When Is a Junior Not a Junior?
- Looking for a Compromise
For the middle names question, allow me to refer you to the 41st and 43rd presidents of the United States. That would be George Herbert Walker Bush and his son George Walker Bush -- not George Bush Jr.
Traditional namesake rules say that a Junior is an exact namesake, no adding and subtracting parts. That makes sense if you think of the purpose of the Jr. suffix as distinguishing between identically named family members.
This rule is simply a matter of custom, not law. If you wanted to stick Jr. at the end of a not-quite-alike name, nobody would stop you. But it could cause confusion, and it runs counter to your husband's fundamental goal of honoring tradition. A traditional Junior is a Junior, period. Sorry.
Now for the good news. There's no tradition that says that you have to call your Junior by his given names. Namesakes have always been given extra nickname leeway. You'll meet Juniors known by their initials, by mashups of name parts, by nicknames indicating "juniorhood" (Deuce), by nicknames for their last names and more. So your husband can have his Junior, and you can let your naming imagination run wild.