The 300 Most Popular Middle Names For Girls

baby girl with blue eyes on a blanket

Catherine Delahaye / Getty Images 

While the primary focus of naming a child usually goes to the first name, selecting the perfect middle name is very important as well. Just like first names, middle names run the gamut from simple and traditional to short and sweet to quirky and creative to obscure or trend-setting.

While there is great variety, middle names are often used to commemorate a loved one, such as an older relative, someone who has died, or a personal hero.

Sometimes a middle name is decided on simply because it augments the first name. Some parents choose one based on its first letter or sound in order to achieve alliteration or synchronicity with the other two names.

While most kids (80%) end up with one middle name, some families choose to provide their child with two or more middle names (11%) either because they can't decide on just one or they like the sound of several names strung together.

Some middle names end up being the name a child goes by rather than their first one—so it's a good idea to make sure you consider how you'd feel about the name being used for that purpose as well.

History

Middle names are commonly given to many American children but this was not always the case. This trend has grown over the past century, gaining tremendous popularity over the past several generations, going from around a third of children having three names in the early 20th century to the vast majority today.

Western Traditions

The Western tradition of choosing a middle name goes back to at least the Roman Empire when some men (particularly of the ruling class) were given three names. The custom fell out of favor and then was revived during the Middle Ages when some European families wanted to select both a family name and a Christian name for their child.

Instead of picking between the two options, many parents began giving their children one of each with the second name often the Christian or baptismal name.

Middle Name Usage In Other Countries

In other parts of the world, such as in China and many other Asian countries, middle names are not commonly used. In Australia (and often in the United States, too), the mother's maiden name is picked. In Russia, the tradition is to use a version of the father's name to recognize paternity. In many African countries, multiple middle names are used to denote ethnic group, religious affiliation, day and time of birth, and/or names contributed by older relatives.

Modern Traditions

Today, some families still use the middle name as a Christian (or other religious) name but it is often picked from family names as well.

By and large, in English-speaking homes, it is now very common to choose a familial name for the middle name, which can sometimes lead to more old-fashioned and/or longer names being used that don't normally make the most popular lists, such as Gwendolyn, Harriet, Ethel, Penelope, or Guinevere.

Still other families may pick their girl's middle name on a whim or due to coincidence, such as choosing the name of the doctor or nurse who delivers their baby.

Some people select a name based on attributes they see in the child (or hope to bestow on them). However, according to a study completed by Ancestry.com, around 55% of parents do choose commemorative middle names, and 15% use second given names that have run in their families for multiple generations.

Challenges In Choosing a Middle Name

Picking middle names can be quite challenging, but the task also leaves lots of room for imagination and meaning. In fact, sometimes it's even harder to pin down the ideal middle name than the first name as not only does it need to compliment both the first and last names in sound, alliteration, spirit, and rhythm, but it is also often used to pay homage to someone or something and/or is intended to hold special meaning or imbue qualities imagined for the child.

So, the humble middle name often has a lot of notes to hit. And while it's by no means a rule, middle names are often just a few syllables in length, so that's a lot of work to be done by just a few letters.

Sometimes, a middle name is selected for its symbolic meaning or to show respect to a loved one or special event, item, emotion, or characteristic, other times it may be picked simply because it just sounds "right."

Parents may consider using the name of their hometown, their last name, or even one of their favorite things or characteristics. Some options include selecting a favorite fruit (think Plum or Persimmon), emotion (like Bliss or Joy), or season (such as Summer or Winter). Really, anything is on the table, as long as it feels right to you.

However, choosing a person (or place or thing) to select for that honor can sometimes be tricky, especially if there are several special people in the running, which may include an ancestor, family member, friend, or celebrity.

Feelings can get hurt (particularly if one of two grandmothers gets the honor in lieu of the other), a situation that can be delicate to navigate. Still, ultimately, parents need to go with their instincts and select the name that best suits their baby and speaks to their hearts.

1-Syllable Middle Names

Sometimes, syllable length is the paramount quality parents are looking for in their baby girl's middle name. Below are 100 one-syllable choices to help you find the right one to tuck between their first and last names:

