Cool Little Middles Beginning with BHow about some cool little middles beginning with B?

Turns out there are tons of middle name possibilities brought to you by the second letter of the alphabet. If you’re looking for a brief, bold middle name – and there are plenty of good reasons you might – then this list might inspire.

Why B? When I started making a list of cool, little middles, I realized that the B section went on forever.

Some cool little middles beginning with B clearly belong to the boys or girls. But when making this list, I opted for the unisex options – at least, the ones that might be unisex in sound, even if they’re not in terms of use. So Belle and Boaz don’t make this list, but Brynn and Bree and Bear do.

One more rule: while a very few of these dip into the US Top 1000, I’ve ruled out most that appear at all. And several, like Blair, Blake, and Blaine, were dropped because they seem relatively mainstream. There’s nothing wrong with that, but this list is reserved for the most unexpected of the options.

Happily, that leaves plenty of cool little middles beginning with B!

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bay

BayPlenty of nature names for boys and girls feel mainstream, including River. So why not other bodies of water? Short and strong in sound, Bay brings to mind famous places from San Francisco to the Chesapeake. Another fun fact? Bae – same pronunciation – is the early 21st century equivalent of “babe” or “boo,” possibly derived from the phrase Before Anyone Else. With names like Bailey and Mae mainstream, Bay isn’t such a stretch. Plus, ABC Family’s Switched a Birth gave us a character named Bay Madeline Kennish. And if Bay is a smidge too brief? You might consider Bayou instead.

Read more about Bay here.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Beach, Beech

While we’re talking bodies of water, Beach – as in the the sandy shore – seems like a natural among cool little middles beginning with B. Spell it Beech, and it becomes yet another tree name. Fun fact: the words book and beech may share roots, possibly because beechwood tablets were used for writing way back when. Either way, it makes for a strong, distinctive sound for a child’s middle.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bear

Bear: Baby Name of the DayWith Fox in the US Top 1000, I suspect Bear isn’t far behind. And yet, for the moment, it still belongs with rare, cool little middles beginning with B. Bears combine the fierce and the cuddly, a strong sound that stays on the right side of aggressive. Plus, bears are associated with plenty of names that you might find on your family tree, from Arthur to Ursula, Bernadette to Theodore, as well as multiple place names. It’s very possible you might be able to honor a loved one with this cool, modern middle name. Or, of course, as a first.

Read more about Bear here.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bee, Bea

At first glance, Bee is cheating. After all, it’s just a spelled-out version of the letter. And yet, it can be short for names like Phoebe and Beatrice and nearly any other name with a strong B sound. Bea boasts as much history as Jay, Kay, or Elle. The first version of this list dropped Bee as too feminine, but interestingly, it regularly appeared in the US Top 1000 for boys back in the nineteenth century, and, well there’s Johnny B. Goode, of course. While some might rhyme Bea with Leah, that’s rare. Either version of the mini name belongs with the cool little middles beginning with B. The ‘ee’ spelling also brings to mind the hard-working bumblebee, maker of honey and symbol of industriousness. That adds a lot of spirit to such a small name.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Birch

Birch Bayh served as the US Senator from Indiana in the 1960s and 70s. Bayh was a junior; but I can’t trace the unusual name farther back than that. Once again, this is a tree name, cousin to Hazel and Alder. It’s a symbol of New Hampshire, as well as Finland and Russia, so this is one cool middle that might honor family roots. There’s a Robert Frost poem about the tree, and they symbolize many positive traits: adaptability and resilience. As with beech, it has a history with writing, too – it was used in ancient India and Russia, too.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Blaze

Saintly Blaise comes so close to cool. But it’s Blaze – an unrelated word – that tips over from traditional to edgy. It comes from an Old English word for a torch. It’s one of the few names on this list that make the current US Top 1000 – Blaze, this spelling, ranked #858 as of 2016. It debuted way back in 2000, but remains on the fringes of the list. That helps make it a logical possibility for a cool middle, a fiery term that could pair nicely with a more classic first.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bliss

Baby Name of the Day: BlissOn the happiness scale, Bliss is happier than even lucky Felix. If you’re blissed-out, you’re in a state of near-perfect joy. That seems like an all-consuming emotion appropriate for new parents. Bliss trends feminine today, from the teacher in the Saved By the Bell prequel to Ellen Page’s roller derby champ in Whip-It. But it claims history as a surname – and a masculine given name, too. That makes Bliss equal opportunity, and it could pair especially well with a more traditionally masculine first. Carter Bliss, maybe? After all, everyone deserves such utter happiness.

