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middle names for girls

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?

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