Laura writes:

We are expecting a baby girl in April. We have settled on Felicity for her first name, but can’t seem to commit to a middle name.

We have two daughters, Charlotte Ruth and Eliana Carolyn, and two sons, Th@tcher Keegan and Merr!ck Finn. Our last name is very common, D@v!s. 

All of our children’s middle names honor family. I would prefer to use another family name for Felicity’s middle name, but my husband hasn’t really liked any family names I’ve suggested so far: Mae, Jane, Helene, Jo, and Marian. 

He prefers a middle name to be short, one syllable or easily shortened to one syllable, since Felicity is a longer name.

The middle names he likes:

  • Prue – But it sounds a lot like Ruth and with a last name starting with D, it can sound like her middle name is “prude.”
  • Primrose – Because he likes that it can shortened to Prim, so we could call her “Felicity Prim.” But I feel like Felicity Primrose is a bit too much for me.

Part of me thinks I’m overthinking all of this and I shouldn’t worry so much about a middle name, but I still feel like we haven’t found The One.

Are there other short middle names that we haven’t thought of that can balance out the more formal and feminine first name? Should I push harder for a family name since she’d be the only one without one? Am I overthinking everything and the middle names he likes don’t have the issues I’ve been worried about?

Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your daughter!

I completely understand your last question. It’s tempting to dismiss our worries about a name as “overthinking.” And yet … that’s sort of shorthand for “I care about this specific decision a LOT and want to make sure I get it right.”

Which is perfectly reasonable!

So let’s give this question some more thought.

Does this daughter need a family middle?

The short answer is no; you know that already. And yet, all four of your older children have family names. I think I’d potentially feel left out if I were the sibling that didn’t get a family name.

There are still some really good choices – choice that appear to meet EVERY one of your husband’s criteria.

So it’s really tough to argue that you should sidestep those names in favor of something else. Mae, Jane, and Jo seem like the logical, obvious choices – the kinds of names parents choose even when there’s not a family connection.

Name Help: Middle Name for Felicity
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What makes Prue & Prim special?

Besides sounding like two of the Halliwell sisters (well, actually 90s supernatural series Charmed gave us Piper, Phoebe, Prue, and cousin Paige), Prue and Prim are different. Prue/Prudence and Prim/Primrose all sit outside of the current US Top 1000. And yet, they feel like familiar, recognizable names.

So maybe what we need is a one-syllable middle name that feels different and hopefully also ties to family.

That last one is a little tricky, because I don’t know your family tree, obviously. And it’s possible to broaden your definition of family. Let me recommend two other posts:

  • Creative Honor Names – Can you choose a name inspired by a family member’s nickname? A street you lived on or loved one’s hometown? Maybe a favorite flower, song, or sports team? Maybe there’s a person or place that’s significant in your relationship. It’s worth digging deep if it gets you both what you want.
  • One-Syllable Middle Names for Girls – The first version of this list exceeded 125 names. It’s just about doubled since then, and continues to grow. A few that stand out to me: Spring, for her season of birth; Mim, from Miriam; Lane/Laine, (sort of) from Helene, but also from your first initial, L; Rain, for April showers. Is that last one too much? It might be, even for me. Still … worth pondering.

How to Choose a New Middle Name

My first suggestion is that you rule out every name you’re actively considering, and start with a blank slate.

I’d look at everyone you might want to honor with your child’s name – first, middle, maiden, last, nicknames, etc. And then brainstorm a fresh list.

It sounds like your husband wants something ever so slightly creative, while it’s important to you to find something meaningful. I think you can probably have both!

A Middle Name for Felicity

But just in case that doesn’t work, let’s consider some options:

  • CLAIRE/CLARE – Because both of your older daughters’ names include the letter C.
  • JEANNE – Jane plus Helene, in a less expected name.
  • JOY – With the first name Felicity, exuberantly happy.
  • KATE – Traditional and bright, a great balance for Felicity.
  • LOU/LUE – A little bit like Prue, but a bit more traditional. She’d share your initial. Another option: Felicity Louise, called Felicity Lou.
  • PEARL – Antique gemstone name with the same pop as Primrose and Prue.
  • RUE – Prue without the problem. Another option might be Blue, especially if she’s born on a beautiful spring day.
  • VALE – Pretty, poetic nature name referring to a valley. It seems fitting for springtime.

Overall, my favorites – assuming Felicity Mae truly isn’t an option – would be Felicity Claire, for that shared initial with her sisters. Or maybe Felicity Louise, because it feels like a spin on Prue. And even though I mentioned it only in passing, I’m warming to Felicity Blue, too – assuming she arrives on a blue-skied spring day that warrants the name.

Readers, over to you! What middle name would you give to Felicity?

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. Thank you to everyone, your comments were very helpful! I was able to convince my husband to re-consider using a family name and we are leaning toward using Jo. That and Mae were our top two, but Jo has the edge based on the namesake being a bit more meaningful.

  2. I personally love Felicity Jo and Felicity Jane — I think Felicity Pearl is also gorgeous! I think Felicity Eve is also a beautiful.

  3. Just wanted to point out….
    If the concern is Prue might be heard at Prude.
    Then Rue … Rude
    Mae… Made
    Lou… Lewd

    My suggestion… Felicity Tate
    Tate… Happy
    Felicity happy

    I’m swooning over the idea of Felicity Fleur nicknamed FiFi.

    Similar sound to Prim… Brynn or Wren
    Felicity Brynn
    Felicity Wren

    Vintage vibe
    Felicity Gwen
    Felicity Pearl

    Lots of extra happy vibes
    Felicity Joy

    1. Good points, thanks – and yes, loving Felicity Brynn/Feliciy Wren for that Felicity Prim sound.