Read more about Bliss here.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bloom

A bloom is a flower – nearly any flower, really. That puts it in the company of other pan-botanicals, from Flora to Petal. But to bloom is to grow, and that makes this little middle a potentially aspirational choice. You might also think of it as a surname. James Joyce made Leopold Bloom famous in Ulysses; later, the character inspired Broadway’s Leo Bloom. But when we’re talking about the surname, Bloom probably comes from the Middle English word for an ingot, given to an iron worker. That lends an intriguing note of strength to an otherwise delicate name.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Blue

Blue: Baby Name of the DayBeyonce put Blue Ivy on the first names list, but years before she and Jay-Z welcomed their daughter, other celebs chose it as a middle. Cher welcomed Elijah Blue way back 1976. John Travolta and Kelly Preston went with the French spelling for daughter Ella Bleu in 2000. And Alicia Silverstone opted for not one, but two cool little middles beginning with for son Bear Blu – no ‘e’ on his middle. If Ruby and Scarlett, Olive and Hunter can rank so highly, why not this color name? And if you like the idea, but prefer something longer, Indigo, Lazuli, and Azure are all true blue alternatives.

Read more about Blue here.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Blythe

Like Bliss, count Blythe among the happy names. Unlike Bliss, you’ll rarely hear Blythe used in everyday speech. Shakespeare used the phrase “blithe and bonny,” but in modern parlance, blithe is more likely to mean careless than carefree. Still, a handful of pop culture associations keep Blythe in the running as a given name. On the girls’ side, there’s actress Blythe Danner – better known as mom to Gwyneth Paltrow – and Littlest Pet Shop’s Blythe Baxter. Representing the boys, there’s Anne of Green Gables‘ Gilbert Blythe.

Read more about Blythe here.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Boone

Boone: Baby Name of the DayHere’s another obscure-but-not-unknown almost-word name. A boon is something helpful; back in the day, it could refer to a favor or a friend. Think “a boon companion.” It comes from the French bon – good, ultimately from the Latin. So the meaning is clearly positive and upbeat. If Blythe leans feminine because of use, Boone goes to the boys for similar reasons. Our first association is usually frontiersman Daniel Boone, which lends this name a rugged, Americana vibe. It’s appeared in the US Top 1000 for the past few years, but remains relatively unknown.

Read more about Boone here.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Beau, Bo, Bow, Bowe

Beau: Baby Name of the DayThe Bo- sound is big, but Bo belongs with cool little middles beginning with B. So do Beau and Bow and Bowe, too, and we’ll likely hear more of them in the coming years, along with Bodhi and Bowie and Bowen. They all have slightly different vibes. There’s casual Bo, southern gentleman Beau, wrapped up Bow – and Bow and Arrow – and surname Bowe. Beau ranks in the current US Top 200; Bo trails about 400 places behind, while the last two spellings fail to chart – for now. All four spellings feel reasonably unisex, thanks to a handful of association, from Bo Derek to Tori Spelling’s newborn son, Beau Dean.

Read more about Beau here.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bram

Bram feels traditionally masculine if you know the name’s history. It comes from Abraham, and it’s big in the Netherlands these days. But if you don’t speak Dutch, it’s possible your only association with the name is Irish author Bram Stoker, of Dracula fame. It might also come from surnames, like Bramwell. German surname Brahmes comes from the same source. It’s little and brief, and could be an unexpected middle name option that wears well.

Read more about Bram here.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bran

We love a bird name, so why not Bran? It comes from Gaelic roots and means raven. Welsh and Irish myth both claim characters by the name. Bran, as in flakes, has different – and possibly less appealing – roots. But the tie-in to the raven feels like an appealing one.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Brave

If virtue names like Grace belong in the middle spot, why not Brave? Like True or Sage, it feels like a quality universally admired. Brave’s ultimate origins are debated, but it seems to have to come to English via French and Italian. Bravo – as in the Italian accolade – translates literally to brave. Benjamin Bratt and Talisa Soto named their son Mateo Bravery. Proof, I think, that this sound works well in the middle spot.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bree

Bree has darted in and out of the US Top 1000 since the 1970s, with the occasional pop culture use to bolster it. Desperate Housewives gave us Bree Van de Kamp, but it was Jane Fonda’s character in Klute that put Bree on our radar in the first place. (Fonda won an Oscar for the role.) Just as Bram is more clearly masculine, Bree leans feminine. It’s a form of Bridget. But on sound alone? Bree rhymes with Free and feels quite right for a son or a daughter, at least when we’re talking about cool little middles beginning with B.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Breeze

A handful of birth announcements featuring Breeze have captured our attention in recent years. Levi Johnston, the one-time fiance of Bristol Palin, and wife Sunny named their daughter Breeze. Vanilla Ice is dad to Keelee Breeze. Her sister’s middle? Raine. And that’s just it. Raine – choose your spelling – has become a go-to weather-related middle, which seems to open the door to Breeze. Another plus? The cool, easy sound of Breeze.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bret, Brett

Spelled with one t or two, Bret tends to be used mostly for boys. But it’s exactly the kind of sound that lends itself to a unisex middle. Besides, it comes from a place name – Brittany, Bretagne in French. Both spellings have ranked in the US Top 1000, and Brett remains somewhere in the 700s. That means that plenty of dads and uncles answer to Bret/t these days, but it could still make a refreshing middle name choice.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Brit, Britt

