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Middle Name Basis

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"My name is Giovanni Giorgio, but everybody calls me... Giorgio."
Daft Punk and Giorgio Moroder, "Giorgio by Moroder"

A character prefers to go by their middle name rather than their first name.

This is often used as a way of covering up their first name but is also frequently used when multiple characters share a name. Some people (especially men) also share a parent's name so they go by their middle name in order to avoid confusion.


This trope isn't as used as the first or last name basis, maybe because few authors are familiar with it in real life. This also doesn't hold any particular meaning most of the time.

Characters who go by their middle names will usually get a Given Name Reveal at one point or another.

Compare with First-Name Basis, Last-Name Basis, and Full-Name Basis. Contrast with Embarrassing Middle Name.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In My-Otome, Juliet Nao Zhang is most commonly referred to by her middle name, Nao.

    Comic Books 
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Secret Identity of the Hulk is Robert Bruce Banner, known exclusively to everyone who knows him as "Bruce" (unless he goes by an alias to hide). This is a result of Serendipity Writes the Plot, as Stan Lee often used to forget the character's name and alternated between calling him "Bruce Banner" and "Bob Banner". After realizing the mistake, the name we know as was established as his real full name.
  • Bucky Barnes is a variation - his full given name is James Buchanan Barnes.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): When not going by a super"hero" name Thomas Asquith Randolph goes by Asquith, and his friends and acquaintances never call him by Thomas.
  • Runaways: Chase Stein's first name is Victor, like his father.
  • The Beano: In December 2021, Spotty from the Bash Street Kids was renamed Scotty - after new classmate Mandi found out his real name was James Scott Cameron.

