Why does 'everyone' have the middle name Louise?

One or more people in this photo probably have the middle name Louise.
One or more people in this photo probably have the middle name Louise. Photo: Getty

It's true that of the many women we know, a large proportion of them have the middle name Louise. It's a phenomenon that has been noted by author Roisin Lanigan in her article for The Tab.

Lanigan notes in her article titled "Is it just me or does literally every girl have the middle name Louise?" that "there is one constant in life and it's that every girl you know has the middle name Louise."

While it may be exaggerating just a little, we can see many nodding along and going, "Yeah, that's totally spot on!" and the article has struck a chord with people everywhere, having been shared copiously since it was published.

She says that the middle name Louise is the great leveller, connecting people of all kinds in a single middle moniker that "transcends all differences which divide us as women."

Lanigan is talking about the UK and quotes stats regarding its use as first name such as, "In 1991, 100 million girls were named Louise. In 1995 it was 136," meaning Louise is one of the most popular names ever, at least in the first spot.

Ancestry.co.uk lists Louise as the top middle name of all time (well, since middle names became popular, as they haven't always been around).

Ancestry's UK content manager Miriam Silverman writes, "It seems that middle names are a relatively new phenomenon, having only become the norm over the last hundred years - driven by the desire to commemorate well-loved ancestors," adding that this because particularly so after World Wars 1 and 2, when so many people were lost to their families.

Lanigan is also spot on when she observes that if a woman's middle name isn't Louise, then it's Rose. We would then add Grace to that thought, with zero reading done; it's just what we know. Sure enough, according to Ancestry UK, Louise, Rose and Grace are the top three middle names, in that order, followed by Jane, Elizabeth, Ann/Anne, May/Mae, Marie, Mary, Amy, Catherine, Victoria and Kate.

If you're wondering why Louise tops the middle name charts, it's all because of its cadence. It's a rare one where the emphasis falls in the middle and extends itself out with an 'eeese' sound at the end, making it the perfect accompaniment to a hoard of popular names for girls, whose heaviest inflection sits on the first syllable. Stephanie Louise, Jessica Louise, Sophie Louise, Jennifer Louise, Kylie Louise; these combinations all have undeniable melodic appeal.

In just one hour, 11 of my own Facebook friends piped up with the middle name Louise. And on the Essential Baby name forums its popularity is also evident, with some of the respondents' daughters also receiving it for a middle name.

So even though it seems more popular among older generations, the fact that that middle name is mainly used for honouring family members keeps Louise circulating quite healthily.

So no, you're not dreaming when it feels like almost everyone has the middle name Louise. It really is a very popular middle name for female babies of all time, and for very good reason.