Swap the ‘e’ for an ‘i’ and suddenly the name leans feminine. Though actually, neither Brit nor Britt has ever been especially common in the US. But it’s a Scandi form of Bridget, via Birgitta. Saint Birgitta of Sweden is the patron saint of Europe. If Bridget and company feel like traditional choices, Brit – one ‘t’ or two – seems like a breezy, modern option.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bridge

Bridger has some history, especially in the Mountain West, thanks to legendary nineteenth century wilderness guide Jim Bridger. But the briefer Bridge is scarcely heard. Sure, it sometimes surfaces as a nickname for Bridget, but would it stand on its own? I think it does, for two reasons. First, that’s a big, bold sound. Ridge ranks in the current US Top 1000, so why not Bridge? But just as importantly, Bridge makes for a modern virtue name of sorts. To bridge divides is to connect those who disagree; it’s a positive, powerful image in our fractured age.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Briggs

Like the idea of Bridge, but prefer something more subtle? Briggs it is! It comes from the Old Norse word for a bridge. It’s a common surname, and fits right in with more popular picks like Brooks. One note: Briggs is hovering in the mid-600s in the US popularity rankings, making it one of the most popular picks on this list!

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bright

We love names that we associated with light, like Luke and Claire. But it doesn’t get any shinier than Bright. It might come from Germanic given names with that exact meaning – Bertha and all of those Bert names owe their origins to the element. Or it might have been adopted later, a surname for someone attractive. This makes Bright an appealing word name, but also a familiar surname choice – and so all the more wearable.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bronx

Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz raised eyebrows when they named their son Bronx in 2008. On the one hand, yes, place names are white hot. And Brooklyn gets plenty of love. But Bronx, with that tough-guy vibe, seemed a little harder to wear. The New York City borough took it’s name from early settler Jonas Bronck, since the area became known as Bronck’s land. Still, it’s trended upwards in use steadily since the arrival of young Master Wentz. And as a cool little middle? It works nicely.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Bryn, Brynn

Like many names spelled with a ‘y’, Americans perceive Bryn as feminine. But it’s traditionally masculine in Welsh, just like Lynn, Glyn, and Wyn. At #255, Brynn doesn’t really belong on this list – it’s cool and little, but far from rare. Still, the idea of Bryn for boys feels edgy and unexpected, a masculine sound that deserves to be reclaimed. In terms of meaning, it comes from the Welsh word for hill, which feels nicely unisex.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Burl

I sometimes think of Burl as a Christmas name for a boy, thanks to Burl Ives, of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer fame. But Burl is a nature name. It refers to a deformity on a tree, often caused by stressful growing conditions. Deformity isn’t a very promising meaning, but burl wood is beautiful, known for its unusual patterns. Burly means sturdy today, but it originally referred to something noble. If you’re looking for a rare name that nods to both nature and the arts, Burl fits the bill.

Cool Little Middles Beginning with B: Byrne

Byrne sounds like Ember or Blaze, a fiery name. It isn’t so. Instead, Byrne is a surname cousin for Bran, as in raven. (Meanwhile, Burns refers to a stream – and the Scottish poet.) Byrne brings to mind Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. Byrne is known as an innovator, and has won an Oscar and a Grammy, as well as being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That puts Byrne on this list, a musical legend surname that feels like a big, bold middle name choice.

Okay, am I missing more cool little middles beginning with B? Would you consider any of these as a middle – or a first?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. We used Baer as a middle for our little guy. It’s a root name for the -bert names (like Albert). It honors an old family name of Norbert.

  2. <3 Bay, Bea and Bram!

    Belle may be clearly feminine, but I think Bell would work well for either sex (think Alexander Graham Bell).

    How about Beck, Bix, Buzz, Bar, Boux/Boo (as in Radley or Daisy Boo Pamela!), Briar, Baird, Baize, Bede, Bird(ie), Bly/Bligh (I've seen this on a boy recently!), Bloom, Blues (like Megan Draper's real-life son), Brooks, Brio…

    Why are there so many little B middles?!

  3. I’m surprised Breck isn’t heard more often.
    Also wanted to add Brose. I have only heard of it as a boys name but I think it’s totally usable on a girl. I like it better with a soft “s” sound to rhyme with, um, “gross”, I guess, rather than the voiced “z” sound to rhyme with rose.
    On that note, since Bree, and Breeze are on the list, why not Brees. I know, I know, football…but if you are like me and really prefer that softer sound to the “z”, why not!
    Ok, and while I’m thinking of sports, could Bruin work? It’s got a kind of boring meaning I guess, but I find it pleasant to say, along the lines of Rowan but more punchy.
    I am name obsessed but not a “name nerd” so I have no idea how popular any of these are. Sorry if they rank >1000.

    But man, Bridge, Blythe, Blaze….this is why my shortlist gets longer and longer.