    Comic Strips 
  • Crabgrass: The character Miles was originally called by his middle name, Curtis, before switching to use his first name instead. When asked by Kevin why he used his middle name, he claimed it seemed like a good idea due to recently moving to a new town note 
  • While J. Wellington Wimpy from Popeye is on a Last-Name Basis with most people who know him, a few people will call him Wellington, usually women he's romantically involved with. It's never revealed what the "J" stands for.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Gone with the Wind: Scarlett O'Hara was born Katie Scarlett O'Hara, but exclusively goes by the name "Scarlett", to the degree that pop culture only remembers her as Scarlett. Ashley Wilkes' full name is "George Ashley Wilkes". For that matter, Scarlett's sisters go by names that are portmanteau of their given names: Suellen = Susan Elinor and Carreen = Caroline Irene.
  • In the Sienkiewicz Trilogy, no one, not even his sister, ever calls Jerzy Michał Wołodyjowski "Jerzy". He prefers to go by his middle name not because the first is embarrassing (it's not - both these names are associated with knighthood and pretty popular), but because he thinks the other patron is way cooler: Jerzy (Saint George) just defeated one dragon, while Michał (Saint Michael) leads the entire heavenly cavalry.
  • The protagonist of Push, Clareece "Precious" Jones, goes by her middle name. It serves as something ironic since her abusive mother calls her it more than the other characters, despite hating her daughter.
  • In the Honor Harrington series, Gloria Michelle Samantha Evelyn Henke goes by "Mike" or "Michelle" among her friends. It's one of the perks of having an Overly-Long Name.
    • Honor's father, Karl Alfred Harrington, always goes by his middle name.
  • In The Eagle Tree, March's full name is Peter March Wong, but he vastly prefers March. His mother and Pastor Ilsa still sometime calls him Peter, to his annoyance.
  • American Girl character Nanea Mitchell's full name is Alice Nanea Mitchell, but she goes by her middle name Nanea; the use of a Western first name was due to a law passed in 1860 by Kamehameha IV decreeing that Hawaiian royal subjects were to take their father's given name as a surname, and adopt a Christian (i.e. English) first name.
  • The Ballad of Black Tom has Charles Thomas Tester, who's never called anything other than Tommy or Black Tom.
  • In I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, Provat Pecora Ariés' preferred way to be addressed by humans is by her middle name Pecora. This crosses into Real Name as an Alias territory at times, as she also uses that name when incognito.
  • Chocoholic Mysteries: As revealed in Bridal Bash, Lee was born Susanna Lee McKinney. It's not said why she prefers her middle name over her first though.
  • The Tuning Station:
    • A member of Ted's atheist group goes by her middle name, Delilah, because it symbolizes a beautiful woman bringing down powerful men.
    • Ted's middle name is Christian, which is why his Alternate Universe self, who is devoutly religious, agrees to go by Chris.
  • In Twelve Days, Nicki's full name is Eva Nicole Dorsey.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Black Canary in Arrow initially seems to be a case of Adaptation Name Change, however she actually is this. This may have been in order to avoid One-Steve Limit with her mother, she uses her middle name of "Laurel" instead of her given name, "Dinah", like she does in other media; but her mother hardly ever actually appeared, so that didn't really apply. When her doppelganger from Earth-2 arrives to replace her deceased Earth-1 counterpart, she is called Laurel by everyone, even though it's indicated from time to time that she actually goes by Dinah in Earth-2. Then again, by the time she allies herself with Team Arrow, there is another Dinah in the team (Dinah Drake), so it's yet another case of avoiding One-Steve Limit.
  • Corner Gas has Richard Henry Yarbo, who goes by Hank
  • Rodney McKay in Stargate Atlantis uses his middle name in place of his real first name, Meredith (which, believe it or not, used to be more commonly a boy's name than a girl's).
  • Glee: Quinn goes by this name, or nicknames spawned from it (Q, Quinnie, etc.), but we learn in late season 2 that her full name is Lucy Quinn Fabray. She's been using her middle name since freshman year because in middle school she was bullied for being chubby and called "Lucy Caboosey", and she wanted to forget about that and reinvent herself.
  • The Last Man on Earth: Protagonist Phil Miller meets another man named Phil Miller, who is far more competent than him. When the others want to differentiate between the two, they decide to use middle names. Phil #1's is the rather embarrassing Tandy, and so he gets called Tandy from then on, even after Phil #2 dies.
  • Barely anyone from Smart Guy calls Tasha Yvette Henderson by her first name, it's Yvette all the way.
  • In The Office (US), Erin's full name is Kelly Erin Hannon. She goes by her middle name because everyone calls her that anyway, and there already was a Kelly (Kapoor) in the office when she was hired.
  • In Angel, Doyle's ex-wife calls him "Francis" when she first enters the scene. While it looks like a Given Name Reveal, he immediately follows that by revealing that "Francis" is not his first name by revealing his full name: Allen Francis Doyle.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy temporarily went by her middle name "Anne" while living in Los Angeles after season 2.
  • In the Community episode "Contemporary American Poultry", Pierce throws out a member of his new entourage because of his name: he wanted someone named Travis, and Abed found him one... but then Pierce learned that, despite the guy in question going by "Travis", that actually was his middle name.
  • In 2 Broke Girls, Oleg is revealed to go by his middle name due to his first name "Vanko" being shared by BOTH of his brothers.
  • In an episode of Arsene Lupin, the titular Gentleman Thief disguises himself as a Spanish crook with a lot of middle names. As he explains to a gangster, how close a friend is determines by which name they're to call him; after the gangster saves him from a poisoned wine bottle, he tells him to "call me Gomez" (i.e "you're promoted").
  • Neighbours had Shannon Louise Carpenter, to distinguish her from Shannon Zachary Willis, born on the same day and living in the same street. Strangely, the show stuck with calling her Louise for her entire time on the show despite Zac and most of his family leaving town a matter of weeks after the birth.
  • A variation in Star Trek: The Original Series with Kirk's brother George Samuel Kirk; Kirk calls him Sam, as does his wife, but it's suggested that he only uses this name with a few people (in fact, the original episode where this is revealed indicates that Kirk is the only one who calls him Sam, but a later episode has his wife using it as well, so that's clearly not quite true).
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Second Chances", Commander William Riker discovers that a transporter accident from an away mission 8 years earlier created a duplicate of himself. The other Riker decides to go by their middle name, Thomas, to distinguish himself. (Incidentally, this is the episode that revealed what Riker's middle initial "T" stood for.)
  • Absolutely Fabulous had Patsy Stone being born with an unusually long name: Eurydice Colette Clytemnestra Dido Bathsheba Rabelais Patricia Cocteau Stone
  • The quads' mother in Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn goes by her middle name Anne as she doesn't like her first name Chantal.
  • Chapa's actual name is Lula Elena Chapa de Silva.

