St. Anne giveaway #6, and some middle name questions

I just posted a pic of today’s holy card giveaway — “Prayer to St. Anne — To Obtain Some Special Favor.” I have five, so the first five people who email me at sanctanomina@gmail.com will get them!

And some questions for you all: I’m wondering about people who weren’t given a middle name at birth. Specifically:

— Do you wish you’d been given one, or are you happy without?

— If you took a different Confirmation name, did you start to use it as your middle name?

— If you’re a married woman who took your husband’s last name, did you find it easier/less complicated to just move your maiden name into the middle spot legally (if you chose to do so) than if you’d had a middle name there as well?

— Of the people you know who weren’t given a middle name at birth (including yourself), how many are men and how many are women?

If these questions don’t pertain to you, but you know people without middle names, please share their experience/opinion also, if you know it!

38 thoughts on “St. Anne giveaway #6, and some middle name questions

  1. My grandmother really wanted a girl when my dad was born. She tried to name him Jamie Lynn (and interestingly I have a cousin on my mom’s side named that) but they made her go with James. No middle name. He takes his confirmation name, John, as his middle name now. I am interested to see the answers of the other questions

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  2. I have a few acquaintances without middle names.

    Two are a set of brothers who I went to school with. They are Egyptian, so I wonder if maybe that is they’re culture.

    Another is a girl who I used to swim with, and I don’t know why she doesn’t have one. From her, I know it was always really confusing not having a middle name because it’s such our culture to have a middle name, so officials always think that she or her mom messed up forms because they didn’t put a middle name or middle initial.

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    • I also went to school with a few first-generation Egyptian friends, and the way that they explained their names was that names were passed down such that your father’s first name became your surname. This creates something of a lineage embedded in the name – one friend could list his names seven generations back! Because they were born in America, they had their own first names, their father’s names for middle names, and their grandfather’s first names as their family/last/surname. Many of the Arab Christians that I know, from different parts of the middle east, have family names, so I am not sure that the naming practice above is entirely universal, and it certainly didn’t stick when these families immigrated to America.

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      • That’s fascinating. It reminds me of the father’s-name-as-last-name in Iceland and similar — like Lavransdottir and Bjornson. Very cool! Thanks for the info!

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  3. My husband’s parents didn’t give him or his siblings middle names because they didn’t care for their own middle names. They each used their Confirmation names as middle names, but his younger siblings only did nominally, I believe. My husband legally added his Confirmation name when he was a teen, but his siblings never did. When it came time to name our own firstborn (and were struggling to come up with a middle name) his mom did suggest not giving her a middle name, but that was never something we wanted to do. Aside from the cultural norm of giving a first and middle, there’s too many names I like to not use a second one!

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  4. I have known several LDS families over the years who did not give middle names to their daughters, anticipating that their maiden name would become their middle name when they married (and getting married is mostly assumed in the Mormon community). From what one of them told me, this is a very common custom among LDS families.

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    • Interesting! I’ve seen in other naming forums the idea offered that giving a girl a middle name isn’t as important precisely because “when she gets married she’ll move her maiden name to the middle spot.” (You can imagine how well that goes over!) I didn’t realize it might be an actual “thing” in certain communities.

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  5. Not that I know him personally, and maybe I am just a backwoods homeschooler (haha!), but Harry S Truman. Did you know he didn’t have an actual middle name, just the “S”, and that is why there is no period following it (or so we were told when my hubby was stationed aboard the aircraft carrier CVN 75 named the Truman.).

    Such an interesting discussion! Following 🙂

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  6. My parents didn’t give me a middle name, and when I was 4 or 5, I decided to pick one myself. I picked the most beautiful name that I could think of, it had such lovely alliteration with my surname…and when I told my parents I was now “Sara Flower Fairy [Three-syllable-name-beginning-with-F]”, they decided on the middle name Liana. It didn’t officially become a part of my name until I got married, but it’s a central part of my name (I almost always use my middle initial).

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  7. Fascinating questions and answers! I have a middle name, but I angsted so much about what to change my legal name to after getting married. I didn’t want to let go of my middle name, which is Marian; I didn’t want to let go of my surname (My dad was the only son and he only had daughters, and I was the last daughter to marry, so if I gave it up, it’s really gone!); and I didn’t want to have 4 names. I ended up keeping the Marian middle name… as much as I loved my surname, it felt too.. I don’t know.. feminist? haha to keep it (even though I know European culture, it’s actually super common to keep it in some form). But my parents were divorced and remarried, so surnames and maiden names carried a little more baggage than I liked, and decided to just take the leap, take my Dh’s name and keep my Catholic middle name. I too love too many names to skip giving them to our kids!

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    • I don’t know if you are interested, or if your name would work for this, but I have seen people give their maiden surname to their child as a first name. So for example – Amanda Marie Jackson* married Steve Hayden*, they name their first born Jackson Avery Hayden*. I knew someone who did that with the name Beck. My sisters in law both gave their sons their maiden surname as a middle name, which kind of makes it like a double or hyphen last name. So Brynn Rose Sheldon* married Kevin Roberts* and they named their son Andrew Sheldon Roberts*.
      It would give you a way from keeping it from “dying” or being gone all together.

