Top MIDDLE NAME Trends for Babies in 2013

Did you know that today is Middle Name Pride Day? It’s true!

Are you especially proud of your middle name, or have you always found it rather boring? Maybe even embarrassing? And how did you go about choosing your baby’s middle name?

As with the entire baby naming process, finding inspiration for a middle name can come from many places — whether it’s honoring a family member or just choosing something that has a nice flow from first to last name. A lot of parents find choosing the middle name to be an even harder decision than the first — you don’t want to give your child unfortunate initials (A.S.S., D.U.M., P.O.O….), and you don’t want to ruin a perfectly lovely name with a clunker in the middle. There’s often pressure to honor a family member (and from which side of the family?), and then there’s the issue of deciding on not one but TWO names with your partner. It may have taken months to sell him on “Penelope,” now you have to decide on another name too?

But, again, as with the entire baby naming process, each decade tends to see trends come and go — including the middle name. So in honor of Middle Name Pride Day (holla!), I’ve rounded up the 7 most common new trends for middle names:

  • TREND ALERT!

    TREND ALERT!

    Click through for 7 trends for choosing a middle name for your baby…

  • Trend #1: Nature Names

    Trend #1: Nature Names

    Nature names — flowers, seasons, weather — and animal names are having a moment right now (think Poppy, Clover, Juniper, Wolf, Winter, etc.). Middle names give parents a little room to be quirky and trendy, paired with a more classic first name. Here are some trendy choices right now…

  • Ivy

    Ivy

    A flower name that’s being revived right now (in part due to Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Blue Ivy). Other flower name choices for a middle name: Flora, Poppy, Willow, Violet.

  • Skye

    Skye

    This name actually combines two baby-naming trends: It’s a place name (an island off Scotland), as well as a nature name (as in, the sky).

  • Rain

    Rain

    A unisex name that has a nature-y vibe. Other similar choices: River, Cloud, Storm, and Snow.

  • Wren

    Wren

    Meaning “bird,” this is a cooler-than-average animal name choice. Other choices: Fox, Dove, and Bear.

  • West

    West

    Directional names have also been trendy lately — especially “West” and “North”.

  • Trend #2: Word Names

    Trend #2: Word Names

    Word names are an overall naming trend right now (think Story, Arrow, and Ever), but — as I mentioned before — middle names give parents a little breathing room to get creative. And when it comes to middle word names, INSPIRATIONAL names are a big trend…

  • Grace

    Grace

    If you don’t want your daughter to have a Top-20 first name (purely due to popularity), yet you love this virtue name, why not use it in the middle? But, be warned, Grace is a very popular name, even in the middle.

  • Hope

    Hope

    Another virtue name that’s steadily climbing up the charts. If you don’t want to saddle your daughter with a first name that exudes purity and goodness, it’s a lovely choice for a middle name.

  • Bliss

    Bliss

    Another word name choice for a middle name.

  • Love

    Love

    And here’s a word name that works much better as a middle name than a first name.

  • Trend #3: Unisex Names

    Trend #3: Unisex Names

    Unisex names are super trendy right now, but some parents like to balance a masculine name with a feminine alternative for a daughter. And, on the other hand, some parents are avoiding unisex boy names (Quinn, Jordan) because of the rise in girls with those names. Which is why choosing a unisex MIDDLE name is a safe choice — quirky for girls and classic for boys.

  • Charlie

    Charlie

    Charlie is a super-friendly nicknamey-name that parents are using for both boys AND girls. In fact, the name Charlie (plus Charley and Charleigh, not to mention Charlotte) has drastically jumped up the popularity list for girls. For parents who like the name “Charlie” but don’t want to use the formal “Charles” or popular “Charlotte,” it just might make the perfect middle name.

  • Gray

    Gray

    Color names are very trendy right now — Scarlet, Violet, Blue, Ruby, etc. — and Gray or Grey is a trendy MIDDLE name choice. While Greyson is becoming more and more popular as a first name, more parents are sticking with the punchier “Gray” as a middle.

    “Blue” is another unisex color choice for a middle name.

  • Ray/Rae

    Ray/Rae

    Whether you choose Ray (typically for boys, but works on either) or Rae (typically for girls), either unisex name is pure coolness.

  • Quinn

    Quinn

    A short one-syllable name that’s trendy and gender-bending.

  • Lou

    Lou

    This traditionally male name is actually more trendy as a girl’s middle name.

  • Trend #4: Maiden Name Middle Names

    Trend #4: Maiden Name Middle Names

    Many modern parents compromise on the woman-and-children-taking-the-man’s-last-name issue (which can feel archaic to some) by bumping her maiden name as a family middle name.

  • Trend #5: Multiple Middle Names

    Trend #5: Multiple Middle Names

    According to Nameberry, this started as a British trend originating with royalty, yet is being adopted by name enthusiasts all over the world. Whether it’s to honor multiple family members, to include a maiden name, or just because it’s impossible to narrow their list to only two favorites, we might see more kids with multiple middle names.

  • Trend #6: Popular Picks

    Trend #6: Popular Picks

    There are certain middle names that keep popping up, just as “Ann,” “Marie” and “Lynn” did for my generation…

  • May

    May

    A pretty, delicate name that seems to flow with almost any first name. Whether it’s to celebrate a birth month, honor an ancestor (May or Mae is an old-fashioned classic), or “just because,” May is certainly one of the top middle name choices for today’s Sophias and Isabellas.

  • June

    June

    The other most popular “month” name, this is another old-fashioned name being revived right now — especially as a middle name.

  • Rose

    Rose

    Is it just me, or does every other little girl have “Rose” as her middle name? There’s no surprise as to why: It has a short one-syllable sound, with a pretty, feminine aura.

  • Lee

    Lee

    Quite possible the most obvious middle-name name for boys. It has a simple sound with a timeless cool factor.

  • James

    James

    One of the most popular middle name choices for boys.

  • Patrick

    Patrick

    Another middle-name choice that keeps popping up on little boys.

  • Trend #7: Future Popular Middle Names?

    Trend #7: Future Popular Middle Names?

    These names have all the characteristics of being the next “it” middle names…

  • Eve

    Eve

    Short, punchy, and feminine — the new Rose, perhaps?

  • Belle

    Belle

    Borrowing from the “Bella” boom, Belle might have a nicer (ahem) ring to it.

  • Pearl

    Pearl

    An old-timey, one-syllable name with a sweet feminine feel (a la Rose) and some symbolism to it. As the birthstone of June, you could use Pearl to honor a family member born in June.

  • Rue

    Rue

    A nature name that’s been popping up more frequently — especially as a middle name.

  • Bee

    Bee

    This is a middle name (and only a middle name) that I’ve been hearing more and more lately. It’s quirky and spunky, with that coveted one-syllable ease.

  • Max

    Max

    Longtime lovers of the name Max might be turned off for its dog-name associations. But as a middle name? It’s short yet full of personality, with that trendy “x” ending.

What’s YOUR middle-naming style? And what name did you choose for your little one(s)?

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