So the question has come up: how’d we transport all the goodies from Broad Summit? A good question. Which leads nicely into my final summit report (no really, this is my last post about it, I promise). There are two answers to the question: Totebags. And Toyotas.

Each attendee was given a personalized totebag from Lands’ End so they could haul their lovely gifties home. The bags are ginormous. And I totally have a thing for ginormous totebags — you know, roomy enough for beach towels or blankets, plus food, plus a camera bag, plus all the things your children are likely to collect on any given outing. So I lurve my new bag. I used mine as my carry-on during the flight home. I was wearing navy and stripes and the red looked totally awesome with my outfit. (Because red + navy is yummy.)

To haul the peoples around, Toyota lent us a fleet of their prettiest cars. I did most of my driving in a Highlander and a Sienna (with Laurie and Jordan and Megan and Dorothy). Both cars are very roomy. And extra-nice for me, I was able to see some of the friends I’d made at the Toyota Studio Tour last year — including Jean Aw of NotCot. Whom I adore. At one point, Jean, who attends far more techy-ish events (and far fewer girly events like the summit) said something like: Geez. I can’t believe all the camera equipment attendees brought to the summit — the tech companies should be targeting this crowd…

Question inspired by the initials on my totebag: How many of you weren’t given a middle name when you were born? And related question: How many of you have not given middle names to your own children?

I’m so curious. I didn’t have a middle name while growing up. I was Gabrielle Stanley. And then when I married, I (conveniently) took Stanley as my middle name. I didn’t think not having a middle name was that unusual, but at the summit, the topic came up and I was the only one out of 30 that didn’t have a middle name as a child.

68 thoughts on “Initials”

  1. I did not have a middle name as a child (I kept my maiden name like you) and I have not given my 3, almost 4, girlies middle names either. My littlest sis (#4 girl for my mom) somehow got a middle name and now that she is getting married and taking a new last name she is a little sad to give up her maiden name.

  2. I love the personalized totes. What a wonderful idea for the event. I am sure the attendees found that most special!

    My grandfather doesn't have a middle name. My middle name is Ruth and all my kids have middle names (mainly used to honor family and tradition) including Ivy taking a form of mine – her middle name is LaRue.


  3. I don't have a middle name, but I have two last names (hyphenated). My mother is a feminist, so I was given her last name and my father's last name. When I married my husband I kept my last name, but my daughter has my husband's last name because there was no way we were doing a three name hyphenation. She has a middle name because her last name is short.

  4. I don't have a middle name. Growing up I hated it and used to make up middle names for myself and then write my "initials" all over my books, etc. My mother doesn't have one, so I guess she didn't think it was a big deal, so both my sister and I are without them. I still meet people to this day who are SHOCKED that I don't have one. "WHYYYY???" Now I sort of like it…it makes me unique!

  5. I was not given a middle name as a child, and like you, kept my maiden name as my middle name when I was married. I actually LOVE it that way. It means so much to me to have "kept" my maiden name. I didn't feel that I was giving it up completely when I took my husbands last name. For this reason, I will not give my future daughters middle names.

  6. My brothers and I were each given TWO middle names which I always thought was weird. No previous relatives had more than one middle name. For monograms, each of us used the letter from our first middle name. My married name starts with the same letter as my maiden name, so I dropped my 2nd middle name and my maiden name to keep my initials the same.

  7. I don't have a middle name…nothing went with my first name. So, I've used my maiden name through 27 years of marriage. I gave my youngest my middle/maiden name for a middle name.

    My mom in law and her 4 daughters all are 'middle name less' and use their maidens for the middles. We all like it!

  8. I wasn't given a middle name, nor was way sister. Our parents assumed we'd make our maiden name our middle name at some point. I'm in my late 30s and still single, so I'm still just sporting two names. Which is fine until you get to one of those pesky web forms where a middle name is required.

