If you think about it, it’s quite handy having a first name and a middle name — you have two options to choose from as an adult. As the parent, giving your baby multiple names means you don’t have to pick between two favorites when you can’t decide which is the best. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these 90 middle names for girls, categorized by classy, unique, cute, short, and popular.

How to Choose a Middle Name for Your Baby Girl

You may be wondering how the custom of giving middle names came about. There are a number of reasons middle names became popular and are an accepted part of many cultures today. Back in the Middle Ages, European families adopted middle names as a way to give their children both a given name and a Christian saint’s name. Later, the tradition changed and evolved in different ways. At one point, middle names were often the mother’s maiden name. If you were from an aristocratic family, for example, you may have been given multiple middle names to show your high place in society. In certain cultures, the concept of a middle name is uncommon or unheard of. Middle names aren’t used in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. In Spanish-speaking nations, a child will often have a compound first name like Maria Dolores. In Africa, a child will receive many first names, each with a specific meaning or purpose, such as conveying the child’s birth order and even the day the child was born. With this background in mind, feel free to create, follow, or ignore any tradition you like. You can choose one middle name, or several. You can select one that somehow rhymes or matches the first name, or you can pick a middle name that is completely different from the first. A middle name that is meaningful to you and that sounds good when you say your baby girl’s full name out loud is a good one. That’s the true test to ensure you’ve found the perfect name! Giving your daughter a middle name can also be a great opportunity to

  • honor a beloved family member

  • do something unique and different

  • create a nice-sounding first name–middle name pairing

  • give more of your favorite names, so you don’t miss out on using one of your top names

  • pick a middle name that’s classy, cute, or pretty.

If you’re getting really creative and you want to go for a middle name that’s truly unusual with special characters or many, many letters, check your state laws about what’s allowed, as some states have special restrictions.

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Cute and Pretty Middle Names for Girls

If you’re looking for a middle name that’s as cute and pretty as your newborn baby girl will be, choose one from this list:

Unique Middle Names for Girls

If you’ve chosen a classic first name for your daughter, you may decide on a unique middle name that’s edgy, unusual, or melodic. Check out our list of 70 unique baby girl names for more ideas, and read on for some more great options:

Short One Syllable Middle Names for Girls

If you’ve decided to give your daughter a longer, more traditional first name, you may want to opt for a short middle name that sounds nice together with her first name. Read on for some great one syllable middle name options:

Most Common and Popular Middle Names for Girls

These are some of the most common and popular names for girls in the United States. Any of these would make a good middle name, especially if you’d like to offer your daughter the option of having a popular middle name she might like to use instead of her first name when she grows up.

Classy Middle Names for Girls

Old-fashioned names are timeless. Elegant and understated, they make a great choice for your baby girl’s middle name and can be paired with any first name. Check out these classy middle names:

The Bottom Line

Choosing a middle name for your baby girl can be fun and exciting. You can start from scratch and choose something you love, or you can start by looking for a name that matches your chosen first name. If you’re still searching for the best middle name, you can browse more baby names using our Baby Name Generator!