Happy Middle Name Pride Day! Yes, it’s a real holiday! OK, so it’s not officially recognized by the US government, but it is mentioned a few times on the internet. Whether it’s a real holiday or not, let’s celebrate it!

Poor middle names! They so often are relegated to the realm of initial-dom. My thought is this: my parents went to the trouble of giving me a middle name, so the least I can do is use it! And use it I do. My middle name is “Grace”—notice that my middle name has even made it into the name of my editing and writing business. I was named after my grandmother Mary Grace (“Maura” is an anglicized spelling of “Maire, “the Irish name for “Mary”). I really like the meaning of the word “grace,” and I’m happy to be associated with it. In fact, “Maura/Mary” means something, too—either “rebellion” or “bitter,” depending on which name derivation expert you ask.

How often do you think of what your name—first, middle, or last—means? So often, the signified meanings of many names are obscured by the mists of time.

Your challenge for today is to find out what your middle name means, reflect on it, and do something about it (unless doing so would be illegal, immoral, or indecent).

Your middle name: it’s yours; own it.

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