Talk:Middle name

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Multiple middle names[edit]

I have reinserted the sentence on database problems with multiple middle names being sometimes regarded as discriminatory. This sentence was earlier removed by Seibzehn with no reasons given (the fact that it was mislabeled as a minor edit suggests that it may have been unintentional), but I believe it is sufficiently NPOV ("has been criticized"), and it does describe the real experiences of some people with multiple middle names. Vremya 08:51, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I would support keeping the sentence on discrimination, if it can be supported with evidence. As someone with three forenames who is known by the second of them, I think 'discriminatory' is a fair comment (though 'unimaginative' might be an equally accurate description of how such on-line forms and databases are designed). But I would like to see a citation of some place where this shortcoming *has* actually been criticized; I don't know any myself. Graham Shipley (talk) 21:18, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Asian Culture[edit]

The "Asian culture" section is misleading:

Asian Culture: Middle name goes last, so it looks like: Last First Middle. Generally, if an Asian immigrates to the United States, they anglicize their first and middle names (combined), and then add a middle name. For example: Elaine L. Chao: what the L. stands for is unknown, but Elaine is the anglicization of her combined first and middle names.

See Chinese name for details. Furthermore "L" is typically not unknown but the transliteration of the original First and Middle names and thus the anglicized name has 2 middle names. Samw 04:44, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Yeah, I know, but I was really considering Korean names... as that is how they usually are. And anyway, Elaine Chao's name does fit that explanation... you can change it, though, if you want. ugen64 16:56, Nov 16, 2003 (UTC)

I moved the following here and replaced it with real examples and more explanations:

but Elaine is the anglicization of her combined first and middle names (perhaps a transliteration of a combination like Eu-Lang, or perhaps an arbitrarily chosen English name to replace some other combination, such as Mei-Ching).

--Menchi 06:29, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Removed "The tradition of middle names may have started with the rulers of Rome, e.g., "Gaius Julius Caesar." because Julius was not a middle name. Julius was Caesar's gens, the family name. Gaius was his proper name and Caesar the cognomen of his Julius branch. See roman naming convention. Muriel 08:09, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I wonder if it is appropriate to say "Usually the first characters of Chinese and Korean given names are considered middle names". For Chinese given names, the two characters together should be as a single name. The concept of "first name" and "middle name" doesn't really apply to Chinese names. It would be really strange if you refer to "Wong Shan Leung" as "Wong Leung" by dropping the "middle" name. Gcc hk 16:57, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

"Asian culture" What "Asian culture"? Asian is NOT a race, but geographic term! Here in the Philippines, in Southeast Asia a lot of our names are done Spanish and English style, because Philippines was colonized by Spain and later the United States. Malaysians and Indonesians use the Arabic style incorporating Malay names in there because Ethnic Malays are Muslims. Same with the small population of Muslim Filipinos in Mindanao, they use the Arabic-Malay naming system. PacificWarrior101 (talk) 14:21, 29 January 2012 (UTC)PacificWarrior101

List of people??[edit]

Does Wikipedia have any article on people who are known by their middle name?? Georgia guy 20:25, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Middle name or Middle Initial?[edit]

Is it more popular in the USA to use just your middle initial on passports, driver license, ID's? or use the FULL middle name? I rarely see the middle name used on forms or ID's?

It generally depends on the length of the middle name, and if that person likes it enough to use it. For example, if the full name will not fit on a driver license or passport, they will use the middle initial only. There is no legal naming convention in the U.S., so different agencies are permitted to handle this in any way they see fit, although in the future their may be standards across all federal and state agencies. See Real ID Act. 18:13, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

The Greek Middle Name System[edit]

I would like to see the Greek middle name system here also. In Greek, I know that the male's middle name is a patronymic: let's say that the father of Konstantinos Papadopoulos is called Pantelis, the full name of Konstantinos would be Konstantinos Panteli Papadopoulos (or Konstantinos Papadopoulos tou Panteli).