    Video Games 
  • Special Agent Francis York Morgan of Deadly Premonition. Just call him "York". That's what everyone calls him. He's actually the Imaginary Friend of one Francis Zach Morgan, who is usually referred to as "Zach".
  • Princess Rosa Cosette d'Elise of Erusea in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is referred to in her dialogue subtitle as just "Cosette," and this is how characters talking directly to her call her. Not once is her first or last name used on its own.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is generally referred to by his middle name, including himself.
  • Alm from Fire Emblem Gaiden has his full name eventually revealed as Albein Alm Rudolf II. Granted him being the son of Rudolph was deliberately hidden from him and everyone else since his birth but even in a flashback his father calls him "Alm".
  • C. Auguste Dupin, in the Dark Tales series, is usually called Dupin. Some of the characters in the games are close friends of his, however, and these will sometimes address him as "Auguste" instead. At no time do we ever find out what his real first name even is.

    Web Comics 
  • In El Goonish Shive Susan uses her middle name as she considers "Tiffany Pompoms" to sound like a "stereotypical cheerleader."
  • Questionable Content: Raven's first name is Blodwyn, which she hates, so she goes by her middle name.
  • Faustus C. Horselady from He Is a Good Boy simply goes by "Crange".note 
    Alt Text: 'horselady' is on a need-to-know basis within the halls of the wristchapel
  • In Girl Genius, Tarvek answers to his middle name because he shares his first name, Aaronev, with his father - and even more people, as he's the seventh Prince of Sturmhalten named Aaronev Sturmvoraus. His father likewise goes by his middle name of Wilhelm.
  • Venus Envy: Zoe is transgender and her birth name is "Alex". Upon changing her name, she changed her middle name to "Alexis". Her parents still sometimes call her by her old name, but it's passed off as this.

    Web Original 
  • Achievement Hunter:
    • Ryan's first name is James, with Ryan being his middle name. He said that his parents called him Ryan all the time, so he kept using it out of convenience.
    • During Rays Heist every member of AH went by their middle name as code name. So Geoff was Lazer, Gavin was David, Jack was Shannon, and Michael was Vincent. Ryan meanwhile went by his first name, James, and Ray, who doesn't have a middle name, was called "The Artist Formerly Known As Ray," or TAFKAR for short.
  • Throughout Pokémon World Tour: United, Rose is the only member of the Jenny family whose name doesn't start with the letter A or have an A-sound. The end of act one reveals that this is because "Rose" is actually her middle name. Her actual first name is "Alouette".

    Western Animation 
  • Nicole of The Amazing World of Gumball was revealed in "The Parents" to actually be going by her middle name. Unbeknownst even to her husband and children, her first name is actually Doctor.
  • In a case of Adaptation Name Change, the first season of Iron Man: The Animated Series renamed Howard Stark "Walter". Season 2, retconned his going by "Walter" to be a case of this and that his first name is indeed "Howard". In a case of Ret-Canon, the 2011 S.H.I.E.L.D. series revealed Howard's full name is "Howard Anthony Walter Stark".
  • The Simpsons: When people refer to Charles Montgomery Burns casually, they use "Monty", a diminutive of his middle. Even more formal announcements will often call him "C. Montgomery Burns" or just "Montgomery Burns".
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: To Mayor Nettles and his mom, Sheriff Bronson Stone goes by Bronson. His first name is Sheriff. Apparently, his mom was planning ahead.

