Male Name Inserted as a Middle Name for Baby Girl

Updated on April 15, 2014
L.L. asks from Lexington, NE
48 answers

I am just curious what others think on the situation. It took us a long time to decided on a name. I had gotten stuck on Arianna ( though I liked other spellings better) and the middle name seem to evade me since the father wanted his name in there some where. Last name wasn't enough for him. He kept on insisting putting Paul in the name. He finally came up with Gabrielle. So we agreed on that then he said her name was gonna be Arianna Gabrielle Paul (insert last name). I have agreed to only because I was tired of fighting over names but I am not happy with it. I would have been fine with a female version of the name, like Paulette, Pauline, Paule, ect. In fact I loved the name Arianna Paulette. As his last name is French it fit so well and flowed beautifully. But he seems set on His middle name. I want to make him happy too, but I have refused to tell anyone she has the name Paul in her name or use it else where. I figure it can be on her birth cert, but doesn't mean I ever have to call her that. Its a second middle name anyways, how many people use their middle names anyway when introducing themselves. Plus I figure when she gets older I could use it when she won't listen to me. lol So what do you think of girls with Male middle names? How would you go about this situation yourselves?

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answers from Phoenix on

Paul is a horrible middle name for a girl. It just is. Don't do it. This is clearly a control thing but the name being Paul just makes it that much worse.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I don't really care about the boy verses girl middle name but it just seems so controlling, cavemany. She will already be carrying his last name. What does he say when you bring this up. Does he understand that she will be her own person, not someone he needs to claim ownership of.
I know you said you aren't happy with it, so I guess I am not really helping, but if you put it on the birth certificate, it wont really stay secret for that long anyway.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have a friend with two daughters that have full on boys names. It really doesn't matter. A name is a name, they don't belong to one sex.

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Reading on

Wow! That's really selfish of him. Some male names - Aubrey, Frankie, Jo, Sammie - can work. Paul sounds ridiculous. He sounds really insecure. Sorry, but it's true.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Richland on

May I be blunt? Your boyfriend sounds like a controlling jerk! He doesn't want this baby and your son watching fictional characters that he feels are not Christian, now giving a girl a guys name?? Is he so uncommitted he figures best to give the girl his name because he will never have a boy with you?

Don't give in on this, he is a controlling jerk and isn't going to be around for the long haul.

"But this topic has been brought on to me by some one close to me, that believes I should not in still this life of imagination on to my soon to be born baby girl do to it being ungodly. So what are your thoughts on this?"

I mean did you really think this didn't read my controlling jerk boyfriend?
Rose, it isn't about the name. After seeing a poor girl named Harley Quinn or however she spelled it, nothing shocks me now. It is the OP has only three questions, one about her controlling soon to be ex, the other two about a controlling boyfriend. Men/boys who try to control and change the women they claim to love are jerks. She could have posted he is making me eat ten bananas a day and I would have called him a controlling jerk today.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


So you're divorced now and having a baby with someone else??

Sorry. But he sounds like a MAJOR A$$HOLE - a controlling and insecure "man" (using that word loosely too). That's MY OPINION. Sorry. I would NOT insert PAUL into a name "just because HE wants it"...tell him to pound sand.

Personally it doesn't matter to me what the middle name is. But for the father of the child to FORCE it? Does NOT work for me...

Good luck!

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Just remember you are the one who fills out the birth certificate ! ;)

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

What a Jerk.

Are you married to him or not?

YOU put what name you want on the birth cert.

Again, what a Jerk.

"Paul" is no way, a unisex name.

Think about what problems you will have, with your boyfriend, later.
And about custody and all those other problems, with this child. And whether or not his name is on the birth certificate, and other things.
This is not the only problem you will have with your "boyfriend."
Think ahead.
THINK ahead.

Research "types of child custody" BEFORE you put his name on that birth certificate or list him as the Dad.
And get fully informed about matters like that. Now.

Do you not see, that the name thing is not the issue.
The issue and problem is... how he is and how he is to you and about, this.
The naming problem... is just one problem. But a big, problem.
And this is only the beginning.

Whatever name is on her birth certificate... will be her legal, name. And then you must use her name, all of her names, on any legal document etc. and per getting her Social Security card, and on and on.

So basically, your Boyfriend, named your daughter. All, of her names.
And you, did NOT get to have any say in it.
HE is controlling everything and you and your daughter, even if she has not even been born yet.
*Or wait, has all of this happened already and her name chosen and her name is according to your Boyfriend, and it is on the birth certificate already... and you are unhappy about it all?

Do you like, him treating you that way?
This will be only, one issue of many.
Then what about how, your daughter will be raised?
Have you both talked about that?

Something about this, is just not right.
It does not seem, that this is ONLY about your daughter's name.
It seems like you are not happy with him, commanding everything?

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I realize that as a young mom names seem VERY important but trust me, middle names are rarely, if ever used in real life, so I would give your husband this one.
My girls are 18 and (almost) 15 now and as much as I love their middle names they are nothing but a word on the birth certificate and mentioned maybe once or twice in their baby books. That's ALL. Even medical and school forms ask for nothing more than an initial.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

One of my daughters has the middle name "Gene". Just Gene, nothing else. She happened to be born on my beloved grandpa's birthday (long deceased) so I went for it. And actually his name is Eugene but he was known as Gene. I see nothing weird about male names for girl's middle names, if it's for a meaningful reason. Lots of people have random family "surname" type middle names. My friend's middle name is her mom's maiden name, Lloyd. She is only mildly embarrassed by it :)

What I think is more weird is having two middle names. I would either get comfortable with the idea of just using Paul, or tell "the father" to check his narcissism at the delivery room door because you are compromising with Paulette. Which I think is a beautiful feminine tribute to his name.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think I would go about the situation wondering why this is so important to him that he is willing to override my ( I, the gestating party) preference entirely.

While I understand family names being used, (my son has two middle names which are old family names from my husband's side), I simply cannot fathom making a girl have such an incredibly unfeminine name as Paul. Paulette was fine and pretty, but I wonder why he HAS to have his way on this. I know girls who are named George (middle name) and plenty of girls with 'boy' names, but Paul is just NOT a girl's name.

I guess if a friend brought it up, I would put it this way to her: is this the ONE thing you are having to compromise on recently, or does everything in the relationship HAVE to be his way? It would bother me if I was saying "I really don't like that" and had my spouse insisting that it must be HIS way, because they are asking me to name my child something I really disliked. It wouldn't feel respectful. Had it been something I was ambivalent toward (like one of my son's middle names, frankly), it wouldn't make a difference, but something I all-out opposed and he still insisted? Time to talk to a counselor, because I would be wondering what the heck the rest of our parenting relationship would be like if he couldn't respect that sort of request.

I guess that is how *I* would go about that situation.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I would seriously consider whether you want to give her four names. I have four names on the advice of a former work colleague at the time I got married and I regret it. I have my first name, my given middle name, my maiden name and my married last name. It's a hassle. There aren't spaces on official forms for four names. It messed up our income taxes one year because the preparer didn't put in all of the names and it has to match your SS name. People assume it is hyphenated when it isn't. When I register for events I don't know if I'm registered under my last name or my maiden name, which is now my second middle name. I would never do it this way again. I suppose for a fee and an appearance at the courthouse I could legally change it. Something to think about. If it's on her birth certificate it will have to be on her SS card and will therefore be her legal name for all official purposes and forms.

I don't like using masculine middle names or maiden names for girls' middle names, but I think that part of it is a matter of personal preference. I would be more concerned about the four name part.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

I am the firstborn in my family, and female. My middle name is my Dad's name. It isn't odd or embarrassing, no one tried to hide it, and no kids ever teased me about it.

I think you're creating drama where none exists. I'm surprised that so many responders thing your child's father is a jerk for insisting on something that is clearly important to him, yet fairly trivial as far as topics go. Name her Arianna (your pick) Paul (his pick) and stop this nonsense about lying by omission about her name.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

I kind of like male names for girls- it's unique. I have a friend who used the name of James for the middle name of her youngest. It fits.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I think putting the name Paul in for a girl is stupid and I would not do it. What is his problem that he insists on having his way over your opinion as a mother? You are right and I would not back down.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i don't actually object to it (calling girls by boys' names has been trendy for some time now, but it never goes the other way which vaguely annoys me) but i think HE'S being sort of weird.
my bestie's dad is paul, and he too insisted on her having his name so her real name is paula, but she goes by her much prettier middle name. at least he allowed it to be feminized.
i'd probably do the same as you- not a battle worth expending too much energy over, but i'd never actually use it.
i think having 4 names is several too many.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

In my husband's culture both sons and daughters are given their father's first name as their middle name. This is their culture, but in the US it's considered odd, so we already plan on using my middle name for any possible daughters.

One of my childhood friends is named Whitney, and she has her dad's first name, Morgan, as her middle name. It works well because Morgan can be either male or female. Paul is so decidedly male that it makes it odd in American culture. He should compromise with you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I'd set my foot down and say flat out, No, honey, we are not using Paul. I'm sorry. I have decided and it will be Arianna Paulette. This is feminine and it sounds great. Paulette is a female form of Paul and that is what wea are using. Be firm. Don't back down. Ok....if you do give her the middle name Paul, then let your husband know that when you have a son together that bc your daughter gets his name, you insist your son has your first name as his middle name. hahaha! Ok, just kidding. But that would be funny. Tease him about it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Personally I would either use Paulette or I would save Paul for the middle name if I ever have a son. I think using Paulette is a good compromise, he needs to be willing to compromise. Having two middle names can be a bit much IMO.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

since you say "the father" and not your husband I have to ask if you are still with this man? or he is just in the picture because you are pregnant. If it is the just because he is pregnant I want to tell you that you don't have to name the baby what he is insisting. his last name can be put on the birthcertificate regardless. and he will still be responsible for supporting the baby regardless of if you name it what he wants.

now having said that I don't think there is anything wrong with having a middle name that is a male name. I do think having 2 middle names is weird. what if the name is 4 names long and she marries someone and wants to do a hyphenated name

Arianna Gabrielle Paul whatever the last name is and she marries a hyphenated person then you have
Arianna Gabrielle Paul Winston-Churchill or whatever the name is

Sometimes you have to just say no. And for me this would be it lol. I don't think I put the name paul in there. if he is still in the picture as in your are going to be together forever what is his plan when your pregnant again and its a boy?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I think it sounds really cool, especially as a second middle name. I like names that have significance!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I kind of think it is striking. Sounds like a famous Doctor , Scientist or President.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think what's more important here is the arguing and the insistence on anything. It sounds like you had a first name in mind, then you changed your mind and gave in on a new first name, and now you're stuck and don't want to cave again. Meantime he is insistent and just won't stop until he gets his way. Was he hoping for a boy and this is his way of getting a boy's name in there because he always hoped for a "junior"? THAT worries me more because I would hate for this little girl to grow up thinking she was a disappointment from the get-go, and her father isn't really happy that he has a daughter.

You, meantime, are embarrassed about the name and "have refused to tell anyone" - so this conflict says a lot more about your relationship and the inability to compromise than it does about anything else. You're planning to use it only to punish her? You wrote "LOL" so hopefully you are kidding about that!

That said, I think of actresses like Michael Learned and Michael Michelle, and I'm sure there are others with traditionally male first names, let alone middle names. My female veterinarian is named "Laurence" - first name.

I think a child's name(s) should be based on things like how they sound and who they honor (relative, ancestor, saint). I think the initials shouldn't spell something silly or obscene because other kids make fun of kids named "Ashley Sandra Smith" or "Deborah Ursula Miller". Or worse, if you know what I mean. Sometimes people wait until the baby is born and see what name comes to them when they meet her/him. I think that's okay too.

I think it's more important that she not feel that her parents created a battleground from the moment of her birth. I would spend the time working on how you both communicate, why and how you draw "lines in the sand", and set the stage for conflicts to come - when she can date, when she can go to the mall with just friends (no adult supervision), whether she can stay out all night, whether she can go to overnight camp, and whether she can have an iPad or whatever the fad of the moment should happen to be.

And if her father doesn't care what you think, and if you can't express yourself honestly to him, and if each of you is more intent on getting your way than in honoring the other's wishes, it's going to be a very long road to harmony!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

How would I go about this? I would continue to talk to my spouse about it until we were BOTH happy with our child's name. I'm not big on the "I'm carrying the child, so I get to decide" rule that some women go by, but I do think that a name should be something that both parents are satisfied with. I wouldn't be satisfied with a 2nd middle name of Paul for my daughter, and I have no doubt that my husband wouldn't insist on it if I wasn't happy. This sounds like more of a major red flag for your relationship with your child's father than a name issue.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I like it.

Reading below: What's the big deal? Why does his wanting a certain middle name make HIM a jerk, but the mother wanting a different middle name not make HER a jerk? Since when do we women get to rule on names?

I think it's a really good idea to let him have his way on this, and say no more about it. Ever. You want him to buy into this baby in as many ways as possible. So often males feel left out, and then there's hell to pay.

Anyway, I think it sounds cool. I know of someone who gave their boy a middle name of Firefly. Middle names are rarely used. You might as well have fun with them.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Hi L., I guess I'm with you, I don't like it either. However, I'd probably let him have it. It's not like it'll be used everyday, and if she hates it once she's an adult she can legally drop it anyway.

Congratulations, btw!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I would never give my daughter a name that is clearly a male name nor would I give my son a name that is clearly a femail name. That said, I compromised with my hubby and my daughter's first name is Madison (though we call her by her middle name) and while I don't know any males named Madison, it is apparently a traditionally male name (from long ago).

My sister is about to give my soon-to-be born niece my father's middle name (Louis) as her middle name because her first child (a boy) has his other grandfather's middle name. I personally don't like it but it's not my child and I don't get to pick the name.

In your case I would tell him that he can pick a female name that the two of you can agree on for a middle name (of which Paulette or Paula could be options) and he gets the last name but she's not gonna have two middle names nor is Paul gonna be your dauther's name.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

It is quite common to use family names as middle names. I think it is more meaningful than just picking names you like the sound of. I wouldn't have a problem with a masculine family name for a middle name, but I don't like the idea of two middle names. Two middle names will be a pain in the neck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My hubby's middle name is Lee. My son got the middle name Lee. Hubby wanted to give my daughter the middle name Lee. I said no, what about me?

So my son has his middle name, and my daughter has my middle name, we all have hubby's last name.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

He's an idiot. Sorry. This child will resent this so much when she's older.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

So what happens if and when you guys have a son? Is he going to insist on the first name being Paul? I would ask him how he would feel if you had or were having a boy, and you wanted the middle name to be traditionally feminine name.

Sorry, I would trump him and tell him you can meet him half way and do a feminine version of Paul, but that's it. It's your daughter that has to live with the name her whole life - this shouldn't be about his ego.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Well... it's weird, but it's not the end of the world. Michael is used as a girls' name. Plenty of other names are unisex - Kelly, Taylor, and Chris, among others.

We gave our younger daughter a family name for her middle name. She didn't like it as a little girl because it wasn't just like her friends' names. Now that she's an adult she likes it a lot.

You might ask your Paul, in a curious (not an angry) way, why he is so insistent - just to find out whether there is a deeper reason behind it or whether it's a power move. If he insists, well, Paul isn't bad for a second middle name. It will be pretty well hidden away behind the first name and the first middle name, anyhow, and you can teach your daughter to be amused and shrug her shoulders about her daddy wanting her to have his name. If it's the worst thing that ever happens to her, she won't be doing too badly.

It's definitely not as bad than naming a boy Sue (if you remember that old Johnny Cash song).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I really don't think there is anything wrong with it. In some countries it is tradition to give a grandparents last name or a version of it as a middle name. I know a woman that has the middle name of Robert. I think we just get totally stuck on female and male specific.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

Arianna Paulette lovely.... No one uses middle names much, and many don't use the full first name. So...Anna, or Rianna or Paulie or Pauletta are all nice. How about Pauletta for a first name? She could be "Paulie" or something like that???

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My middle name is Jones. It is my maternal grandmothers maiden name. I remember peers thought it was different. Some thought different cool, some thought different not cool.

I didn't care for it myself. However I loved the connection it gave me to my grandparents, and when my grandpa would use it as my nickname and sing it as "Joney" it made me feel special and I loved it!

My daughter has 2 middle names. Our older kids have a middle name starting with "R". We didn't want to break the pattern with our third but when I heard this name that started with a different letter and I loved it. So we stayed with the "r" pattern and I wrote the second middle name on the birth certificate. Hubby didn't care either way. And ya know what? LOL I forgot about it until this year when I registered her for school, LOL.

Other then that it has not come up.

So I don't know if this answers your question, but if YOU are the one filling out the birth certificate and...........spell it how you want it to be spelled :-), LOL

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Why is he so insistent?
It's like he already views her as his possession.

But, to answer the question, I say, if you're going to do it/-do it. Arianna Paul XYZ.