What happens with females? Do they also take their father's name (thus Konstantinos Papadopoulos's sister would be Maria Panteli Papadopoulou/Maria Papadopoulou tou Panteli)?

Once I know the information about the females I will edit this article.

Leon. xcvb

The woman take their father's name also so it would be Maria Papadopoulou tou Panteli, it is rarely ever written with the father's name before the family name it is almost always written as "tou...." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:28, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Patronymic names are not middle names, they are patronym in use in the Netherlands, Island, Norway and many other countries. The US is too young country to know the time for the use of last names or family names. Carsrac (talk) 16:52, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

Catholic middle names[edit]

The section on "Catholic" middle names seems to relate more to certain local European culture considerations than the wider Church; to the best of my knowledge there is no Church teaching/view on such names (please advise me if I'm wrong). The section should reflect this. Cheers, --Daveb 07:49, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

FYI: In France, Marie is not a middle name in the name Jean-Marie! Jean-Marie is a name composed of two words, but it is a complete name. You would say Jean-Marie when calling somebody named Jean-Marie and not Jean!

Marie or Maria is in German law the only female name allowed also for men. As, by law, the name must reflect the gender, Maria is only allowed as middle name when the other names clearly show whether the holder is male or female. Ipwaz2003 09:07, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

It's not necessary to take a new name when a Catholic undergoes Confirmation. In fact, it's just an option. Though it certainly was something common to do three or four decades ago. What it is really common among Catholic and traditional families is to give a child two names and to use both, instead of keeping in a second place one like the middle name system does. In that way you can find boys named José Tomás who 'keep themselves' and respond to the name in a whole and not much to José or Tomás.


"Despite their relatively long existence in the Western world, the phrase "middle name" was not recorded until 1835 in "Harvardiana", a school song of Harvard." Hmm just created Harvardiana no sign of "middle name" in it! Rich Farmbrough 16:12, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

It's a magazine as well.... Rich Farmbrough 16:30, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

The whole concept[edit]

I have a big problem with this page. It seems to be predicated on on a false assumption that we have a first name and a surname, and that if we want any extra ones they have to go in between those. This leads to the POV that people who are 'known by their middle name' are somehow going against the natural order of things. In reality, plenty of people (me, for instance) have their 'extra' names placed before their main 'first name' (or even either side of it). My full name is Roy Grant Cribb, but I don't think of Grant as my 'middle name' - it's just my name. If someone asks me my first name, I say Grant. The reason it's Roy Grant rather than Grant Roy, is simply that my parents thought it sounded better that way round. From my point of view, 'central' and 'precursory' names make more sense than 'first' and 'middle', because 'middle names' only apply to people who are 'known by their precursory name'. The NPOV terms should be 'main forename' and 'supplementary forename'. Then it becomes apparent just how ridiculous it is to have a list of people known by middle name. If we had a list of people known by supplementary forename it would be empty, because, by definition, no one is. The only reason the 'middle name' list exists at all is that most of the schizonyms (people whose main forename and surname are separated) just don't realize how many of us juxtonyms there are. Roughly one in three twentieth-century British prime ministers, for instance, had supplementary forenames before their main forename.

What to do about it? I'd recommend scrapping this page and transferring any useful information to Given name. I'd also scrap the 'middle name' list; if it were complete it would contain the names of a large proportion of all the famous people who had ever lived.

The Font 12:58, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Afterthought: No, better not scrap it. But restrict it to discussion of middle names in naming systems where these have particular significance - or lack of significance. In the common Western convention, the only difference between a 'first' forename and a second, third or fourth is that the most popular position for the main one is at the beginning. The opening paragraph should explain this, and link to Given name for a fuller treatment.

Grant 16:33, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Initial only on Security Documents?[edit]

I don't think the statement that "In United States, the middle name is rarely used on official documents. The middle initial is used instead on most identity documents, passports, driver licenses, social security cards, and university diplomas" is totally accurate. This may be a relatively new convention, but I have my full middle name on all those documents (issued between 1998 and this Tuesday).

