"Having perhaps the most unfortunate middle name that someone who dedicated his life to interacting with children could possibly have, it's no surprise that Fred McFeely Rogers was known to all of us by his more formal title: Mister Rogers."
No matter the genre, some characters have a tendency to have one or more middle names they keep a deep, dark secret from everybody.
Also can apply when a newlywed woman appends her husband's name to her own, creating a funny combination.
Often comes out when a character's mother, wife, or other significant figure launches into a Full Name Ultimatum. It can also be used as a retort to Metaphor Is My Middle Name.
Similar to, but easier to hide than, the Embarrassing First Name and the Embarrassing Last Name. Could be a component of an Unfortunate Name. See also Tomboyish Name.
Once the name is revealed, another character often repeats it immediately after. Usually in a humorously questioning tone.
There are examples of this in Real Life — some cultures believe that to publicly reveal the name of their newborn child will curse them (or attract unwanted infernal attention); their solution is to give the child a 'placeholder' name that is purely humorous or inappropriate, and allow them to take their 'real' name when they reach a certain age.
It's also common in some cultures for infants to be named in honor of ancestors (typically grandparents) or as part of a multi-generational naming tradition. This can result in embarrassment as names become unfashionable or strongly associated with a certain gender over time (e.g., Meredith, Hilary, Ashley). May also lead to a Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?.
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Mahou Sensei Negima! has the powerful, legendary, Noble Demon vampire Evangeline A. K. McDowell. According to Albireo "Colonel Sanders" Imma, The K stands for Kitty. Of course, it actually stands for Katherine.
Evangeline also has the Meaningful Name shtick going with her first middle name, Athanasia.
Katherine is probably also intended to be meaningful as a reference to Hecate, a Greek Goddess associated with Witchcraft.
It's a title rather than a name, and it only appears in the novels, but Lina Inverse, star of Slayers, has the official Wizard Guild title of "Lina the Pink Sorceress". Seeing as how she's a tomboyish Chaotic NeutralTsundere, this embarrasses the hell out of her.
"Don't ask what the "B" stands for; it's an embarrassing name my father came up with when he was drunk."
Iron Man is a bit defensive about his middle name.
Computer: Identity confirmed: Anthony Edward Stark. Spider-Man: Anthony Edward Stark? Iron Man: You got a problem with that? Spider-Man: Nosir.
In the Archie Comic adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic's middle name is Maurice. His parents call him by that name, but he dislikes it. (His first name is implied to be more embarrassing.)
It is. Word of God said that it's "Olgilvie". Don't worry, they've promised that they'll never, ever bring it up.
OK, it's an embarrassing last name, but seriously: The Hitler-like dictator of Britain in V for Vendetta is named Adam Susan? No wonder they changed his name into Sutler in The Movie.
The Flash: Wally West's full name is Wallace Rudolph West.
Probably due to the fact that it's his father's first name, and his dad was kind of a dick who cheated on his wife constantly and wasn't terrifically supportive of his son.
MephistoMarley in Sara's Girl's Foundations. In his archaic pureblooded family, it's tradition that the second child gets the mother's first name as their middle name. Mephisto is the second child. His mother's name is Florence. At one point, Harry calls him "Flo" as revenge for him calling Harry "Wonder Boy" all the time.
Maya Fey of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Idiot universe is taunted for her middle name "Gilligan" every time she appears in court. Her responses vary wildly throughout the series dependent on how many burgers she's eaten, or whether her voice actor was a man or a woman that day.
Iron Cross recipient Waffen-SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Joachim Wilbur Hoch from the Uplifted series made known in the third story.
Three examples in the Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning: Lark's middle name is revealed to be Asphodel (which his mother apparently thought sounded manly at the time). Vale's middle name is Chastity, while Obsidian's is Agamemnon. (The latter is actually inverted, in that Obsidian doesn't seem to understand why Vale thinks his middle name ought to embarrass him at all. He does find her middle name pretty snicker-worthy, though.)
