While a middle name isn’t legally required, most parents do choose one for their child. Here are some tips for choosing a name combination, including a middle name that will work well with your chosen first name and your last name.
Use Alliteration to Create a Pleasant Sounding Name
One way you can create name that sounds good is to use alliteration. If you don’t plan to have a middle name then you can do this by choosing a first name that starts with the same letter as your surname, for example:
If you do plan to have a middle name, you’ll have to decide if you want use very bold alliteration by choosing a first and middle name with the same first letters as your surname, or if you want to use the effect more sparingly by just having two of the names starting with the same letter.
Using 3 names with the same first letter can work well in some cases, usually if some of the names are longer. For example
Liliana Lorelei Lennon, while dramatic, works well.
Alternatively, you could use alliteration in the first and last name so that it is broken up when all three names are used, for example:
Another option is to keep the alliteration to the first and middle name or the middle and last name. This means it will only be noticeable when all three names are used. For example:
Eliza Adelaide Adams
Helping the Names to Flow Together
Another way to create a good name combination is to choose a name so that the beginning of one name flow into the start of the next.
If you are just having first name and no middle name, you would need to choose a first name that ends in the same letter sound that the surname starts with, for example:
If you are having a middle name you have the choice a making the first name flow into the middle name, the middle name flow into the last name or both:
Cadence Celia Barnes
Cadence Celeste Taylor
A lot will depend on finding names that flow well that you actually like.
Highlighting Letter Sounds in all of the Names
You can also create a nice sounding name by choosing a letter and featuring it in some or all of the names. If you want to include your last name (or don’t plan to have a middle name) then you’ll need to choose a letter in your surname. For example, if your last name was Davidson, you could choose to highlight either the D, the V, the S (using either S or soft C) or the N:
If you wanted to add a middle name, it might look like this:
Evangeline Everly Davidson
Ada Cadence Davidson
Tessa Beatrice Davidson
Annie Nicole Davidson
The stronger sounding letters in the name tend to work best, in this case that would be the V and the D. You don’t have to use consonant sounds, sometimes long vowel sounds work too. You may notice that Ada Cadence Davidson works particularly well, that because of the long A sound in Ada and Cadence. The surname Jones has the long O sound in it, which can be highlighted by choosing first and middle names that also have it.
Milo Rowan Jones
You can also use the effect with just the first and middle names or just the middle and last names.
Using the Right Number of Syllables to Create Flow
It has traditionally been popular to choose single syllable middle names, particularly for girls. This is partly because single syllable names tend to fit well with most first and surnames. There are other ways you can use syllables to create different effects in names.
Create a Bold Name with 2 Single Syllable Choices
If you want a name that sounds strong and simple then choosing two one syllable names can work really well. Some examples include:
Create a Well Balanced Name by Matching the Number of Syllables
You can create a middle name first name combination that sounds balanced by choosing a first and middle name with the same number of syllables, for example:
Marie Laura (Two Syllables)
Cameron William (There Syllables)
Evangeline Angelina (Four Syllables)
Make a Name More Complex
If you have chosen a fairly simple name, you can make it more complex by adding a middle name with more syllables, usually three or four, for example:
Eve Vanessa (One Syllable/Three Syllable)
Margot Evelina (Two Syllables/Four Syllables)
Creed Alexander (One Syllable/Four Syllable)
While there is no such thing as the perfect name, hopefully these tips will help you choose a name combination for your baby that you’ll love. If you’d like some more guidance, have a look at How to Choose a Middle Name. If you’re considering the option of not bothering with a middle name, check out my thoughts on why all babies should have a middle name.
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