The US passport has spaces for "Surname" and "Given names". The SSA's latest application for a new Social Security card (dated May 06) specifically asks for the "Full Middle Name" on page 5 [1]. I know some states require only the middle initial whereas others require the full middle name for a driver's license. I think most universities ask you what name you want listed on your diploma; I know mine did. I'm not sure what's meant by identity documents, but if it's not listed on your birth certificate and/or Social Security card, it would seem that it's legally not your middle name. Any input before I edit this statement? JordeeBec 22:58, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

It varies, depending on how long your full name is and what you prefer to use. All of those documents use my full middle name, but if I had, say, a very long name like Michaelangelo followed by multiple middle names such as Jonathan Matthew Michael and then a long surname such as Stephens-Cardenas, it would be easier for them to simply put "Michaelangelo J. Stephens-Cardenas" on my driver license or social security card. There are no legal requirements for naming conventions in the U.S. 18:19, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Near East[edit]

I would like to know about Russian, Baltic, and Central European naming practices. I know they are not the same as in western countries.

  • It is my understanding that for Russians, the middle name is an altered form of the father's first name, so a girl whose father is Mikhail has a middle Mikhailovna. This seems to equate to Johnson, or Richardson meaning Son of John, or Richard. etc... although in the above example it would clear mean Daughter of Michael. I do not have references for this. Dachande 16:52, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
  • During the Russian occupation, the Latvians were forced to use the Slavic pattern of first name, patronimic, last name. Since then using the middle place has become somewhat popular. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:29, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

No Middle Name[edit]

"It is also possible for a person to have no middle name, although in modern Western culture this would be the exception rather than the norm." I don't think this is true. In Scandinavia, for instance, it's very common to not have a middle name.

In Italy too. --necronudist 08:40, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
South Slavs (excluding Bulgarians, I'm not too sure about them) typically don't have middle names. The last names take the form of the East Slavic patronymic name. Thus, nearly every Serb's last name ends in 'ić'. -Marko 3/4/08
I believe the fallacy commited in the statement above is the following equasion: North-American culture = modern Western culture. TomorrowTime (talk) 09:35, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I absolutely agree with TomorrowTime's remark! Even the term "middle name" reflects a culture-determined view on name preference. Here in the Netherlands, but also in Germany and other countries, many people have more than one – often up to four or more – given names. Most, but not all, of them use the first name as their actual "called name". The other given names are usually abbreviated to one letter (sometimes two or three). If people don't mind to be called by their first name by people they never met, they may write their preferred given name ("called name", not necessarily the first one) in full. Personally, I am one of those who prefer not to be called by their first name by just anybody. So I do not disclose my first name in public, but only to people I am familiar with. Yes, there are indeed more cultures in the world than only the North-Amercan one!
I would suggest (but I am afraid that this will not be read widely enough...) that the Anglosaxon world replace the term "first name" by a new one, e.g. called name (or preferred name). This needs not be the actual first name, but the one the bearer prefers to be called by.
--HHahn (Talk) 15:15, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Is Johann Sebastian Bach a good example?[edit]

Johann Sebastian Bach has two Vornamen (first names) and a family name (Bach). And Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? Family name is Mozart, and his "full Christian name" (when baptized) was Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. This makes 4 Vornamen (first names). Others had even more. For J. Chr. Wolfgangus Th. Mozart, the name Wolfgangus is in the middle. But is it a middle name?
In Germany/Austria, the expression 'Middle name' was not in use and makes no sense for a number of given names. 'Middle name' makes me think of the family name of the mother. --Haigst-Mann (talk) 12:21, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

middle name: second of two given names, eg Bernhard in George Bernhard Shaw.
from: Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, ISBN 0-19-431136-8. --W like wiki (talk) 20:24, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
The box still in the article showing Johann Sebastian Bach as an example and the explanations given there for Bach's name is definitely false. German names do not follow the concept of given name - middle name - last name. Johann is not the given name of Johann Sebastian Bach and Sebastian is not his middle name. Please take a name within the range of validity of that concept, not a person outside of it. --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 23:23, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

The same as german example happen with the two first names in latinamerica. Not necesarly are composed name, neither a middle name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:59, 5 November 2019 (UTC)


I think the entire article is written from the U.S. point of view. There are some attempts to make this clear, such as the "In the United States" in the first paragraph of the introduction and the "In the United States" in the last paragraph of the section "Western", but there are still a number of statements that seem to be referring directly to U.S. naming conventions. For instance:

the increased use of computer databases that allow for only a single middle name or more commonly a middle initial in storing personal records

seems to be only referring to the U.S.; in continental Europe, most forms and databases do not ask for middle names.