    Real Life 
  • "Muhammad" (and its variants Mohamed, Mohammad, etc.) has been cited by some research to be the most common first name in the world. In parts of the Muslim world, it goes beyond common to outright saturated, with up to nine out of ten men having it as part of their names. Men who are first-named "Muhammad" are expected to automatically be referred by their middle names, keeping it as a sort of a flipped middle name. Even in private, their families and friends also call them the same way, unlike in the western world, where first names are used in private no matter how common they are. And no wonder; it's not uncommon for a family to have all of their men have "Muhammad" as their first names.
  • Basketball star Stephen Curry goes by his middle name instead of "Wardell" — perhaps to differentiate himself from his father, former basketball player Dell Curry.
  • There's Christopher Ashton Kutcher.
  • Also Edward Montgomery Clift. Yes, that was his actual name.
  • And Mary Anissa Jones.
  • Raymond Burr was in full William Raymond Stacy Burr.
  • George Orson Welles. Even he didn't know his first name was "George" until he was in elementary school.
  • * V. C. Andrews' real full name was Cleo Virginia Andrews, but went by her middle name in her personal life. Her publishing name also would have been Virginia Andrews, but was changed to the familiar 'V.C.' by her publishers right before the release of Flowers in the Attic.
  • You might be surprised to know that Reese Witherspoon's actual full name is Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon. She was also married to Matthew Ryan Phillippe.
  • The Fanning Sisters basically go by their middle names:
    • Dakota Fanning's first name is actually Hannah. This full name was actually a result of her parents battling on which name they should call her. Her mother wanted to name her Hannah, while her father wanted to name her Dakota.
    • Following in her sister's footsteps, Mary Fanning actually chose to go by her middle name Elle.
  • Celine Buckens' actual first two names are Amelie Margaret.
  • Examples from The British Royal Family throughout history:
    • Queen Victoria's first name was actually Alexandrina, which she disliked. Likewise, her husband Prince Albert was born Francis Albert August Charles Emanuel.
    • Their son Edward VII was given the name Albert Edward, but chose to use this trope for his regnal name because he did not want to potentially sully his father's name.
    • Edward VII's oldest son, Prince Albert Victor, who never succeeded to the throne as he predeceased both his father and grandmother, was known in his family as "Eddy", his full name being Albert Victor Christian Edward.
    • Queen Victoria's grandson (and Edward VII's nephew) Wilhelm II apparently continued this tradition, as his full name was Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert. His eldest son Crown Prince Wilhelm's full name was Friedrich Wilhelm Victor August Ernst, while his younger brother Prince Henry was also an example, his full name being Albert Wilhelm Heinrich.
    • George V's wife, Queen Mary, had the full name Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes, with their daughter, whose full name was Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary, also being called Mary.
    • Edward VII's grandson and George V and Mary's eldest son, Edward VIII, was familially known as "David", which was the last of his middle names. His full name was Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David.
    • Edward VIII's brother, Prince Albert, went the opposite direction, as he decided to reign as George VI (as his full name was Albert Frederick Arthur George).
    • The first name of Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, is actually Rachel.
  • Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. used his middle name, though not his last name, in his professional life. You likely know him as John Denver.
  • One of the young actors in the Degrassi franchise was credited under his real first and last names of Aubrey Graham. However, he decided to use just his middle name in what proved an even more successful music career as Drake.
  • Hayley Orrantia's first name is actually Sarah.
  • As a singer, Jenny Amanda Katrina Jenssen chose to drop the first and third names to become Amanda Jenssen.
  • Maria Ashley Drane is her birth name. Nowadays, with her married name, she just goes by Ashley Eckstein.
  • Five Iron Frenzy's lead singer is (Michael) Reese Roper. He even lampshades it in the song "All the Hype": "My name is Reese, don't call me Mike!"
  • (Sir) James Paul McCartney of The Beatles goes by his middle name, because his father was also named James ("Jim"). His younger brother Peter Michael McCartney goes by Mike in his professional career.