In the film/play/now a film again The Producers, Adolf Hitler's middle name is revealed to be Elizabeth. ("Many people don't know diss, but ze Fuhrer vass descended from a long line of English kveens.") Coincidentally, director and English (drag)queen Roger DeBris in the same movie shares this middle name.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, you learn Dumbledore's full name, all of which are Meaningful Names: Albus ("white") Percival (a knight of the Round Table) Wulfric (a famous healer in the 11th century) Brian ("exalted; high-minded") Dumbledore (Old English for "bumblebee"). In the movie, he proudly rattles off his name until "Brian" comes up, which he mutters, picking up the volume for his surname.
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella does this with the entire royal family, giving them each an embarrassing (or rather, disarmingly prosaic) antepenultimate name. For example, the crown prince is "Christopher Rupert Windemere Vladimir Carl Alexander Francois Reginald Lancelot Herman Gregory James."
His parents have "Sidney" and "Maisie" as their respective embarrassing names. The king actually refers to the queen as "Maisie" when they are alone, despite the fact that it's unusual, likely as a term of endearment.
Mel Brooks' character in High Anxiety is renowned psychologist Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke. The "H" stands for "Harpo."
In House Party, Kid asks Sydney what her middle name is. She says it's LaToya, obviously not liking the name much. Kid then says, "'Sydney'... that's a nice name."
In Meet the Parents, Pam's middle name is Martha, which was fine until she got engaged to Gaylord Focker.
In Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, Roger Thornhill's middle initial is O, making his initials R.O.T. Doesn't stop him from having his matchbooks monogrammed, though.
A subversion, actually, as Roger explains that the O doesn't stand for anything, he just added it so it looked like he had a middle name.
In 18 Again!, Jack, who has switched bodies with his 18-year-old grandson David, boasts in a college lecture hall that he knows the true story behind Harry S. Truman claiming to have no real middle name (in reality, Truman's parents chose "S" as his middle initial to please both of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young. The "S" did not stand for anything, a common practice among the Scots-Irish). Jack, who knew Truman personally, says Truman told him the embarrassing truth: that he was named after a Russian uncle, Sergei, but due to anti-Russian sentiment in the U.S.A. at the time, he cooked up the "two grandfathers" story on the spot.
In the Discworld novel Carpe Jugulum, thanks to the naming being performed by a flustered and absent-minded Omnian priest, Magrat's daughter is accidentally named Esmerelda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre. (Her mother was trying to make sure he said "Margaret" rather than "Magrat".)
The same novel had a passing reference to a former ruler of Lancre called King My God He's Heavy the First, and a man called James What The Hell's That Cow Doing In Here Poorchick (or Moocow Poorchick to his friends). The culture has a rule that whatever is actually said at the naming ceremony must become their permanent, official name, with no allowance for error or provision to change it.
There's also One Man Bucket, or to give him his full name, One Man Throwing A Bucket Of Water Over Two Dogs. His tribe names children after the first thing the mother sees when she looks out of the tent after the birth. Apparently his twin, born a few minutes earlier, 'would have given his right arm to have been called Two Dogs Fighting' (an oblique reference to an ancient and very non-PC American joke.)
Also, Miss Dearheart's full name is Adora Belle Dearheart. Really, it's little wonder that her fiance calls her 'Spike'.
Lord Peter Wimsey's middle name is Death, though he doesn't seem particularly embarrassed by it; in Murder Must Advertise, he even uses it as an alias.
Death from de'Ath (Ath is a town in Belgium).
Not necessarily - it could come from playing Death in nativity plays (like Angel or Life), or an old word for a leatherworker.
Incidentally, "Death" is a quite genuine surname, though most people afflicted with it understandably prefer to spell it like the town in Belgium.
In the McGurk mystery series by author E. W. Hildick, the character Jack P. McGurk's middle name is outed as being Perseverance.
In Species Imperative: Survival, the main character typically goes by "Mac". When dealing with an alien species that places honor on long names, she is forced to intro herself fully as "Mackenzie Winifred Elizabeth Wright Connor" — in front of her best friend, who nearly bursts out laughing.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was stuck with a slew of these in the original Oz novels, as he explains to Princess Ozma in this quotation from "Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz":
"That is true," answered the little Wizard; "therefore it will give me pleasure to explain my connection with your country. In the first place, I must tell you that I was born in Omaha, and my father, who was a politician, named me Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs, Diggs being the last name because he could think of no more to go before it. Taken altogether, it was a dreadfully long name to weigh down a poor innocent child, and one of the hardest lessons I ever learned was to remember my own name. When I grew up I just called myself O. Z., because the other initials were P-I-N-H-E-A-D; and that spelled 'pinhead,' which was a reflection on my intelligence."
