(Closed) How do you like four names for a baby? And do the "first name" have to be first?

posted 4 years ago in Babies
  • poll: Four names for a baby, good or bad? AND does the name the baby will be called have to come first?

    Four names is great! But the name the baby will be called HAS TO BE FIRST!

    Four names is great! The name the baby will be called doesn't have to come first!

    Four names is ridiculous! 3 is perfect! And the name the baby will be called has to come first!

    Four names is ridiculous! 3 is perfect! The name the baby will be called doesn't have to come first!

    Four names is ridiculous! 2 is perfect! And the name the baby will be called has to come first!

    Four names is ridiculous! 2 is perfect! The name the baby will be called doesn't have to come first!

    Four names is ridiculous! ONE plus a last name is enough!

    The more names the merrier! But the name the baby will be called has to be the first!

    The more names the merrier! It doesn't matter if the name the baby will be called is not the first!

  • Post # 2
    3878 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I think it is a bit much to feel that you have to use all of the names of your list. 4 names sounds like a nightmare. My brother has two middle names which he doesn’t mind, but any more than that and I think it would be ridiculous. How will you control for gender?

    Post # 3
    4108 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    View original reply
    bibilicious :  To break down your questions as best as possible:

    Are four names too many: While I personally feel it’s a bit “much”, I don’t think it’s the end of the world. Middle names are not typically used all that often. They are on all of your official documents, but besides that, I don’t know of anyone who goes by their first, middle, and last name. So if you wanted to add three middle names into the mix, I don’t think it will be the worst thing. However, something minor to consider, typically when filling out forms, it will ask for the middle initial only, so your child will probably select the first middle name. 

    The “not going by the first name” thing: No, that is also not exactly unpopular, but it CAN get confusing. I have a friend who expressly goes by his middle name and he has run into a few problems when getting mail delivered, at doctors offices, or anything with official forms. Other than that, when going to school, he was always called by his formal first name initially, but asked to be called by his middle name and that was it. Your child will probably have to specify which name they want to be called each year during school and at work, but should not have problems further than that . . . HOWEVER, if you are planning on calling them the third name in line, I think there will be a whole host of issues you are not thinking of: the name may not fit on the forms and therefore may not even show up, the name may get completely overlooked, etc. To me, if you were naming your daughter Mary Elizabeth Victoria Claire and planned on calling her “Claire” I would seriously question why that wasn’t her first name to begin with. Choosing “flow of the name” over what you are actually going to call her is ridiculous. If you can’t make the flow work, do not burden your daughter/son with confusion and issues their entire lives. 

    Post # 4
    4008 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    Yeah that sounds ridiculous to me. I taught a kid a few years ago who had two middle names, and even then kids would tease him once they found out.  It just seems a bit much. Is there a way to combine some of the names into a new, more original name (without it sounding clunky)? That way you still pay respect to the people you’re trying to honor, but you’re not placing the burden on your kid? 

    Post # 5
    5842 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2011

    If you are not royalty I think 4 names comes off as pretentious. I don’t think the name you go by has to be your first name, my brother goes by his middle name and it’s never been an issue.

    Post # 6
    1183 posts
    Bumble bee

    Generally the name the child will be called will be the first name. 

    But I’ve got some students who have Muhammed as their first name as part of cultural tradition. They are Muhammed + given name. They get called their 2nd name day to day.

    Unless there’s cultural reasons I’d keep it simple and put their given name first.

    Post # 7
    1807 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

    If there are several people you want to honor with your baby, that’s fine. 4 is ok – it might be a bit hectic when filling out paperwork like passports – but it’s not like he / she has to write out his/her whole name every day.

    In the Catholic faith the old naming system was to give boys the first name Joseph (girls are Mary / Marie), then the godparent’s name, then the name you want to call the baby, then the last name. Our ex-prime Minister (here in Canada) was Pierre Trudeau, but his real name was Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau. Whenever people call him by his full name, they say Pierre Elliott Trudeau.


    Post # 8
    3244 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    Legally the name would be Anna Johnson (from your example) that would be the name on her legal documents, ID, school/work assigned emails, etc. so if you want the name you call them to be their legal name, put it first. 

    I absolutely think 4 names is ridiculous, but not my kid. In the grand scheme of things people will rarely even be aware of all the names. 

    Post # 9
    108 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2018

    I think that using every single name you want to honor sounds like you are just doing it out of obligation and does dilute the meaning. Having that many names does sound pretentious and honestly, only the first middle name will be recognized in the US. I know people who have chosen to go by their middle names, but to force them to do it because otherwise their name doesn’t flow as nicely can be difficult. Legally, your first name is your first name here. You can choose to be called anything but it will just be a nickname not a legal first name. 

    Post # 10
    575 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    Most people won’t know about all the names.

    In school you can have a preferred name, but all the official documentation like exam results has to be their legal name… However it can be legal name Anne Bethany C D Smith preferred name Bethany Smith.
    Typically children are only known as a middle name if someone else in the family also have their same first name…

    The only thing you’ll have to watch out for is the official length of forms when you fill in boxes with each letter, you may find that a name, or two have to be missed out, depending on the length of the names- Ann Beth Cara Daisy Smith- is probably ok
    Alexandra Bethany Caroline Dorothea Smith- might run out of space

    Post # 11
    516 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    My son has two middle names. I Personally think 4 names is a lot

    Post # 12
    1219 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    My DH has 3 first names and goes by the second one, but only because the first one is his Dad’s name and they wanted to avoid confusion.

    His 3rd name also caused problems for us because it’s not written on our UK marriage certificate and when I needed a spouse residence permit for the country we are currently in, they didn’t accept it because the name wasn’t the same as on his ID card. We had to go to court and get an affidavit signed by 2 people who confirmed it was the same person. If it can be that confusing with 3 names, imagine with 4….

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