  9. I am like you & did not have a middle name growing up. When I married I took my maiden as my middle. If I ever have daughters, I will give them middle names. Mainly because I always wanted one.

  10. I have a good friend who has a middle initial, but no name. Just a single letter. The idea was that at 16, she could choose her own name to go with the initial. She like the uniqueness of the solitary letter and kept it that way. My daughter has two middle names…so much for monograms for her…

  11. my mom didn't have a middle name, and used her last name as her middle after she got married. she gave both my sister and i her last name as our middle names (my two cousins on my mom's side also have the same middle name… i thought this was totally normal when i was a kid). this worked our totally fine, but since i took my husband's last name, and plan to give my last to my baby as a middle, my mom's maiden name is getting lost now, which makes me kind of sad.

  12. 1. I grew up w/o a middle name and loved it – it was nice to be unique. (Plus it was fun to have teachers not believe me.) I want to carry on the tradition, but so far I haven't had any girls (we just do it for the girls.) But my 2nd son has my maiden name as his middle name, so it's fun to share a middle name with him.

    2. I also LURVE Land's End totes. I also have a red and navy one (way cute!)that goes to church full of all my Primary stuff each week. Not only are they cute but they last FOREVER. Love it.

  13. I didn't get a middle name either. I am from a family of all girls, so in a way, it helps keep the family name alive. Plus, when it's a really cool last night like Jones, it's good to hold on to. (Indianna Jones, Keeping up with the Joneses, etc.)

    I gave my kids middle names of beloved family members.

  14. I had a middle name, but dropped it when I got married. So my name is First Maiden Married, make sense? I didn't mind losing my middle name much. Is it a southern thing to drop your middle name and keep your maiden? Just wondering.

  15. I grew up in Slovenia and we are not given the middle name. Now living in Missouri, my son who is 4 was never give one either. His first name (Enzo) is strong enough that it can stand on its own. With second pregnancy we are again only looking for one name. In my opinion more names, more trouble. And you only get to use them when filling out forms.

  16. I'm loving all these answers! There are frequent discussions about keeping your name vs changing your name when marrying — but I never hear about middle names. And clearly there are strong opinions.

    I shouldn't be surprised. Obviously, names are very personal things.

    For those who are curious. Three of my kids have middle names. One child has 2 middle names. One child has no middle names. We have not been consistent at all!

  17. I have a middle name as do my siblings, parents and husband. My children have two middle names simply because we wanted to include both sides of our family when naming them. The LOVE having two middle names because they don't know anyone else who does, and they always explain who they're named after.

  18. My sisters and I are all middle-name-less and have all used our maiden name as a middle now; this makes for strange initials when your maiden name is Williams. If I had a daughter I think I would give her a middle name since going without seems loaded on the what-I-think-your-life-will-be-like-side-of-things. Maybe that's why I have four sons.


  19. Interesting. I had a middle name growing up (not that I liked it). My husband, of Italian ancestry, was not given one. In fact no one in his immediate family or extended family has one. When it came time to name our first son, we discussed, and decided on no middle name (and followed suit with our other 2 children). Our rationale—I almost never use my middle name, save legal documents. Plus the only time I ever heard it was when I was in trouble for something! Karen Jean!!!!!

  20. I have that bag! But in brown not red and with my last name instead of initials.
    I love it too. Many a beach and carry on trips have been taken with it.
    And, one more thing. I don't have a middle name, but my maiden name is now my middle name. I always wanted a
    middle name. So, I gave both my kids middle names. My daughter can keep all names when she marries, or pick and choose. It's up to her:)

  21. I was just like you: no middle name at birth, maiden name became middle name at marriage. I love this idea. All three of my daughters are without a middle name as well.
    Sometimes growing up my friends would not believe that I didn't have one and thought my middle name must be so awful that I was lying about it.

  22. Isn't it kind of a Mormon thing for girls to have no middle name so they can use their maiden names in the middle when they marry….I don't have a middle name…but I think it would have been nice to have a family name with meaning for a middle. I did give my daughter a middle. How come Jordan has a middle and you don't?