Polly in The Old-Girl Network has the middle name Esther, which doesn't sound embarrassing... until you find out that Polly's father gave her that middle name after a hippie friend named his daughter Silke, and you try saying Polly's name fast.
Nymphadora Tonks from the Harry Potter novels doesn't like it when people use her first name, and is thus only called "Tonks". When a fan asked J.K. Rowling why Tonks doesn't use her middle name instead of her first, the author revealed that Tonks' middle name is "Vulpecula", in keeping with the Black family tradition of naming children after constellations, stars, and other heavenly phenomena.
Nita Callahan of the Young Wizards series inexplicably hates her middle name, Louise. Carmela, on the other hand, doesn't mind her own middle name ("Emeda") at all, despite the incredibly weird story behind it.
In the YA novel Soul Beach by Kate Harrison, the main character's middle name is Florence because her parents conceived her in an Italian hotel on their wedding anniversary. It's not as bad as her older sister's middle name, which is London. It could've been worse, though, because her elder sister's middle name was supposed to be 'Shepherd's Bush', but apparently her "mother knew that would be a step too far."
Discussed in Septimus Heap, where Merrin Meredith takes on a pseudonym because he's embarrassed of the "Meredith" part in his name.
In Patricia A. McKillip's "The Kelpie", Emma and Ned, discussing how to know each other better, confide their middle names to each other.
It's not presented as being necessarily embarrassing, since she does admit to it without pause, but in The Babysitters Club, Dawn's middle name is Read. Absolutely no explanation for where here parents came up with that one is ever offered.
Nelson Demille's Deadpan Snarker cop John Corey is embarrassed by his middle name: Aloysius, insisting that it is, in fact: "Danger."
Technically it was R.O.S.E.B.U.D. for Robert Oscar Sam Edward Benjamin Ulysses David
Friends: Chandler's middle name is Muriel. This is revealed after eight years of the show establishing that Chandler suffers from having both an Embarrassing First Name and an embarrassing surname. There was a reason he went around telling everyone who asked that the 'M' was a letter that stood for nothing.
Ross: "Chandler Muriel Bing. Boy, your parents never even gave you a chance, did they?"
Twice on Laverne and Shirley, Shirley Feeny was embarrassed to reveal that her middle name was Willamina.
Leonard Hofstadter from The Big Bang Theory has the middle name Leakey, after famous archaeologist Louis Leakey. It's not related to his history of bedwetting, as Sheldon is eager to note.
Arnold J. Rimmer in Red Dwarf claims his middle name is Jonathan; it is actually Judas. Kryten the android also considers his own middle name (2X4B) to be a "jerky" middle name, although he claims to know a "poor sucker" with an even worse one: 2Q4B.
Austin Moon's middle name on Austin&Ally is Monica.
The characters from UK SitcomBottom have embarrassing names as it is - Richie Richard and Eddie Hitler - but in a possible nod to The Producers, Eddie's full name is Edward Elizabeth Hitler. (Also a subversion, in that he finds his middle name more embarrassing.)
Kurt from Glee once signed his name "Kurt Elizabeth Hummel" though it's unclear whether or not this is a legit embarrassing middle name, or just one he's taken on himself and actually likes.
Rodney Charlton Trotter. At his wedding, the audience can't stop laughing at it so it ends up being omitted from Cassandra's vows. Made all the more embarrassing by the fact that, despite Rodney's insistence that his middle name was inspired by Charlton Heston, it actually came about because his mother Joannie was a fan of Charlton Athletic F.C.
Boycie's middle name is revealed to be Aubrey, and he says that his father always used to call him by it. For some reason, in the spin off, it's treated as though it were his first name (although this is rather inconsistant).
Damien's middle name is Derek, making his initials DDT, the same as a well-known insecticide. Subverted, since Uncle Albert points out straight away the effect this would have on Damien's initials, but Del and Raquel don't care about it.
Del Boy: Well, there'll be no flies on him, then, will there?
On 8 Simple Rules, Cate's middle initial of S was revealed by her father not to stand for "Stacey," but "Stinky."
