These are the most popular middle names for girls and boys

Are you surprised?

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

Picking the ‘right’ name for your baby is a difficult feat. You may be inclined to pick a moniker with a sweet meaning, like George and Amal Clooney have done; you could opt for something a bit more unusual à la Cheryl and Liam; or you might like the idea of picking a name that is guaranteed to make you smile like these ones.

But the decisions don’t stop there. Once you’ve finally agreed on a first name, then you have to pick a middle one. Do you pick something a bit more unusual? Do you use it as a tribute to a parent or someone you love? Or do you just go with the first thing you both don’t hate?

According to a study by Ancestry.com, it seems that middle monikers are usually based on heritage rather than drawn from popular names lists.

The research shows that 55% of parents said that the middle name honoured a love family member, with 15% admitting that the chosen name had actually been part of a family tradition for generations.

So which middle names come out on top for boys and girls these days? You might be surprised…

Most popular middle names for girls

  1. Louise
  2. Rose
  3. Grace
  4. Jane and Elizabeth (joint)
  5. Anne/Ann
  6. May/Mae
  7. Marie
  8. Mary
  9. Amy and Catherine (joint)
  10. Kate and Victoria (joint)

Most popular middle names for boys

  1. James
  2. John
  3. William
  4. Thomas
  5. David
  6. Robert
  7. Edward
  8. Peter and Lee (joint)
  9. Christopher and Alexander (joint)
  10. Michael and Daniel (joint)

Miriam Silverman, UK Content Manager from Ancestry, explains: ‘It seems that middle names are a relatively new phenomenon, having only become the norm over the last hundred years – driven by the desire to commemorate well-loved ancestors.

‘This will have become particularly prominent in society following the two World Wars. These wars affected the entire country and resulted in millions of Britons commemorating their lost loved ones as new babies were born in the years following the conflicts.

‘As a result, middle names are less likely to follow popular culture and more likely reflect age-old traditions or names that were popular in our parents’ or grandparents’ generation – hence the very traditional make up of today’s top 10 middle names.’

Reading now

Popular Life stories