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. Felicity Mae was my first thought, before I even saw it on your list of family names! I like the suggestion from others to consider Felicity Maeve as a creative honor name.

    Going in another direction, what about Felicity Quinn? Since she is your fifth child, Quinn (from Quinta, Latin for “fifth”) would feel like a justifiable break from the tradition of using family names.

  2. “Felicity Paige” and “Felicity Lucille” are the first two that popped up in my head.

    With one-syllable names, there are plenty of choices. But I think it’s nice to know a partner is considering other options, like multi-syllabic choices. Be unafraid! There’s hope yet!

  3. Felicity is such a lovely name! It’s one of my favourites.

    My idea for her middle name is Felicity Joan – Joan contains Jo, and is also a form of Jane, so it would honour both those names.

    There’s also Jean, which feels delightfully retro.

    I’ll also suggest Felicity Joelle, which has a lovely flow.

    And – this is absolutely not my style, but it might suit you – James is kind of a Jane/Mae mashup. Felicity James?

  4. Felicity is such a great name! I beg of you not to use Prim which strikes me as a really disempowering word.
    With your list as a jumping off point but using the one syllable rule your husband wants, how about
    Felicity Lore (for you!)
    Felicity Mare (for Marian)
    Felicity Lee (for Helene)

    Others Abby hasn’t covered, but might be the vibe:
    Felicity Jay
    Felicity Gale/Gail

    1. I love Felicity Mae!
      And I agree she could feel excluded if she is the only one without a family name.
      Or another feminine form of Charles: Carla, Carlie, Charlene, Carola, Charis, Carlin…

  5. From your suggestions, I like Jane the best. Felicity Jane has a happy sound.

    Felicity Joy / Felicity Jolene / Felicity Jolie: Joy, Jolene, or Jolie could work as honor names for family names Jo and Helene.

    Felicity Cate / Felicity Celeste / Felicity Celine / Felicity Claire / Felicity Coral: if you decide on a middle that starts with C, Cate, Celeste, Celine, Claire, or Coral are lovely.

    Felicity Grace / Felicity Hope: obviously not family names, but they go beautifully with Felicity.

    Best wishes to you!

  6. My vote is giving her your name in the middle!! Felicity Laura. Or if you’re really feeling a one-syllable you could use the French Laure – Felicity Laure. Or Laurel…. Orrrr… Elle as in L for Laura. Felicity Elle. I don’t think you need to look further than this ultimate honour name. But Felicity Quincy (5th) could be cool too.

  7. First of all, gosh I love Felicity! What a great name! As for her middle name, I do think she should get a family name if all other 4 kids also have a family name. Jo, Jane, and Mae are all fabulous and if she is your last baby then why combine them all into one and go with Jae/Jay. Felicity Jay! It just exudes sunshine and makes me think of a happy little lark of a baby

  8. Just a quick comment-sorry I added Jane…didn’t see that it was on the list of names already proposed…Maeve could possibly honor Mae…and it is a little different?!

  9. Hi! What about Felicity Maeve or Felicity Dove? Also … Felicity Anne/a (is there any family member to honor with Anne/a?) … Felicity Skye …Felicity Wren…Felicity Lark…Felicity Jane… Felicity Kate … Felicity Rose … Felicity Shay … Best wishes for a smooth rest of your pregnancy and uncomplicated delivery! Cristina