Though in the second pilot, Kirk's middle initial is given as 'R'. One might speculate that his birthname is so embarrassing that he changed it to "Tiberius". The "Tiberius" enters the Canon from the animated series. This actually started as a joke during the Q & A at a convention. (Dammit, Jim, I was THERE.) When asked, "What does the T stand for?", Majel Barrett wisecracked "Tiberius", and when we all groaned, retorted, "Would you prefer Theobald?"
George:Tiberius? You kiddin' me? No, that's the worst!
Will Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generationhates his middle name. In a bit of a subversion though he has the rather conventional middle name of "Thomas."
Deep Space 9 - Captain Sisko's father reveals his son's full name to be Benjamin Lafayette Sisko in one episode, and the retired head of Cardasian intelligence reveals Julian Bashir's middle name to be Subatoi.
In a weird related Real Life semi-example, Russell Davies didn't have a middle name, but he decided to take an middle initial as to avoid being confused for another Russell Davies in television. It was only after he started becoming established that people kept going "Oh! Like James T Kirk!" Then he became embarrassed.
In Degrassi: The Next Generation, J.T. Yorke's full name is James Tiberius Yorke.
In Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?, Terry goes to church in order to eavesdrop on his best friend Bob's embarrassing middle name, which he'd been trying to learn since he was a child. The middle name turns out to be Scarborough, after where he was conceived.
Leading Terry to wonder how Bob's parents could be so sure of this. "Did they only have it away on their holidays, then?"
Polly from Major Dad, whose middle name turned out to be Esther. (Fine by itself, but Polly Esther...)
Albert Ladysmith Steptoe of Steptoe And Son is a bit of a subversion on the grounds that it isn't the most embarrassing bit of data - or lack thereof - on his birth certificate... "Father ['s details]: I don't believe it... UNKNOWN! My father's a bast...!"
He was named after a battle in the Boer War.
He also lied about his age, even to his close family.
Doctor WhoExpanded Universe character Bernice Surprise Summerfield. So named by her parents because her conception was, erm, a surprise.
Turk's middle name is Duncan. It's embarrassing only because JD keeps telling people it's because his dad loved donuts.
Special mention must go to Geraldine Granger, the titular character of the British sitcom The Vicar of Dibley, who has revealed her full name in two episodes, and qualified for both of these tropes. First she confessed that her real first name was Boadicea. In the final episode, this was ignored and her full name was given as Geraldine Julie Andrews Dick Van Dyke Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Chim Chiminey Chim Chiminey Chim Chim Cher-ee Granger. Her mother was both a big Mary Poppins fan, and quite insane.
On an episode of Family Matters, Waldo amuses himself throughout the whole episode imagining funny names for (then) Ivana Trump, ending up with her divorcing Donald Trump and marrying, in order, Neil Diamond, Jack Nicklaus, and Ron Darling, coming to the conclusion her name would then be Ivana Diamond Nicklaus Darling.
A contender for embarrassing middle name himself, Waldo's full name is Waldo Geraldo Faldo.
Or Carl Otis Winslow.
Subverted right in the middle of a The Two Ronnies sketch about people with embarrassing names:
Ronnie B: I knew a girl named Virginia Randy once. Dreadful business. She married a chap named Henry Drawers, so now she's - Ronnie C: Don't tell me... I can see it coming. Ronnie B: Lady Fosgrove. Ronnie C: Oh.
On an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Tony Slattery was assigned "angry about his middle name" as his problem for the Bartender game and remarked, "I am, actually, it's Declan."
In an episode of the US version, one of the lines from Scenes From A Hat was "Embarrassing Secrets About Our Host, Drew Carey". Ryan Styles walks on and says "What kind of a middle name is 'Alison'?" As noted above and below, this really is Drew's middle name.
Fran: Mr. Sheffield, the only thing that Andrew Lloyd Webber has that you don't is a middle name. Maxwell: I've got a middle name. Fran: Well, there you are! What is it? Maxwell: Beverly. Fran: Moving on...
In NCIS, Leroy Jethro Gibbs... I dare you to make fun of it to his face, though.
In Boy Meets World, Topanga's middle name is apparently so embarrassing she won't even reveal it. As another character points out, "Your first name is Topanga! How bad could your middle name be?" But she still won't tell.
