Middle Names

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Orleander, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    25,817
    My Dad didn't have one, my Mom doesn't have one, and I don't have one. Why does that shock people?
    Why do we even need one? When did they start being added to a person's name?
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    LOL That happens to me too.
    I have no middle name and sometimes people seem to think that is weird. I think middle names are a religious thing..
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    Found this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_name:

    Western middle names:
    Middle names are chosen by parents at the same time as the first name. Popular middle names are identical to those of first names, such as John, James, David, etc., with an emphasis on biblical figures (again, like first names).

    Catholic middle names:
    During the confirmation process of every Catholic's life, the name of a saint must be chosen for the Catholic to research, and eventually make part of his/her name. The saint's name is put after his/her middle name, if indeed a middle name was given.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Till Eulenspiegel Registered Member

    Messages:
    419
    Neither of my parents had a middle name. I have no middle name. My wife has no middle name and none of my kids has a middle name. All of my grandchldren have middle names though.

    I think parents give kids middle names so the kids will know when they are really pissed at them.

    Charley, give the toy back to your brother.

    Charles, give the toy back to your brother.

    Charles William, give the toy back to your brother this instant.
     
  8. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,140
    I have a middle name , nietzsche does and so do my kids. I have never once called them by it though.
    It really is useless.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2007
  9. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,028
    They're handy if your a serial killer...they always have 3 names.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    I guess if you have a very common first and last name, it helps to distinguish you from everyone else. Or if you're parents gave you a really nerdy first name, you can always go by your middle name.
     
  10. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,083
    I know no-one with a middle name.
     
  11. leopold Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,455
    a bit of trivia concerning middle names:
    the "S" in harry s truman was harrys middle name.
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Back in my day, and to a lesser extent still today, many people named their children after themselves. Kenneth Schroeder has a son named Kenneth Schroeder, or Susan Marciano has a daughter named Susan Marciano, and it can get pretty confusing. Middle names help them sort it out. My father and I had the same first and last names.

    Today with the explosive spread of communication via the internet, we all encounter people with the same name. If you're in business or the arts or academia and you want people to be able to find you with a search engine, you'd better use your middle name. There are three other Fraggle Rockers out there, and each one of them has just enough in common with me that it would make a prospective customer, fan, or correspondent wonder whether they'd found me. Two of the three are significantly more prominent than I am so it takes people a while to track me down. It's too late to add my middle name now because no one knows it. Back in high school people knew me as Fractionator Pythagoras Rocker because my father had already coopted the nickname Fraggle, but I'm not about to try to reestablish myself with my full name.

    Of course some communities have found more creative ways around this problem by breaking out of the paradigm of traditional names and giving their kids names like Condoleezza. But if you're not going to do that, I advise everyone who is going to have children to give them a middle name so they don't get lost on the internet!

    Japanese traditionally only have a surname and a given name, in that order. But between them they typically have seven or eight syllables so there's not a lot of overlap among Japanese names. Japanese-Americans, at least back in my day, wanted very much for their children to grow up and assimilate, so they gave them English names. But they also wanted to be able to write about their kids in their letters back to the old country and there were two big problems. One is that English has about eleventy times as many phonemes as Japanese, and the other is that in Japanese every consonant must be followed by a vowel (except N). It's impossible to transcribe names like Martha and Stanley in kana, the phonetic syllable-alphabet. So they gave their children Western middle names carefully chosen for their conformance to Japanese phonetics, and many nisei had names like George Ben Matsuhara and Alice Naomi Hasegawa.

    Chinese only has 1,600 distinct syllables (in Mandarin) so if people only had two one-syllable names it would be chaos. (Although that has become more common with the one-child rule.) Every family has a log book that was passed down from their great-grandparents, stipulating the "generation name" for each generation of offspring. Surname comes first, then generation name, then finally you get to choose the third name for your kids. My Chinese girlfriend was born just as Japan was overrunning China, and her generation name happened to be a word that means "to remember fondly." So she and each of her siblings got a third name that was the name of one of the provinces that had been captured by the Japanese. Her name meant "I miss Liao(ning) province."

    In the American South, it's common for adults to form nicknames for children based on both their first and middle names, something that is absolutely not practiced elsewhere. That's why Southerners so often have names like Billy Bob and Suzie Jo, from William Robert McCoy and Susanne Josephine Thibodeaux.
     
  13. Deathfromabove Hopeless and Useless Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    677
    Seriously??? do you think it;s more common in certain places??? For example the majority of people i know i have a middle name, maybe its a british thing.
    I have a middle name and a confirmation name (louise and faith

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    )
     
  14. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,083
    Well, it must be more common in certain places, because in Latvia usually only the first name is used, but I know that some catholic people have the second one, know none of them personally though.

    What we have more common here is double surnames (or family names).
     
  15. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    Isn't there also something like a baptize name ?
     
  16. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,083
    The Spanish are all into second names.
    One my friend has a teacher from Spain and her name is Mary Jesus.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  17. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    lol his parents must be quite the practical jokers

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  18. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    I'd had the impression that middle names were more-or-less limited to English-speaking countries, with the exception of Catholic religious names used in certain places. The Spanish practice isn't so much a middle name as a pedigree, sort of like the Arab version.
     
  19. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    25,817
    Both my kids have middle names. My son was named after my family (first name) and my son's father (middle name). My daughter was named after my mother (middle name). For me it was a show of respect and gratitude....and family. But if you don't name them after someone, why bother?

    And yeah, when I'm mad and yelling at them, they get their FULL name said.
     
  20. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,793
    I was born in Cyprus at a time when it was still a British colony. In their endeavours to make us lose our national identity, The Brits avoided using our original surnames on official documents and hence my birth certificate bears my first name and my father's first name, but no surname. Eventually I 'borrowed' a surname, which happened to be my grandfather's first name and so I had a middle name. I have since discovered my family's true surname, but it is so lost in antiquity that there are only about 5 entries of that name in the whole of the country's telephone directories.
     
  21. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    25,817
    did you change your name to include your families original surname?
     
  22. leopold Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,455
    the spanish pronunciation of jesus is "a zeus"
     
  23. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,083
    Well, in latvian it's "yee zus"
     

Share This Page