How Do You Feel About Your Middle Name?



I didn’t used to like my middle name, Louise. Most of my friend’s middle names were Ann (without an E), Lynn (sometimes with an E), Marie or Mary. I didn’t know any other “Louise’s.”

All the other first names were more “normal” than mine too. I was the only Tish EVER in any of my classes. Did you have any in your classes? See, I told you.

My husband’s middle name is Gary. His mom wasn’t sure if she would have any more boys so she gave him her two favorite boy names. Tom has four younger brothers.

Frankly, I was a bit irritated at my parents for choosing both “unique” first and middle names for me. I grew to really love my first name but the middle one…let’s just say L. I have never used it.

When we on the other side and delegated with the task of choosing names for our offspring, I felt some regret about being so complain-y about my middle name. A lot of thought goes into those choices. But still, why not Elizabeth?

When our four were each born we chose “distinctive” first names and intentionally provided very mainstream middle names in case they wanted to drop the first part and go by the one in the middle like Paul McCartney and Tina Fey did. So far they haven’t.

Some women use their maiden name as a middle name and kind of drop the original one into oblivion. Didn’t want to do that either.

Then my precious women’s group prayed for me during a crisis and had a sense of the word “warrior.” Most people don’t associate that word with me, I’m usually calm, not “warrioring” around. I was intrigued. BTW, none of them would have been able to tell you what my middle name is.

When I found out about a week later that Louise means “renowned warrior,” I was stunned. Wow, that was my name all along.

All of a sudden, I am quite endeared to it. Perhaps I’ll add it to my signature line.

I was thrilled to find “Louises'” on both sides of family trees during my occasional searchings. Wonder if they knew about the warrior meaning. I’m glad to be in their company.

How do you feel about your middle name?

Hope for the best,


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10 Responses to “How Do You Feel About Your Middle Name?”

  1. 1 Betsy Uzzell September 23, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    My middle name at birth, Jane, was probably picked for convenience since Betsy Jane and Nancy Jean (twins) sounded good with Kip. All three women in my family use Kip as our middle name now. It has a proud history going back to the 1600’s in America. The Kip’s Bay House, built by my ancestor, was George Washington’s New York White House!

  2. 3 Melissa Moskowitz September 23, 2016 at 4:12 PM

    My middle name is Dell, like “farmer in the.” Growing up, I didn’t like either my first or middle name. I told people my name was Deborah (and no middle name).

    When I got older and was asked my middle name, I was given the reply, “Oh, like the computer.”

    Boy, have times changed.

  3. 5 Cathy Ellison September 23, 2016 at 5:55 PM

    I love this! Especially love the discovery of your warrior self! So empowering!

  4. 7 Glenna Ganster September 24, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    So interesting, Tish! Yes, you are definitely a warrior and I love Louise! My middle name is Renee, accent on the 2nd e, not the 3rd. I always planned to switch to my middle name (but never did) the 3-4 times we moved during my school years, because I really disliked my unusual first name, which people couldn’t seem to hear or pronounce (Linda, Glenda) and that was one of the factors in selecting more “normal” names for our kids. I’ve enjoyed and appreciated my first name for a few decades now, and love that my middle name means reborn!

  5. 9 Susan Chaney September 28, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    Love this post! Mine is Wentworth. My great, great(?) grandmother’s maiden name. It’s a “place” surname from England meaning something like winter-shelter. Guess it has a noble history in England but the only significance to most Americans is “Long John” Wentworth, two-time mayor of Chicago in the 1850’s. I love that it was passed down so many generations, because unlike you Tish, my family wasn’t big on preserving or creating traditions so it’s one thing that’s lasted for quite a while. My daughter, Samantha, fortunately is proud of it too! 🙂

  6. 10 Letitia Suk September 28, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    Oh wow, Susan Wentworth is so classy! Is it Samantha’s middle name too?

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