Carla's mother insists that Carla follow an old family tradition of naming one of her sons with her father's first name and her mother's maiden name - which in Carla's case would be Benito Mussolini Tortelli. Her son Gino agrees to change his name legally but keeps "Gino" as his commonly used name.
In Happy Days, the Fonz's full name is Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli. If Potsie sniggers at your middle name, it must be pretty bad.
On Fringe, Lincoln Lee's middle name is Tyrone (in honor of his grandfather), and he hides it from Olivia. Olivia finds it out by asking Lincoln's Alternate Universe counterpart, who doesn't think it's a big deal.
On F Troop, Trooper Dobbs full name was Hannibal Shirley Dobbs.
Night Court's own live-in lecher Dan Fielding kept his name secret until an episode in which he helped deliver a baby. The grateful mother named her son with Fielding's middle name: Reinhold. Likely a playful dig at someone. When Judge Stone leaves his chambers, he quietly says, "Reinhold!" and tries not to laugh. Cue producer Reinhold Weege's name coming up immediately as the credits roll.
Benson has Clayton Runnymede Endicott III, who is sensitive about his middle name because when he was in school, a bully called him "Runnynose".
In one episode of Rizzoli & Isles, we find out that Jane Rizzoli's middle name is 'Clementine'.
Suburgatory has Dahlia Oprah Royce. Her mother was in an all-black sorority.
In CSI: NY, we learn in the episode "Near Death" that Mac Taylor's middle name is 'Llewellyn'. One of his old partners used to rib him about it incessantly.
John Hamish Watson in Sherlock is embarrassed by his middle name and it takes Sherlock several guesses before he eventually looks up John's birth certificate to find it. It becomes a plot point when a client knows his middle name.
John Reginald Kennex in Almost Human is so-named because his dad was a big fan of Elton John. He reveals it to a hostage as a way of providing her with moral support, but is overheard by Dorian, who naturally proceeds to take the utter piss.
In Bloom County, Steve Dallas' middle name is revealed to be Milhouse, the same as former president Richard Nixon. However, he was called "Steven R. Dallas" at other points in the strip.
In Hancock's Half Hour we find Anthony Aloysius St. John [pr. Sinjen] Hancock; William Montmorency Beaumont Kerr; and Sidney Balmoral James. All named after their respective actors, but the middle names are fake.
In Hello Cheeky, Barry Cryer explains that his parents had a difference of opinion regarding his middle name, so they wrote their suggestions down and picked it out of a hat. As such, his full name is Barry Seven-And-Three-Eights Cryer.
To which John responds by saying that his full name is John "Glug, glug" Junkin. "The vicar fell in the font."
El Goonish Shive has Tedd Drew Verres, (Tedd D. Verres) which isn't all that bad but embarrasses him anyway. The author has noted that a tortured resemblance to "Teddy bears" was completely fortuitous. Note that Tedd has never been called "Teddy" by anyone except Grace, who presumably can get away with it.
It's inverted with Tiffany "Susan" Pompoms, where the middle name is the only bit that doesn't completely mortify her.
the Narrator ofBooks Don't Work Here has threatened to make Robin Galling's middle name start with a C, although it hasn't actually happened yet.
Dave Prescott Davenport of Narbonic. In the Spinoff Babies strip Li'l Mell, we get another: Melody Wildflower Kelly.
Helen's full name is Helen Beta Narbon. This is mostly embarrassing because it's the tipoff that her "mother" is actually the woman she was cloned from.
In the Whateley Universe stories, heroine Chaka (Toni Chandler) does the 'my middle name is danger' schtick and then admits that her middle name is Marc. She used to be a boy named Anthony Marc Chandler.
Peter Griffin's middle name is Lowenbrau. For those who don't know, it's a German beer. Peter pronounces it LOW-en-brow (as did Miller Brewing Co., which made and advertised a licensed version of the beer in the US till 2002), but the German pronunciation would be LO-ven-brow (the actual name of the beer has umlauts over the O and A and is thus pronounced LERV-en-broy).
Stewie's middle name is Gilligan.
Chris's full name is Christopher Cross Griffin, an homage to Christopher Cross, a somewhat popular singer in the 1980's (or more likely an attempt at a cheap joke at his expense).
