10 Londoners With Unusual Middle Names

By M@ Last edited 20 months ago
10 Londoners With Unusual Middle Names

My name is Matthew D. Brown. I tell people that 'Danger' is my middle name, but really it is David. These 10 Londoners have far more interesting appellations.

Alexander Boris de Pfeffle Johnson

The Foreign Secretary and former Mayor is widely known as Boris, but he's actually an Alexander. More hilariously, his other middle name is de Pfeffle — a name somehow perfectly matched to Boris's personality. The peculiar name has been passed down his family from ancestor Baron Charles de Pfeffel, a German aristocrat.

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins

The Skyfall singer really does have the middle name 'Blue'. What's more, it was almost chosen as her first name, years before Beyoncé and Jay-Z gave it to their daughter.

Charles John Huffam Dickens

Dickens was famous for giving his characters bizarre names. Wackford Squeers, Mr M'Choakumchild and Uriah Heep are just three from a very long list. But did you know that Dickens himself carries an unusual middle name? Huffam comes from his godfather Charles Huffam, who also inspired the character of Paul Dombey in the ploddy Dombey and Son.

As a rule, all Victorian novelists had unusual middle names. Other examples are William Makepeace Thackeray, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde, Henry Rider Haggard and...

Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

The Sherlock creator is another to carry the surname of his godfather (Michael Conan) within his own name. There is some fuzziness over whether Conan should be considered a middle name or part of his surname. He was baptised as Doyle, the name of his father, but later styled himself as Conan Doyle.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

The famous engineer never did anything by halves, and that included unusual Christian names. Isambard was inherited from his father Marc Isambard Brunel — Wikipedia tells us that it's an old Norman word meaning (appropriately) 'iron-bright'. Kingdom was simply his mother's maiden name.

Elton Hercules John

The singer was, of course, born Reginald Kenneth Dwight but is now universally known by his stage name. Unusually, that stage name has a little-used middle name, which is Hercules.

Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof

Sir Bob's unusual middle name comes from his grandfather Zenon Geldof, a Belgian chef. The singer clearly has a thing for unorthodox names. His children are Fifi Trixibelle Geldof, the late Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof and Little Pixie Geldof.

Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong

The singer's birth name is registered as Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong, but her parents always called her Dido (a name she has since appended to her official name). She was none-too-impressed. "To be called one thing and christened another is actually very confusing and annoying," she told the Observer in 2001. "It's one of the most irritating things that my parents did to me... Florian is a German man's name. That's just mean. To give your child a whole lot of odd names. They were all so embarrassing... I thought it was cruel to call me Dido and then expect me to just deal with it."

Andrew Bonar Law

Of all the Prime Ministers, Bonar Law is the most likely to make schoolboys snigger. Only Viscount Palmerston comes close. Unfortunately, that potentially lewd middle name rhymes with 'honour' and not 'owner'. His name is lifted from the influential clergyman Andrew Bonar.

Hugh John Mungo Grant

Mungo is a rare name, but not unique. We list him because, were he to drop the John, he'd be Hughmungo Grant, which just sounds great.

Last Updated 25 May 2017