  • Ann (Anne)
  • Bay
  • Bea
  • Bee
  • Belle
  • Beth
  • Blaire
  • Blake
  • Bliss
  • Blue
  • Blythe
  • Brae
  • Bree
  • Britt
  • Brooke
  • Bryne
  • Brynn
  • Cass
  • Claire
  • Chris
  • Dale
  • Dawn
  • Dell
  • Dove
  • Drew
  • Elle
  • Eve
  • Faith
  • Fawn
  • Faye
  • Fern
  • Flor
  • Frost
  • Gem
  • Grace
  • Greer
  • Hope
  • Jade
  • Jai (Jay)
  • Jan
  • Jane
  • Jazz
  • Jean (Jeanne)
  • Jess
  • Jill
  • Jo
  • Joy
  • Jude
  • June
  • Kai
  • Kat
  • Kate
  • Kay
  • Lake
  • Lane
  • Lark
  • Leaf
  • Lee (Leigh and Li)
  • Liv
  • Love
  • Lou (Lu)
  • Lux
  • Lynn (Lynne)
  • Mae
  • Maeve
  • May
  • Moss
  • Nell
  • Neve
  • North
  • Paige
  • Pam
  • Peace
  • Pearl
  • Plum
  • Quinn
  • Rae
  • Rain
  • Reese
  • Rose
  • Ruth
  • Sage
  • Sam
  • Scout
  • Shae
  • Shawn
  • Shore
  • Sky (Skye)
  • Sloane
  • Snow
  • Spring
  • Star (Starr)
  • Sue
  • Tate
  • Teal
  • Tess
  • True
  • Vale
  • Wren
  • Wyn

2-Syllable Middle Names

If you're on the hunt for a two-syllable name that nestles in perfectly between your new baby girl's first and last names, you've got lots of possible names to choose from. Below are 100 of the most popular options:

  • Abby (Abbie)
  • Ada
  • Adele
  • Aiko
  • Ainsley
  • Alice
  • Alma
  • Amber
  • Amy
  • Anna
  • Apple
  • April
  • Aqua
  • Arden
  • Aubrey
  • Audrey
  • Autumn
  • Ava
  • Bailey
  • Bebe
  • Bette (Betty)
  • Bella
  • Billie
  • Brenna
  • Brooklyn
  • Bunny
  • Cadi (Cady)
  • Cali (Callie)
  • Camille
  • Carly
  • Casey
  • Celeste
  • Charlotte
  • Chloe
  • Clara
  • Cody
  • Cora
  • Corinne
  • Daisy
  • Daphne
  • Demi
  • Dolly
  • Eden
  • Elaine
  • Ella
  • Elsa
  • Emma
  • Etta
  • Fallon
  • Fuchia
  • Garnet
  • Gia
  • Giselle
  • Greta
  • Hailey
  • Hana (Hannah)
  • Harper
  • Hazel
  • Ingrid
  • Ivy
  • Jamie
  • Jasmine
  • Jenna
  • Jewel
  • Jordan
  • Journey
  • Josie
  • Katelynn
  • Kayla
  • Keira
  • Kelly
  • Kenya
  • Laura
  • Lauren
  • Lea
  • Lily
  • Lola
  • Mary
  • Maya
  • Megan
  • Mia
  • Molly
  • Nicole
  • Nora
  • Nova
  • Olive
  • Orchid
  • Peyton
  • Piper
  • Reagan
  • Riley
  • Ruby
  • Sadie
  • Sarah
  • Scarlett
  • Simone
  • Skylar
  • Sophie
  • Willow
  • Zoe (Zoey)

3- and 4-Syllable Middle Names

Sometimes, parents are looking for a longer name to link their daughter's given and last names. Here are 100 of the most popular three- and four-syllable middle names for girls to help you on your naming quest:

  • Abigail
  • Adalynn
  • Adaline
  • Adelaide
  • Addison
  • Alexandra
  • Allison
  • Annabelle
  • Aria (Ariya)
  • Artemis
  • Athena
  • Augustine
  • Aurora
  • Avalon
  • Avery
  • Bethany
  • Brianna
  • Camila
  • Cassandra
  • Caroline
  • Celia
  • Charisma
  • Christina
  • Coraline
  • Dakota
  • Deborah
  • Delilah
  • Destiny
  • Eleanor
  • Elena
  • Eliza
  • Elizabeth
  • Eloquence
  • Emerson
  • Emery
  • Emily
  • Evelyn
  • Everest
  • Everly (Everleigh)
  • Fiona
  • Francesca
  • Gabrielle (Gabriella)
  • Genevieve
  • Genesis
  • Gianna
  • Gillian
  • Henrietta
  • Hermione
  • Hyacinth
  • Imagine
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Isabel (Isabelle)
  • Jocelyn
  • Julia
  • Juliet
  • Juniper
  • Karina
  • Katherine
  • Kensington
  • Lavender
  • Legacy
  • Leilani
  • Liberty
  • Lillian
  • Lorelei
  • Lydia
  • Mackenzie
  • Madison
  • Magnolia
  • Makayla
  • Maria
  • Marigold
  • Marisol
  • Melanie
  • Melody
  • Meredith
  • Milena
  • Miriam
  • Nadia
  • Naomi
  • Natalie
  • Nevada
  • November
  • October
  • Olivia
  • Ophelia
  • Priscilla
  • Rebecca
  • Samantha
  • Savannah
  • Sierra
  • Sophia
  • Susanna
  • Tabitha
  • Trinity
  • Victoria
  • Violet
  • Waverly
  • Winona
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Article Sources
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  1. Ancestry.com. Traditional choices top the list of most popular middle names. Published July 2, 2014.

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