Eddy, of Ed, Edd n Eddy, has the middle name Skipper, Edd's middle name is Marion, and Ed has the middle name Horace. When Kevin finds out Eddy's middle name, he publicly humiliates Eddy by first making him do all sorts of embarrassing things under the pretense that he won't tell the other kids... and then tells them all anyway For the Evulz.
In Flushed Away, Spike announces that Danger is his middle name. It's actually Leslie.
In Antz, Woody Allen's character Z tells Princess Bala "Trouble is my middle name... actually, my middle name is Marion, but I don't want you spreading that around." That's a Shout-Out to Woody Allen's 70's movie Manhattan, where Ike (Allen) jokingly tells "Trouble is my middle name" to Mary (Diane Keaton).
In a Shout-Out to Trek, the eponymous protagonist in Duckman was eventually "fully" named Eric Tiberius Duckman. His partner had both an embarrassing middle and first name: Willibald Feivel Cornfed.
In an episode of American Dad!, Stan says that he had to give up his search for Oliver North's gold when his kids were born, to which Hayley responds, "Is that why my middle name is Dreamsmasher?"
Steve's middle name is Anita.
Balactus, Minoriteam's black stereotype parody of Galactus, has a real name so embarrassing that invoking it is the only way to defeat him. We don't get to learn the whole thing, but it starts with "Leslie Ira".
An episode of The Mighty B! revolves around the main character's pseudo-Hindi middle name, "Kajolica". Turns out "not only is it embarrassing, it's cursed". Go figure.
But that's just the half of it, as her first middle name is Elizabeth.
Rufus Bumpskin Hardacre, Corrupt Corporate ExecutiveBig Bad of the Australian cartoon Crocadoo, tends to use less embarrassing names for his middle initial throughout the series (such as 'Blockbuster'), until his mother reveals it in the finale, eliciting shocked reactions whenever she says it.
Douglas Yancey Funnie, anyone? Made even worse because his guidance counselor called him by this name almost exclusively.
Thanks to being named by a real-world contest winner, his infant sister has a worse name - Cleopatra Dirtbike Funnie.
Lucky Piquel, from Bonkers, has Shirly as his middle name. He said that it was his father's name.
The Daria character Michael Jordan Mackenzie, whose name was changed to this by his father after a Chicago Bulls playoff game.
Total Drama Action reveals Harold to have several middle names, one of which is "Doris." Cue Duncan calling him that repeatedly. This actually embarrasses Harold, which seems odd, since he's usually too clueless to know when he should be humiliated.
During the The Backyardigans episode "Whodunnit?", Austin's surname was... Frothingslosh. .......You can stop laughing now.
On the show Recess, T.J. Detweiler's first name is Theodore, but the J is a mystery. It's implied that this stands for something embarrassing, since another character once tried to blackmail him with the knowledge. It's eventually revealed to be Jasper.
It's worth noting that in the episode "The Biggest Trouble Ever" as the gang prepares to climb the statue of previous mayor Thaddeus T. Third III, after Mikey mentioned what the statue metaphorically said to him, T.J. had his own thoughts and, in revealing them, called himself Jasper. Perhaps the fact the name is supposedly embarrassing is only believed to be so by the briber.
The name "Tiffany" has a weird history. It started off as a Greek girl's first name (Theophania), then became a saint's name in about 300 AD, then entered English through French, then became a surname (probably of those who revered the saint in question), then became a brand name of lamp. Only in the 1970s did it become a girl's name again.
Harry S Truman's middle name-was "S"! But before you assume his parents were really dull people, they just wanted to keep both sets of grandparents happy, and the "S" fit both of them. (The names of his grandfathers were "Solomon" and "Shippe", respectively. Shippe? I guess things could've really been worse.)
Giving a child just a middle initial like that to make more than one relative happy used to be fairly common.
Ulysses S(impson) Grant was really named Hiram Ulysses Grant (note the initials). West Point got it wrong, accidentally mixing in his mother's maiden name, and he kept it, partially because it made him "US Grant". His new initials gave him the nickname "Sam" (as in "Uncle Sam") at West Point. After demanding and receiving unconditional surrender from the commanding officer of Fort Donelson during the Civil War, northern newspapers wrote his name as Unconditional Surrender Grant.
