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National Middle Name Pride Day

How your middle name contains cultural significance

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National Middle Name Pride Day

Katelyn Stuck, Staff Writer

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Your middle name: Something people may only hear when they get in big trouble with their parents, or if there is a formal occasion. The middle name, however, has a surprisingly long history and significance. What better way to commemorate it than on March 10, National Middle Name Pride Day?

     Middle names date back to Ancient Rome, where famous men, such as Julius Caesar, had multiple forenames. Julius’ full name was Gaius Julius Caesar. The multiple names were given to show nobility and title at the time.

     Middle names are also given to distinguish between people. In 17th century England, a man named John Parnell named both of his sons John. In order to keep them apart, they were given middle names for convenience, according to http://www.middlenamers.com/1-origin-of-middle-names/ .

     Middle names were viewed as spiritual names, and were commonly the names of a favorite saint. Mary and John were both popular first names and middle names for that matter.

     In his book, “In Search of Your British and Irish Roots,” Angus Baxter observes that in 1700-1875 England, the middle name would traditionally honor the mother’s side of the family with her middle name, in order for the name to be passed down for generations.

     Students in modern day maintain some of the same traditions used in colonial times. Sophomore Vincent Andre’s Italian based family follows the tradition of using the mother’s maiden name as the middle name. Andre’s middle name, Vitalea, was passed down for a very long time, until Andre’s mother’s only brother passed away at a young age.

     “The name never got passed down, so she gave it to me instead,” Andre said.

     On March 10, the history and pride of middle names is celebrated. The middle name has been used for various reasons, such as title, convenience, tradition, or simply a way to make someone unique.

     “It feels nice to know that I’m still holding up some kind of family tradition,” Andre said.

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National Middle Name Pride Day