Middle Names For Girls: How To Choose the Perfect One - Real Mom Recs

Middle Names For Girls: How To Choose the Perfect One

Still scouring lists of middle names for girls trying to find the perfect one to round out your baby’s name? We might be able to help! Here are some guidelines for choosing a middle name as well as a list of great baby girl middle names.


Middle Names For Girls text with a sleeping baby girl in white and pink

Long middle names vs. short middle names

The perfect middle name for your baby girl should complement the first name melodically. One way to do this is to pair a long 2 or 3 syllable name with a short and sweet one syllable middle name. This way, the combination of the two names won’t end up too long or too short.

Examples of 2+ syllable first names paired with 1 syllable middle names:

  • Olivia Grace
  • Chloe Jane
  • Aria Lynn
  • Isla Mae
  • Gabriella Faith
  • Emily Rose

In contrast, if you are using a short first name, balance it with a longer middle name:

  • Sloan Alexandra
  • Joy Christine
  • Grace Victoria

Potential Problems

Consider each of the following pitfalls to avoid a potential naming mismatch.

1. Meaning

When choosing a middle name, avoid creating a name that makes an actual phrase with meaning, such as Scarlett Rose or Summer Rain. While these names might be cute for a baby, keep in mind your daughter will grow up to be an adult. She may not find it as adorable when she matures.

Baby girl sleeping while parents ponder the best girl middle names
Sadly, this little cutie won’t stay little forever

2. Slurring/sliding sounds

Another middle name problem to watch out for is “sliding” sounds. Avoid having the last sound of the first name be repeated in the first sound of the middle name, which gives the effect of the two names sliding or slurring together.

Examples of this would be Delores Sabine, Faith Thelma, or Joy Yasmine.

3. Rhyme/repeated sounds 

Names with the same sound in them don’t tend to flow well together. It would sound repetitive to pair Danielle with Gabrielle, for example, because they both end with “-elle”. Other examples would be:

  • Cambree Riley
  • Julianna Ariana
  • Aria Myra

It can be tempting to go with two ultra-feminine names that both end in “a”, but two “a” names rarely sound good together. Try going with an alternate version of the one of the names so they complement each other better:

  • Brianna Elle instead of Brianna Ella
  • Gia Camille instead of Gia Camilla

Multiple a-ending names together can sound sing-songy. Remember, you want the two names to complement, not match!

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4. Alliteration

Lastly, be careful with alliteration. You don’t need to always avoid it, but if you use it make sure it flows well and doesn’t sound like a Dr. Seuss reader.

Examples of alliteration done well:

  • Rebecca Renee (has enough other sounds to break up the Rs)
  • Emma Elizabeth (the repeated E sound is subtle, not in-your-face)

Examples of alliteration done badly:

  • Reese Rose (too repetitive/choppy)
  • Cora Catherine (two hard-c’s is harsh sounding)
  • Lillian Lee (too much of the same sound)

First and Middle Names Should Complement Stylistically

Most people opt for first names that are more fresh and unique, while sticking to classic and traditional for middle names. This works well because it avoids having a name combination that is full of trendy names or too “out there”. Then again, if you choose a more simple old-fashioned name for the first name, feel free to get a little more creative with the middle.

  • Brinley Anne (trendy + classic)
  • Sara Everly (classic + trendy)

Similarly, if you want to incorporate a gender neutral name into your daughter’s name, it’s a good idea to pair it with something feminine. As much as we love unisex names, your daughter might not love a lifetime of surprising people by being a girl when they were picturing a boy based on the name.

  • Instead of Oakley Reign (neutral + neutral), go with Oakley Rochelle (neutral + feminine)
  • Instead of Sawyer Lennon (neutral + neutral), go with Sierra Lennon (feminine + neutral)
middle names for girls
She is perfect. Her name should be too!

The First Place to Start When Choosing a Middle Name

Before even browsing middle names, the first place to look is your family tree.

Middle names are a great way to honor family members without having to actually use the name on a daily basis. It’s also nice to have a story to give your daughter when she someday asks you how she got her name. “We named you after Great Aunt Sara, who loved gardening and always made the best pies for Thanksgiving” is a more meaningful than “we just liked it”.

Looking through the family tree is also a great way to find more timeless, classic names which make great middle names.

Honor your heritage with a name that’s popular in your background (here are some Welsh girls names and Italian girls names to get you started!)

So sit down with your partner. Write down the first and middle name of your mother and grandmothers. Then list off all your aunts and great aunts. Go through all the female relatives you can think of. Even call older family members and have them name all the women in the previous generations that you may not know. Then browse both lists and look for anything you both like.

If those lists still don’t have any standouts for you, by all means check out this list!

Girl Middle Names LIST

You will find mostly classic, timeless and traditional names on this list, since those tend to work well as middle names.

One Syllable Middle Names For Girls

  • Jane
  • Elle
  • Rose
  • Pearl
  • Lane
  • Hope
  • Faith
  • Lou
  • Mae
  • Eve
  • Lynn
  • Faye
  • Rain
  • Grace
  • June
  • Dawn
  • Lee/Leigh
  • Joy
  • Jean
  • Rae
  • Belle
  • Jade
  • Paige
  • Ruth
  • Anne
  • Jo
  • Claire
peaceful sleeping baby girl in pink
Does she look like Nora Louise? Or Ava Leigh?