  • The full name of the Monkee who often wore a stocking cap is Robert Michael Nesmith.
    • Also, George Michael “Micky” Dolenz.
  • R.E.M. frontman John Michael Stipe instead goes by his middle name.
  • Rihanna goes by her middle name, rather than Robyn.
  • As does Pierre David Guetta.
  • The father-and-son pair of Hank Williams Jr. and Hank Williams III both have "Hank" as their legal middle names; they're respectively Randall Hank and Shelton Hank Williams. By contrast, Hank Jr.'s father, the original Hank, was born Hiram Williams.
  • And a few years before the original Hank, you had Alton Glenn Miller.
  • John Ronald Reuel Tolkien went by "Ronald" and reportedly disliked the name "John".
    • Denny Hamlin's actual first name is James.
    • Ralph Dale Earnhardt went by his middle name to distinguish himself from his father Ralph. The same goes for Dale's second son Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Professional Wrestling has several examples:
    • The ring name of Shawn Michaels is based on his real name of Michael Shawn Hickenbottom.
    • Robert Booker Tio Huffman became Booker T.
    • The full name of announcing veteran Tony Schiavone is Noah Anthony Schiavone.
    • Christian (Cage)'s full name is William Jason Reso. Unscripted interviews show him being addressed as Jay by his peers. Even in his acting gigs, he is credited either as Jason Reso or Jay Reso.
    • Jake Hager is in full Donald Jacob Hager Jr.
    • Roman Reigns' real name is Leati Joseph Anoa'i, but he goes by Joe in unscripted circumstances.
    • Matthew Brett Cardona originally wrestled as Brett Major.
    • José Alberto Rodríguez Chucuan became Alberto Del Rio and Alberto el Patrón.
  • Several MLB examples, including:
    • William Roger Clemens
    • William Lance Berkman
    • Harry Leroy "Roy" Halladay
    • Edward Charles "Chuck" Knoblauch
    • Donald Zackary “Zack” Greinke
    • George Kenneth "Ken" Griffey (both senior and junior)
  • The NFL has examples of its own:
    • Los Angeles Rams quarterback John Matthew Stafford goes by his middle name.
    • Jon Steven "Steve" Young, Hall of Fame QB with the San Francisco 49ers.
    • Michael Anthony Muñoz, the Hall of Fame offensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals.
    • Initially played straight but ultimately subverted by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Odafe Jayson Oweh. Oweh began going by his middle name in grade school because classmates teased him for his foreign-sounding name, played his college ball as Jayson Oweh, and was announced in the draft as Jayson Oweh, but subsequently announced that he would begin going by Odafe Oweh for his professional career, saying announcers would just have to learn how to pronounce it.
  • Like many Catholic families, Saints Louis and Zelie Martin of Lisieux, France gave all of their nine children either Marie or Joseph for a first name. Of the five who survived childhood, only one was known as Marie. Sisters Pauline, Leonie, Celine, and Therese were addressed by their middle names.
  • (Paul) Kevin Jonas from The Jonas Brothers.
  • Camila Cabello's full name is Karla Camila Cabello Estrabao.
  • Trent Reznor's first name is Michael; as he and his father share the same first name, Reznor was called by his middle name to differentiate the two.
  • (Oliver) Taylor Hawkins was the drummer for Foo Fighters from 1997 until his death in 2022.
  • Actress Danielle Riley Keough also goes by her middle name.
  • William Bradley Pitt is a variant since he's professionally known as Brad Pitt.
  • Before Pitt, you had George Alexander Trebek, professionally Alex Trebek.
  • And before Trebek, there was Jesse Donald Knotts, professionally Don Knotts.
  • Grant Gustin's first name is Thomas.
  • Actor John William Ferrell professionally goes by Will Ferrell.
  • Sir Thomas Sean Connery.
  • The white supremacist pundit Stephen Donald Black is better known as Don Black.
  • The realist German writer Theodore Storm goes by his middle name instead of Hans.
  • The director Ernst Ingmar Bergman.
  • American politics apparently loves this trope:
    • Have you ever heard of Presidents Stephen Cleveland, Thomas Wilson, or John Coolidge? No, then you might recognize them better by their respective middle names Grover, Woodrow, and Calvin. In Coolidge's case, it was to differentiate himself from his father, also named John.
    • Ulysses S. Grant was born Hiram Ulysses Grant, though he was referred to as Ulysses in his youth. His more famous name came from a clerical error when he enlisted at West Point, as the congressmen who nominated him was unfamiliar with him and put the name Ulysses S. Grant on the nomination form, guessing that his middle name was Grant's mother's maiden name Simpson. Grant eventually adopted the name.
