rare that anyone says her full name so it's really not the worst thing in the world if it isn't the most smoothly flowing thing. If you can narrow your choices down to two names you like for each letter then you can play around with them in different pairs to find a sound you like. I also think whatever combination you end up picking will sound better to you over time as you become more comfortable with the length.

My family is a two-middle-name family as well and for me what makes so many names work is thinking about the syllable count of the names. For example with your one syllable last name if you went with Samara as the first name I like the rhythm of 3-2-3-1 so say (to just pick some random names from suzanne's lists) Samara Lily Rosemary N- or Samara Ruby Louisa N-. Whereas a count of 3-1-3-1 sounds to me like two separate first+last names regardless of the names (Samara Joy Louisa N- or Samara Lee Rebecca N-) because the abrupt change in syllables makes it choppy. With one of the two syllable first names I like a pattern of 2-3-2-1 or 2-3-3-1 eg Zara Jessica Lucy N- or Hannah Rhiannon Leonie N-. 

Of course what rhythm is pleasing will be subjective and it does also depend on the sounds in the names (as all your first name options end with a short 'ah' sound you probably want at least a couple of middles that end differently to break it up but it will depend on the last name too), that's why I think you're better getting a shortlist and then playing around with combinations to find out what you like best. 

4
October 18, 2018 4:19 AM

This is an awesome response! Thanks so much. I totally agree with the rhythm thing. Will play around with that a bit. 

Interestingly, I read an article yesterday about the British penchant for double middle names. The article was evaluating the characteristics of these names and one was that they seem to have a disregard for making the names all flow together nicely. So, it’s probably me (as an American) trying to make it all work when we really should just choose the names we like/are most meaningful and be done with it (as you rightly recommend)

5
October 18, 2018 2:14 PM

You're welcome! :) 

Ha! I am British but actually outside of my (immediate) family I don't know very many people with two middle names at all so I don't know how common it actually is. My guess would be that it's more common the higher up the class scale you go (and we are just an anomaly lol) and I can see those people not caring much about flow. 

6
October 17, 2018 7:31 PM

I'd probably use Louise, Louisa as a middle  or Eloise or Eloisa  others Lilou, Luanne, Luanna, Lucille, Lucinda, Louella, Luella, Marilou, Marylou, Marylouise, Louetta, Loulabella, Louisana, Emmylou, Lula, Lurissa, Louvina, Louelle, Lucy, Luciana, Tallulah, Luellyn

8
October 18, 2018 4:27 PM

We've used two middle names for each of our kids as well, also per tradition in my husband's family (and now that I think about it, it is the British side of his family that does it). It has made for awfully long names for our kids, but I do like that their middle names have family significance from both his side and mine. We compromised on "flow" with a couple of them because it was more important to use significant names.

 

You could use a direct honour name, rather than just a starting letter?If you are comfortable letting us know that actual names of the people you want to honour, we could help come up with some options.

 

Out of your first name options, my favourite is Hannah, but I do like Zara and Samara as well.