Some call it old-school and others downright posh – in either case middle names are on the up in a very big way. According to a new study carried out in the UK, kids being born today are being given middle names at a higher rate than ever before – a full 37% more than they were in 1911.
A full 80% of children are now being given a third name, while 11% are lavished with two or more middle names.
As for the reason – middle names are seen as the most fitting tribute possible to another member of the family or a close friend.
In terms of the most popular choices, the top three middle names for girls are Louise, Rose and Grace, while more boys than ever before are being given the middle names of James, John and William – the research from Ancestry.co.uk suggests.
Of those polled, well over half stated that the name was chosen in order to preserve the memory of a family member, while 15% told of the name being a family tradition that started generations ago.
“Middle names are a relatively new phenomenon, having only become the norm over the last 100 years, driven by the desire to commemorate ancestors,” said Miriam Silverman, one of the researchers behind the study.
“This will have become particularly prominent following the two world wars. These affected the entire country and resulted in millions of Britons commemorating lost loved-ones as babies were born following the conflicts,”
“As a result, middle names are less likely to follow popular culture and more likely to 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 middle names.”
Here’s the full top-ten list of middle names for boys as of right now:
And the girls: