According to Scottish businessman Max Robinson of Scotland Shop, middle names are actually a fairly recent discovery, as previous generations didn’t even think to give their kids a middle name. However, as the practice has grown in popularity around the world, it has become pretty common for Scottish babies to have middle names. Because last names in Scotland are generally associated with your family roots, and first names usually describe a physical characteristic, many parents see a middle name as an opportunity to give their baby a slightly more creative moniker that has no relationship to appearance or family history. “Consequently, middle names tend to be pretty interesting!” Robinson says. Laura Wattenberg, author and founder of Baby Name Wizard, who did an analysis on current middle names in Scotland, has noticed that many of the top middle names are two generations behind fashion across the globe. “The Scottish still want to honor our grandparents, but are no longer willing to sacrifice style to do it. So, we use their names as middle names, instead of as first names,” she explains.
According to the Daily Mail, England’s adorable bundles of joy are now 80 percent more likely to have a middle name than they were in generations past. And, if parents can’t decide on a single middle name, no worries. Over 10 percent of British babies are given two middle names, instead of one. Traditional names are highly favored here, with many chosen to honor a beloved, departed relative. This particular middle-name trend began in earnest after World War II. England suffered great losses during the war, and providing middle names to the babies born afterwards gave great personal relief to people who had lost loved ones. Fun (royal) fact: The adorable Princess of Cambridge, born to proud parents Prince William and Kate Middleton, shares a middle name–Charlotte–with her Aunt Pippa, Kate’s sister. Reminisce about the royal couple’s wedding.