When a child is born, their parents take the time to carefully consider what name to give them. Parents debate over names and how their choice could affect their children during their lives. It’s certainly a big responsibility to give someone a name!
Will the name they pick cause schoolyard teasing or is it more likely to set them up for success? It is all in the hands of the parents. Sometimes, children think that the name they were given at birth is not quite what they would have liked if they had been allowed to choose for themselves. This may be especially true of those dreaded middle names.
But, on National Middle Name Pride Day, there is no reason to hide in the shadows! Each person can proudly share their middle name and let the love that their parents put into choosing it show.
History of National Middle Name Pride Day
The background of middle names comes with some interesting context. Historians do not know a firm date when middle names first appeared in English-speaking countries, but records indicate that the practice may have been used in higher class, wealthy families first. When it comes to those of royal and noble birth, it is known that the tradition was in effect at least as early as the 17th Century, by looking at the Stuart pretender, James Francis Edward Stuart.
In fact, at the time, it was common for those of high birth to have many names–sometimes several middle names. This is still the practice in modern royal families. For instance, Queen Elizabeth II of England was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. And those are lovely middle names that she can be proud of!
Considering that different countries and cultures have varying traditions when it comes to the naming of children, it can be fun to use this day to get to know friends and co-workers better–by finding out their traditions around middle names.
The great thing is that this may reveal a lot more than just their middle names, but the traditions of cultures that are new and unique. In some countries, a middle name may be assigned as a reflection of the mother’s maiden name. In other cultures, the middle name is used as a sign of honor for a close relative or friend. Other people choose middle names because they simply like the sound of the name, the meaning or significance behind the name, or even the acronym that is created when the initials are spelled out!
How to Celebrate Middle Name Day
A variety of fun activities can be created in celebration of Middle Name Day, including the following:
Learn More About It
Whether you’ve liked it from childhood or not, this can be a great day to wear your middle name proudly! Proclaim it from the mountain tops… ok maybe not that, but don’t be afraid to share it! Learn to like the way that it sounds.
Some people who don’t know much about their middle names may want to take time to ask their parents why they chose your middle name, if you haven’t heard the story before. This is a great exercise because it may be possible to learn about more than just the name, but stories of the family members who lived in generations past.
Celebrate with Food
Every celebration worth doing deserves to have some fun and food in it! Cookies proudly proclaiming children’s, friends’, or other family member’s middle names can be a yummy way to celebrate the day. For those who aren’t into baking on their own, it’s easy to purchase a cake at a local bakery and have the middle names of the family piped onto it with icing.
Show Middle Name Pride with Balloons
For a special decorative touch to celebrate National Middle Name Pride Day, try out some giant foil balloons that are made in the shape of letters. These can be found at discount stores, party stores or online. While it might be easy to spell out certain middle names (like Ann or Sue), certain other middle names (such as Maximillian or Bartholemew!) might get a bit expensive and overwhelming.
Make it a Teaching Moment
For those who have children of their own who have been given middle names, this is a great day to take time to share with them why their names were chosen particularly for them and what the history or the meaning of their middle name is. There is never a bad day to share these types of memories with each other!
Host a Middle Name Game at Work
Over a lunch break at work, make a game of National Middle Name Pride Day with a little contest. Have everyone share their middle name and give out prizes for different categories. These categories could be almost anything, but here are some ideas:
- Longest middle name
- Strangest middle name
- Most boring middle name
- Most fitting middle name
- Best acronym from initials made including a middle name
Either have one person judge or let everyone vote on each category. Then, be sure to provide silly prizes to issue to the winners. Certainly even the people who don’t “win” can enjoy the fun that comes from celebrating middle names!
No matter if people are of noble or common birth, their name and what family history it carries with it should never be a source of embarrassment. A person’s parents gave them their middle name out of love and affection. This is the ideal day to take time to embrace that love and come around to finding pride in that name (even if it was never particularly appreciated in the past).
For those who are feeling that their name just can’t see the light of day, that’s okay! A great idea can be to spend some time with a favorite search engine. Many people might be surprised to find some truly unique ones gifted to the who’s who of Hollywood! After looking at those, you can truly enjoy Middle Name Day!