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower was originally named David Dwight Eisenhower, but was called by his middle name to differentiate himself from his father, also named David. Later he swapped the names around to become Dwight David Eisenhower. Interestingly, his namesake grandson Dwight David Eisenhower II, who would later become the son-in-law of Richard Nixon, goes by his middle name David. David is the namesake of the presidential retreat Camp David.
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt's wife Eleanor was born Anna Eleanor Roosevelt. Other First Lady examples include Jimmy Carter's wife Rosalynn (first name Eleanor).
    • Vice President Dan Quayle, whose full name is James Danforth Quayle. Another Vice President, Walter Mondale, was nicknamed Fritz, derived from his middle name Frederick. Yet another Vice President, Spiro Agnew, was reportedly nicknamed "Ted", derived from his middle name Theodore.
    • Willard Mitt Romney. He goes by his middle name simply because he likes it.
    • (John) Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the House.
    • John F. Kennedy's brother-in-law, Peace Corps founder Sargeant Shrivernote , was born Robert Sargeant Shriver Jr.
  • Canadian politics has former prime ministers Henri Charles Wilfrid Laurier, usually known as Wilfrid Laurier; Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau, usually known as Pierre Trudeau; Charles Joseph Clark, usually known as Joe Clark; Martin Brian Mulroney, usually known as Brian Mulroney; and Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien, usually known as Jean Chrétien. In addition, William Lyon Mackenzie King was also known as Mackenzie King.
  • Former French Prime Minister Léon Blum's first name was André.
  • Although called "Al" by his family, British Prime Minister Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson chose to be known as "Boris" when he was much younger because it was more memorable, especially during the Cold War.
  • Doctor Who actor Thomas Arthur Darvill (who went by "Tom" back when he was a presenter on CITV).
  • Walter Bruce Willis.
  • Kings of Leon: All four band members go by their middle names: Anthony Caleb, Ivan Nathan, Michael Jared, and Cameron Matthew Followill. The first three are brothers and Matthew is a cousin.
  • Although she professionally goes by her full name, Bethany Joy Lenz is known as Joy in her personal life.
  • Dr. Seuss' pen name came from his full name being Theodore Seuss Geisel.
  • Nicole Evangeline Lilly.
  • Clyde Jackson Browne.
  • Thandiwe Newton's full name is Melanie Thandiwe Newton; before 2021, she had been credited as Thandie Newton.
  • Julius Robert Oppenheimer.
  • Jude Law's full name is David Jude Heyworth Law. In fact, his use of this trope had accidentally got him assigned to a girls' dormitory while at the National Youth Musical Theatre.
  • The YouTube celebrity Onision was born Gregory James Daniel, and went by Gregory for a long period until changing his name to James Jackson.
  • Political cartoonist Ted Rall's first name is actually Frederick. Ted is short for his middle name of Theodore.
  • Richard Shannon Hoon. Again, Richard was his father.
  • James Travis Tritt.
  • Philip Anthony Hopkins
  • Wilhelm Richard Wagner.
  • Lisa Olivia Munn.
  • Joseph Rudyard Kipling.
  • Sylvester Stallone was born Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone.
  • Played with by Thomas Jacob Black, better known as Jack.
  • Katherine Matilda "Tilda" Swinton.
  • Eldred Gregory Peck.
  • Charles Robert Redford Jr.
  • Henry Warren Beatty. (His original family name was Beaty, with one "t".)
  • Karen Lucille "Lucy" Hale.
  • Paul Benjamin "Ben" Mendelsohn.
  • Roberta Joan "Joni" Mitchell.
  • The female half of the Captain & Tennille: Cathryn Antoinette "Toni" Tennille.
  • Former Austro-Hungarian Crown Prince Otto von Habsburg's full name was Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius von Habsburg.
  • Prince Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel of Denmark played this entirely straight by being known as "Carl"... until 1905, after which he was King Haakon VII of Norway.
    • His father Frederik VIII of Denmark was also an example; his full name being Christian Frederik Vilhelm Carl. Frederik's grandson and Christian X's son, Frederik IX's full name was Christian Frederik Franz Michael Carl Valdemar Georg.
  • Two Nazi examples: (Paul) Joseph Goebbels and (Otto) Adolf Eichmann.
  • Thomas Mark Harmon. Since his father Tom Harmon was a famous football star and sportscaster, he basically had to use Mark to differentiate himself.
  • Caleb Casey McGuire Affleck, better known as Casey Affleck.
  • Vera Mindy Chokalingam, better known by her screen name Mindy Kaling.
  • Matthew Ryan Phillippe.
  • Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa, better known as Jason Momoa.
  • Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni, better known by her screen name Téa Leoni.
