Are these initials troublesome?

Ok, so baby #2 is on the way, and while my husband and I don't know if it's a boy or a girl until tomorrow, we have an inkling that it's a boy. That said, we were looking for names that honored his Scandinavian heritage and some family and came up with the name Frederick Neil (first name is a top name in Denmark, middle is his brother's middle name). All was well and good...until I realized that his initials would be F.N. and all I could think of was being called "F-in' S____sen."

My husband thinks it's hilarious and not really a big deal ("If he goes into the military, his drill instructors would love it!"). I, too, find it a little funny, but am worried about saddling a kid with unfortunate initials for his whole life. Do you all think that there's enough of an issue to warrant changing the potential middle name or am I overthinking it?

If we have a girl, this doesn't matter as much, but we will most likely have this as our top boy's name for whenever baby #3 shows up, too.



January 13, 2013 1:37 PM

I really wouldn't worry about first & middle initials. I don't recall a time that my first + middle were ever used together. It's either first + last or all three together, in which case I don't think FNS is bad at all. 

January 13, 2013 1:47 PM

I agree. Unless you call him by his first and middle names, which would make those initials more likely to be seen as a unit (e.g. DJ), I can't see why that would come up unless you bring it up. (It is pretty funny, though!)

FNS just makes me think of "functions". Completely innocuous :)

January 13, 2013 5:37 PM

I think given how infrequently the mn is used, it's not an issue.

I'm a teacher, and kids almost never know their classmates' mns, and certainly wouldn't hear it often enough to put that together.

January 13, 2013 11:06 PM

My husband and I are teachers, too, but I guess that's why I was thinking of it - I always get to see class rosters with full names and every once in a while would see something bad enough that I would cringe and go, "Oooh..." Then again, my brain might work differently. :-)

January 14, 2013 11:16 AM

In my experience, kids DO know their classmates' middle names, they just don't care about them unless the names are funny to them. So, in my grade, there were two boys whose middle names were frequently referenced by their friends: One whose middle name was Tobias, a very uncommon name for a boy born in the early '80s, and the other whose middle name was after his grandfather, Hyman. Yeah. Teenage boys couldn't let that one go.

In your case, however, the names themselves are perfectly tame and the initials form a somewhat vague reference when take firstname and middlename together only. I really think you're safe.

January 18, 2013 4:19 PM

Kids do know pretty much all of their classmates middle names. At least in my experience they did. The middle names are on the report cards & on class lists. You can't really avoid other students knowing about them. Some kids in my class didn't like their middle name & didn't like people know their middle name, but no one ever teased them about their middle name, (as far as I know.)

But FNS shouldn't be a problem.

January 13, 2013 6:50 PM

I agree with the previous posters. FNS should be fine.

By mk
January 13, 2013 7:51 PM

I agree with the others. It will not be a problem.

January 17, 2013 5:04 AM

Growing up I sometimes used initials of First, Middle1, Middle2, and then followed by full surname. When I changed my name upon marriage and ended up with only one middle name, I even more frequently find myself using First MiddleInitial Fullsurname. It's how I indicated my name on lab manuals I wrote, for example, or other course documents. It's a very nice way to truncate a long name, obscure your gender, or make yourself sound a bit like a fantasy author.

Also, first initial, middle initial, last name (truncated at a certain number of characters) was formerly a very commonly employed algorithm for email assignments, since it is less likely to require addition of numbers at the end than just first initial and last name. These days schools seem to have switched to letting students pick their own usernames, which means that rather than seeing things like, you see more things along the lines of - which looks faaaar worse on a resume, in my opinion. I don't know how nonuniversity employers are - I'd guess still assign on the first initial, middle initial, full last name formula, based on the email addresses I've seen, but it might just be that those were old usernames grandfathered in, or adopted by choice out of habit... and a desire for professionalism greater than that of the average college freshman.

So, anyway, to me F.N. Surname wouldn't be entirely unreasonable to consider. I use my name in that format a great deal, perhaps made possible by an unusual surname, but still. Perhaps I would not chose to use that format as frequently if my initials were F.N., though... F. Surname would perhaps be equally acceptable, again, especially if that combination is enough to be unique.

Good luck! I don't think it's a dealbreaker, regardless.

January 17, 2013 8:45 PM

Frederick Neil is a great name and the initials are fine! 

January 19, 2013 1:38 PM

Thanks for all the feedback! I appreciate it. We are indeed having a boy this time around, so it's definitely a potential name! We have a few other options floating around (like my maiden name, which is a fairly popular and now androgynous name), but it's good to know that this one is pretty safe. :-)