Middle Name Suggestions

We really like Claire and Elise for first names, but we're really struggling on coming up with a middle name to go with either one of them! Any suggestions?


April 22, 2017 3:26 AM


























is there any family names you can us

April 22, 2017 8:59 AM

Our only family name option is Lorraine (my middle name, as well as my mom's and grandmother'S), so it's a valid option, but Im not sure we both like it enough to use it. :)

April 22, 2017 9:18 AM

could you use your first name or another families first name or a variation of your hubby or male side of the family

what about Raine as a mn or Raina, Lorrae, Lorelei, Lorena

By mk
April 24, 2017 10:57 AM

I love the family connection of Lorraine.


April 22, 2017 9:26 AM

I think sometimes finding a meaningful middle name makes it easier to find something you like, as opposed to searching through literally thousands of names looking for something that "goes with" the first name.

It sounds like you don't really want to use Lorraine.  If there are no other family name options available, I'd suggest looking elsewhere for a meaningful name.   You might start by looking at names of literary characters, historical or religious figures you and your partner admire, place names, nature names, names related to a hobby, song lyrics, musicians, virtue names, and so forth.  These can all be great places for name inspiration.  If you can give us some ideas about your interests, the regulars around here are pretty good at coming up with suggestion.

April 22, 2017 5:58 PM

This is really good advice.

I'm going to give you a few random sounds-good-together thoughts anyway, though.  I think that for both Claire and Elise, a middle name with the stress on the second syllable sounds especially nice.  Claire Lorraine unfortunately has too many repeating sounds to be a good combination, but Elise Lorraine could be quite lovely.  I also think Claire Elise* is very pretty, so unless you feel strongly about wanting to save either Claire or Elise for a potential future daughter, you could just use both of your favorite names.

Other ideas:
Claire Victoria (LOVE this)
Elise Victoria
Claire Elizabeth (love this, too--seconding suzannembrown)
Elise Noëlle
Claire Elena
Claire Amelia
Elise Camilla
Claire Simone
Elise Marina
More of suzannembrown's suggestions that i like a lot: Claire Olivia, Elise Rebecca, Claire Miranda, Elise Miranda, Elise Natalia, Claire Vanessa, Elise Naomi, Claire Matilda.

*  It sounds like "Für Elise," Beethoven's piano piece, which is a positive association for me.

By EVie
April 22, 2017 8:54 PM

Your mention of Für Elise reminded me that Clair de Lune is the name of several pieces of classical music, so the combo of Claire Elise (either as first/middle or as a sibset) really puts me in mind of classical music--which I really like!

I agree that names with a stress on the second syllable work well with both those names, probably because they're both French in origin and that's a common pattern for French names. But actually, I think that they're both extremely flexible names when it comes to pairing, and almost anything multisyllabic would be beautiful--Elise Genevieve, Claire Isabel, Elise Marietta, Claire Alexandra. I personally don't care for the choppier rhythm of one-syllables names in the middle for either (though Elise Jane is better than Claire Jane, for example), but some of that also depends on your last name--if you have a very long one, two short given names can work nicely. 

April 22, 2017 9:32 PM

Thanks so much for all the suggestions! I also LOVE Claire Olivia - I think that's my favorite combination, but our last name is Woodstock and I just can't do C.O.W. as intials. Haha. :) It definitely sounds like the stress on the second syllable is the way to go! All of your suggestions flow really nicely, so they've given us a whole bunch of options to consider.

April 23, 2017 6:22 PM

You know, i went through a phase in middle school in which cows were my favorite hoofed animal.  I had an awesome "Cows Are Cool" T-shirt and occasionally even pinned a mini cowbell to my collar.

The point is, it would be unfortunate to give your daughter COW initials on accident, but if you know you're doing it, you can celebrate it instead.  Nursery decorating theme?  Check!  Stuffed friend?  Check!  You could encourage her to consider the cow something of a spirit animal.

(Of course, if you like Claire Olivia only a little more than other combinations, maybe you'll decide that's too much trouble.  But cows don't have to be a negative association.  It's not like, say, having the initials ASS or KKK or HIV.)

April 23, 2017 6:37 PM

PMS was no treat for my friend, either. 

I actually think that it's a cute idea. My surname is an animal word and I've used it as a signature, in a logo, and the like. And a surname is WAY more obvious than initials.

April 22, 2017 10:12 PM

Added to my previous comment, I love the idea about interests! We both happen to be classically trained musicians and we attend an Anglican church, so music-related and saintly names (Claire Cecilia?) might be a good realm for us to explore.

April 22, 2017 11:01 PM

oh you wouldnt want your daughter with the COW initials  - Claire Cecilia is nice but I'm not keen on the meaning or Melody, Cadence, Arietta, Kalliope, Harmony,

April 24, 2017 10:29 AM

What meaning? Cecilia, besides being a drop-dead-gorgeous name, is the patron saint of music, so for classical musicians, you can't get a much better "meaning". If you're alluding to the derivation from the Latin word for "blind", that's not a meaning, it's just etymology. (And rather far removed at that: caecus -> Caecilius [which already doesn't mean "blind"] -> Caecilia -> Cecilia.) If you really want to assign a definition to "Cecilia", it's "daughter of the family of Caecilius". But names don't have definitions: you don't expect someone named Holly to be green and prickly with red berries, do you?