2 or More Syllable Names

  • Catherine
  • Elizabeth
  • Eleanor
  • Margaret
  • Caroline
  • Evelyn
  • Josephine
  • Rebecca
  • Elise
  • Willa
  • Samantha
  • Charlotte
  • Marie
  • Louise
  • Elaine
  • Camille
  • Renee
  • Juliet
  • Abigail
  • Mary
  • Lucille
  • Victoria
  • Tabitha
  • Suzanne
  • Beatrice
  • Jillian
  • Ivette
  • Jacqueline
  • Audrey
  • Diane
  • Isabelle
  • Madeline
  • Alice
  • Lucy
  • Melina
  • Molly
  • Hannah
  • Helen
  • Lorraine
  • Alexandra

This post has a list of more long, elegant girl names if that’s what suits your taste.

What is your favorite choice of first and middle names for girls?

If you are pregnant and planning to breastfeed, don’t miss my popular breastfeeding tips!


Adoptive mom, biological mom, slacker mom, Disney mom, and above all things a REAL mom. Fan of blogging, sleeping, and pretending not to hear my kids fight.


  1. I really like this article and my husband and I tried to follow the same idea when naming our girls. We have Penelope Ann, Anastasia Rose and Isabeau Grace. We also considered Evangeline Grace, Vivienne Leigh, Juliette Jayne and Rosalie Rae. All the middle names are based on names from our families. We picked first names then went through our families to find middle names that would flow with the first.

  2. My husband and I are having a hard time pairing something with Rosalie, I want Rosalie Frances (my husband’s name is Frank) but I’m scared that’s too long or too many syllables…What do y’all think?

    1. I think those two names pair beautifully together! As far as it being too long, I guess I would have to consider the last name. Rosalie Frances Banks doesn’t strike me as too long at all, but Rosalie Frances McGonagall is a tad cumbersome. Hope that helps!

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  6. My husband and I are looking at the name Arizona for our baby girl. Our surname is quite long, Bowman, and looking for a middle name? Not even sure if that name is too long…

    1. I don’t think it’s too long at all! Arizona is such a pretty and unique name. I would go with a middle name that is one, maximum two syllables, and I would avoid anything ending with -a or -n. Arizona Faith Bowman, Arizona Mae Bowman, Arizona Lee Bowman, Arizona Rylie Bowman… I could think of lots! Good luck 🙂

  7. I have always loved the name Tallulah from the Frank Sinatra song, “I’ll take Tallulah” I am planning on pairing it with my grandmothers middle name Mae.

    1. Assuming I’m pronouncing Naiara correctly, it’s three syllables.. so I’d go with a single-syllable middle name. I think Paige is a great choice!

  8. I love this! My husband and I are struggling as well. We would like to use the name Camryn and our last name is Sullivan. We feel names that start with C or S or end in N may not work. Help!

    1. Gorgeous name with so many possibilites! You could do a single syllable (Camryn Leigh, Camryn Grace, Camryn Faith) or a long name (Camryn Ilana, Camryn Isabelle, Camryn Amelia). I like a feminine middle since Camryn is unisex. Good luck with your choice!

  9. We are having trouble with a middle name as well. For as long as I can remember I have always wanted the name Brookelynn James (my middle name, my mom’s middle name and my dad’s name); however, my fiance’ is not feeling the name James. What do I do??

    1. Oh boy do I feel you on this one. My husband and I fought for months with each child over names. Actually like the entire pregnancy. I was the same as you having names in mind that I’d loved forever. Unfortunately, we only get 50% of the vote! Dad has to love the name too, even if it means making big compromises. If James is the most important part to you, see if he would be happy having his choice of first name. If he puts his foot down on no James, you’ll have to go back to the drawing board. I hope that helps! And if you come to a standoff, be sure to check out my baby naming service: https://www.realmomrecs.com/baby-naming-service/

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  11. I have always loved the name Elizabeth Danielle for my future daughter. I know both are rather long names, but our last name is Field so think it would balance out. What do you think?

    1. I think it works! True they are both long visually, but one is 4 syllables and the other only 2 syllables. Plus the short last name. I say go for it!

  12. My fiancé and I are having trouble with agreeing on a name he really wants to do Surá as her first name but I don’t know if I agree and if so I’m having a hard time with the middle name….

  13. I want to use Dorothy as a middle name but hubby wants to use it as a first, Dorothy Danielle. I’m not crazy about Danielle but having a hard time pairing a first name with Dorothy.

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  15. I like to go to baby naming websites for the names of my book characters. What do you think of Lyra Abigail?

  16. Hello. We have a baby girl due soon and I am struggling with the name. We’ve decided we like Mae and Clara and likely will use the middle name Marie (as it is mine too.) Our last name, also starts with an “M” as it is McClellan. I can’t tell if Mae Marie McClellan is too many Ms and flows well. Help please. 🙂

  17. Enjoyed your article. I am having issues deciding on a middle name for Charlotte. The options my husband and I are thinking are Grace, Victoria or Adelaide all are grandparents names. Please gives us your thoughts or other options that will work with the first name. Thank you in advance.

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