  • Lauren Keyana Palmer, better known as Keke Palmer.
  • Elizabeth Stamatina Fey, better known as Tina Fey.
  • Samuel Timothy McGraw, better known as Tim McGraw.
  • Patricia Rooney Mara.
  • Robert Clark Gregg.
  • Edward Thomas Hardy, better known as Tom Hardy.
  • John Rodney Mullen is an American skateboarder.
  • Halston, American fashion designer most prominent in the 60s and 70s, was born Roy Halston Frowick.
  • George Roger Waters.
  • Frontierswoman Martha Jane Cannary, better known as Calamity Jane.
  • Tenitra Michelle Williams from Destiny's Child.
  • Elta Danneel Ackles.
  • Kathryn Felicia Day.
  • Cheryl Gates McFadden. She goes by her given name as a choreographer and middle name as an actress.
  • King Gustaf V of Sweden's full name was Oscar Gustaf Adolf. His son and successor, Gustaf VI Adolf, was an even more extreme example, his full name being Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf. His son in turn, Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, was known in the family by his last name Edmund, his full name being Gustaf Adolf Oscar Fredrik Arthur Edmund.
  • Isabella II of Spain, whose full name was María Isabel Luisa de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias.
  • Clinton Richard Dawkins.
  • Christopher Plummer's full name was Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer.
  • Nelle Harper Lee.
  • Jamie Bell's full name is Andrew James Matfin Bell.
  • Martha Maria Yeardley Smith.
  • Oliver Burgess Meredith.
  • Jackson DeForest Kelley.
  • Several Australian Prime Minsters were examples. Malcolm Fraser's first name was John, Gough Whitlam's first name was Edward, Ben Chifley's full name was Joseph Benedict Chifley, and Chris Watson's full name was John Christian Watson.
  • Allen Kelsey Grammer. His daughter, actress Greer Grammer, has Kandace as her first name.
  • Bob Newhart's full name is George Robert Newhart.
  • Similarly, Bob Einstein, most famous for his Super Dave Osborne character, was Stewart Robert Einstein.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and Evil Con Carne creator Maxwell Atoms' real name is Adam Maxwell Burton.
  • John Carroll O'Connor.
  • Giovanni Giorgio Moroder went only by his middle name before he ventured into electronic disco.
  • Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor's full name was Peter Leopold Joseph Anton Joachim Pius Gotthard.
  • French author Henry René Albert Guy de Maupassant.
  • Lex Lang's full name is Walter Alexis Lang.
  • Heidi Hynden Walch.
  • The singer Voltaire's full name is Aurelio Voltaire Hernández.
  • Jared Drake Bell.
  • Charles Joel Kinnaman.
  • The Jacksons member Randy Jackson's full name is Steven Randall Jackson.
  • After Rush Limbaugh's passing in 2021, his syndicators eventually put The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show in his old time slot, hosted by Richard Clay Travis and James Buckman "Buck" Sexton.
  • Ellen Tyne Daly.
  • Charles William "Bill" Mumy Jr. (Or Billy Mumy back in his child acting days.)
  • Erin Grey Van Oosbree, better known as Grey DeLisle.
  • James Lance Bass.
  • Debra Philece Sampler.
  • Walter Charles Dance.
  • John Kricfalusi’s first name is actually Michael, with “John” being his middle name.
  • Karim Dulé Hill. He said he grew to dislike his first name because people would often ask him if he could dunk like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
  • H. Jon Benjamin had always been referred to by his middle name by family and friends and, similar to Orson Welles, was unaware of what his first name was until he was older (it's Harry, by the way).
  • Mizero Ncuti Gatwa, who is set to play the Fourteenth Doctor in Doctor Who.
  • Heather Laurie Holden.
  • Pendleton Ward's full name is Ward Taylor Pendleton Johnston.
  • William Dwight Schultz.
  • Christopher Chace Crawford.
  • Mayte Michelle Rodriguez.
  • Mary Sean Young.
  • Daniel Lawrence Whitney, better known as Larry the Cable Guy.
  • John Peter Sarsgaard.
  • Former MTV VJ/current TV news commentator Kennedy mixes this with Only One Name, since her full name is Lisa Kennedy Montgomery.
  • Wil Wheaton's full name is Richard William Wheaton III.
  • Robert Boyd Holbrook
  • Margaret LeAnn Rimes
  • Kimberly Alexis Bledel.
  • Daniel Jason Sudeikis.
  • The full name of late College Football Hall of Famer coach LaVell Edwards was Reuben LaVell Edwards.
  • The full birth name of Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and U.S. United Nations ambassador, is Nimrata Nikki Randhawa. She's the American-born daughter of Sikh immigrants; "Nikki" is occasionally used as a feminine name in her ancestral Punjab region (and conveniently is also an English-language name, derived from Nicole).
    • Her husband Michael is also an example, having been born William Michael Haley.