The two posters under "No Middle Name" confirm that the naming practice in Scandinavia and Italy is vastly different. The same is true in other European countries, witnessed by the German wikipedia entry for middle name, where there is no distinction between various given names into "first" and "middle". Compare also the German entry for first name which explicitly states

Im anglo-amerikanischen Raum sind Zwischennamen gebräuchlich, die auch Mittelnamen ("middle name") genannt werden und meistens mit dem Anfangsbuchstaben abgekürzt werden.

To summarize: The introduction and the section "Western" only describes the angloamerican naming practice, but this is not properly mentioned in the article. I suggest rewriting the introduction, renaming the section "Western" into "USA" or "Angloamerican", and possibly adding a section (or sections) on other Western European naming conventions and traditions. <author??>

As for the statement above about European databases and forms not asking for middle initials, I would say that (at least in the Netherlands) this is only true for simple systems. More "official" systems do allow for (and often even require) all names being supplied. This is espacially true for e.g. governmental offices, insurance companies, banks, emplyee's databases, etc. --HHahn (Talk) 15:25, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

No No No, Mr Hahn, Ameerican and British usage are different, and should not be munged together in the way you suggest! However, I applaud your general sentiments! Richardhod (talk) 12:56, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Earlier citations for "middle name"[edit]

Google Books turns up two uses of "middle name" before 1835: first, A General Abridgment and Digest of American Law p.787 of 1829 - "To omit the middle name, or part of the Christian name, is a misnomer".[2] Second, The History of New England from 1630 to 1649 p.65 of the 1825 second edition - "But that middle name was derived from intermarriage of Adam, his great grandfather..." (note that the preface states that the book has been completely re-edited from the first edition of 1790). Warofdreams talk 03:22, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Names that differ only by their middle name[edit]

I have known at least 2 people whose names differed from the father's only by their middle name/initial. In one case this happened for 2 consecutive generations. Of course, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush are a particularly famous and peculiar example.

I'd like to know how common this is and how the distinction is made colloquially. In one of these cases, the father was called by his full first name and the son by his middle name. In another case, the son was known by his full first name and the father by his nickname.Bostoner (talk) 20:44, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

British Middle Names vs. Multiple Forenames vs. Double-Barrelled Surnames[edit]

While preparing a catalogue of recordings by predominantly British performers, I came across several instances of "middle names" that do not seem to be just additional or alternative forenames, simply because these names do not occur as forenames on their own. It seems that the British - at least in the early 20th century - treated these "true middle names" differently from simple extra given names. My question is how to treat these in terms of alphabetization (in simpler words "Where would these people be listed in a telephone directory?")

Some examples to (hopefully) clarify what I'm talking about:

  • Louise Kirkby Lunn - variously filed under "Kirkby" or "Lunn" in my sources
  • David Lloyd George - always listed under "Lloyd" AFAIK, why?
  • Herbert Beerbohm Tree - should he be with the "B"'s or with the "T"'s?
  • Helen Porter Mitchell - "P" or "M" ?

OTOH there's no doubt that

  • John William Myers is found under "M" and
  • Erich Maria Remarque under "R"

so there seem to be two different phenomena at work here, or am I completely on the wrong track?