  23. I have a middle name…and so do my two children. As it worked out their initials are the reverse of each other (not intentional) …daughter is J.H. and son is H.J. –

    My father has 4 names…from what I gather he was legally given a first and second name but his MOTHER didn't like either name (perhaps his father named him??) – and was christened with two other names. So when he signs something legally he signs it with his legal first and second initial and then his nickname based on his christened first name ex. Robert John Matthew Steven Williamson would be R.J. Matt Williamson, as he goes by Matt. His brother was named John but everyone calls him Jack – his sister also was not called by her first name (perhaps she had 4 names too!)

  24. I didn't have a middle name until marriage as well.
    I sometimes think it would have been nice to have one, though. My name is Barbara, which is dated, so I always went by Barbie (which has obvious strong connotations). As an adult now, I am not fond of my name anymore. But how does one all of a sudden say, "call me (this) instead?"It would have been nice to have a middle name for a convenient alternative.

  25. I believe in options for the kiddos. So middle name it is for our family.

    I figure what if they grow up and dislike the first name that we chose for them or what if some crazy person has their exact same name and becomes a famous criminal. Then they can always go by the middle name.

    Plus-I go by a form of my middle name (Elizabeth) instead of my first name, which is my grandmother's name. I liked having the option.

  26. I don't have a middle name, and always wanted one. I think my name is sort of standard fare, so it would have been nice to have something to set it apart from everyone else a bit.

    I love the idea of giving two middle names, one from each side of the family! That's a great way to have unique names without resorting to crazy spellings, and get your kids more interested in their roots.

    I have a friend from Portugal who has 5 names. He told me it is very traditional to have several names like that in Portugal, which I think is fascinating. There's this whole set of traditional guidelines, apparently, for "formulating" babies names.

  27. I did not have a middle name either. But both of my girls do. Too many family names not to use the middle name and I love being able to use their three initials instead of two (AM) like when I was a child. AMT is much, much nicer….

  28. I did not have a middle name. Just Janet Parsons. So, like you, Parsons became my middle name when I got married. And I like that my initials now are jpr – which I often use.

    But I didn't like it when I was growing up. No one believed that I didn't have a middle name and they accused me of just not telling because it must be something just awful. So, all of my children have middle names!

  29. i think not having a middle name is a mormon thing. the only people i've ever met with no middle name were all mormon. and, like you, they all took their maiden names as their middle when they got married.

    i do have a middle name, and kept it when i got married. a lot of my friends got rid of their middle names and kept their maiden names as a middle name instead when they got married. so maybe no middle name is smart thinking…

  30. I am also a maiden-name-turned-middle-namer. I was always sad to not have a middle name when I was growing up, so it was important to me to give my daughter a middle name (which is my first name). I guess I thought having only two names was boring– the more names the merrier! But I am really happy to still have my maiden name be a part of me now.

  31. It's so interesting to read all the answers. My mother did not have a middle name growing up and her original plan was to do the same for her daughters. My older sister was not given a middle name. When I came along, my parents felt like my name by itself was not enough. So they gave me a middle name (which I love and have passed along to one of my daughters). My mom was a little sad when I dropped my maiden name after I got married, though.

  32. I'm not married AND I have a middle name. But i have thought about this before. I LOVE all three of my names, but I also intend to take my husband's last name when I get married. To honor my maiden name which is Lilly, I always thought it would be fun to give a future daughter my maiden name as her first name. God-willing someday I'll get to. :)

  33. I have no middle name and kept my maiden name when I got married (I love my name and my husband but not really my husband's name).

    I LOVE not having a middle name and especially loved it growing up. It made me feel so special.

    My intention was for my children not to have middle names but then when naming my daughter we came to a compromise that a name I absolutely loved but he didn't so much would be her middle name (he really wanted middle names – he has two).

