Duana Names: Balancing M in the Middle

July 4, 2013 15:45:20 Posted at July 4, 2013 15:45:20
Duana Posted by Duana

Hi Duana,

Our little girl is due to arrive very soon, and we have pretty much settled on the name Marlowe but are at a loss for a great middle name. Some that have come up include Arabella, Jane, and Rose but nothing is really striking me.

Thoughts on the first name and suggestions for a middle name would really help us out!


Marlowe is beautiful, unusual, and sure to make your daughter stand out in a group of Isabellas and Sophies who are sure to be her peers. But, like all names that are a little bit offbeat and a little bit unisex, you may want something a little more traditional to fill out the second part of her name. And depending on your last name, something with a few syllables wouldn’t hurt either.

My first thought, oddly, was Emmeline. I know I beat the drum of staying away from Emma and Ella, and I believe it, but I have a soft spot for this old-timey classic. It makes me think of L.M. Montgomery novels. Marlowe Emmeline is so balanced and lovely. Arabella fits this pattern too, of course, equally frilly and pretty – but it has that “bella” in it that might cause people to mispronounce it as “Isabella” if they don’t hear it properly. Beatrice? I know it might seem a lot for a middle, but if you’re using Marlowe it doesn’t seem like the type of name that will someday be a first for you, so why not? 

I can see why Marlowe Rose or Jane might seem a bit curt to you since Marlowe itself has few frills but if you wanted something shorter, look into Yvette or Janine or even Denise. Yes, I know. But the name seems to borrow from something a bit French, so why not? Camille? I do think having a second name begin with a consonant helps make the turnaround from the “o” in Marlowe that much easier.

Also – given that most people think of Marlo Thomas, I’d be prepared to correct some spelling or forgive some omissions of that last “we” – at least in the beginning.

Last minute update – what about Bianca?

Let me know!

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