But I gotta say I think using his middle mane as his daughtes idle name hardly qualifies as an "old family name"!

Old family names might be something like the godparents first or last name or the mothers last name "George walker bush"...but dad's name "Paul" as a second middle name? Nah.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I would never give my child a name I didn't like. There has to be a compromise. Giving a truly masculine name like Paul to a girl - well, I wouldn't do it, either. He should compromise with Paulina, Paula, etc - or get over it.

I suppose you could spell it Pol and say it's short for Polly. If I think of it in those terms, it doesn't sound so bad.

It does sound like he wants a boy. Ask him, "What happens when/if we have a boy? Would you give him a girls name? I want to name our son L." and see what he says.

(and just for fun - our first daughter's middle name is Asenath, which means "I belong to my father.")



answers from Oklahoma City on

Ask him what he wants to name a son if you have one next time? Gabrielle? Ask him to save the Paul for a future son.

I do have friends that always have their mothers maiden name as their middle name, it's a Canadian thing. I always think of Dudley Do Right when I think of Canadian Names....

So, if your child's name was Paul and your maiden name was Dudley and hubby's name was Larson your son's name would be Paul Dudley Larson, next kiddo would be XXXX Dudley Larson, and so forth.
Some people are funny about their traditions.


answers from Iowa City on

Both my daughters have male middle names. My oldest was named after my pap. My youngest was named after my dad. The youngest has two middle names. So I guess that shows you that I would be fine with Paul for a middle name.



answers from Atlanta on

No one is ever going to know. Think of all the middle names your know. Do you know your friends'? Your neighbors'? The lady you met at the playground? How about your nieces/nephews? It will be even less likely that anyone will know it with it being a second middle name. The only purpose to a middle name is to have something to put on a diploma or wedding announcement. At that point in her life (with her two middle names) she wouldn't even need to include it, if she were so inclined.



answers from Detroit on

There are so many names that started out as boys names (Shirley, Leslie, Peyton, Avery, Madison to name a few) that are now accepted as girls names that it wouldn't bother me at all. I think middle names are perfect for trying something different.



answers from Minneapolis on

why would you put your child thru this?..with a name that long for her to sign anything is gonna be a total chore.keep it simple for her future of learning to spell n write her name...



answers from New York on

Middle name - no big deal.
The boxer George Forman named all 5 sons George Forman and one of his daughters is named Georgetta. He has 12 children.

Again middle names - no big deal



answers from Baton Rouge on

So-called boy names and girl names are only gender-specific because the culture says so. It's not a natural law of the universe.
My kid has a nickname that sounds like a "boy" name. In preschool, one of the kids in her class told her that it was a boy's name. At the ripe old age of four, she told him, "It's MY name and I'm a girl, so that makes it a girl's name. So there."



answers from Oklahoma City on

I think it's fine. My grandmother's middle name was Earl, after her father. When she got married, she dropped her last name and kept her middle name. I kind of like it - Donna Earl.

Your daughter may hate it when she's young, but I have a feeling she'll like the uniqueness of it when she's older. My full first name is very different (and actually a male name in India, come to think of it). I hated it when I was young because it was so different. Now, I love it because it's so different.

If by chance she comes to really hate it, she can just not use it. My sister has two middle names and she rarely uses the second one, just for the sake of convenience.

When your daughter becomes an adult or when she gets married, she can legally change her name if it makes her happy. The best advice I can give you in the meantime is to not show her if you're disappointed with her name. If Mom doesn't like it, she may develop a complex about it.



answers from McAllen on

I think that it's cute, the idea of having a more masculine-sounding middle name. I tend to lean to androgynous-sounding names for girls, anyway.

If you don't like it, then...NO. Since each of you has valid say, go back to the drawing board and hammer it out. BUT I always think that Mommy's second vote breaks the tie. Just be gracious about it, recognizing that his opinion here is important, too.

Four names is too much if ou don't like it. "Paule" is cute, too, but "Paul" is also just fine. Arianna Paul/Paule [Lastname] works perfectly.



answers from Washington DC on

I like Arianna Paul or Gabrielle Paul. But then I dated a guy named Jose Maria for 4 months.



answers from Dallas on

My daughter's middle name is Justin and she loves her middle name. She knows she is named after her Uncle Justin that died before she was born. She sees pictures of him and knows thats where her middle name came from, and she is very proud of it.

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