  34. My mother wasn't given a middle name. When she married my dad she didn't make/take/steal one either. She said she liked it that way.

    We didn't give my daughter a middle name. Our rationale was that we (her parents) chose her first name, tradition/family chose her last name (her father/my last name) so she should be able to to choose her own middle name. And she will on her 18th birthday, if she wants.

    When/if we have more children we'll do the same with them. My MIL threw a fit when she found out. Thought we were going crazy. I like to think of it as a secret homage to my mother. :)

  35. I loved not having a middle name growing up & now I love having my maiden name as my middle name now that I'm married. If we have girls, I'd prefer not to give them a middle name, but I don't think my husband agrees with the no middle name thing for girls (he has 2 middle names.) He only uses one, unless it's on a legal document.

  36. my mom didn't have a middle name, though her first name is kind of two names together. my name stems from my dad being a redneck and my mom not being okay with that. He wanted to call me "Jessie Jo" and she decided "Jessica JoAnne" would work better, so I didn;t have to be a redneck, YAY! I almost didn't give my newborn a middle name just because we couldn't agree on anything, but the last minute before we left the hospital we decided on Lynn, after my MIL. blech

  37. How interesting this post and the comments are. I didn't know there were so many people without a middle name. I've never thought about this but my mother wasn't given a middle name and used her maiden name after she was married – though all her siblings DO have middle names. I don't know why. I was given a middle name but only gave my daughter an initial – many reasons there. I find it all very interesting.

  38. I use First Middle Married as my name. Although I was born in the 70s, which means my middle name is Ann. (The only other options available for middle names during that decade were Lynn, Marie or Elizabeth. Period.)

    My husband goes by his middle name, and we have to work hard to remember to use his given first name on "official" things. For that reason, we didn't use middle names on our wedding invites — because we didn't want to say "Donald Matthew" we didn't get to say "Carrie Ann." I was a teeny bit bummed about that. It's not a spectacular middle name, but it's mine!

  39. I had a middle name growing up. But had a panic attack going to the social security office to change my name when I got married. So I dropped my middle name and kept my Maiden name. I plan on giving my first daughter my old middle name as her's. She can keep if she wants or drop it later.

  40. I have a middle name, but it is my dad's last name (parents didn't marry) so it wasn't really one like most other kids. I sorta love now that I am married I have been able to retain one of my 'madien' names-
    My mom is a JoAnn and so she didn't have a middle name- it is always a hot topic of discussion…

  41. my parents did not give middle names to myself or my three sisters – so we could keep our maiden mane once we were married. my brother did get a middle name.

  42. One of my 9 children does not have a middle name. Her name is Gwenyth and I reasoned that it was involved enough that she didn't need a middles name, but she wishes she had one. All of her children have middle names.

  43. I have a unique middle name and kept it when I got married. Really since 2nd grade when some "clever" boy figured out he could change one letter in my last name and make a really bad word with it, did I look forward to dropping my maiden name. Then I married a guy in whose family it is tradition to give one of the sons their mom's maiden name. My poor son has it as a middle name. I love my family and that I can walk down the street of my small hometown and have people say, "You must be a (my maiden name)", but the trama in elementary school I could have done without. Interestingly enough, out of my 10 siblings, I'm the only one that it either a)happened to or b)remembers. Wonder what that says about me if it's 'b'.
    I did love my unique middle name, even now that I know the meaning. It was my grandmother's and no one knows how she ended up with a latin/spanish word for oatmeal as her middle name. It's a fun mystery to be a part of.

  44. I grew up LDS in the bay area. And I had never heard of with holding a middle name so they can keep the maiden name after marriage. Eventually my friend clued me in about it. Weird, I felt out of the loop.
    I like middle names, because you can choose them, last names are just luck o the draw .

  45. I had two middle names. I even thought about keeping my last name when I got marries and adding it to my middle name "collection" ;)

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