What is middle name in USA

What is middle name in USA?

In this article, I will explain the concept of the middle name in the USA, describe what is the middle name with practical examples, what you should know about the middle name in the US passport, and more.


Middle name meaning in the USA – with example

In short, the middle name concept is pretty the same as the other western countries, is your middle or second name (in same level as the first name).

For example, if your name is Dennis Porter Smith, so Porter will act as the middle/second name.

Personal name part example
Personal name part example


Why do Americans have middle names? Is it an American thing?

No, it’s not. The first middle names appeared in late Medieval times, and it have a lot of benefits (more info about middle names benefits).

They were reserved for the nobility in England, and as early settlers from England came to America, early Americans maintained a tradition of having two names.

Therefore, you could find a lot of Americans with a middle name, but it is some American thing or mandatory.

Some add it to honor some important person in the family, like grandma or grandpa, and some do it for differentiating from the others.


Must I have a middle name?

No, you don’t have to, it’s your call.


Middle name VS middle initial

Often, a middle name is abbreviated and called a middle initial or simply an initial.

The middle name is the full name and the initial acts as an abbreviate version of it.

Full middle name example
Full middle name example


Initial middle name example
Initial middle name example


What is the middle name on a US passport?

If you have a middle name – you should add it on the passport, more than that, you always should add your full name in the application.

Here is a state from the TSA:
“The name on your application must be an exact match to the name on the identification and proof of citizenship/immigration documents you provide at enrollment. The name provided must be the name used when making your airline travel reservations.”


Where add it on the passport?

What to do if there is no Middle name field on the passport? You can add it together with your first/given name as others do – and it works for them.


What about a middle initial?

You could add your middle initial, but in general, you should put your full middle name