      * totally just made up on the spot, any real life occurrence is purely coincidental 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I really like this idea… technically, yes, my maiden name could be a first name for a child. It’s kind of a weird dilemma, though, because it kind of sounds like ‘Jenny’… so while I would give my maiden name to a boy as I feel like it is a masculine name, it also kind of has an odd feminine feel to it too (growing up, people always mistakenly would call me “Jenny” as a first name, and then wonder why they kept mistaking me for a “Jenny”.. and then I’d remind them that they are probably thinking of my last name, haha!). I’ve also pondered giving my maiden name as a middle name.. probably a safer bet. The hyphen thing is European.. my stepfamily is from Germany and Switzerland, the tradition in Switzerland in particular is to hyphenate the surnames for the married couple (but not for the kids? Or is for the kids and not for the couple? Ha! Baby brain).

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      • Oh, another thought just occured to me regarding passing my maiden name down as a first name. So, my Dh’s surname could also be a first name whereas my maiden name is definitely more in the surname camp (although has been used as a first name on rare occasions). I am totally envisioning, though, a child with my Maiden name as a first name constantly being called by his last name accidentally, assuming the maiden name was the surname, especially if a person is reading off a form, lol. I’ve even seen this happen with my husband (Doctor’s office. “Surname Corey? Surname Corey?” “No, Corey is my first name… ” lol).

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      • My mother did this: both my younger sisters have mom’s maiden name for their middle name. I don’t think they mind it, but I’ve always felt sad for them that they don’t have a “real” middle name, and glad for myself that she didn’t think of doing that for my name.

        I do know a family that gave their only son the mom’s maiden as a first name. It’s a neat, unique name that totally works as a first. But. They got divorced, and now the mom can’t really re-assume her maiden, plus the children are being partly raised by the grandparents, so in our tiny community there are Mr and Mrs So-and-So, and the grandson So-and-So… not terrible, but a bit confusing and awkward.

        Sorry to be a downer, but I’m a big fan of dropping the maiden for good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting! I do think it’s important to hear about experiences from every angle. My grandfather’s first name was his mother’s maiden name, which I’ve always thought was cool … I never thought about what would happen in the event of a divorce!

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    • Yes!! This is the exact dilemma I felt like I had!! My answer was the same as yours (because I didn’t want so many initials) — I kept my middle, added my hubs’ last name, and dropped my maiden name. BUT I love my maiden name too, and I figured, even if it wasn’t part of my legal name, it’s still *my* maiden name, so any time any forms ask for my maiden name, or any time anyone from my past calls me by it, it’s still totally mine. It *is* a part of my name in a way that transcends legality.

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      • Yes! I totally feel like my maiden name is still *my* name, ha! So interesting to hear I wasn’t the only one with this dilemma!

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    • I kept my maiden name but after 16 years of marriage, I’m considering just legally changing it. I may not get around to it—I am a person who considered painting a piece of furniture for 13 years before doing it—but I’m kind of tired of having to explain the different surnames around here.

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  8. Slightly off topic, but still in regards to middle names – We decided to give our son his dad’s name and call him or have him go by his middle name (see the post Little Man Enloe on this blog) – any suggestions or experience in making sure people use Kane instead of Martin, other then just correcting them? Any preemptive stuff I could do through the years?

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    • My best friend and her hubby named their oldest after his dad, but he goes exclusively by his middle name. When the school or the doctor calls, they know to specifically ask for first name-middle name and not just the first as she asked them to mark their charts accordingly. I suppose you could put Martin “Kane” on his paperwork and if that doesn’t flow, ask the contacting party to please make a note of it 🙂

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      • That’s true, good point. My youngest goes by a nickname for his middle name, and I’m always impressed that the doctor calls for him by the nickname. Also my mom reminded me today that one of our friends (man) goes by his middle name exclusively, but signs forms etc. as (for example) J. Matthew Smith.

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  9. I made my maiden name my middle name officially when I married because my middle name (Ann) is so common and I didn’t want to let my maiden name go. However changing my middle name with some institutions was not an option or required more effort than just changing my last name (my bank and my employer were the main ones). Because some places now recognize my given middle name and others my maiden name, I’ve quit using a middle initial in my signature. If I could go back, I would seriously consider keeping Ann.

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    • Interesting! I did have a little crisis over changing my name when I got marrried, so even though I legally changed it to FirstName MiddleName MarriedName (dropping my maiden), I often wrote out FirstName MiddleInitial MaidenInitial MarriedName in the few months after the wedding — mostly at my bank and my employer! — so to this day my credit card has two middle initials for me. And some places still have my middle initial as my maiden name, and some people assume I dropped my middle and so will make checks out to FirstName MaidenInitial MarriedName. It can be complicated!

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