Chris ( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:15, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Sometimes they are middle names, as in Sir Henry Walford Davies, but they may not be middle names, but part of their last name (surname), but un-hyphenated double-barrelled names. Examples: David Lloyd George, Ralph Vaughan Williams are both good early C20th Welsh examples. These are It is therefore under the first of these names that you might alphebetise them, but I always found it difficult when finding the music for vw. Never just a middle initial in the UK, certainly. Richardhod (talk) 12:49, 12 June 2012 (UTC)


The section on Sweden states: "Since Swedish-speakers nowadays only very rarely address one another with "Mr./Mrs. X", it is more or less a moot point if the correct term of address here is Mr. Svartholm Warg, Mr. Svartholm or Mr. Warg."

However, when referring to a person more formally, for instance in a written text (a book, a newspaper article etc.) one would normally use the family name, and rarely the given name alone. This example does not seem to be a typical one, and should perhaps be replaced. GVU (talk) 15:04, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Brazil - Catholic Middle Names[edit]

"In Brazil, the middle name is usually the mother's maiden name." Are you sure about that? I am Brazilian, my middle name is "Henrique", which has nothing to do with anyone in my family at all. And I mean, I have yet to see someone here who was named after his mother's maiden name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Faitudum (talkcontribs) 16:02, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

"In Brazil, the middle name is usually the mother's maiden name." In Brazil our naming system is different than in many countries. We do not consider the mother's family name as her sole maiden name nor as middle name but as part of the last name. So our family name is made of the mother's family name and father's family name. "Middle name" would be a second first name some people have such as Ana Maria or Pedro Henrique and even then we don't really call it "middle name" either. Futhermore, "maiden name" is a different concept here as women don't usually replace their names by their husband's like in some cultures, but some women add his name, although nowadays fewer women do so. Odnadraug (talk) 02:06, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Evolving use of middle names in Russia[edit]

Been in Russia 6 years now and the wiki's suggestion that people tend to be quite formal is actually dying out among the younger generation (due to western influnces?). In my company people can and do address their management on first name only terms, and sometimes even with diminutives, even up to our company president. The older generation are indeed hopelessly formal and the middle generation seem to be slightly more relaxed, with the younger generation being quite informal. I can't find any articles referencing this, but something may exist in Russian regarding this trend. (talk) 08:26, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

We get that in England too. It's the 'trendy' influence of American management culture. Personally I'd prefer not to be called by my first name by everyone, especially people you've never met, and it is quite awkward (but the done thing) to contact people out of the blue, 'Hi Bob' or whatever. Amusingly since I work for a multinational company with disfunctional database practices, I often get people from other countries using whichever name they think is my personal name, randomly, since different people on different email servers have different name ordering in the address book. On one occasion for several months I was Bob in meetings and Smith in emails, and as far as I could work out they didn't know I was the same person :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:22, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

On Middle name page, I have improved and put geographical Slavic countries in the "East Slavic names" section. PacificWarrior101 (talk) 14:14, 29 January 2012 (UTC)PacificWarrior101

Page needs help[edit]

I haven't edited on Wikipedia in a long time, so sorry if I don't format my comment correctly or something, but I just came to read this article and it doesn't seem to be in very good shape and I felt I should mention it. It's missing references, a lot of it is opinion, most of the Spanish section isn't even about middle names but surnames.... Hopefully some good editors can get to this. Shannernanner 04:07, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Error in: German speaking countries[edit]

"If one of the forenames happens to be unisex (e.g. Robin or Toni)"

Both names are no examples because in German Robin is a male forename and Toni only a nick name for male Anton and female Antonia. I delete them. (talk) 23:39, 12 February 2014 (UTC)


How about some history about the origins of the custom? Both middle and last names are a relatively novel invention, and while I know why one name was not enough, a third one seems a bit redundant. (talk) 03:25, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