Canadian-American Voice Actor Rich Little's name isn't bad, but his father's name was Lawrence Peniston Little. Ouch.
Dan Whitesides, the drummer for The Used, has the middle name Leslie, which is a commonly known unisex name.
Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmerelda Dickson Wright, any one of which on its own would not be easily owned up to, let alone when all ten middle names are put together.
In an interview on Desert Island Discs, she was asked about her name. She replied that her parents had had a great deal of difficulty deciding on a first name for her, and eventually her mother was blindfolded and sent into the family library (yes, they were that posh) to pull a book off the shelves.
Clarissa Dickson Wright: And thank God she pulled out Richardson's Clarissa, and not the Encyclopaedia Britannica. And then I think they were so delighted they'd finally found a name, they got pissed on the way to the church!
Robert Strange McNamara, Secretary of Defense during the JFK and LBJ administrations. Mc Namara shared an anecdote in which his fiancee's parents asked for his middle name by telegram for the marriage invitations. She sent back, "IT'S STRANGE." They sent a reply insisting that they didn't care, they just needed to know what it was.
Dido's full name is Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong.
To top it off, Florian is a masculine name.
"Funny Weddings" is a recurring sub-bit of the classic Tonight Show bit "Headlines", in which newspaper headlines that display humorous married name combinations are shown.
Without a Trace star Poppy Montgomery's birth name is Poppy Petal Emma Elizabeth Deveraux Donahue. Montgomery was her mother's maiden name, which she used for acting. Her sisters are named Rosie Thorn, Daisy Yellow, Lily Belle and Marigold Sun, and her brother's name is Jethro Tull.
Same goes for Italy (actors Gian Maria Volonté and Enrico Maria Salerno come to mind), to the point that sometimes the first name "Gianmaria" is used as a mash-up of "Gian Maria" or "Giovanni Maria". It's not supposed to be embarrassing at all, since it's a sign of devotion/dedication to That Famous Mary; since the use of such names is fading, though, it's beginning to be considered embarrassingly old-fashioned.
In Mexico it's not actually considered an embarrasing middle name. There's also the reverse name, "Maria Jose" which is a perfectly socially acceptable girl's name. It's a Catholic devotion thing, and you could even find a guy called "José María de Jesús" or a girl called "María José del Jesús" (the whole holy family in one!).
There is the same thing in Brazil. It should be noted this isn't a 'middle name'. It is a composed first name (same in Spanish).
Inclusion of Maria (or Marie) as a part of a male first name is very common in many predominantly Catholic countries, including France (e.g. Jean-Marie Le Pen), Bavaria, Austria, and other Catholic parts of Germany (e.g. Joseph Maria von Radowitz, Carl Maria von Weber), Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, Italy, Portugal, and Poland.
Not exactly embarassing, but... James Riddle Hoffa.
Fairly embarrassing, Jimmy Riddle is cockney rhyming slang for 'piddle', otherwise known as piss.
John RonaldReuelTolkien. Actually pronounced Raoul. And he gave it to all four of his children as a middle name to boot - including his daughter. (Tolkien himself actually went by Ron.)
Count Jefferson-Friedrich Volker Benjamin Graf von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth. Very very long name and quite fun to say. By the way, if you were wondering, he's the son of Count Friedrich-August Rüdiger Albrecht von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth and is married to member of the Danish Royal Court Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg; thus he is a member of the Danish Royal Family.
In Quebec, there was a Nazi Party in the 1930, led by a guy named Adrien Arcand. One of its members gave birth to a boy she named Adrien AdolfBenito (and a typical French-Canadian family name). There is no word on what the boy became, but one can only assume he mostly went with Adrien, as it's not very infamous and very common even today.
There is a Russian joke about Drew Barrymore marrying the Russian prize fighter Konstantin Tszu.
Capt. Sig Hansen's full name is Sigurd Johnnynote pronounced "Yonny" Hansen; he was named such after two of his grandfathers. While this seems not too unusual (at least in comparison with some of the other names mentioned in this article), Sig notes in his autobiography North By Northwestern that:
Even though it's an honor to be named after my grandfathers, I can tell you that when you grow up in America in the 1970s with a name like Sigurd Johnny, you're going to get a lot of black eyes.
