Middle Names Twice As Popular Today As 100 Years Ago

14/08/2014 16:56 | Updated 22 May 2015

Choosing baby name for a boy written on a note, around wooden letters

More parents are giving their babies middle names than ever before – and most are in tribute to a family member.

Eighty per cent of children are now given a middle name, compared with the 37 per cent 100 years ago. Eleven per cent of children have at least two.

James, John and William are the most popular for boys, and Louise, Rose and Grace top the girls' list, according to research by the website. Some 55 per cent are selected to remember a loved family member, while 15 per cent have run in the family for generations.

Miriam Silverman, of, said: "Middle names are a relatively new phenomenon, having only become the norm over the last 100 years, driven by the desire to commemorate ancestors.

"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."


1 James

2 John

3 William

4 Thomas

5 David

6 Robert

7 Edward

8= Peter

8= Lee

10= Christopher

10= Alexander


1 Louise

2 Rose

3 Grace

4= Jane

4= Elizabeth

6 Anne/Ann

7 May/Mae

8 Marie

9 Mary

10= Amy

10= Catherine

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