British surnames were almost entirely fixed before the Tudor period, over 500 years ago. The British / US American practice of bestowing multiple forenames first appears in royalty and the upper nobility at the end of the C16th, slowly filtering down through the peerage in the C17th and the emergent middle class in the C18th. There was frequently an intent to honour relatives, ancestors or benefactors by including actual names or allusions within the multiple Christian names. Until WW2, there was still a trend in the UK for the number of given names to correlate with social standing. Since then, such distinctions have dwindled and excessively long (over four) multiple names have been bestowed for comedic or publicity reasons. The Queen's four children are Charles Philip Arthur George (from a previous King, his father, both an uncle and a mythical King, his grandfather), Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise (from a previous Queen, her mother, an aunt, another aunt), Andrew Albert Christian Edward (from personal choice, an uncle, personal choice, another uncle) and Edward Antony Richard Louis (from an uncle, personal choice, a previous King, another uncle). Astronomy Explained (talk) 13:40, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
Also, the Queen's father was named Albert Frederick Arthur George and usually known as Albert or Bertie, but took George as his regal name to emphasise continuity with his father George V after the turbulence of the abdication. Prince Charles could avoid any perceived negative historical regal connotations of his current name by choosing to be crowned as George VII (or even King Arthur). Astronomy Explained (talk) 13:50, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

'Multiple middle names' are being referred to as forenames & an editor is being too U.S.-centric with descriptions.[edit]

Someone keeps editing in that additional forenames can constitute a middle name. This is common sense and not needed to be explained. A middle name describes itself literally, as a middle name defines a name in-between ones forename and surname (even if it is an additional forename, it's still in-between these name parts). Also, I don't believe a middle name should be explained in the context of other countries in the opening description, as it already is in the main body.

Another thing: As described in this subject title, someone keeps editing descriptions, clarifying that the U.S. is different to other countries in terms of middle names. This is redundant and shouldn't be described. AychAych (talk) 02:24, 21 June 2015 (UTC)


AychAych wrote
A middle name describes itself literally, as a middle name defines a name in-between ones forename and surname (even if it is an additional forename, it's still in-between these name parts).
It's not that simple or obvious. A middle name is not just a name (defined in terms of word-spaces) that is in the middle, any more than a hot dog is an overheated canine, i.e., a dog that is hot.
"Mary Anne" is a fairly common female first name. A woman so named generally does not think of herself as "Mary", but as "Mary Anne", and that's what she's called by those who know her. Mary Anne Smith does not consider "Anne" to be her middle name, nor an "additional forename", but part of her given name, which happens to be spelled as two words. In some regions, including the American South, such two-part forenames are common for men as well, as in the song "Ode to Billy Joe". Similar names are found in other traditions as well:
Other names, however, are considered a unit, and often used together. Examples are José Luis and Juan Carlos. People with those names will tend to use both names together, rather than only the first name José or Juan. (Middle name# Spain and Hispanic America)
In contrast, I have a middle name, in the usual sense of the term as well as the literal definition that you are trying to apply, but no one has addressed me as [FIRSTNAME] [MIDDLENAME] since I was a small child, and even then it was an endearment rather than an ordinary calling name. --Thnidu (talk) 17:11, 30 July 2015 (UTC)


It seems like this is complete speculation on your part (I'm going to ignore your "hot dog" analogy, as it's a non-argument and not applicable here). Could you please provide any citations in any bit of your edits? So far, you seem to be editorializing and writing things that are personal. You have to prove what you write, this isn't a blog. Millions of people use this site, and thousands have read this page. Incorrect material is inexcusable. Provide sources and verifiable information or don't edit this page at all.

Plus, most of what you write is completely redundant and seem to go over the same point at every paragraph, at every section. This is absolutely unneeded. Please read other articles to see how you should format a wikipedia entry. You can explain how names are in other countries under their correct section, NOT in the main summary.

Plus, I hope you've gotten this far in this response, because, "but no one has addressed me as [FIRSTNAME] [MIDDLENAME", is a very regional thing. Addressing others in English-speaking countries with their middle name is uncommon (and I expect as much in other regions, too). It's usually first, or first and last. If you want to make this point, RESEARCH what is common in your own country, and RESEARCH what is used in others extensively.

Also, don't remove my edit in which I replaced the words "first name" with "forename", as this is the correct term, especially when using "surname".