He may have chosen the name himself, but it might become awkward when hardcore brony Kim "Fluttershy" Dykas has to explain his middle name.
Reggae singer Judge Dread was born Alexander Minto Hughes.
British composer Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan) understandably never used his middle name. Seymour isn't too bad, just that it made his initials ASS. But then, the other guy was Sir William Schwenck Gilbert.
As the quote on top of the page says, Fred McFeely Rogers. You know, the guy who made a TV show for four year old kids!? (Just as a point of interest, McFeely was his mother's maiden name, and he named the mail carrier on the show Mr. McFeely in honor of his maternal grandfather.)
Subversion: in Dumb & Dumber, the female lead's first name is Mary, and the male lead's last name is Christmas, but they don't end up getting married.
Carry On Cleo - Senna was a nice name, until she married someone called Pod.
The Wedding Singer - Drew Barrymore's character, had she gone through with her intended marriage, would've been Julia Guglia (pronounced Goo-lia) during a scene in which she's practicing greeting her wedding guests in front of a mirror, she says the full name aloud and nearly bursts into tears.
This is a shout out to Jerry Hall being engaged to Bryan Ferry in the 80s. She didn't go through with it either.
Again in P. G. Wodehouse, Bertie Wooster is leery of marrying Gertrude Winkworth because then they'd "...be known to all and sundry as 'Bertie and Gertie', like some bad music-hall act."
His middle name is Wilberforce, a fact he likes to hush up except in times of crisis.
Murphy Brown — Corky Sherwood marries into the Forrest family, and hyphenates it to Corky Sherwood-Forrest.
In one episode of The West Wing, Sam reveals that before he joined the Bartlet campaign, he was engaged to a woman named Lisa Sherbourne. CJ asks if the reason they didn't get married was because her name would've been Seaborn-Sherbourne.
Subverted and lampshaded in The Office. From the beginning of the series to partway into it, Pam is engaged to Roy Anderson. When she eventually breaks up with him, she notes how close she came to becoming Pamela Anderson.
Discussed in What I Like About You, as one of Holly's reasons for not being interested in a guy; his last name is "Wood", which would make her married name "Holly Wood".
Inverted with Jill Casey in Royal Pains. Her maiden name is McGillicuddy, which she finds embarrassing, so she keeps her ex-husband's last name.
One memorable Garfield strip had Garfield watching a TV show where a woman named Philomena Scott Aphat decides not to marry a man named Thaddeus Ramsbottom, because her name would become "Philomena Scott Aphat Ramsbottom".note "Philomena's got a fat ram's bottom."
The British politician Linda Chalker chose to use her maiden name, rather than her married name. This wasn't so much from any kind of feminist convictions as from the fact that her married name was the rather Tolkienesque Linda Landa.
Gruntilda Winkybunion from Banjo-Kazooie is an (apparently) unusual case of an embarrassing, unmarried last name.
In Questionable Content, Raven is an inversion and a subversion. Her first name is Blodwyn (her parents are Welsh), which she avoids like the plague, so she uses her middle name instead. The subversion comes into play since she was originally introduced as an emo goth (before she became a Perky Goth), and Faye makes fun of her for naming herself after "a disease-carrying avian," unaware it is one of her birth names.
The Simpsons — not exactly the same, but Selma has quite a name going at this point: Selma Bouvier Terwilliger Hutz McClure Stu. She cited this as her reason for refusing to marry Apu, saying that the last thing she needed was to add "Nahasapeemapetiwhatever" to the mix.
At that point, Selma was only Selma Bouvier Terwilliger Hutz McClure. Selma's current name is... Drum Roll... forgive me, it's probably not in order... Selma (Middle Name) Bouvier Terwilliger Hutz McClure Leonard Hombre Itchy Stu Terwilliger Simpson... thank you, thank you.
The Disco Stu Marriage was annulled – therefore no effective marriage took place.
Also, Stu´s real surname is ...wait for it...Discotheque. Stuart Discotheque. So, when she was married to him, it went as following: Selma Bouvier Terwilliger Hutz McClure Discotheque.
An aversion in Phineas and Ferb. One would think that Charlene Doofenshmirtz would consider her married name embarrassing, but she fully embraces it, going so far as to keep the name even after getting a divorce.