Again, I can't stress this enough, if you can't provide sources/citations/verifiable information to back up your claims, don't edit this page whatsoever. AychAych (talk) 19:44, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

@AychAych: Sorry.
  • I thought that some of this was obvious— obviously I was wrong in that assumption— and that I had adequately rebutted your equation of literal word-for-word meaning with meaning of a term ("A middle name describes itself literally")— which, clearly, did not get through to you. Please read Lexicon § Compounding and Idiom § Compositionality.
  • Please don't tell me how to format an article. First, this is a talk page, not an article, and second, I've been using Wikipedia about ten times as long as you have.
  • Since you insist on citations, I will research these and get back to the article. Either that, or I will ask the Wikipedian community, in an appropriate way, to decide whether you are insisting on documenting common knowledge. Who knows, maybe you're right.
  • Please {{Ping}} me to discuss. --Thnidu (talk) 06:20, 3 August 2015 (UTC)


I have deleted the section "Welsh", which was added 02:34, 8 January 2016, by anonymous user Special:Contributions/ with the edit comment (Welsh 'Ap' as middle name). It is both irrelevant and plagiarized, and almost certainly copyvio.


Ap means 'son of' and is no more a name, let alone a middle name, than Irish mac or Hebrew ben or Arabic ibn, all equivalent.


The entire section is plagiarized. Shortly after it was added I noticed a "[2]" and deleted it with the memo Removed "[2]". Is this new section plagiarized, with that from a footnote link? Just now I ran a Google search for a distinctive string from it,

"names such as Llewelyn ap Dafydd ab Ieuan ap Griffith ap Meredith were not uncommon"

(with quotation marks) and found nine matches. The top one was this section; a couple of others cited it; one site requires registration; and others apparently don't contain the string at all.


  1. The text used in the section appears, complete, in in the post by "mckai" dated "11 Jan 10 16:42:47". There it has four footnote tags ([1], [2]), indicating that it was copied from some other text, but there is no attribution.
  2. The first two paragraphs are also quoted in Rootschat forum, dated "Monday 21 June 10 22:27 BST (UK)", also with footnote tags and no attribution.

Since these posts predate the section by over five years, they clearly were not quoting it— let alone the evidence of the three footnote tags that the IP editor evidently noticed and deleted. --Thnidu (talk) 05:05, 12 January 2016 (UTC)


Section South Asia begins

In Nepal, the first initial is frequently a family name assigned to every member of a particular family, and is usually in addition to the last name. It is carried by every member of the paternal family. For example, Ram Baran Yadav can be broken down into Yadav, the Nepalese surname; Baran, the family name; Ram, the first name.

This makes no sense:

  1. An initial is not a name.
  2. If "first initial" is an error for "first name", the first sentence contradicts the example, in which Ram, the first name, is apparently the individual's given name.
  3. So what's the name "assigned to every member of a particular family ... usually in addition to the last name, [and] carried by every member of the paternal family"? Is it Yadav, the "Nepalese surname", or is it Baran, the "family name"? There's no clue.

--Thnidu (talk) 21:26, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

American concept applicable to (some) American names, not universally[edit]

Apparently, the "middle name" concept is first recorded in an American publication from as late as the 19th century. So why do the many contributors to this page over the years imagine that it is applicable to people like Johann Sebastian Bach?

Most of this page deals with given names or other subjects such as patronymics, where the American "middle name" concept (the notion that any name that happens to end up between one part and another in a full name has a particular character making it a "middle name" rather than something more obvious, such as an additional given name) just isn't applicable and is both based on confused thinking and confusing to any reader that happens to look at this page in a vain search for illumination.

That most of the article is unsourced is not accidental. Most of it is likely to be completely unsourceable. This page is just about the worst piece of junk in the entire Wikipedia. It should be stripped down to the American bits, if even that. --Hegvald (talk) 19:26, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

I have started to purge the article from content that was unreferenced and/or not about anything that can be identified as "middle names", as opposed to multiple given names or double/hyphenated surnames. I suspect that most of the rest needs to go as well. There is very, very little substance in this article. But right now I need to go to bed.
I would urge whoever thinks of restoring the sections to first try to find references. Are there, for instance, any respectable academic references that discuss names of 17th or 18th century Germans (such as Johann Sebastian Bach, long used as the main example in this article) using the term "middle name"? Not just off-hand remarks by some American writing about something else, but scholars specializing in the study of German personal names? If you can't find reliable sources, don't restore the content. --Hegvald (talk) 02:15, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

The article continues to attract cruft, unreferenced sections trying to apply the American middle-name concept to systems where there is no reason to apply it. --Hegvald (talk) 06:36, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Moving list to separate page[edit]

Within the English section, Some notable anglophones known by their middle names is a list of (currently) 146 articles, and it keeps growing. No other section of this page has such a list, of any length. Its current growth spurt is due in large part to anonymous users and and to user Cornnich, who has no user page but whose user talk page shows a number of complaints and blocks due to edit warring. Any two or all three of these could be the same person.

I am not suggesting that there's anything wrong with this list, much less that it is vandalism. But I am moving it to a page of its own, List of notable anglophones known by their middle names, with a cross-reference from the section here and a redirect from List of notable English-speakers known by their middle names, and including it in Category:Human names and Category:Lists. Please {{Ping}} me to discuss. --Thnidu (talk) 20:57, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Divide (or better yet, Rename)[edit]

   The accompanying article has the potential for being a valuable source of information, but has been gotten off to a dreadful start due to both

evidently being started by us virtually history-less people north of the Rio Grande, and
the efforts to rescue it apparently being slapped on one at a time by editors with substantially nothing to add beyond one or two additional cultures.

   I propose that the article be renamed to Culture-specific patterns for full names of humans, organized by country as a default (so there's at least one place for each culture with a pattern substantially different from those already covered, or group of cultures sharing a pattern), with long-term goals of probably organizing hierarchically into narrower cultural patterns within the broad cultural patterns.   It'd be great if someone a lot of multi-cultural experience (in practice, perhaps necessarily an academic specialist) comes up with a title that avoids our current myopic name that is too Western- or even American- focused to be more than a barrier to further broadening of the scope. We have plenty of competent speakers of English who are not functionally blind beyond Anglo-Saxon culture (which i for instance substantially am), and i think such a person should start by renaming the accompanying article, to embrace even more extra-American content than the article already does in spite of the myopic title "Middle name".
--Jerzyt 17:19, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

"Culture-specific patterns for full names of humans" sounds to me like a description of what should be in the article personal name and a whole range of other articles. Not like a good idea for the expansion of this article in particular. --Hegvald (talk) 05:18, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

"Given name" is ambiguous[edit]

   Our article Given name seems to treat "first name" and "given name" as synonymous, rather than middle names being just part of one's given names. Attention must be paid.
--Jerzyt 19:04, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Surely it cannot have passed out of currency just yet, that up until, I would hazard a guess, the 1980s in the UK, it was at least as common as first name to speak of a person having a Christian name, even in contexts where it was clear the person under discussion was not a Christian, or had even been baptised. Nuttyskin (talk) 11:50, 23 May 2018 (UTC)


In Arabic culture, forenames can be multiple names but there are no proper middle names. When reading an individual's name and noticing three names separated by spaces, it's safe to assume the first name as the given name, the second name as the father's name, and the last name as the surname. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hamdan2~arwiki (talkcontribs) 19:32, 28 March 2017 (UTC) If George W. Bush were Arab, he would have been known by George George Bush (because his father is George Bush). Hamdan2~arwiki (talk) 19:44, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

See patronymic. --Hegvald (talk) 05:14, 29 March 2017 (UTC)


"In several cultures, people's names usually include one or more names." - what does that even mean? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:34, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Middle initial?[edit]

That term redirects here, but there is not a word about it. In America, at least, John B Doe is a very common name form. Wouldn't it a good idea to explain clearly what that "B." is. What's that "F." in John F. Kennedy called, what's the term for it? Who knows? Wikipedia doesn't. Major flaw here. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 14:44, 30 July 2020 (UTC)